Pretty much as a “one man band,” Andrew Hudson has built an amazing specialty for himself with what started as a small e-mail distribution list and has grown into the full-blown employment website: www.andrewhundsonsjoblist.com. The “must go to destination website” is now viewed by thousands of job-seeking communications professionals and employers; and Andrew is expanding the site to include new job categories - and he plans on growing the site to other cities.
Andrew has had (to say the least) a fascinating career starting with an internship out of college that led him to become the Press Secretary for Colorado Senator Tim Wirth in Washington D.C. Hudson then returned to Denver as a spokesman for RTD and then was appointed to the very visible position of Press Secretary for Denver Mayor, Wellington Webb. In 2003, he was hired as the Senior Director of Marketing and Advertising for Frontier Airlines where he oversaw and directed the airline's award winning 'talking animal' campaign and developed their community and media relations department. He then moved on to a whole new industry at an engineering firm - until he made the decision to devote himself full-time to his jobs site.
Friend, Rocky Mountain News columnist, Penny Parker, says this about her pal Andrew: “Through it all, Hudson has been grace under fire;” and many communication experts consider Andrew’s website “a must read – even if they’re happy where they are…” Andrew is innovative, in touch and dialed in - and watches the employment trends closely.
Here are some extra tidbits I found out about Hudson: Andrew is a known prankster – and an accomplished musician. He plays the string bass and can be heard at El Chapultepec (the anchor of the Denver jazz club scene) every Thursday night.
Once Andrew Hudson starts a project, it’s full throttle from there.
He’s become a devoted marathon runner and credits his mentor, Eric Duran, who has served as his chief motivator over the past 6 months of training. Andrew completed the Chicago Marathon in 4 hrs. 39 minutes and says it’s the hardest thing he’s ever done Andrew now lives in LoDo; and in many ways it’s like a homecoming. Hudson has always loved the area and has called the development of Lower Downtown Denver “one of the most successful success stories in the nation.”
A few other things struck me as very poignant. Andrew was very close with his mom, Julie, who passed away this year. Andrew called “death the great equalizer," when talking to a crowd of about 1,200 at the semi-annual Mask Gala at the Cherry Creek Shopping Center in May. Andrew spoke of how essential and caring Denver Hospice was in helping him and his family with the grief process. Andrew called the Denver Hospice people "Angels on Earth," and he went on to say: "They helped in the final acknowledgment of the inevitable, but helped my mother pass on her own terms, with dignity and a great amount of respect." Andrew credits his mother for inspiring him with many lessons of perseverance and teaching him how to overcome challenges.
Andrew Hudson’s continued creativity, compassion - and dedication to helping people find a job or make a change in their lives - in many ways is a gift to us all. You never know when you will need to check out “Andrew Hudson’s Job List.”
In conclusion, the “Prince of PR” is also a Prince of a Guy! No one in this town would dispute that….
Andrew Hudson, what are you doing these days? I’m 42-years-old, I live and work in a wide-open bohemian loft in Denver’s historic LoDo district and run Andrew Hudson’s Jobs List as my full-time gig. I am also a semi-professional jazz musician on the side and play string bass at the El Chapultepec every Thursday night. I’m an avid runner and recently ran my first marathon, the Chicago marathon.
Why and how did you get started doing the "Andrew Hudson’s PR Jobs List"? I never thought in my wildest dreams of being an entrepreneur, particularly in human resources and professional development. However, I really get a kick out of playing match-maker to job-seekers and employers. I also love speaking to job-seekers and motivating them. So what’s the history behind the website? In reality, the idea of a centralized job source came to me more than 15 years ago in 1993 when I was faced with finding a real job for the first time in my life.
What I found was that many of the best jobs weren’t advertised in the newspapers which meant job searching also meant a lot of cold calling to companies and agencies and trying to network with friends, contacts and business leaders who I could call for an ‘informational interview.’ I also would go to my local county workforce center which had big thick notebooks full of job listings from organizations throughout the city. It was at that time that I thought to myself a really cool idea would be to develop a centralized job-seeking resource for specific careers, so instead of having to search high and low for the opportunities, they existed under one umbrella.
Well flash forward a couple of years, and the Internet boom began and with it, several websites were created that did exactly that! Monster.com, hotjobs.com, careerbuilder.com. To many job seekers and employers, this was a perfect solution that created tremendous efficiencies for both sides. But as these websites grew – and grew – and grew, those initial efficiencies became too overwhelming. Job seekers were now competing with thousands of other job seekers from all over the globe. Employers were being overwhelmed with thousands of resumes and applications and the amount of time and resources required to sift through these job seekers was unbearable! And as this was going on, a small revolution was percolating in the form of niche websites and email lists targeted at local professionals and employers in specific career sectors.
In my case, I’d been enjoying my life serving as the Press Secretary to Denver Mayor Wellington Webb and had developed an email list of local community and business leaders whom I’d send press releases, articles and other news of interest to on a regular basis. As this list grew to a few hundred folks, it became somewhat of a viral phenomenon. If you wanted to know what was going on at City Hall, you needed to be on “Andrew’s List”. As my email list became more and more well known, subscribers to the list started sending me jobs to post. To me it seemed like a great community service and I didn’t hesitate and soon, more and more local jobs started appearing on my list. These jobs were primarily in the areas of public relations, public affairs, marketing and non profit jobs.
In 2003, Mayor Webb was unable to run for re-election due to term limits, and as a political appointee, I was also out of a job. But my list of subscribers, now at 1,000 strong, still encouraged me to continue the email blasts, particularly as it related to the listing of new jobs. I complied and over the next two years, the list grew to 3,000 subscribers! At this point, employers would simply send me a job listing, and I would simply cut and paste the text of the job listings to an email. I’d format the list every Sunday morning. Between creating the weekly list and managing the subscriber list, it was taking about 3-4 hours of my time. In November, 2005, my first website, www.prjobslist.com was born and made the job listings available online, as well as via email, to subscribers.
Since 2005, more than 15,000 subscribers have signed on to receive the weekly updates, and recent surveys show that 99% of subscribers subscribed to the site after hearing about it from a friend. Currently, the website lists more than 2,000 jobs per-year.
In 2008, www.prjobslist.com morphed into www.andrewhudsonsjobslist.com mainly to reflect the other job sectors that have been added to the list of jobs that are now listed on the site. Today, Andrew Hudson’s Jobs List posts jobs in the following career sectors: public relations, marketing, advertising, graphics, copywriting, human resources, non profit - and the site also posts out-of-state jobs. I also encourage employers to list internships.
The site also provides access for job seekers to promote themselves. Jobseekers are allowed 300 words to describe their backgrounds and the types of careers they are seeking.
In addition, I also hold regular networking events, job-seeking seminars and job-fairs. Through these events, more than $75,000 has been raised for local charitable organizations including the Red Cross, the Denver Zoo, Volunteers of America, local Tsunami relief and the Samaritan House homeless shelter.
What made you leave such a high-profile job at Frontier Airlines? Frontier Airlines was a tremendous experience for me. I was so fortunate to be part of a team of people that not only created a viable airline in a very tough industry, but also in terms of bringing a brand to life through those cute animals on the tails. I inherited the ‘talking animal’ campaign after it had already been created. My predecessor, Ian Arthur, was a marketing and advertising genius that had been recruited from Nike athletic wear.
In 2003, we ramped up our community efforts and became way more involved in the local chambers and became major supporters of Volunteers of America, Make a Wish Foundation, Children’s Hospital and the National Sports Center for the Disabled. Our sponsorship efforts also extended to the Colorado Opera, the Colorado Symphony, the Denver Film Festival and other arts related organizations. We donated over 3,000 airline tickets to local charities throughout the city to be used in auctions, raffles and for other fund raising purposes. I was also able to get some of our executives involved as board members of local non profits, lending their various expertises to helping these organizations thrive.
So, why’d I leave? I left in the beginning of 2007, just prior to the beginning of their long fall into bankruptcy. Perhaps it was fortuitous but the short answer is I felt I’d accomplished all I could and wanted to try something different. I feel terrible about where Frontier is right now and I know it’s because of situations they can’t control as it relates to the cost of fuel. But they hardly are involved in the community as they used to be and have cut back on everything from advertising, community relations, marketing and so many of the other aspects that we built to differentiate them from other airlines.
Who is the wisest person you know? Two people: 1.) Mayor Wellington Webb. I’ve learned more about perseverance, energy and commitment from anyone I know. If I’m in a foxhole, I hope he’s with me. 2.) Charlie Burrell. A string bass player, he’s considered the “Jackie Robinson of Classical Music”; the first African American to win an audition with a major symphony orchestra. It was in 1944 with the Denver symphony. Retired, he’s now (as he puts it) “88 and standing straight!” and still smokes those god-awful cigars but also does 20 pull-ups on the tree branch outside his house each morning before he sits down to practice his bass.
What advice do you have for the young job seeker right out of college today? Plan, plan and plan some more. It is said that today, between the ages of 21 and 40, the average person will have 11 different jobs. Too often, entry level job seekers take the first job that comes their way. Make sure you are thinking about how your first job is going to help elevate your skills and your opportunity. We spend more time at our jobs than we do at our homes, with family, loved ones and friends. You need to make sure you are happy in your job. Also, consider creating your own company! When you are young, it is a lot easier to take risks. If you have a dream, follow it! Don’t be intimidated or scared. There’s a lot of information available that can help you.
How about a retired person wanting – or needing – to get back in the workforce? Older job seekers have the benefit of defined skills and expertise as well as judgment and wisdom that comes from their past careers. They are also a lot better connected; they know people who are familiar with their skills and successes and can rely on vast networks of former colleagues, friends and acquaintances to help in their job search. However, looking for a job, under any circumstance at any age is still a hard thing and unfortunately, there is no formal training in searching for a job which, can be frustrating as you get older. In addition to just understanding how to find the jobs that are available, I always suggest to older job-seekers to do a few critical things:
1.) Make a jobs skill audit list that helps you focus on what you want to do and identifies the skills that make you a viable candidate. Sit down with a pad of paper and list every skill that you have developed in a lifetime of work. You will be amazed at how much more you know than when you first began this exercise. In addition, you will begin to see opportunities in terms of different careers and jobs that present themselves based on the skills you have identified.
2.) Create a ‘personal brand statement’. You might also consider this your “30 second elevator speech” or the summary describes who you are, how you differentiate yourself from others in terms of background, skills and expertise and why you are someone that should be hired. Your resume should back up your ‘brand’ in terms of prior experience, training, and expertise.
3.) Learn how to be a good job interviewer. Once you are being interviewed, it really is an audition. When you get to this point, you’ve already been ‘scrubbed’ and you (as well as others being interviewed) have been determined to be qualified for the job. You are now being judged on other things: can you think on your feet? Do you have a good personality that will fit the company culture? Can you sell yourself?
You also need to do your research and understand the company you are interviewing with. Read their SEC filings. Scan their annual reports. Research media clips. With the Internet, there is tons of access to information about companies, organizations and the people that run them.
4.) Finally, I would suggest hiring a consultant that can help you organize your job search – both inside and out. In other words someone that will help you to build a resume and personal brand that gives you confidence and focus, and that also will help you in terms of direct job-seeking strategies and tactics.
How can people safeguard their jobs in an unsure economy? I think at this point, there are no guarantees. Companies and nonprofit organizations are hurting and struggling. Labor is a business expense that they are going to try and cut to make quarterly projections. Its sad and its cruel. However, what I would say is that people who are constantly managing their careers are the ones who have the greatest opportunities under any circumstance. These are people who never get too comfortable with a regular paycheck and are always networking and staying abreast of trends and changes in their industries and career sectors. They involve themselves in their industry associations, develop new skills that differentiate themselves and engage in professional development activities. They also have passions outside of work that they might be able to translate into a new career or entrepreneurial venture.
How have you changed in the last 10 years? I’m a lot more healthy! I’m a lot more driven and a lot more empathetic. I’m more goal oriented.
What was one of the toughest decisions you’ve ever had to make? Without question, having to terminate an employee is the toughest thing I’ve ever had to do.
What would be a dream come true for you? Being able to spend my time concentrating solely on making music and traveling while I’m doing it.
What never fails to make you laugh? Children between the ages of 6-11.
What do you look for in a friend? Loyalty, understanding, forgiveness, and the ability to be myself around that person.
What do you think is the ultimate act of betrayal? Intentionally lying.
What advice do you wish you were given years ago that you would like to give to a young person today? Follow your dreams early in life. Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t ever be afraid to ask for help or advice.
What should the next President of the United States make as his #1 priority? Healing our reputation around the world.
What’s your favorite book of all times - and movie? Life of Pi is my favorite book. Chicago, West Side Story, Fiddler on the Roof are my favorite movies.
What magazine or publication can’t you live without? Is the Internet a publication?
What’s your favorite junk food – or are you a total health nut? Pistachios, guacamole and the occasional big Mac.
What non-profits are you involved with at this time? The National Sports Center for the Disabled, MiCasa Resource Center, Volunteers of America.
What event do you look forward to attending each year? Western Fantasy
Is there any particular activity you try to make time for every day? Practicing my bass and exercising.
What do you do to find balance in your life? I always have something to look forward too…a trip, a race, the holidays, a gig….if I don’t have something that’s scheduled, I create something!
How has Andrew Hudson evolved over time? I started working as Mayor Webb’s press secretary at the age of 27 years old. I didn’t know anything, was gawky and insecure and lacked confidence but I had a tenacious energy and was willing to take risks and not afraid to get my hands dirty. Mayor Webb liked that and he gave me the opportunity of a lifetime. I’ve tried to take everything I ever learned in my career and be the person I WANT to be. I’m not perfect, but I can look in the mirror and like the person I see.
What do you consider your greatest accomplishment? Running the Chicago Marathon. I used to weigh 235 pounds when I was 39 years old and lost 50 pounds to get to my healthy weight. Running the marathon was the exclamation point that I made that life transformation for good!
What do you love most about Denver? Hardest question ever! I love how it has evolved, but I also miss much of its history: Celebrity Sports Center, Gene Amole, the Voters Club in Five Points, Skating at Zeckendorf Plaza during the holidays, listening to the old KVOD, the old Montgomery Wards on Broadway, getting the Rocky Mt. News in the morning and the Denver Post in the afternoon. I think I love that Denver is the perfect mixture of culture, weather, personality and overall fun!
You have done many incredible things in your professional life, what gave you the strength and determination to go out and pursue the challenging careers you have had? My biggest challenge in life is to be 100% accountable to myself. I have to look in the mirror each day and answer to myself. Considering that, I better be able to say emphatically that I’ve done every possible thing to reach my goals and that I’m willing to live another day that will be part of a good overall life. Each day is a gift. We can’t take life for granted.
When do you feel you are most in your element? With good friends where I can be myself. Also, if you ask me anything about jazz or about www.andrewhudsonsjobslist.com, LOOK OUT! I’ll make you a believer!
What do you feel most dedicated to at this point in your life and what do you want to make your mark doing? Andrew Hudson’s Jobs List is going to expand to other cities and other careers. My life is dedicated to helping other people find the job of their dreams.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now? Playing my bass, running my business, helping people find jobs, traveling, and, God willing, running more marathons!
How do you want to be remembered? He lived life the way he wanted…
Andrew is always looking for new ways to improve the site and welcomes comments and advice on how to make the site even more helpful and effective for job seekers and employers alike. Contact Andrew Hudson at: firstname.lastname@example.org.