Experts offer aid to jobless

Resource fair is Thursday; networking group starts June 8

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Seeking unemployment benefits?

For help with unemployment benefits, call the local Colorado Workforce Center at 879-3075, or visit the office at 425 Anglers Drive.

The Colorado Department of Labor and Employment offers a Web site, www.coworkforce.com, to help people with unemployment benefits. Those filing new claims can call 1-866-422-0401. People who have old claims, have questions or need to reopen existing claims can call 1-800-388-5515.

Karen Goedert's marketing tips for resort job seekers

- Flexibility - be willing and able to be diverse with your job skills and what you are willing to do.

- Make your technical and communication skills as strong as possible.

- Become an active user of LinkedIn.com.

- Network face to face.

- Play up your assets.

- Don't ever put yourself, or your age, down.

- Stay in touch with colleagues and friends from your former workplace.

- Treat your job search like a job.

- Register with the local Colorado Workforce Center.

- Stay healthy and positive. Vent if you need to.

Book recommendations from Goedert's networking group

"Your Best Life Now," by Joel Osteen

"Your Personality Tree," by Florence Littauer

"Now, Discover your Strengths," by Marcus Buckingham and Donald Clifton

"Never Eat Alone," by Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz

"The Slight Edge," by Leo Weidner

"Today Matters," by John Maxwell

"Put Your Dreams to the Test," by John Maxwell

"How to Win Friends and Influence People," by Dale Carnegie

Goedert's top 10 social sites for finding a job

LinkedIn.com

Plaxo.com

<p>Twitter.com - supplement with a blog or LinkedIn profile

Jobster.com

Facebook.com

CraigsList.org

<p>MyWorkster.com only for college graduates

VisualCV.com

JobFox.com

Ecademy.com

— About a year ago Friday, the Steamboat Today classifieds section offered 142 job listings, 67 percent more than this year.

That isn't a tally of total available jobs, however. Several of those listings advertised multiple jobs - 26 with the Steamboat Springs School District, for example. The May 23, 2008, newspaper was 76 pages long. Comparatively, this past Friday's paper contained 48 pages and 47 job listings.

Pickings are slim, competition is fierce, and unemployment increased from 6 percent to 7.6 percent in Routt County from March to April. But local experts are reaching out. Recruiter Karen Goedert and the Steamboat branch of the Colorado Workforce Center have organized workshops and pledge to provide resources.

So, you were laid off. Now what?

"Network," Goedert said. "Which, you know, includes a lot of different things. Network face to face, network by going to different things, Chamber events, just to get their face out there. : Network, network, network, network, network."

Goedert runs Resort Recruiters and Columbine Consulting, a human resources consulting firm. She also has organized a job seeker networking group and is revamping it. The once-informal group will become a four-week, $25 program. She'll provide materials and a handbook to participants.

"I'm just trying to reel things in," Goedert said. "I want it to work for everyone involved."

The group will meet from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Mondays starting June 8, in the upstairs conference room at Bud Werner Memorial Library. Only eight spots are available, so those interested should call Goedert at 846-6381 to register.

"I'm just kind of asking people to commit to a four-week series," she said. "That way, it's better for me to plan my materials and perhaps get to know the folks who attend."

Goedert also recommended that job seekers go to the Colorado Workforce Center's resource fair Thursday.

In a typical year, the center would be staging its biannual job fair. But as of Friday, only one employer had signed on, employment specialist Brian Bradbury said. The fair usually features 30 employers and has more on a waiting list.

To address the economic shift, the center has planned a resource fair for people looking for jobs. It'll be job-related, Bradbury said, but it also will offer information about issues facing people who are unemployed.

"We have some real estate people, some bankruptcy attorneys, some regular attorneys," he said. "The college is coming in for different training and assessment services."

Nonprofit groups will set up booths at the fair, and participants can get resume help. The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, Integrated Community, and groups connected with mental health and veterans' services will be there, Bradbury said.

"As people have questions, hopefully they can come in," he said. "If there's someone there that they need to talk to and we don't have them, hopefully we can find resources for them."

Similar workshops in Frisco and along Interstate 70 have met success, Bradbury said. The fair represents an unusual approach, he said, "but it's an approach we're pretty excited about."

Among the materials in Goedert's arsenal is this tool kit for job searches:

- Get an e-mail address that's appropriate for business use.

- If you're using an instant messaging service in your search, make sure your screen name is professional.

- Don't use acronyms such as "TTYL" for "talk to you later." It's not professional. All employment-related communications should be as professional as letters you send on paper.

- Get an answering machine or voice mail. Consider an Internet answering machine if you need one.

- For resumes and cover letters, use good quality paper in a traditional color. White or beige is best.

- Your resume should include contact information as well as work history and skills. Proofread the phone number, e-mail address and other information.

- Keep track of where you've sent your resume, whom you've networked with and when you're going to follow up. Set up a directory on your hard drive, and include copies of all cover letters you send.

- Wear appropriate attire. Add a conservative business suit, traditional shirt or blouse and moderate shoes to your tool kit.

Goedert reminded people looking for jobs to reach out.

"There's help out there," she said. "There's a lot of support out there. It's just a matter of finding it."

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