At Colorado Springs Utilities, we put the right people in the right positions at the right time. The selection process involves a variety of steps and tools. This may include screening questions, phone screens, interviews, in-basket activities, pre-employment tests or assessments, reference and background checks, and hands-on assessments. Some positions require more time to accomplish all of this.
Here are a few facts explaining what to expect:
While the selection process may be longer than what you may see with other employers, we believe it is necessary as part of our commitment to hiring the right people. The benefit to you is knowing that you will be working with only the best!
Where to Start
To be considered for a position, you must submit your resume/application electronically using Colorado Springs Utilities’ online application for each specific job posting. If there is not a position posted that you are interested in, set a Job Alert. Creating a Job Alert allows you to be notified by email of new opportunities that match your search criteria.
Tips for submitting an impressive application
Check your spelling and grammar
This may sound like a small detail, but it is a very common mistake in the applications we receive. The most common errors include use of apostrophes and spelling errors that slip past. A single error will not remove your application from consideration, but more than one is unacceptable. Spelling and grammar errors send a message that you are not committed, not detail oriented, or have poor written communication skills. Use the grammar and spelling checks available. Ask someone to proofread your application before hitting the submit link.
Do not leave any blanks
Blanks may indicate you did not go through the entire job application. To avoid this problem, thoroughly complete all parts of the application. Check or mark all the boxes needing responses. Write “N/A” in the fields which do not apply to you if this is a possibility. The common areas often left blank are the ones you think are assumed or understood. For instance, never leave the field of citizenship unanswered thinking it is a given if you are a resident in the country.
Tailor the application
The best applications are the ones that closely match the job posting. Before completing the application, highlight the relevant experience you have and customize your application to reflect it. Use the space provided to elaborate.
Resumes to get you noticed
Use key words related to the job for which you are applying.
Using key words will get the attention of the recruiter with just a glance. Key words are easy to find in the job posting. Equivalent words can be used to send the signal you are a great candidate to interview.
Match your resume style to the type of job for which you are applying.
Creative resumes should only be utilized in fields where you are required to be creative. Be consistent in your choice of font. Your paper and font choice should be professional and not distracting.
Explain your achievements.
In today’s business environment, employers want to know more about what you accomplished than what tasks you performed. Mention the magnitude of the work you handled in your previous positions. Your abilities should stand out. However, be careful not to overstate your accomplishments.
Use action verbs.
Words such as “developed, facilitated, implemented, completed, achieved, instituted, etc.” indicate your ability to get things done. Highlighting past activities, accomplishments, and responsibilities have more impact. The verbs you use should match the position you are targeting.
Go beyond the job posting/description.
Employers have needs not specifically stated in the job posting. Experts in the field easily identify these needs and emphasize how they can respond to future challenges in their resumes. However, this should be secondary to your experiences and work related to the job.
Emphasize how your key competencies relate to the job you want.
A job application should not only detail how competent you are but also explain how the company would benefit from your knowledge and skills.
Acing the interview
Research the company and the job posting.
It is important for you to gain a solid background of the company before going to a job interview. More important than learning about an organization’s history is knowing their business.
Review the details of your resume.
Many people often forget the details they put in their resumes thinking they will not be asked about it anyway. However, one purpose of the interview is to verify the information you have written in your resume and application. Failing to remember the things you mentioned sends the signal it may be false since you are unable to recall your own personal information.
Practice answering possible questions.
Come up with a list of possible interview questions and write down your answers. Do not become dependent on this list, however. Anticipating interview questions will allow you to think about the correct and most intelligent ways of answering them. Go through mock interviews with your friends and tell them to ask follow up questions. Doing this will prepare you to answer questions not on your list.
Prepare yourself physically.
Be well rested. You do not want to look exhausted or restless on the day of the job interview. Figure out what you are going to wear the day before the interview. The way you carry yourself always matters. Never dress up as if you are going to a party; you do not want to create the impression you are not serious about the job for which you are applying. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Prepare interview attire appropriate for your desired position and never wear clothes which are too flashy, loud, or casual.
Colorado Springs Utilities Specific Tips:
1. I just applied for a position. What can I expect now?
The first thing you can expect is an email confirmation from our online application system letting you know that your application has been received. Soon after the job posting period closes, you may receive an invitation to complete a test, written work sample, or complete other additional information to help us determine if you are to be selected for an interview. For this reason, you need to check your email daily (including junk folders) for time-sensitive instructions or other communication regarding next steps.
2. I wish I could talk to someone personally either before or after I have applied. Is that possible?
Colorado Springs Utilities receives over ten thousand applications every year. As much as we would enjoy the opportunity to speak with each and every one of our applicants, doing so would require additional personnel. As a municipally-owned utility dedicated to keeping our rates as low as possible for our community, this would not be a wise use of resources. Instead, we would encourage you to engage with us through social media on Facebook, Twitter , YouTube or LinkedIn.
3. Why do I still need to enter my information in my application if I upload a resume?
As much as our team of HR professionals and hiring managers want to be perfect at gleaning relevant information from the volume and variety of resume formats, we are not. For this reason, we need your help in making sure your relevant experience and accomplishments are easily found by those making hiring decisions. This allows us to focus on the specific sections of the application to make the best informed decision regarding your qualifications, skills and experience. With that said, to save time completing your application the first time, use the "Upload Resume" or "LinkedIn Profile" options you see listed at the top of the application form to fill in the application blanks. While it will not correctly fill in all of the blanks for you, it will save you time by pre-populating much of the application form for you.
4. I think I already applied for this position. Is that possible?
It is possible. Because every job requires you to submit an application to be considered, we recommend you make sure. The best way to find out if you have already applied is to login back into our online application system (http://jobs.csu.org/
If in doubt, while logged in, click on "Search Openings" and then click "Search". This will regenerate the list of current openings again for you. From there, click on the job you are interested in. If you have not applied previously, you will be provided a "Add to My Jobs" button at the bottom of the job posting. If you have already applied, you will see a "Remove Me" at the bottom of the job posting.
5. Do you rely on a software program to screen your applicants?
Colorado Springs Utilities does not rely on a software program to screen our applications for most positions. However, some positions do have certain "must have" requirements. When that is the case, your response to certain application questions may determine your eligibility for the specific position. When this strategy is used, each rejected application is reviewed by one of our Human Resources professionals before a final status is determined. So, you can be assured that every application is reviewed by someone in our organization.
6. Why don't you respond to me sooner after I've applied for a position?
Colorado Springs Utilities follows an established process of posting a close date for each position. There are two stages in the hiring process where we experience longer periods of little or no communication. Those periods are:
As an applicant, you can login to our online application system anytime to see if a decision has been made regarding your application. However, we also know you may have other job opportunities you are considering. If this is the case, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our HR professionals will contact you as soon as possible.
7. I've applied for several positions but never get an interview. Can I talk to someone about this?
While we are fortunate to receive many applications for our open positions, this results in a very competitive selection process where very few actually make it to the interview. For tips and recommendations, please visit the "Advice from Recruiters" section at the top of this page.
8. I'd like to know how many people applied for a position. Is that possible?
Colorado Springs Utilities does not disclose the number of applicants for each position. In general, we receive between 50 and 300 applications for the vast majority of positions. While we are fortunate to receive many applications for our open positions, this results in a very competitive selection process. You can login to our online application system anytime to see if a decision has been made regarding your application. To do so, please go to: http://jobs.csu.org/returning-
9. I don't have my own computer. Can I be contacted some other way?
We are committed to making our application and selection process accessible for all individuals. To be considered, an electronic application form is required. As well, follow up communication from us will come in the form of email. However, if access to a computer is restricted or unavailable, we will provide reasonable accommodations, upon request. To request an accommodation, please call 719-668-7500 or send an email to email@example.com.
10. If I have a technical problem during the application process, who can I call?
Many technical issues can be resolved by using a supported internet browser and a high-speed internet connection. Supported browsers include Internet Explorer 7- 9, Firefox, Google Chrome or Safari 5 for Windows. Required fields on the application will be denoted by a dark red asterisk (*). Leaving these blank will prevent you from completing the application. If you are using a supported browser, high-speed internet connection, completed each of the required application fields and continue to experience technical issues during the application process, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our HR professionals will contact you as soon as possible. You can also contact us at 719-668-7500 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM).
11. I didn't get an email from you after I applied for a position. Now what?
If you did not receive an email after you applied, first check your email junk folders (look for an email from "Colorado Springs Utilities Human Resources <csurecruiting@
12. I was sent an email to take a test, but I checked my email after the deadline. Can I still take the test?
When testing is required for a position, you are provided at least 48 hours to complete the assigned test(s). While this may be a tight window for some, we are also trying balance the need to fill the vacancy in a timely manner. This means you should be prepared to receive and respond to time sensitive email communications throughout the hiring process. As a result, unfortunately, we do not accept test scores after the deadline has expired.
13. I discovered a broken link on one of your pages. Who do I notify?
We would love to hear from you! Please send the web address (URL) to us at email@example.com. In your email, please provide the specific link that is not working and we will do our best to fix this as soon as possible. Thank you for taking the time to let us know!
14. I don't see a job of interest to me, can I just submit my resume?
Unfortunately, we require all applications to be received by applying for posted jobs. Because some jobs may be posted for as few as 5 days, if you want to be notified when the right job for you comes along, create a job alert notification (see above in the "Where to Start" section).
15. I was sent a link to take an online test / assessment. Is there anything I can do to prepare before taking this test?
SHL (now CEB) offers information about the various types of tests and assessments used, advice for candidates, practice tests and more to help you prepare and feel more confident about the testing process. Please visit SHL's Assessment Advice for more information. To check out some of the practice tests available, visit SHL's Practice Tests.
16. What do I do if none of the questions above answered my questions and I need more information?
If the above information has not addressed your specific question, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our HR professionals will contact you as soon as possible. You can also contact us at 719-668-7500 during normal business hours (Monday through Friday, 8AM-5PM).