How I Got My First Job in IT

I wasn’t initially going to apply for any IT jobs until I had my CompTIA A+ parts 1 and 2 done. At that point, I was in school, working freelance as a technical writer, and studying for the A+. I read many posts on IT discord and subreddits about how you shouldn’t wait and start applying. I started my search on Indeed first. It went okay, but many of the jobs there would either express interest, schedule interviews and not show or tell me the position was already filled. In other words, it was likely an internal candidate but legally they had to post it.

I tried Angelist and some other IT job forums but nothing really came from them other than interviews. I’d make rounds 2 or 3 but someone always more experienced ended up getting them, even internships I’d be passed on! The final straw for me was actually an intern position where I made it to the final round. Unfortunately, both I and the other candidate were passed over for someone that was already well into their career, so they canceled the internship altogether in favor of hiring this person.

After that experience, I decided that was it. If I fit even half of what a company was looking for, I was going to apply but switched exclusively to Linkedin. I ended up staying up until 3-4am every night applying. Then, one night I saw a post just looking for an IT Specialist. It literally had 0 info. I mean 0. It only listed the title of the position and I just laughed. I figured why not. The worst that happens is they don’t respond. To my surprise, the next day they reached out for an interview.

I passed round 1 and 2! The 3rd was to be with a higher-up in the company if I made the cut. Little did I know that another candidate was in the same standing as me. Luckily for both of us, there was enough in their budget that we both got hired together and no hard choices had to be made!

I wouldn’t say I did anything special or different from most people. I just took a chance and hoped it’d work out. I can say what I believe helped me get the interviews based on speaking to the recruiters. By the way, if you do get an interview always ask that question! Ask them what made you stand out to them, it helps for future interviews and can help you refine that.

– I had writing experience. It seems most companies struggle in finding someone who has both technical and documentation skills. Many starts of interviews I had mentioned that being a huge reason as to why they were considering me even with minimal tech skills.
– I brushed up on my soft skills. I already had a psychology degree, so people reading and empathy came as second nature to me coupled with my retail experience. Interviewers would often mention my retail and psychology background as another reason they wanted an interview.
– I have an aptitude and passion to learn. During my first interviews, I always expressed my interest in wanting to learn and know everything possible. This often scored me a 2nd or 3rd interview because while I was lacking in skills, I was willing to put that effort in to learn.

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