How to Get Hired by Being Obvious

  • Article by: KEVIN DONLIN , Star Tribune Sales and Marketing
  • Updated: December 29, 2004 - 10:00 PM

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 résumés 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 percent 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 percent 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 résumé free of charge for one local man. He replied once to the three e-mails I sent him. And he never did return my phone call.

I figure he's either been hired (and no longer needs a résumé) or can't keep track of his phone and e-mail 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 e-mails and phone calls.

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