Frustrated job seeker

I'm a network program graduate who has gained my certifications in A+ and MCP. It has been more than three months since I've finished my studies and I still haven't found a job.

Dear Adviser,

I’m a network program graduate. I have gained my certifications in A+ and MCP. It has been more than three months since I’ve finished my studies and I still haven’t found a job. I am one of those people who have changed careers.

I decided to study IT to further develop my skills. I am an Asian and English is my second language, but I don’t have any difficulty understanding or communicating (whether oral or written) in English as it’s my country’s medium of instruction in schools and universities.

I’ve applied to numerous entry level positions advertised in the paper and on the Internet but nothing positive came out of it. What have I done wrong or what haven’t I done yet?

Job Hunter

Dear Job Hunter,

First, don’t think you have done anything wrong in gaining the qualifications you have, as they provide a base for further studies. Depending on the direction you wish to take, for example hardware/network support or software development, you would be advised to further your studies to gain qualifications such as MCSE [Microsoft Certified Systems Engineer], MCSD [Microsoft Certified Solution Developer], CNE [Certified Novell Engineer] or Cisco certification as these are beginning to be viewed by a significant number of employers as the minimum requirement for entry level roles.

We would also suggest that if you can find an opportunity to get some work experience by offering to help out for “free” or part time in an IT environment, this will also be of benefit as employers regard any experience highly.

Also make sure you highlight your “non-IT” skills in terms of your work experience, people skills etc, gained from working in New Zealand over the past four years. Finally, don’t give up, make sure you apply for jobs that suit your skills, and follow up your applications to get feedback.

Readers with career questions can have them answered in this column by IT recruitment specialists. This month Auckland-based Cooper Osborne & Associates answers your queries. Send questions to Kirstin Mills with “Dear Adviser” in the subject line.

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