Dear Bob ...
I was digging through websites, looking for programmer headhunters when your blog came up. I see you have written quite a lot about the IT business in general.
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I could use some advice on how to get an entry-level position in programming/IT in today's market. I graduated from one of the better trade schools in February 2010 in a curriculum focused on computer gaming programming.
I have a website, and I am always reading up on programming for C# and C++. The problem is the on-the-job experience is not there, and most entry-level positions seem to want two to four years of this and that -- way above what we learn as students.
Since graduating, I have been working on getting out of my current industry for well over a year with no real chances in sight. I am 39 years old, married, and a father with two small children -- hence, I have no rock star dream of starting out at an obscene pay grade. I have realistic expectations, and I feel I have tried every angle to find a "starting point" in the degree field area.
I will appreciate any advice you can give me. Thanks. I'm attaching my resume as well, and if you have any comments on it, I'd appreciate those, too.
Dear Re-aiming ...
I looked over your resume. The first thought that came to mind as I read it: "This guy is desperate -- he's all over the place." Computer game development, audio engineering, troubleshooting, LAN/WAN -- it's too much with no focus.
I'd strongly advise tailoring your resume to each opportunity instead of trying for a one-size-fits all version. When you apply for a corporate IT position, the gaming degree will be a hindrance, not a help; when you apply for a position with a gaming software company, your audio engineer credentials might or might not be interesting. Either way if you're applying for a developer position, your hardware troubleshooting skills are a distraction.
Think of your resume as a brochure to help explain the product -- that is, yourself. Different sales targets will have different interests, and it's up to you to anticipate and cater to them.
Second thought: I don't know anything about the gaming software industry, so I have no advice on how to land a position there. In corporate IT, I'd say your best shot for an entry-level position is as a help desk analyst. It isn't what you want, but it's a good first step toward your longer-term goal.