Finding a Job in Colorado…

The idea of what to do right in a job search runs against the core concept of this blog. However, several people whom I have hired at previous employers have pinged me with a request for help in starting their Colorado job search. They got caught in a layoff, or their job moved overseas, or their employer went broke. We can’t deny that times today are hard. I feel obliged to help where I can.

Here’s the advice I’ve shared with them on how to increase their chances of success. Hopefully you will find it useful too.


Dear [Friend],

I’m happy to do what I can to help with your search. Here are a few suggested steps to accelerating your job search (you may have done some of these already). This isn’t meant to be an exclusive list, but instead it is meant to offer ideas of things you can do to get started:

  1. Update your resume. My resumes tips pages might help make your resume tight and tidy.
  2. Take advantage of all the outplacement help that your employer is giving you. The average participation in these programs is usually around 50%.
  3. Start networking – let everyone know you’re looking. My last three jobs have come through networking. It does work.
  4. Create, amplify or build up your LinkedIn network <www.linkedin.com>.
    • Put your resume into your profile. List all the companies you’ve worked for (this makes is easier to find colleagues). Make sure you have some keywords in your summary.
    • Use the Find Colleagues tool to locate people you know, and send out a customized invitation to them.
    • Change your profile address from http://www.linkedin.com/pub/odd numeric string to something more reachable like http://www.linkedin.com/in/yourname. The first name+lastname style is standard.
    • Make sure your profile says you’re interested in new jobs.
    • Get recommendations! We recruiters look for those.
    • Join some groups. Many groups allow job postings.
    • Make sure your e-mail address from your current company’s is in your preferences. Once you leave, you can’t add it.
    • See more LinkedIn tips on the NotJobs LinkedIn pages.
  5. Sign up for a job aggregator. An aggregator is a search engine for jobs. You can set up and save key word searches, and every night the software will e-mail you a list of openings that match. They spider HotJobs, Monster, CareerBuilder, Jobing and a bunch of other job boards. One can find other job aggregators out there, but I suggest starting with one of these:
  6. Don’t forget about unemployment. Apply as quickly as possible. In Colorado, Unemployment is initiated and managed at the county level. The core county office is the Workforce Center. This page from the Colorado Dept. of Labor & Employment explains their services, the process and your rights:http://www.coworkforce.com/EMP/WFCs.asp
  7. Check out your local user’s groups. Most disciplines have them – groups like CTRN, BAHRA, RMIUG, APICS, SWE, ASTD, COBAR and BWA, among others.
  8. Think global, work local! Check out the list of the top 35 best places to work named Denver!
  9. Make contact with a few good Headhunters Recruiters in your industry. But remember, the idea that headhunters get jobs for candidates is a myth.
  10. Stay current – read a few blogs to keep up. Industry blogs are good, as is that NotJobs blog. That guy’s Tips section is pretty good, if I do say so myself.
  11. Plan to attend one or more job fairs. You can see my list of upcoming events in the right hand column on the front page. (Note: We’re trying to be fanatically devoted to the fair list, but we miss them sometimes. If we got it wrong, or if you find something new, please e-mail it to your humble editor.)
  12. It is likely that your first contact with a prospective employer will be by telephone.  Minimize  your potential phone problems by checking out these phone phollies.
  13. Work. Be prepared to devote some serious time to your job search.

I hope this helps,

Troy

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