Monday, May 25, 2009

Entry level positions in Bend draw over 200 resumes

From the Bend Bulletin:

After working at AT&T for 25 years, Don Mercer decided he was done punching the time clock.

In 1998, he retired early, moved to the Bend area and focused his energy on volunteering, including with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue.

But when the stock market plummeted, the investments Mercer and many others counted on for retirement income went with it.

“Like a whole bunch of people recently, the decline in investments in the stock market gave me the opportunity to go back and seek work,” said Mercer, now 59.

He saw a job opening at the Deschutes County jail last fall, researched it and applied. Mercer was one of 273 to apply.

A landfill attendant job opening this spring brought in 381 applications, while a job opening for a building maintenance specialist at the jail resulted in 177 applications. More people apply for these entry-level positions than for specialized jobs that require specific education and experience, county staff said, but the numbers from the past seven months are higher than normal. By comparison, a building maintenance specialist opening in June 2007 had 62 applicants, and a landfill attendant job in August 2007 brought in 123 applications, said Tracy Scott, a human resources analyst and office supervisor for the county.

Those who apply for jobs for which they are overqualified, might want to take a different approach. “We talk to our job seekers ... about how to arrange their résumé,” said Janet Ainardi a business and employment specialist at WorkSource in Bend. “Sometimes (they make) changes so they don’t look as qualified, which is really different from what you’re normally taught about résumés.”