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If You Really Want The Job, Ask For It!

A show of enthusiasm and a direct approach will distinguish you from the horde of other candidates.

By Robert Half

Every good salesperson knows that one of the keys to success is to ask for the order. We've all dealt with salespeople who are engaging, know the product they're selling, present it with enthusiasm and point out why we can't live without it, are likable, gain our confidence and do everything right...except they don't ask us to buy. So we don't.

The same situation holds true for the job seeker. The credentials you bring to a position might be perfect for it. You make a good appearance, answer all the questions smoothly and with substance, yet don't get the job because, like the salesperson above, you haven't asked for it.

There are many ways to ask for a job without sounding overly aggressive. Actually, asking for a job you want is a continuous process. The thank-you letter you send after the first interview should also include a statement of your continuing interest in the job for which you're being considered - a line such as, "I have even more interest in the position now that we've had a chance to meet and talk about it," or "I would like very much to further pursue the possibility of my working for you and the company, and look forward to a chance to discuss that in the near future."

If, after your final interview, you're convinced that you want to work for the company, say so. I remember years ago when a man came to our offices as an applicant for a controller's job with our organization. I decided that he wasn't right for it, and suggested that we might find him a good position with another company. He looked me straight in the eye and said, "Mr. Half, I want to work for you, and will consider any position you might be able to offer me."

No one had ever said that to me before, and no one has since. The end result was that we did find a spot for this person, and he turned out to be loyal and productive employee for many years.

Mere Human Beings

Because employers and interviewers are simply human beings, they deal from the same base of insecurities that you, the job seeker, does. Some are reluctant to offer a job because they don't want to be turned down. Some employers operate on the assumption that a candidate must make it plain that he or she wants the job before it will be offered. If you don't say that you want the job, you'll never get an offer from this type of employer.

Avoid high pressure. You can gracefully ask for the job by saying, "I understand that you have a number of good candidates to consider, Mr. Smith, but I do want you to know that I would like very much to work for you here at the XYZ Company. I know I'll be able to contribute something positive, and I assure you that if you do hire me, I won't let you down."

I guarantee you one thing: If you take this type of approach with a job you really want, you'll stand out, because unless all the candidates you're competing with have also read and followed the advice of this article, very few will be that direct in asking for the job.

"People fail to achieve many things, personally and professionally, throughout their lives because they simply don't make clear what it is they want."

Asking for what you want should not be confined to getting a job, however. People fail to achieve many things, personally and professionally, throughout their lives because they simply don't make clear what it is that they want. People mumble an order to a clerk in the deli and they complain that they got mustard instead of mayonnaise. When people in a relationship fail to let each other know what it is that they need and want, they seldom get it and as a result, the relationship suffers because of it.

In business, an employer can't be expected to be a mind reader. If you feel that you deserve a raise or a promotion, and you have the tangible evidence of performance to back you up, you must ask for it. The worst that can happen is that your request is denied, but it will stay in your boss's mind and perhaps trigger a future raise quicker than you would have gotten otherwise. If a new position opens up within the company that you would like to be considered for, you must make your desire known to those that can help you achieve your goal.

In line with asking for what you want is being sure that you communicate your needs and wishes properly. Again, the need to sharpen our communication skills comes into play. Most people make their wishes known in an indirect, circumspect manner and then don't understand why their request isn't acted upon. How many letters do we receive in a lifetime that are filled with vague, unnecessary phrases and go on at length, the actual reason of the letter buried somewhere in all the verbiage? An effective letter begins with a simple statement of the purpose. Then it goes on to provide additional information to substantiate the request.

The same holds true in speech. It's so frustrating to sit with someone who wants something that could be stated in six to eight words, yet wastes minutes getting to the point That doesn't mean you have to be blunt or rude. But do be direct and let the other person know what you want. If it's a job, say that you want it. Your chances of getting it will be greatly enhanced.

The exact language you use in asking for the job will vary from person to person and in each situation. Obviously, a direct statement will be handled nicely by some people. For others, it might signal desperation. Here are a few other ways to ask for a job that not only accomplish the goal but indicate to the employer your level of confidence and enthusiasm:

"I'd just like to say that if I'm hired, I won't let you down."

"You'll always be able to count on me." "I'll work hard to exceed your

"Hire me and I can assure you I'll do an excellent job."

"I'm anxious to prove to you that I can handle this job. This position fits my qualifications and abilities perfectly. I could start immediately."

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