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Resume Help/Career Change with only personal/hobby experience


I am looking to make a career change into Information Technology and Linux system administration.  Computers have been a hobby of mine since the 1980's, but I have not actually held a job in this industry.  As a hobby I have taught myself Linux as well as some of the software that is commonly used and have become proficient with it.  My knowledge is at par with some Senior Administrators and Engineers, as I can hold my own when we talk about advanced topics.  The problem is that no companies will hire me due to my lack of "job" experience in the field.  I have actually been told that I am over qualified, but under experienced.  Meaning that with my knowledge, I am over qualified for an entry level position, but due to the lack of job experience I am not eligible for a higher position.  

I do not have a college degree, nor do I have the money to get certifications.  

My belief is that I may be under selling myself.  I believe in being completely honest and have not included anything on my resume that is untrue and refuse to do so.

My background is in Audio Visual, where I have done some supporting of computer systems.  However, the computer support was not my primary job.

What advice can you offer?

Thanks in advance


Talking the talk and walking the walk is two totally different things. I would HIGHLY suggest if you have not already done so, hiring a career strategist, like myself, to develop a job search strategy to include heavy networking in the field to potentially break into contacting gigs and opportunities that will allow you to show what you can do on a project basis versus just talking about what you can do.

This will give hiring managers and recruiters alike something "they can sink their teeth into" and could be the nugget to open doors professionally for your career in IT.

Contrary to your initial email, I do think you should look more carefully at your professional investment and see what can be done to carve out a specific certification which potentially could be done from simply buying the books and sitting for the cert exam. If you are as quick of a study as you say you are, having taught yourself programming and other IT languages, this should be the least of your issues.

I hope this helps!

Claiming nothing but success in all of your career endeavors,

Torski Dobson-Arnold
America's TOP Career Confidence Coach

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Torski Dobson-Arnold


I can answer questions in regards to resume development, career transition, career planning, salary negotiation, the interview process, networking in a job fair/trade show environment, telephone screening and practically answer issue as it relates to career planning. With 10 years of being on the front lines of the applicant and recruitment process as a strategic human resources professional, I have the "insider track" to what sparks the interests of hiring managers to what top ten things you need to avoid when applying for new opportunities.


10 years in private and public strategic, professional human resources roles. 2 years as a professional resume writer, career coach. Own and operate an elite firm specializing in resume writing and other career services, Your Career Confidence, LLC (

NAAAHR (National Association of African-Americans in HR) NRWA (National Resume Writers Association) AORCP (Association of Online Resume and Career Professionals) SHRM (Society of Human Resources Management)

BA, Marketing Management, Mary Baldwin College, VA MS, Human Resources Management, Troy University, AL PHR certification (awarded in 2006)

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