DENVER (CBS4) – More than 13 million Americans are still out of work. That means that on average about four people are competing for every one available job.

CBS4’s Kathy Walsh took a look at the hiring process from both a job seeker and a recruiter and found some ideas on how someone can stand out.

It’s a dilemma for every person on a job hunt — how do you get your resume on the top of the pile? There is no easy answer, but there are some things a person looking for a job can do to get the best shot at being singled out.

Dave Alleman has been hard at work looking for a job. He was director of marketing for a community bank but was laid off 6 months ago when the bank failed. He’s been searching ever since.

“It’s been a slower process, I think, than it used to be,” Alleman said.

He spends at least 2 hours every morning scrolling through job postings and spends even more time networking. He’s had six interviews, but no offers.

“I think 8 years ago if you were maybe one in 50 resumes on somebody’s desk you got a look,” Alleman said. “But today you’re trying to get your name out of probably one in 500.”

“Times are different, that’s very true,” said Melissa Duncan, a recruiter for DaVita, one of the largest kidney care companies in the U.S.

Duncan says network for success and use social media.

“Get your name out there,” she said.

She says to focus — carefully craft a resume and cover letter to fit the job — even using words from the job description.

“Do your homework, do your research, find a place that you want to be,” Duncan said.

Alleman tries not to get discouraged, but he’s been feeling a little down.

“So I went out and shoveled the walk and here I am 2 hours later with this great opportunity, so you have to be flexible, you have to be positive,” he said.

These days technology may actually determine whether a resume even gets a look. Computerized applicant tracking systems screen resumes looking for key words and phrases. That’s why job seekers should pay close attention to the job posting and use that exact wording in the application.

Wednesday night recruiters will be in downtown Denver to share their expertise about the hiring process. To learn more about the networking event and job fair, visit the Red Hot & Hired website.


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