How do I go about getting an IT job with little experience?
November 24, 2014 1:12 AM   Subscribe

My question is, how do I go about marketing myself and finding jobs that need level 1 tech support or very Jr system admin jobs? Any help would be great. Thanks guys :) (more info inside)

A little background on myself:

I'm a 20 year old college student in Toronto Canada. I did 2 years of university studying computer networking and security but dropped out.

I have experience with Cisco routers and switches - I have CCNA knowledge but no cert and some CCNT knowledge, and I have a small 'business' fixing computers.

I'm a people person, and I have no problems in social situations nor do I have problems speaking in-front of people.

My question is, how do I go about marketing myself and finding jobs that need level 1 tech support or very Jr system admin jobs? Any help would be great. Thanks guys :)
posted by DatAznGuy to Work & Money (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Networking through meet ups in your city. Make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date, too.
posted by kinddieserzeit at 1:21 AM on November 24, 2014

With extremely similar experience, i ended up networking my way into a job at a local business friends worked at that needed a sysadmin/helpdesk person. The kind of place where there isn't anything all that complex or big-businessy so they've had trouble justifying anything but a random contractor when stuff breaks super bad in the past... but that slowly generates a laundry list of problems, and really needs someone for helpdesk/T1 support stuff but has slogged along without.

So basically, do any of your friends work at small(er) local places that conceivably have an office with computers in it on their back end? coffee shops/roasteries, brewpubs, clubs, etc. It's pretty easy to fluff up something like that later pretty thick on a resume since you're doing everything from helpdesk to ordering hardware.

Be prepared to be sort of underpaid though. Almost every place like that i've contracted for is run by a bunch of tightwads in my experience. Still, it's experience.
posted by emptythought at 1:46 AM on November 24, 2014

This is one of things where you just kind of luck into it. Just apply for any kind of office job, and talk to the people that you're fixing computers for. Eventually you'll find someone that needs you to manage their routers for them or something.

Also, you should definitely do whatever it takes to get your ccna. At twenty, it's fairly impressive, but don't expect to get a full fledged network engineer job with it, because you have no degree or experience. You should at least be able to get a job at a NOC somewhere, though.
posted by empath at 4:41 AM on November 24, 2014

Try going through local staffing companies. Many helpdesk jobs hire through agencies due to the high turnover. You might also want to consider getting some IT certifications (A+, CCNA, MCP). If you don't have a lot of experience they can help show you know what you are doing.
posted by nalyd at 5:24 AM on November 24, 2014

A good cover letter that conveys your people skills and explains why you are interested in working for the company. I've helped hire for level 1 positions and few people submit a cover letter. As long as there's a minimum technical proficiency and the capacity to learn, we hire the person with the best people / customer service skills. If you are concerned about how dropping out looks, you can mention that you are eager to continue your certifications while you work (if it's true).
posted by beyond_pink at 5:26 AM on November 24, 2014

If you're willing to work for peanuts doing necessary work that genuinely improves the quality of people's lives, try to land yourself an IT technician's gig at a local school.

Schools cannot afford to pay for the amount of IT support that they actually require, with the result that unless somebody like you is willing to get in there and spend the hours needed to shovel those Augean stables, it doesn't happen. Instead, IT maintenance is generally lumped onto whichever of the teachers seems to have something vaguely related to the necessary skills - and those people never have the time to do anything more than the most basic, reactive troubleshooting.

I moved into school IT via freelance PC-fixit after giving high-paid embedded systems programming away for stress reasons. Ten years on, I am still having a really good time doing it and now have system and network administration skills I didn't have when I started. But I honestly couldn't recommend it to anybody mainly motivated by money.

You're almost certain to have some kind of contact with your local school system. At the very least, you probably know the parents of some students.
posted by flabdablet at 5:45 AM on November 24, 2014

Go to your local Linux User Group - they often have some kind of set up for coordinating people looking for work with companies that have open positions. Getting to know people at the LUG will help get a foot in the door.
posted by Candleman at 7:01 AM on November 24, 2014

« Older Help with fire ceremony for wedding!   |   DIY Illegal Drug Making - WHAT WERE THEY DOING?? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.