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# 136591 2-Dec-2013 19:55
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I have been working in I.T. for about 7 years now and the only work I seem to be able to get are low level jobs. I just can't seem to get any decent work so I figure I'm just not getting the right experience. So what I am looking for is some valuable work experience preferable in web programming. Over the past 7 years I have worked with VB .NET, C#, PHP, Javascript, Microsoft Office, SQL Server, MySQL, HMail Server and some networking and technical support. I'm not expecting full time work just something on the side. 

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  # 944342 2-Dec-2013 20:01
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What roles have you done? What sort of role are you expecting to get? 7 years is a good chunk of experience.

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  # 944380 2-Dec-2013 21:02
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At least half (if not more) of what helps you get ahead in IT is the image you are portraying. Not to put too fine a point on things, but that might be an area where you could use some focus?

Clearly I don't know you and what you are like at all, but the people I see get ahead are the ones who have a personality to match. The old cliche of IT people being the nerds in the basement just doesn't hold true anymore.

Have the roles you've been doing in the past had any client/customer facing aspects? Or was it just you and a computer reporting to your manager?

Networking is also massively important.  Do you use LinkedIn?  Do you have relationships with recruitment agents?  Do you keep in touch with people you've worked with in the past?

 
 
 
 


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  # 944534 3-Dec-2013 09:35
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Are you not getting the roles after interviews ? Or just not getting to the interview stage ?




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  # 944940 3-Dec-2013 19:45
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I have been working in the one business for 7 years mostly doing programming I have only done odd jobs for other people. I'm not even getting to the interview stage.

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  # 944947 3-Dec-2013 20:08
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Ok, so you have only one role for experience - what is the role, specifically, as in how do you define it on a CV? Do you have any qualifications that are relevant? Are you applying for suitable level roles? Despite being there 7 years, unless it's a well-regarded company and a good role, you'll likely have to look at junior roles.

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  # 944968 3-Dec-2013 20:54
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You need someone to take a look at your CV. I'm happy to do it, if you're interested send me a PM and I'll send my email address. I'm a solution architect, I was a developer for years.

Also send a link to a job or two you applied for.

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  # 945121 4-Dec-2013 09:13
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I am also happy to have a look at your CV. I am an IT manager and have worked in telecommunications as complex technical.

I've landed jobs well above my pay grade simply because I made my confidence, willingness to learn and interest very clear in both spoken and body language. A little research is essential when applying at any company. Then use that research to ask probing questions about what they do.

Your CV needs to be awesome. My girlfriend adds a bit of colour to hers and the phone is off the hook. People in her industry send in boring black and white. I was originally targeting the design industry. I have a very flashy CV and it tends to work everywhere I go.

Looking at the languages you know...You should be able to send in an A4 sheet of paper with your phone numbers and some text reading: "I'm a programmer". Companies are foaming at the mouth over programmers at the moment! 7 years experience is no joke either, you have plenty. If you don't have any criminal convictions, there is no reason why you shouldn't be making an above average wage/salary.

Good luck!





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  # 945147 4-Dec-2013 09:53
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If anyone used color in a CV I was reading, for a technical role, it would tend to count against them unless it was done really well. Colored paper, weird fonts, unnecessary color are all distracting elements.

Hiring managers have a big pile of CVs, they read the first paragraph to decide whether to read the whole thing. If the overall look is bad (eg color, organisation, etc) they may not bother reading it at all.

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  # 945151 4-Dec-2013 09:56
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timmmay: 
Hiring managers have a big pile of CVs, they read the first paragraph to decide whether to read the whole thing. If the overall look is bad (eg color, organisation, etc) they may not bother reading it at all.


With a huge pile of CVs, the first thing to do is randomly pull out every 2nd or 3rd one and throw it away. That way you're not hiring unlucky people.

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  # 945187 4-Dec-2013 10:23
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timmmay: If anyone used color in a CV I was reading, for a technical role, it would tend to count against them unless it was done really well. Colored paper, weird fonts, unnecessary color are all distracting elements.

Hiring managers have a big pile of CVs, they read the first paragraph to decide whether to read the whole thing. If the overall look is bad (eg color, organisation, etc) they may not bother reading it at all.


I don't mean colouring in book colour...I mean a coloured graphic/design at the top left hand corner of the page so it stands out when the manager is sifting through them.  I'm not now, but have been in a recruitment situation before.  I'm far more likely to give credit to a CV that has had some effort put in to it, over the bog standard template the next potential employee found with a quick Google search.

Then there are just terrible CVs.  Out of all the CVs I've had to sift through, it is failure to meet the initial breif for CV submition that sends it to the paper shredder for me.  Even when it is clearly stated that the applicant must provide a CV and cover letter, half of the applications are submitted without a cover letter...Or even just an email.  These people are also the ones that put "Attention to Detail" at the top of their skills list most of the time.





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  # 945232 4-Dec-2013 11:09
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Most CVs go through recruiters in IT. Recruiters don't always pass through the requirements, many are just expensive stupid keyword matching system.



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  # 945599 4-Dec-2013 19:33
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Inphinity: Ok, so you have only one role for experience - what is the role, specifically, as in how do you define it on a CV? Do you have any qualifications that are relevant? Are you applying for suitable level roles? Despite being there 7 years, unless it's a well-regarded company and a good role, you'll likely have to look at junior roles.


1. In my CV I just put I.T. contractor because I'm not sure what else to put.
2. I have a diploma in Software engineering.
3. I am applying for jobs which I think I can do yes they are junior level jobs.

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  # 945602 4-Dec-2013 19:45
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Yeah I don't agree much with the formatting of the CV being an issue - most recruiters just copy/paste the relevant bits for the job they're putting you forward for into their own company branded template. So the only bits the employer ever gets to see is the recruiter comments and the relevant bits from your CV.

Of course that's if you go through an agency, if you're applying direct to a company it may be different.

Your CV should show enough detail in your job history so as to convey: your role, what your responsibilities are/were, and your achievements in that role. It's a fine line to walk when applying for a junior role - you don't want your CV to show you as being overly experienced for the role because then you give the impression that you might not want to be in the role for long or you may get bored, but you also don't want to under value yourself so as to come across as not being experienced enough.

Start talking to people in the industry that do what you do, or what you want to do. Follow them on Twitter and engage with them somehow. Buy them a coffee. Most of my jobs have come from networking rather than through an advert or agency.

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  # 945628 4-Dec-2013 20:18
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i am in a management role which includes recruitment responsibilities (global engineering, architectural, env science consultancy) - so while I can't help you specifically given that you're IT based, I can offer my 2c:

1. first impressions count in terms of cv's / cover letters - make sure you are selling yourself well - make sure you stand out - in a good way - get these reviewed - polish them (typos and grammatical errors are VERY BAD - it shows a lack of attention to detail and poor quality assurance.)
2. tailor these to the specific company / role / position description - generic letters make ones eyes glaze over pretty quickly. think about the key things they are looking for - and nail these.
3. think carefully about what you have done / skills / achievements / quals - these are often first level filters - and again make sure you communicate these well (note: "well" doesn't mean a 6 page CV - recruiters/managers are busy and you need to grab their attention quickly.)
4. get these reviewed by multiple parties - who know what they are looking at - as things can always be improved.
5. use your networks - clients / colleagues / other (linkedin can be useful in this regard) - if you don't have any networks - start now and grow them.
6. if you have important skill gaps - seek to address these.
7. demonstrate professionalism, enthusiasm, flexibility, a desire to learn, softer skills and an appropriate balance of confidence/humility (note: appropriate technical skills are often a given and  culture/values fit can often be the key differentiator ie. will you be good in the team / with clients etc - ie. will you be good to work with.)
8. if you miss out - seek feedback - and do something with it.
9. don't give up


final word - kudos to those willing to review his cv and the jobs he has gone for as I am sure you will be able to spot stuff that will help him improve on what he is submitting

good luck with your search :)

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  # 946209 5-Dec-2013 20:15
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I got the OP's CV and cover letter this evening and had a look over. I don't want to go into it, but I will say a few general things about CVs.

A cover letter and CV have to look like a high end, professional document that someone has spent time and effort on. It should be up there with the formality and quality you'd expect from a lawyer.

Key things for people to learn:
- A cover letter is a formally written letter telling people who you are, why you're writing to them, and maybe why they should hire you. It's to get them to read your CV. It's advertising. I'm not an expert as I've never written one to be honest, so google it.
- The CV is advertising to get you an interview. More advertising. Google it. Use a good template. Show it to a colleague who has the job you want, not the job you have, for critique.
- The interview is to learn their requirements, make a connection with the interviewer, and tell them how you're going to solve their problem.
- Technical skills aren't enough. Writing skills, interpersonal skills, and just being a nice person that people want to be around is important. People hire people they like.
- Have a professional LinkedIn account, and make sure your facebook account is private with a respectable cover photo - that's public

If I interview two people, one can do the job perfectly but I don't want to have a beer with them, the other can only do 70% but I like them, their manner, and their enthusiasm I'd hire person 2. Every time. You'll be spending a lot time with these people, team fit is important.

In an interview I spend as much time listening as talking. I want to get across what I know, how I can help, some personality, but the key thing is having an interest in the interviewer. Not showing an interest, having an interest. I spent half of an interview for a programmer job 7 years ago talking about painting houses - some talking, some listening, as through conversation I worked out myself and the interviewer were both painting our houses. I didn't get asked a single technical question, he could see from my CV I knew what I was doing.

The book "how to win friends and influence people" is vital for most techies who have poor to average interpersonal skills. Read it once a year. Really.

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