Getting Experience

Job Web Sites

Today, there are a host of web sites that one can use to look for a job. Below is a list of some of the most popular web sites used to find jobs today.

Campus Jobs

Another place to look for a job while in college is on-campus. There are several types of positions at Henry Ford College where one can obtain IT-related work experience. These include:

  • CIS Department or Technology Division - Co-Op or Work Study position. The responsibilities of these positions have varied from working as proctors in the CIS computer lab to web site development.
  • CIS Department T-194 Computer Lab - Co-Op position. CIS Computer Lab Co-Ops monitor, maintain and assist students in the T-194 computer lab.
  • CIS Department T-194 Computer Lab - Lab Consultant position. Lab Consultants perform many of the same duties as Lab Co-Ops, but have more responsibility of the lab, its opening, closing. The experience, education and pay are also higher for Lab Consultants.
  • Data and Voice (IT) Department Co-Op Tech Support. These positions most closely resemble non-College IT experience. Co-Ops for the College IT/Data and Voice Department typically work as either PC Technicians or Programmers. Applicants must have completed a minimum number of CIS credits to apply.

Freelancing and Freelance Web Sites

Side jobs and project-based contract work can be an excellent way to build skills, earn extra money, and develop a portfolio, and acquire experience for future jobs. Before wide-spread use of the Internet and Web, side work was obtained locally through word of mouth and traditional advertising. Now, with the help of freelancing web sites, one can look for side work and project-based contracts around the world.

Some of these sites require that freelancers create an account and build a portfolio that lists such information as their skills, experience, development philosophy and process, minimum compensation rate, and post sample work and references. Prospective clients may also create an account before they post projects. Depending on the site, clients may then post details and specifications about their project and freelancers bid on these projects. Similar to auction web sites, both parties can also "rate" each other on the basis of quality of work, professionalism, and timeliness of project completion or payment of services.

The type of projects available for freelance work is enormous. They include: web design, web programming, database development, Windows programming, graphic design, logo creation, brochure and business card development, technical writing, language translation, photography, video production, development of education and training material, and administrative support. These sites provide an excellent opportunity to for aspiring and experienced web professionals to build a portfolio and earn an income.

Several popular freelancing web sites include:


Research has consistently shown that networking is the most effective way of finding a job (more than Internet/Web job posting searches) and is also another way to pick up experience. Below is a list of excellent opportunities for professional networking that may let to either side jobs to gain IT experience or full-time employment.


Look for volunteer opportunities that will allow you to use and demonstrate your skills and build resume experience. PC troubleshooting and repair, web design and development, networking, application programming, multimedia development, and computer training are all services many organizations could use assistance with. Law firms, churches, schools, physician/doctor offices, and landscaping businesses are but a few possible types of companies and organizations who have such needs. A lot of small businesses would appreciate such volunteer work.

Open Source Projects

Whether you already have some experience in the computer field or you are are trying to establish your first work experience, performing volunteer is an excellent way to enhance both your resume (experience) and skills.

There are a variety of ways you can obtain volunteer experience. Here are several:

1. Support an Open Source Project

There are many open source projects where users and developers can contribute to the software, i.e add features, fix bugs, etc. and these contributions are definitely worth noting on your resume as you will be contributing to the development of a major open source software.

  • Mozilla Firefox is a very popular we browser that is also an open source project with a great many opportunities for user/developer contributions that would also be excellent experience on your resume and a great way to enhance your skills. And remember, not all open source contributions have to involve coding. Mozilla has need for contributions to: User Support, Localization, Ads-Ons, Testing and Quality, Marketing and Evangelism, Coding, Visual Design, Interface Design and Usability, and Developer Documentation.

    2. Volunteer to develop a web site or database, or perform PC support or build a Local Area Network for a local church or small business.