If you’re studying IT and want to land a help desk job, you’re better off than a lot of people training for a career. Growth in the demand for computer support specialists is projected to be around 18% between 2010 and 2020, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics.
If you’re a cobbler, however, the outlook is grim.
Wherever you look for a help desk job, you’ll need certain specialized skills. But if you have solid training, the right credentials, and skills that are in demand, you maximize your chances of getting the job you want. Here are 5 tips for showing employers that you have what the job demands.
1. Get the Necessary Training
Yes, there are plenty of people who are self-taught, but you’re going to need more than your word that you’re a tech wizard. A college degree or a certificate showing you have completed a technical training program is essential. Even if you’ve learned a lot on your own, formal training will fill in gaps in your knowledge and prepare you well for passing certification tests like HDI (Help Desk International) and Comp TIA A + certification exams. Furthermore, your instructors and advisors can be used as references and may be able to help you find employers who need people but aren’t openly advertising positions.
2. Do Volunteer Work
If the job market is tight where you are, consider volunteering your services at a nonprofit or government organization. Nonprofits tend to have limited resources and often welcome volunteer help, particularly for tasks that require technical knowledge. Treat your volunteer job like a paying job, and the references you get from your time spent volunteering can push you ahead of other applicants when the job you want comes open. And expanding your network is always good. You never know who the program director may know who could provide you with a paid opportunity. Look for volunteer opportunities at senior citizen centers, youth development programs, libraries, and local community centers.
3. Sign Up at a Staffing Agency
Signing up at a temp agency while you’re job hunting is a good way to get your foot in the door. Many employers use staffing agencies to fill technical positions, and many people start out as temps and transition to traditional employment, often with a company they temped at before. Even if you don’t have desired certifications or a degree, temp jobs give you the opportunity to demonstrate your skills. They can also expand your professional network and may expose you to opportunities you wouldn’t know about otherwise.
Everyone’s signing up with temp agencies these days, and temping can help you land a permanent job.
4. Learn About Ticketing Software
Most companies looking for help desk workers use ticketing software for dealing with support issues, and hiring managers will want to know that you understand how help desk ticketing works for capturing support issues, assigning them to help desk workers, and resolving them. Learn how ticketing software is used with email, chat, social media, and phone. If you don’t have the opportunity to actually use ticketing software, check out popular ticketing software packages online and learn how their features work.
5. Get Familiar with Active Directory (AD)
If you’re just starting out as a help desk worker, you’re going to spend a lot of time on the number-one support issue: resetting passwords. Resetting passwords on Windows systems requires you to understand Windows Server and Active Directory, or AD. The AD domain controller is what authenticates users and computers in a Windows domain network. It assigns and enforces security processes on all computers, and if you understand AD, you’ll be ready to roll when those password reset requests come in. Also, “Active Directory” is a common keyword phrase that hiring directors and recruiters use when searching employment databases, so once you learn AD, make sure it’s on your resume.
Follow these tips, have a great attitude, and show you’re eager to get to work, and you’ll have a leg up on other job applicants. Who knows? If you’re lucky, you’ll land a help desk job where they use great software like Samanage for all their IT service management needs.