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How to Get Hired by Being Obvious

If you want a drink of water, do you hire a focus group or pick up the Yellow Pages? No. You go to the kitchen, fill a glass and drink. You take the shortest route to fill your need.

The path is obvious, right?

Your job search is the same way. The formula for success can be obvious, if you take the time to look at how others have found employment before you.

Here are three ways to find work faster by "being obvious."

Obvious Tip #1: Follow Up With Employers You can't get hired if employers don't know you exist.

So, if you're sending out resumes with no response, or going to interviews without getting job offers, you need to follow up better with employers. Because you may have fallen off their radar.

Know this: getting hired may be your #1 priority, but it may rank around #459 in the mind of a busy employer. That means you can't depend on them to call you back. It's up to you to take action.

You have to follow up.

But as many as 90% of job seekers FAIL to do so, according to my observations and those of hiring experts like Elizabeth Laukka, National Recruiter for Minneapolis-based Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

"It so rare to receive a thank-you note or follow-up phone call that these really stand out for me. I get them from around 10-20% of the people I interview," says Laukka.

And what if you don't have an address to send a thank-you letter to?

"I would absolutely give my mailing address to candidates who wanted to drop something in the mail -- all they have to do is ask," says Laukka.

Obvious Tip #2: Don't Alienate People Who Can Help You In this age of Palm Pilots, Day Planners and other organizational gizmos, there's no excuse for not staying on top of the details in your job search.

Example: I agreed last month to write a resume free of charge for one local man. He replied once to the three emails I sent him. And he never did return my phone call.

I figure he's either been hired (and no longer needs a resume) or can't keep track of his phone and email messages. In either case, he won't be getting my help.

Here's the reality: the people most able to help you find a job are busy. And they're mentally keeping score of how quickly and professionally you respond to their emails and phone calls.

So it behooves you to treat everyone you meet in your job search with courtesy. Respect their time. Return their phone calls. And they will champion you with hiring managers.

Obvious Tip #3: Ask For The Job OK. I saved the best for last. That's because if I had put this tip first, I would have scared half of you away by now.

Let me explain.

Any successful job search all boils down to two simple facts. You must:

  1. meet the right hiring authority, and
  2. convince that person to hire you.

It follows that, the more hiring authorities you can meet, the faster you'll find work.

So, why don't more people just introduce themselves to prospective employers and ask for a job? Is this method too obvious? Frightening?

I don't know.

But I do know one thing. If you do this right, you will get hired. Fast.

Here's an example shared by Claire Nelligan, from the WorkForce Center in Minneapolis.

"I knew a job seeker who wanted work as a baker. We wrote his resume and was going to mail it. But I asked him to put on his business clothes and walk the resume in to his top three prospective employers," says Nelligan.

Nelligan told him: "Ask for the manager. Introduce yourself. Tell them you want to work there. Tell them that you appreciate they are busy, and quickly share what value you would bring to their organization. Give them the resume and tell them you will call to set up a convenient time to answer any questions they may have about how your skills could meet their needs."

What happened next?

"He was interviewed on the spot and left with a job offer," says Nelligan.

Now, can you expect to walk into Trump Tower, ask to meet The Donald and get a job offer as his next apprentice? Probably not. But you can tweak this method to match your personality and ask to meet almost any hiring authority you choose, so long as you're persistent and professional.

Now, go out and make your own luck!

-Kevin Donlin

Kevin Donlin is President of Guaranteed Resumes. Since 1996, he and his team have provided resumes, cover letters and online job-search assistance to clients in all 50 states and 23 countries. Kevin has been interviewed by USA Today, CBS MarketWatch, The Wall Street Journal's National Business Employment Weekly, CBS Radio, and many others.

For more information, click here: Resume and Cover Letter Secrets Revealed