I have been a part-time Junior SysAdmin at a college for 5 years now. I am now looking for a full-time position as a Linux SysAdmin. I believe I am very capable and have made it to several 2nd---even 3rd round---interviews. However, I keep getting rejected on the fact that I "lack experience".
How is one suppose to gain or make up for this "experience"?
I know there are similar question on SF but they do not address my issue.
I've taken the technical tests that hiring managers have administered to me and have done fairly well. In fact, last week, the person administrating the exam said I was correct on a couple of questions that neither the previous candidates nor most of the already-employed team answered correctly. However, today, I get a call from the manager that they went with someone with more experience. So it is not a question about skills.
I run a small network at home that includes everything from a custom iptables firewall to Samba shares. Despite being only a part-time Junior SysAdmin in the past, I've played crucial roles in countless projects; right aside Senior SysAdmins. I could confidently say I've held my own.
So my questions...
How do I go about gaining this "experience"? Perhaps receive certifications?
Maybe Junior SysAdmin wasn't the proper entry-level job?
Should I be looking for something else?
Are these just lame excuses not to hire me and maybe I'm putting too much value on it?
Any hiring managers that want to chime in: PLEASE do.
Come on my SF people. Cheer me up here by giving me hope. I've heard the "lack of experience" reason 3 times already and it's admittedly eating at my confidence.