Feb 8, 2012 7:54 PM by Matt Stafford

What others are doing to find work

3.38 million job openings were posted in December nationally, according to the Department of Labor; that's close to a three-year high.

For many though, work is still hard to find.

"It took... ahhh... geez, six months to even find anything," says Paul Lehfeldt, who recently found part-time work. "I was putting out applications everywhere; restaurants, and fast food, everywhere."

Lehfeldt says if you're unemployed right now, you're up against a lot.

"We've got like 1,000 people going for one job," says Lehfeldt. "It's hard to keep going at times; you get so much rejection."

Lehfeldt was constantly looking something to get him in the door.

"It was people I know," says Lehfeldt. "I didn't get hardly any callbacks on all the resumes I put out."

Lehfeldt has been staying at the Aztec Motel in Colorado Springs, with Homeward Pikes Peak. They've helped 223 people find work in the last two years.

The same goes for Larissa Axline, also staying at the Aztec; the resumes got her no where, but personal connections did the trick. Now she has a job at a local mall.

However, for Melissa Davis; she finally got a job after getting her resume fixed up.

"It's a lot about self-presentation, and how you're walking in there with confidence," says Davis, who just got her job two days before talking with News 5.

"It really is the people who are the ones making the connections and doing the networking," says Steve Fehl; networking facilitator for the Pikes Peak Workforce Center.

Fehl says there are also more jobs than just the ones posted, in what he calls a "hidden market". He says employers are looking within their own networks to hire.

"They're not publishing them, because they don't want to deal with the landslide of resumes," says Fehl.

To get the jobs Fehl describes, you have to get in the network.

As Lehfeldt knows, the process doesn't stop with getting a job. He doesn't just want to go from unemployed to under-employed.

"I'd work as many hours as they would give me," says Lehfeldt. "There's always hope; there's always hope for some major construction job that I could get on and work solid weeks."

Lots of people are probably thinking the same thing as Lehfeldt.

So how can you get networked in, and find those "hidden market" jobs? The Workforce Center says social networking may be your ticket to employment. They've got a couple of clinics this month; to help you put it to use. They're free, but you have to register online -- just go to and sign up. The courses are February 13th and 27th, from 2 pm until 4 pm, at the Citizens Service Center (off of Garden of the Gods Road). Click here for more info.



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