How Obama Got Hired

3 lessons you can learn from the president-elect.

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Outside Voices - ''Working Girl'' aka Karen Burns
We've just witnessed one of the longest and most arduous job hunts in the history of job hunts. Thousands of interviews. A résumé-vetting process from hell. Reference-checking you wouldn't wish on your worst enemy.

Not many people would or could work that hard to get a job. But Sen. Barack Obama did, and congratulations to him. Job hunting yourself? Here are three tips you can pick up from President-elect Obama:

How the boss feels about you is key. Every serious job candidate has strengths and weaknesses. Every hiring decision is a risk, a leap of faith. Decision time is often an emotional time, which is why so many choices come down to chemistry. A boss wants employees he feels he can trust and wouldn't mind spending eight hours a day with.

  • Tip No. 1: People hire people they like .
  • Persistence is a major, frequently ignored, factor. Much of the hiring process feels out of the job hunter's control. But persistence? That is a tool totally within your power to exploit. The candidates worked extremely hard for our votes. They were examples worth learning from.

    • Tip No. 2: People hire people who show they really want the job .
    • Experience doesn't count as much as you'd think. At the beginning of the campaign, Obama's short résumé was a big issue. One that, given the importance of the position, you'd think would be a deciding factor. But in the end, experience didn't matter.

      • Tip No. 3: People hire people they believe can do the job.
      • May your own job hunt be equally successful. And, let's hope, shorter.

        Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com .