Ernest Guruleis frustrated by interviews that go well but yield no job offer. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
- Apr 25:
- Survey: Americans felt more secure in jobs in 2012
- Apr 5:
- Obama proposes cuts to Social Security and other benefit programs
- Mar 3:
- Spending cuts reach deficit-cutting goal, but at a price
- Feb 13:
- Obama minimum wage plan renews economic debate
- Feb 1:
- Report: US job market looks surprisingly strong
- Jan 26:
- Outgoing Timothy Geithner believes U.S. economy gaining strength
- Jan 18:
- Colorado's unemployment dips to 7.6%, but state loses 2,400 jobs
- Jan 3:
- New tax law packed with breaks for businesses
- Economy, year-end sales help auto industry in 2012
- Jan 2:
- EEUU evita abismo fiscal pero no futuras tormenta
- Jan 1:
- Logran acuerdo para evitar precipicio fiscal
- Dec 29:
- Aumenta el salario mínimo por hora en Colorado
- Dec 28:
- EEUU, al borde del precipicio fiscal
- Dec 17:
- Muchos pagarían más impuestos en declaración
- EEUU y la UE consideran pacto comercial
- Dec 11:
- Strong job market in Denver metro area expected in 1st quarter of 2013
- Dec 2:
- Suben compras por internet en EEUU
- Nov 30:
- Fiscal cliff: Colorado stands to lose $2.1 billion without a deal
- Sep 20:
- Decline in Colorado household income slowing, census shows
- Sep 3:
- Consejos de la Secretaria de Labor Hilda L. Solis para el Día de Trabajo
- Labor Day tips from the U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
- Aug 31:
- Crecen abusos financieros contra personas mayores
- Aug 10:
- Predicen oportunidades laborales para hispanos de EEUU
- Aug 8:
- Colorado cities say local economies improving
- Jul 11:
- Datos mediocres del empleo fijan tono en contienda presidencial
- Minimal impact of jobs reports highlights some electoral realities
- Jun 20:
- Colorado could be facing a new wave of foreclosures
- Jun 18:
- Parties are worlds apart on how to fix economy
- Jun 12:
- More than seven in 10 U.S. teens jobless in summer
- Jun 4:
- Empresas de EEUU prefieren esperar antes de contratar más
- Jun 3:
- Obama: Congreso debe tomar medidas sobre empleo
- May 21:
- Gasoline prices dip slightly in Denver
- May 15:
- Comienza a regir el tratado de libre comercio entre Estados Unidos y Colombia
- Apr 23:
- Aging workforce strains Social Security, Medicare
- Apr 19:
- Bajan ligeramente solicitudes de ayuda por desempleo en EEUU
- Apr 12:
- Recuperación económica en EEUU no se refleja entre hispanos
- Apr 10:
- Report: Denver metro area leads nation in adding construction jobs
- Mar 29:
- U.S. jobless claims fall to lowest level in 4 years
- Mar 20:
- Mejora panorama de la construcción: aumentan pedidos de permisos
- Mar 19:
- Colorado budget projection shows $26 million increase in revenue this year
- Mar 12:
- Wall Street cierra mixto y confuso
- Mar 10:
- Obama: "Estados Unidos regresa"
- Mar 9:
- Obama: New jobs report a sign economy on rebound
- Mar 7:
- Senador federal y empresaria hispana impulsan trabajos para latinos
- Feb 6:
- Obama dice que merece la reelección: no ha terminado su trabajo
- Feb 3:
- Baja del desempleo impulsa precios de acciones
- Jan 31:
- Study: One in four Coloradans have almost no savings
- Jan 30:
- Suben los ingresos un 0,5% en EEUU, pero no el gasto del consumidor
- Jan 27:
- Economía crece 2,8% en cuarto trimestre en EEUU
- Jan 25:
- La Fed no encarecerá tasas de interés antes de fines de 2014
- Jan 9:
- Esperanzas de empleo mejoran para grupos más afectados en EEUU
- Jan 6:
- Nation adds 200,000 jobs in December hiring surge
- Jan 3:
- Fed to regularly forecast interest-rate changes
- La Fed dice que pronosticará regularmente los cambios de tasas
- Dec 31:
- Economistas: Políticas de Obama son "regulares" o "malas"
- Dec 27:
- Obama nominates 2 to Federal Reserve Board
- Dec 21:
- Bank of America agrees to record $335 million fair lending settlement
- Dec 19:
- Congress moves toward standoff over payroll tax
- US stocks drop; Citi and other big banks fall hard
- Dec 16:
- Encuesta AP: Más de la mitad dice que Obama merece perder
- Dec 13:
- Republicans muscle tax cut bill through House
- Wall Street en alza por buenas noticias en Europa
- Tapped-out Santas wrapping up shopping earlier this year as money tight, U.S. survey finds
- Dec 12:
- La Fed afina plan para revelar en qué dirección irán las tasas
- Dec 10:
- Public retirement ages come under greater scrutiny
- Dec 9:
- House GOP introduces bill renewing payroll tax cut
- Dec 6:
- Colorado is expected to create more jobs than the rest of the nation, economic analysts assert
- Postal cutbacks to delay 1st-class mail
- Dec 5:
- Obama makes case for extending payroll tax cuts
- Dec 3:
- Senador: Brasil debería ser primer socio comercial de EEUU
- Leaders at Americas talks: world economy top worry
- Nov 30:
- American: Una mancha en una historia distinguida
- Nov 29:
- U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis discusses jobs package with Denver Latinos
- Americans in November more confident about economy
- Nov 22:
- Debt panel's demise sets up partisan wrangling
- Nov 21:
- What next? Lawmakers look to undo the back-up plan
- Nov 18:
- US House rejects balanced budget proposal
- Nov 13:
- Obama signs Asia-Pacific business travel bill
- Nov 9:
- Obama signs order to cut travel, cellphones, swag
- Nov 7:
- Under Colorado program, companies said they were owed $75M in tax credits, but created only 564 jobs
- Nov 4:
- Obama: World economic recovery on 'firmer footing'
- Oct 24:
- Obama offers mortgage relief on Western trip
- Oct 21:
- Fuerte alza en Wall Street por ganancias corporativas
- Oct 14:
- Stocks rise on gain in retail sales; Google jumps
- Oct 12:
- Congress poised to OK stalled free trade deals
- Lawmakers, White House regroup on jobs
- Oct 11:
- GOP senators vote to defeat Obama's jobs bill
- Oct 10:
- NYPD costs rise as Wall Street protests continue
- Unemployed seek protection against job bias
- Congress takes up China, free trade, jobs bills
- Bank loyalty fading on fees as customers take accounts elsewhere
- Oct 6:
- Obama to GOP: Act on jobs or get run out of town
- Obama challenges GOP senators: Vote for jobs bill
- Sep 28:
- Congress dodges one crisis, now on to the next
- Sep 26:
- Obama sells jobs plan in Silicon Valley
- Sep 22:
- Census: Recession takes big toll on young adults
- Sep 19:
- Colorado offers 45-day tax amnesty window
- US home builder outlook worsens in September
- Labor Department expands enforcement of wage violations
- Sep 16:
- Stocks climb for solid weekly gains
- Sep 8:
- Cut taxes, Obama tells Congress in $450B jobs plan
- Sep 6:
- Working-age adults make up record share of US poor
- Sep 5:
- Obama says GOP must back US first, create jobs
- Aug 5:
- Mercados mundiales en baja a pesar de informe positivo de EEUU
- Stocks turn lower as optimism about jobs fades
As Colorado's job market begins showing signs of life, some recruiters complain that discouraged job hunters have lost the edge required to impress them.
"People need to be more prepared, but they are not," said Sam Sargent, president of Human Resource Asset Management Systems Ltd. in Monument.
Among the complaints from recruiters are employees who haven't thoroughly researched the companies they're interviewing with or who simply lack confidence.
"Even though I'm seeing a huge uptick in the number of jobs coming to my site, there is still more talent than available positions," said Andrew Hudson, who runs a popular job-listing service in Denver. "It is really up to the job seeker to understand how to get noticed."
Listings at Connecting Colorado, the job board for the state's employment centers, reached 22,600 in the first two weeks of March, compared with 16,863 in the same period in 2011, said Alexandra Hall, the state's chief labor economist.
The Conference Board's count of online help-wanted ads in Colorado reached 91,297 in February— the highest tally since August 2008, Hall said.
Claims for unemployment benefits last week hit their lowest number since March 2008.
Bolstered by such statistics, some job seekers are jumping back into the market without having honed their skills or understanding how the rules have changed, Hudson said.
"One thing that is important is to tailor your approach and your message each time you apply for a job," said Leanne Buehler, director of experience solutions at Corvirtus in Colorado Springs.
After months of getting nowhere, getting called into an interview catches some people off-guard, especially those who took a broad rather than targeted approach.
When there were more than six unemployed workers for every opening in the summer of 2009, going after anything that popped up made sense.
Development director Linda Harmon, seated, speaks with co-worker Karen Radman at Friendship Bridge in Lakewood on Monday. Harmon's job search lasted more than three years. (AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
With that ratio falling back to 3.7 in January, focus has become more important.
Job hunters need to do their research and show an interest that goes beyond pay, vacation time and the employer's stability, Sargent said.
For their part, job hunters describe a new problem replacing the old consternation of sending off resumes into a black hole and never hearing back: going to interviews and not knowing why you got passed over.
"I have had interviews where I think I did well, spoke confidently, and the job goes to somebody else," said Ernest Gurulé, a freelance writer who has looked for work for the past year after getting laid off.
Gurulé, who once worked as a reporter at Channel 2 in Denver and has held various public-relations jobs in recent years, knows how to get his message across. But most of the time, he doesn't get to hear why it didn't connect.
Years-long hunt pays off
Linda Harmon, who co-owned Amber Homes with her husband, struggled for more than three years to find work, despite her experience as an executive and entrepreneur.
"I was dumbing down my resume, doing everything I could to get my foot in the door," said the former vice president of marketing.
She worked as a ghost writer, trained other displaced executives on social media, took a full-commission sales job and even worked as a nanny while pursuing a permanent job.
Every 500 resumes produced one interview. She had seven where she made it to the final round. Although she worried about being overqualified, the people who got hired were even more qualified.
All that hard work, however, paid off when the labor market did finally loosen up. She landed a job last month as development manager at Friendship Bridge, a Lakewood nonprofit that provides micro-finance to women in Guatemala.
"There is no comparison between 2009 and 2010 to the way it is today," Harmon said of the job market. "I have gotten a lot more calls back in the last couple of months than I ever had before."
Network and focus
So how can job seekers improve their odds?
Volume still matters when applying for jobs, but job hunters should include words from the job posting in a tailored resume they send out. That approach will lift an application higher with the automated tracking systems that more employers now use, Buehler said.
Some people think that looking at job boards online and shooting off resumes is enough. But Hudson recommends that job hunters spend no more than 20 percent of their time in front of a computer and instead work on their social network and the intangible people skills that will help them connect with an interviewer.
Most hires come via referral, so who you know still matters, he advised.
Sargent recommends that job hunters do their homework before going into an interview and that they craft a fresh pitch for each interview.
"People may have the skills, but they give you the same interview they gave one, two or five years ago," Sargent said. "They haven't juiced up the act. They need new material, and it has to be exciting. We are asking them to sell themselves."
Aldo Svaldi: 303-954-1410 or email@example.com or twitter.com/aldosvaldi
Tips for job hunters
• Apply for jobs where you meet at least 75 percent of the criteria.
• Target a specific resume to the opening, and use key words from the job description.
• Get out from behind the computer, and expand your network.
• Research the position, the company and the people interviewing you.
• Think of the interview in terms of speed dating. You have to impress.
• Have a strong answer to the question of why you should be hired.
• Be prepared to ask questions as well as answer them.
• Focus on why you are the best person for the job, not on why you haven't been able to find work.
• Be ready to explain what you have done while unemployed.
• Be aware of your presence on social media and what it communicates.
Denver Post research