- Tailor your cover letter for the job you are applying for
- Focus on how you can be the answer to their problem
- A cover letter is part of your personal commercial - if they like the cover letter, they will read your resume.
- Spend at least three hours per job you are applying for to revise your resume and tailor it to each position.
- Use social networking tools like Facebook and LinkedIn, but beware of sharing personal information, pictures or things you wouldn't want your grandmother to see.
- Stay positive by reaffirming your goals.
For more information, visit the Colorado Department of Labor's Web page at www.coworkforce.com, or call Karen Goedert of Resort Recruiters at 970-367-4416.
Steamboat Springs Mike "Woody" Bieron carries his resume and cover letter on a flash drive around his neck. If he needs to, he can stop at the Colorado Workforce Center in Steamboat Springs and print out copies as he continues the frustrating task of job-hunting during an economic recession.
On Wednesday, in the back of Epilogue Book Co., Bieron attended a resume workshop run by Karen Goedert of Resort Recruiters.
Bieron has been unemployed for three weeks.
"I'm looking for something out there that would be better for me and the need of the community," Bieron said.
The resume workshop, held from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Wednesdays, focuses on resume writing and creating a personal sales pitch for today's tough job market.
"It's great because there's been a lot of good networking going on," Goedert said.
"The way we job hunt and the way people hire is so different, and it's changing every day."
From Facebook and Twitter to finding new resources online and in the community, Goedert stressed the importance of diversifying the approach to a job search. Job-seekers need to create a commercial for themselves by being creative, she said, whether it's a memorable business card or a Facebook profile.
Goedert also said that although networking always has been an important tactic in a job search, building relationships and contacts is more necessary than ever.
"Employers aren't putting ads in the paper because they're just being bombarded with resumes," Goedert said. "Employers are calling recruiters and saying 'We have this position open, do you know anyone who would be good for it,' and people are getting jobs through word-of-mouth."
Chris Painter, director of Bud Werner Memorial Library, can attest to the frustrations of being an employer in a job market over-saturated with job-seekers.
The library had an opening for a part-time cataloging position. After placing an ad, Painter received more than 100 applications and had to halt the process so library officials could rifle through the stack of resumes.
"Typically, we find it challenging to fill positions," Painter said. "They interviewed eight people for the position and could have hired any one of them. This time, there were just too many qualified applicants."
Painter agreed that many of the professional positions at the library have been filled through recommendations and networking. As an employer, Painter advised job-seekers to find joy in whatever it is they choose to do.
"I think it is most advantageous to look at why you are applying to certain jobs," she said. "Some of the applicants we had we wondered why they wanted to apply for this job in the first place. Maybe you need to work behind a deli counter even though you have a Ph. D., but if you are very devoted to customer service, it really does help make the world a better place."
At the resume writing workshop, Goedert said she didn't think the economy was turning around just yet. But she urged the job-seekers to keep an open mind.
"There is work to be found out there," Goedert said. "Millenium Bank will be breaking ground soon, there are construction projects happening. Things are still moving, just not to the degree we've seen before."
Still, the job-seekers at Epilogue remained optimistic. Bieron is hopeful, and he thinks everything happens for a reason.
"Maybe the job I had I wasn't meant to have," he said. "The job I'm meant to have is the next one. I'm having faith in what's coming over the horizon."