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Multiple skills/ scattered skills in IT

This is a discussion on Multiple skills/ scattered skills in IT within the Certification & Career forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have a completely scattered skillset in IT. It's a classic example of being a jack of all trades, but

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Old 05-07-2013, 10:10 AM   #1
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I have a completely scattered skillset in IT. It's a classic example of being a jack of all trades, but master of none. I am not able to present myself well in the job market because of this. Even if I have more than 6 years of experience, whenever I attend some interviews the relevant experience counts to only 2 or 3 years and my skills may not be up to date with the market demands. Also, whenever I decide to study something or improve my skillset, I get totally confused about where to start and what to work on. I have worked with leading corporate clients globally and in highly professional work environments. But, I lack a lot in the job market. Please advise what to do.
Following is a brief breakup of my 6 and half years of IT career in chronological order starting from my first experience to the latest:

1 year and 6 months-
Domain: Social Networking websites/Web application development
Technologies: PHP, HTML, Java script, Ajax, XML, CSS, MySQL
Platform: Linux, Internet applications
5 Months-
Domain: Technical Support for Java.
Develop dashboard applications using core Java, Swing, JSP, HTML etc
3 years and 6 months-
Domain: Automotive
Technologies: Coldfusion, Oracle, HTML, Java script, Ajax, Jquery, XML, CSS, MySQL
Platform: Windows/IIS, Intranet applications
1 year-
Domain: Medical
Technologies/Activities: Infrastructure support- Python scriptiing, software build management, Creating server farms, virtualization, Build forge tool, IBM Rational Requisite Pro,IBM Rational DOORS, HP Quality center.
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Old 05-08-2013, 07:26 AM   #2
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Best I can advise is to get your skills up to what the market demands. As I am not a programmer, I can't advise you on which skills to focus on, but I would suggest that you should pursue 1) whatever is currently in demand and 2) whatever interests you and that you enjoy.

Where to start? Grab a study guide, then develop something based on what you've learned. Show an employer that you can work with a technology - not just by your words, but also by your code. And the "doing" of creating something will help you with explaining yourself in an interview.

If you have trouble getting interviews, you should make sure your resume is as professional as possible. Hire someone who has experience reviewing resumes to look at it. If you have trouble in the interview, you should work on your interviewing skills, perhaps hiring an interview "coach" who can help you with the interview process.

It seems as if you are getting interviews but having trouble once you get to the interview. From your post (and that's all I have to go on), I get the feeling that you lack confidence in your skills, and a lack of confidence is easy for an interviewer to detect. You need to build that confidence in yourself, and I think that getting hands-on practice (as I described a couple of paragraphs back) will help you with that confidence.

Knowing that you can do something is extremely important to helping yourself succeed; stop telling yourself that you can't do something because you perceive your skillset is "scattered". On the contrary, you should have the mindset that your skillset enables you to handle any situation that an employer throws at you. With all of those technologies under your belt, you should have a strong foundation of the varied nuances of each of those programming languages' strengths, capabilities, and weaknesses. Use that to your advantage.

Don't underestimate yourself. On this, I speak from experience; although I am not a programmer, I am also a jack-of-all-trades. In truth, I find that to be not a weakness, but one of my greatest strengths, as I consider myself to be versatile enough to handle anything that someone else on the team cannot.

So... when an employer asks you whether you can do PHP... yeah, you can do that. Java script? Yep! Ajax? Yeah, you got that. HTML? No problem. Coldfusion? Been there, done that. A database platform you've never worked on before? Hey, you've got Oracle and MySQL experience... yeah, you should be able to figure out the differences. Something you've never heard of before? You learned all those other things... there's no reason why you can't add that to your skillset as well!

Simply show the employer that you can provide value to their company. A jack-of-all-trades should be unflappable, unafraid of new and varied challenges. If you portray an image and attitude of confidence, the employer is going to buy into it, and you're much more likely to be hired. You can do this.

Hope this helps. :)
BosonMichael / Senior Content Developer, Boson Software
CISSP, CEH, CCNP, CCDP, CCNA Security, CCNA Voice, MCSE+I, MCSE: Security, MCSE: Messaging, MCDST, MCDBA, MCTS, OCP, CNE, SCSA, Security+, Linux+, Server+, Network+, A+
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