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Gen. Chat “How do I get a job as a Linux Systems Administrato” by Jkid

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Jkid 5 years ago on 02/20/14
Equipped: Dante's Ebony+Ivory named "Meet the Twins!"
I'm in the DC area, one of the few booming IT markets, but I can't get my foot in the door. Either that or recruiters run off with my resume while doing nothing.

I've been applying for linux sysadmin jobs for six to eight months. I get no replies. I put my resume on every job site imaginable, and have a linkedin profile. Yet I hear people who have linked in accounts reviving offers everyday while I get squat. What can I do to make me more attractive to recruiters and people who want to direct-hire me. What buzzwords I can use or words on my resume?

I tried sending this same question on g but they were basically useless.

Seriously what types of skills do I need to get recruiters to contact me?
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John Booty 5 years ago on 02/21/14
Equipped: Sparkledonkey's Gallbladder
1. Hack into the company you want to work for.

2. Print out all their sensitive shit.

3. Show up in their office and drop the stack of sensitive hard copies on the CEO's desk.

4. Look him/her in the eye and say, "I think you need a better sysadmin."

5. Drop microphone, walk away.

6. Sorry, step one should have been "get a microphone."
 
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A Study in Pink 5 years ago on 02/22/14
1. Start doing it already

That's it. Look for open source projects and set up your own projects at home, and go from there. You will instantly start meeting the right people. Who gets jobs from resumes without already having the connections made? Few.
 
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Ak 5 years ago on 02/22/14
a lot of resumes are scanned by different keywords automatically. Being a linux sysadmin requires some...experience.

Do you have any? What's your resume look like? You can't just apply to jobs you don't have the skills/experience for and expect to get responses. IT is already a market that's super saturated with applicants.
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Rexall 5 years ago on 02/22/14
Equipped: Pimp Hat
Does your resume contain the keywords that recruiters are looking for?

What experience do you have being a sysadmin?

What are your salary expectations? Are they int he ballpark with people that have 5-10 years of experience, or are you lowering your salary expectations to find a company that will give you a chance?

The resume is very important because it is your key to get past the gatekeeper (recruiters/vendor management systems). The look, experience, and keywords need to be highlighted in your resume so they catch the eyes of these gatekeepers.
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Imaginos 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: A Really Sharp Pointy Thing
Like people said its all about the keywords I work for a recruiting company and we just have a monstrous database of resumes, a requirement comes in we search the keywords and see what pops up.

Also if you are just starting out in the field (little to no actual work experience) open yourself to more entry level positions like pc tech or helpdesk, it gets your foot in the door, and have that experience on your resume makes it more attractive for people looking for admins.
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Mark Argent 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: King of Genius-Level Retards Crown named "COME TO FUCKING EPPY"
do you still not drive? because all other factors aside, much of the entry-level work in this area is clustered around the MD Rt 29, I-270, and VA Rt 28 corridors, and those are not served reliably by Metro or bus lines. if you don't have reliable transportation, it's a big red flag that makes you ineligible for a lot of available positions.

that said, there are still a few independent datacenters floating around the Greenbelt & College Park areas, and UMD sometimes needs junior admins. did you look into that place I sent you the last time this came up?
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Jkid 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: Dante's Ebony+Ivory named "Meet the Twins!"
A Study in Pink said:
1. Start doing it already

That's it. Look for open source projects and set up your own projects at home, and go from there. You will instantly start meeting the right people. Who gets jobs from resumes without already having the connections mad...


Where can I find these open source projects?
(Even if I did find one, they may or may not be welcoming to anyone new)

Ak said:
Do you have any? What's your resume look like? You can't just apply to jobs you don't have the skills/experience for and expect to get responses. IT is already a market that's super saturated with applicants.


And my dad told me "that's where the jobs are..." How good is it if it's super saturated?
PS:
Rexall said:
...


I tend to avoid online applications. The instant I see a online application that requires me to create an account to make an application or anything that screams Taleo I'll will not apply.

What experience do you have being a sysadmin?


Novice understanding and practical experience of Unix/Linux operating systems (Red Hat, Solaris, Debian), over two years experience.

Including the following: Solaris 10 and Linux OS Directory Hierarchy, Managing Solaris and Linux OS File systems, User Administration, Basic Bash Scripting, Installing Solaris and Linux OS File Systems, basic use of SSH and Vi/Vim.

What are your salary expectations?

75,000 a year.

The resume is very important because it is your key to get past the gatekeeper (recruiters/vendor management systems). The look, experience, and keywords need to be highlighted in your resume so they catch the eyes of these gatekeepers.

I do not bother apply for any company that uses these systems: I've read plenty of horror stories from it.
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Imaginos said:
Also if you are just starting out in the field (little to no actual work experience) open yourself to more entry level positions like pc tech or helpdesk, it gets your foot in the door, and have that experience on your resume makes it more attractive for people looking for admins.


Even those jobs are difficult to get, because they get 100s of resumes for any place alone. Did apply for those jobs but I will not get any response from them anytime soon.

Mark Argent said:
do you still not drive? because all other factors aside, much of the entry-level work in this area is clustered around the MD Rt 29, I-270, and VA Rt 28 corridors, and those are not served reliably by Metro or bus lines. if you don't have reliable transportation, it's a big red flag that makes you ineligible for a lot of available positions.

that said, there are still a few independent datacenters floating around the Greenbelt & College Park areas, and UMD sometimes needs junior admins. did you look into that place I sent you the last time this came up?.


The State of Maryland is the worst states to get your first-time drivers license. Every first-time drivers has to go to drivers school and go through graduated driving regardless of age. Driving school costs money and getting the 30 hours of additional training costs money.

Yes, I did look into that place you sent me: I got no reply. I called the place: Got a receptionist, asked for the hiring manager, she told me "he just stepped out" does not know when he will be back. I got snubbed.
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StuntCock 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: N00dz of Ali named "But she was naked! And all... articulate!"
Every paragraph in that response made me a bit angrier than the paragraph before.

Part of being an employed adult means you have to play by the rules of your industry and being in a tech industry means you might have to fill out an on-line application.

Seriously. You know who gets to bypass those hoops and talk directly to hiring managers for jobs? People with years of experience in their field. People who are getting contacted by recruiters. You know who doesn't get to bypass those? People with zero experience in a field who are going to be assigned to junior positions with unenviable work shifts (and you're going to want that car when you get assigned to a shift that starts at midnight).

Start applying to companies that use those systems you hate so much in volume and stop being picky. If this "I'm too good to fill my resume with keywords" bullshit comes across during your interview/phone screen you can just forget about getting hired because no one wants to work with that kind of attitude. That attitude is flags you as a giant waste of time to managers and prospective employers,

In short: Play ball. You get to be picky about the kinds of places you apply to and their business practices for hiring AFTER you get some experience in your industry. NOT while you're trying to break in.

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Jkid 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: Dante's Ebony+Ivory named "Meet the Twins!"
StuntCock said:
Every paragraph in that response made me a bit angrier than the paragraph before.

Part of being an employed adult means you have to play by the rules of your industry and being in a tech industry means [i]you might have to fill out an on-line ...


Maybe I should clarify my response: I do apply for positions online. I apply for positions online via various job boards such as monster, career builder, dice, and there is one website that is a job searcher ala google known as indeed. There are plenty of job applications that do not use taleo and does not force you to create an account for every application that uses taleo. Those sites while small pale in comparison are a lot easier: You simply put in your basic details (name, email, phone) and your resume and that it.

There is a reason why I don't use any job application that hints of being Taleo or any ATS system: They have a high fail rate because of lazy HR.

http://...examiner.com/...via-company-websites-using-taleo

and here's the indeed thread all about taleo: http://...indeed.com/.../Career-Advice/Curse-Taleo/t438552
 
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Ak 5 years ago on 02/23/14
it sounds like you straight up don't have the skills to be in the field you're looking for.
 
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Britishly Delicious 5 years ago on 02/23/14
If you don't apply for that job because you dislike the system, then you have a 100% fail rate. You will definitely not get that job.because you have not applied for it in the first place.
Surely a system with a fail rate of anything less than that has got to be better than not applying at all.
Unless your time is so precious?

Honestly, from what you've described, you have no experience, no desire to do anything that might inconvenience you in the slightest, but you expect a company to pay you $75k a year.

I think your expectations need a little reset, if only to stop you from being constantly disappointed.
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Mark Argent 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: King of Genius-Level Retards Crown named "COME TO FUCKING EPPY"
well, that answers my earlier off-site question, I guess
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domminess 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: Box of Crayons named "I FREAKING LOVE COLORING"
Jkid said:

What are your salary expectations?

75,000 a year.


Dude, no. There are people with going on two decades of experience who don't pull in that kind of cash being Sysadmins.

Have you even researched this field at all to know what a reasonable salary to shoot for if you make it to that stage is?
PS: Like I have fifteen years experience doing Admin/Clerical including for Lockheed Martin's accounts payable/receivable, and the best I can expect is $25/hour.
PS: And that's aiming REALLLLLLLLLY HIGH.
PS: You have no actual work experience. Your starting salary is incredibly unrealistic.
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Mark Argent 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: King of Genius-Level Retards Crown named "COME TO FUCKING EPPY"
full disclosure:

three years ago, with four years of datacenter experience where I started at $42k/year and received three 3% annual raises over my tenure (let's not even get into that), I interviewed at Amazon's cloud ops datacenter in Reston VA. I asked for $55k/year, I was told that they hired maybe one or two $50k people per year. I was probably being lowballed as part of the salary negotiation process, but not by much: I'm now with another international brand doing network analysis and administration, and I make a base of $52k/year, with a similar raise structure. the salary cap for this position, which is not at all entry level, is $80k.
PS: this is like a few years ago when we had that kid who was votemongering here to get on that PS3-exclusive reality show where the grand prize was becoming a QA tester for Sony because he wanted to make games, and wouldn't listen when Sean and I told him that the best way to play and make games for a living was to play and make games right now, not be a contestant on a game show.
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Lord_BullGod 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: Nunchiaku named "Drunken NinJa Otakon 2k4 Party Award"
Seventy five THOUSAND dollars.. ::squeals in delight, and brings his pinky tip to the edge of his mouth as he looks around::

Moderator Princess Shoujo Maiku Says:

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Mark Argent 5 years ago on 02/23/14
Equipped: King of Genius-Level Retards Crown named "COME TO FUCKING EPPY"
further full disclosure: I started my career in 1998 at RCN in dial-up and cable internet tech support shortly after they purchased Erol's Internet, spent the next six years bouncing from retail to temporary tech support gigs and back, took a year off to try and start an entirely unrelated business, got back into customer service from 2005-2007, worked at a datacenter doing LAMP (Linux-Apache-MySQL-PHP) sysadmin work, and I'm now a network analyst on a primarily Juniper-based network, with some Cisco, Foundry, and Brocade hardware in the mix as well.

my point is that I have a broad range of experience over a sixteen year career and I'm doing the kind of things you want to do. I don't have a college degree or any certifications and I'm not any sort of rockstar, but I'm a highly-educable, fast learner who rarely makes the same mistake twice, I seek out tasks to do when the self-evident ones are completed ("self-starter"), I'm good at passing on the knowledge I have, and counter to my expression on these forums, I'm fairly personable and cooperative in a professional environment. and I don't make the kind of money you, entirely untested and unproven, want to make. I'd never claim that IT is any sort of meritocracy, but you do have to do the work in order to prove that you can do the work.
PS: that said, once you get your foot in the door, sometimes it seems like all you have to do is show up and you'll be guaranteed 6-12 months of employment regardless of competence. it is hella hard to fire people once you've hired them.
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Put A Bird On It! 5 years ago on 02/24/14
Equipped: Most Amazing Thing Ever!!!! named "Punctuation? Fuck yeah!"
First of all, I don't know how to find open source projects, but the point of open source is that you don't have to wait for an invite: you get the code, you look it over, and either fix problems or add useful stuff, then submit your improvements. I'm pretty sure most of them would have some kind of message board or tracking system so you can see who's working on what and make sure you aren't overlapping with anyone else.

As far as the salary stuff, I think part of the problem is that yeah, maybe 10 years ago 75k right out of college might have been possible, but not anymore (and even then it would probably be more like 50 to 60k). My brother is 5 years older and graduated from Ga Tech, and I know him and his friends were making about that in their first jobs. Part of that is because Tech is a damn good school and these guys live and breathe Linux, but also because it was early 2000s when the internet was exploding but there was still a big deficit of people that could manage the servers needed and keep them secure. The internet in general was still pretty new, but these were the lucky kids who had grown up with computers because their parents could afford the 3 to 5 grand in today's money they cost, so they had a head start few others did.

Now 10 years later every kid graduating has probably had a computer with internet for as long as they can remember so it's not that rare anymore. Between more people knowing computers and the good money you can make a lot of people went into CompSci, so the field is a lot more level now. You maybe could conceivably still make 75k out of college, but only if you have a degree from a really good school, good contacts, and love code so much you do it for fun in your off hours.
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Kev 5 years ago on 02/24/14
Equipped: Devo Hat named "We are not men."
As an established professional, I am going to add wood to the fire that you will not make $75K a year with two years of experience unless you have been to UPenn or Harvard, and are working on Wall Street. I know vice presidents at Citibank that make $78,000 base salary (not counting bonus, natch) after working for 5 years.

You are not special. You do not get to bypass the security gate that is HR.

You need to apply. You need to have someone in the industry (be it a recruiter, or someone in an IT department) read your resume and provide feedback.

You have to prove you will at least TRY to follow the rules, such as they are.

If you don't like any of the above, start your own firm and become an entrepreneur.

If you are going to complain about anything that I've said, then you need to sit down and reset your expectations.
PS: Just so you know, most HR departments have what they call The Big Purple Trash Can. That's where they put resumes submitted via Monster.com.

They also have something called The Big Orange Trash Can. Can you guess what goes in there?
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domminess 5 years ago on 02/24/14
Equipped: Box of Crayons named "I FREAKING LOVE COLORING"
Have you looked on your university job board?

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