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Get Hired by Getting Personal

Written by Kevin Donlin contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2"

If you're looking for a job in 2009, you don't need to be reminded about how bad the economy and employment markets are.

But you may need to be reminded of a simple fact: You will never get hired for any job, in any economy, by an employer.

Instead, you will be hired by a person.

A person with feelings, hopes, and fears, just like you.

The more persons you can meet, talk to, and help, the faster you will get hired. In any city. In any economy.

With that in mind, I went through my columns from this past year and collected three proven ways to get hired faster by "getting personal" ...

  1. Meet Employers in Person

    You can shorten your job search simply by meeting more hiring authorities in person.

    But you have to do it right. You must dress and act the part you want to play on the job, if you want to impress an employer enough to hire you.

    That's the advice one man gave his wife that helped her win a job at a local college.

    "She was going to mail her resume to apply for the position, but I told her that it was so close, why not hand-deliver it instead?" said Daniel Dallaire, from Kamloops, British Columbia. "That way she could check out the employer she might be working for at the same time."

    But it almost backfired. As his wife was heading out the door, Dallaire noticed she was dressed in sweatpants and a T-shirt. Solution? "I told her to change clothes and look professional before delivering her resume."

    Good thing. She ran into the hiring manager at the office, and her appearance had a positive influence on the decision to hire her later, according to Dallaire.

    And it never would have happened had she not visited that employer in person.

  2. Personalize the Internet

    Here's a clever method one woman used to land a director-level position she found advertised on one of the biggest employment Web sites, where millions of other job seekers have uploaded their resumes.

    She did it by creating a personal buzz about herself that got the hiring manager's attention.

    Her story is short and sweet ...

    "A search online turned up the opening I wanted. I then used my network to find people who'd refer me. I timed submitting my resume through the job board with the referrals," says Barbara Finer, from suburban Boston, Mass.

    Finer's efforts ensured that her resume and the referrals from people in her network all arrived about the same time.

    "The resulting confluence of resources got me on the top of the pile, and I was hired as Director of Product Marketing at a Boston-area company," says Finer.

    Here's how you can do this, too ...

    • When you find a job posted online that you really want to apply for, don't. First, use your network -- especially your contacts at LinkedIn, Facebook or MySpace -- to reach out to people who work at the employer.

    • Ask those people to forward your resume by email or hand it to the manager you would work for. Give them a specific day to do so, say, Thursday.

    • On Thursday morning, submit your resume to the job posting online.

    • These multiple, coordinated contacts -- your resume coming in via the job board and people delivering it to the hiring manager -- can generate enough buzz to catapult your name to the top of the list.
  3. Help Well-Connected Persons

    Here's my take on some good advice from an article by Phil Rosenberg in the Oct. 8, 2008 issue of CIO Magazine, called "Hubs in Your Job Search."

    Rosenberg discusses how the most-connected people in your network, called "hubs," can help you make connections with employers.

    In essence, if you help hubs get what they want, they'll likely help you get the job you want.

    Here are example questions you can ask your hubs, to get conversations started:

    • What are your top two challenges at work right now?
    • If you could wave a magic wand at work, what one thing would you change?
  4. These questions will prompt the most-connected people you know to tell you how to help them. If you help them, they'll help you. In this case, their help may lead to employment opportunities.

    Why not offer to help a well-connected person today?

    - Kevin Donlin

    Kevin Donlin is contributing co-author of "Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 2.0." Since 1996, he has provided job-search help to more than 20,000 people. For a free glimpse, visit Guerrilla Job Search System DVD.