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Common mistakes, not economy, holding some back from work

by Ryan Parker (writer), , November 01, 2010

Denver based personal marketing firm helping people find employment

Jennifer Richardson was ready to just give up on her employment search, believing there was no hope because of the economy.

But the economy was not holding her back from finding employment, but rather mistakes she was making during the search. With the unemployment rate steady at around 8 percent in Colorado, Richardson experienced the frustration many are feeling across the state.

“I’ve never quit anything in my life, but I was so stressed and energy depleted, I was close to just stopping my search,” Richardson said. “I’m glad I didn’t.”

Like so many searching for a job, Richardson was making an unbeknownst mistake –her résumé was lost in the cooperate shuffle. It was too plain and ordinary.

Robert Gerber Jr. CEO of Denver-based SET, a personal marketing firm, sees cases like Richardson’s every day. His company works with clients to advise them on how to break into the crowded job market, teaching them what to do and how to stand out.

“Your résumé must have a first-class image,” Gerberg said “When people start looking for jobs, they fall into using the same outdated methods that have been around for decades, and the résumé is a perfect example of that. Things have changed, and people have to change their perspectives because of it.”

Developed back in the 1970s, the traditional chronological résumé is ineffective, Gerberg said, adding job seekers should consider multiple résumés for different situations.

With a complete overhaul of her résumé, Richardson was getting a lot more attention from firms she was applying to, and recently she accepted a job.

“It’s funny how some small changes made a big difference,” she said.

Peter Nelson, of Boulder, said his résumé was holding him back for a different reason; it displayed all of his liabilities.

On his résumé, it looked like he was moving backward in his responsibilities and rank with companies, when in reality, he was moving forward.

“My job title had changed through the years at different companies, and some sounded more important than others, but they were at the bottom” Nelson said. “I have always moved onto bigger and better things, but my résumé made it seem like just the opposite,” he said.

Making his abilities stand out and really considering how others view his résumé led Nelson from the unemployment line to recently accepting a position with a business in Broomfield.

“A résumé is an advertisement, showing what you can do for the future, not an epitaph of your career and what you’ve done in the past,” Gerberg said. “But résumés are just one of the obstacles job seekers encounter.”

Charlie White, of Denver, whose unemployment had run dry, found the way he was interviewing was holding him back from getting a job.

“I just get scared to death. Especially now that the pressure is on for so many to fill so few spots, it’s easy to psyche yourself out,” White said.

To get more comfortable with interviewing, White said he would have a plan of action for the interview, with points he wanted to make, rather than just answering questions.

“Having an idea of what would be talked about in the interview means I can have more control over what is discussed,” White said.

Planning, strategy and approaching the job hunt creatively, equal success for job seekers, Gerberg said. And as with anything, putting yourself out there is the only way to get noticed. Not applying for any jobs is a sure way not to get a job, regardless of the economy.

“Things are tough out there right now, no doubt,” he said. “But it’s important not to give up. There are jobs out there. Instead of losing hope, people need to lose their outmoded ideas on how best to approach the job market.

For more information on SET, visit

About the Writer

Ryan Parker is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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