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 .