Finding the first computer job can be the most difficult for so many people who want to carve out a career in IT. Simply because employers don't give them a chance, employers just don't look past their lack of IT experience.
A candidate may have much more to offer than IT skills alone, they may be highly motivated, have exceptional people skills, have an aptitude to learn quickly, however, this counts for nothing in front of a recruiter who is blind to these incredible skills.
The recruiter lives in a 'box' and does not come out, to experience what is outside of their metaphorical box. So they expect people to conform to their standards, so if they've got years of experience, they expect a similar amount of experience. They are basically looking for a mirror image of themselves.
Many recruiters don't know what they need to look for, I've been in many interview situations where I've wondered,
"How the hell did this person get a job here, they haven't got a clue!"
Eight out of ten interviews I've ever taken, the interviewer has been a complete idiot, who should not have been conducting interviews.
I've had to work harder in those interviews to try to get the job, sometimes this has worked and sometimes, I just have not stood a chance. But I know it was not my fault, it was just down to the person carrying out the interview not having a clue.
If you come across in an interview as a threat, that is, the interviewer thinks,
"Wow this person is good, they could make me look bad", then there is no chance of getting the role.
I worked in a company where one of the workers, would only hire people they assumed would not be a threat to them and those who did show too much initiative, were let go.
In the end, this persons team disintegrated and their real abilities came to light, as they failed to deliver. If they had taken on people better than them, they would have enhanced their own skills and produced better results but this person was just too stupid to see this.
So what can you do?
By differentiating your skills from the masses, employers could see you as stand out candidate. This is why Citrix skills have helped me maintain an excellent career in IT, even in jobs in which I have not used Citrix skills exclusively.
It's just been seen by the employer as an excellent skill to have in my portfolio of skills.
Having to quantify IT experience can be the most difficult part of trying to persuade potential employers about suitability for a role.
However, the length of experience depends on the IT skill possessed and some IT skills are so in demand that only the smallest level of experience can be just enough to be considered for a role.
It's important to appreciate, there is little benefit in following a IT career path which has little demand, that is there aren't enough jobs available. As the competition from other candidates for the few roles on offer could be intense, leading to falling salaries and opportunities.
IT isn't like a career in accountancy, medicine, traditional science, where years of experience dictate the opportunity openings.
In some areas of IT, a few months experience can be worth their weight in gold as they say, with many opportunities opening up. A friend of mine is in accountancy and they've spent years trying to progress up the career ladder, whilst other friends who've got into IT, have rapidly increased their income.