Your Software Engineer Resume Alone Won’t Land The Job In Denver/Boulder, Here's Why

Posted on April 1, 2019 by BWBacon. Tagged: Resources for Candidates, For Candidates

There are tons of reasons why moving to Colorado or why living in Colorado is awesome. Whether you are trying to make the move here or already live here and are looking for that new opportunity, we’ve heard this scenario play out countless times. You’re browsing StackOverflow, Indeed, ZipRecruiter, BuiltInColorado, or your job hub of choice and you see it… That job of your dreams at the amazing Colorado company you’ve been hearing so much about. You’ve got your software engineer resume all polished up and your GitHub repositories ready to go, you spend valuable time and effort filling out their form, flirting with the idea of joining their team, and you click submit… And… Nothing... You think to yourself:

"I submitted my resume and my GitHub, why hasn’t anything happened? It’s been four weeks and I haven’t even heard feedback of any kind..."

- Many Applicants In Colorado

Well, something you might not have considered is that Colorado has a small-town culture (we are really holding onto it, especially in Boulder), but you have to compound that with the market being overwhelmed with people relocating for lifestyle reasons. The area has a very unique tech community culture and hiring managers are deep in resumes.

Even though growth is slowing, since 2010, the Denver metro population has grown by 101,403. (About 15%)

- Denver Post

In 2025, the Denver/Boulder/Greeley metros regions are forecast to surpass the 4 million-resident threshold, up from a little over 3.4 million in 2015. This represents roughly a 3X faster growth than the national population growth average.

- Colorado DOLA

Essentially hiring managers in many places are completely overwhelmed and out of bandwidth just filtering through the submissions, many of them default to internal referrals or trusted recruiting partners first to make sure they are seeing only the cream of the crop.

Here are some things you can do to up your chances with those amazing Colorado Tech Companies you want to work with:

1) There is an inherent risk with out of town hires if you are one and the presentation of commitment is key.  Make the decision to relocate first and ACT AS IF you are already a Coloradan.

  • Most companies won’t pay relocation costs for new hires. They do have to consider candidates from out of state due to high demand for talent, though. If you are relocating, you may want to frame your personal relocation costs as an ‘investment’ into the area. If you show you are committed to relocating yourself by talking about the sunk costs, lease commitments, etc. you help mitigate the fear of the target company.
  • If you are 100% on moving to Colorado (in other words, it is truly imminent) then just put on your resume the town you are going to be moving to, the month when you will be in Colorado, and present yourself as a local hire. We want to emphasize again, only do this if you are 100% on moving to Colorado.
  • DO NOT approach the process as “If I get this job I will move to Colorado.” Employers in Colorado will not risk wasting time because many have already been burned by a declined offer from an out of state candidate.
  • Identify and appeal to the pulse and/or values of the company… Read between the lines of leadership, vision, and consider the users the company services, etc. You need to show alignment with Colorado culture.

2) Get intros through your network BEFORE you submit your resume

  • Use linked in to connect via 1st and 2nd-degree connections, tap into connections from your school, extended family, old friends. Don’t just show diligence, DO the diligence.
  • Get to the top of the pile, above the code school students (see below), think about all the admin HR and hiring managers have to do internally of candidate applications, phone screens, etc.
  • Boulder has more PhDs per capita than any other city in America, so breaking into its extremely educated culture can be tough when there are so many great candidates in town.

3) Join the local Slack channels in Denver / Boulder for Software / Tech Employees -- Use the local resources to make real connections. This article from a local company, LeadOut Sales, lists all channels, meetups, and events. Here are some of the most popular resources in the community:

4) Work with a trusted local recruiting partner to leverage their relationships.

  • A long established recruiter has relationships with the individual hiring managers and executives at the companies you want to work with. Many times they have worked with them at multiple companies through their career, these relationships are real and trusted.
  • Look for proof that the recruiting agency is woven into the fabric of the tech community, loves Colorado culture, and committed to the long term health of Colorado's thriving startup scene.
  • We don’t mean to toot our own horn, but our company is made up of almost 33% Denver natives (which is actually rare at this point with the growth of the area). Our relationships can go back as far as grade school with some of our client companies.

So, whats the TLDR of this post? -- Colorado is a network driven hiring culture, better to get an intro first from a friend or directly from a recruiter so you get to the top of the pile to increase your odds of getting an interview. Same goes for getting involved in the local tech community. There are so many people looking to move here, many hiring managers have been burned by candidates that don’t actually make the relocation jump after an offer is made, so keep that in consideration if you are relocating. Lastly, we are here to help, we can get you to the top of the pile and in front of our partner companies, get in touch or take a look at the open jobs from our clients.

Here at BWBacon Group, we know and live what you are experiencing as an employer or job seeker in Denver, Boulder, Dallas, San Francisco, New York City or any of the other cities we work in. We believe great recruiting starts and ends with understanding people.

If you have any questions about living, working or playing any of the areas we serve, please contact us. We are happy to help. Seize the day, every day, that’s what we say!