Monthly Archives: May 2011

Ask for the job, really!

Jannet Walsh, Minnesota Native Daughter blogger
By Jannet Walsh
Murdock, Minnesota

Once you make it to a job interview, you better ask for the job. Compare this to a political campaign or fund raising with the mission of getting hired. As the interview is winding up, the paper shuffling time, you might even ask interviewers, “Do you have any more questions about my resume or about my career?”

Ask for the job
This is your place to strike. You want to let it be known you want this job. How do you ask for the job? Maybe something like this: “After learning more about your company, my talents would be a great fit for it. I look forward to the opportunity to put them to work for you.”

I actually have said something like the following at a job interview: “I have many talents your company needs. I want to transfer my talents here.” You might even say, “I have _______ (fill in with your specific skill) your company needs. What is the next step in the interview process?” The straightforward statement might be, “I want this job. I have the skills your company needs.”

Ask for business cards
It’s normal to ask for business cards, so do this at the interview. There might be a committee interviewing you; try to get a card from all those involved, but make sure you know who will be making the final decision and offer. Make sure you engage with all the interviewers.

Thank-you e-mail or letter
The job might be decided on two great applicants, but the person sending the letter might have the edge. The body of the letter should have the following: Thank the interviewer for taking time to meet with you. Next, point out something you learned during your visit and want to learn more about. Follow this by stating your interest in the position, noting the specific skills you offer. Lastly, state you are glad to be considered for the opening and await a decision. Send the letter the same day of the interview and have a draft ready before the interview.

Phone call
If you have not heard from the company after the time they indicated, it’s time to take action. Call and find out your status and express your interest in the job. One newspaper I worked at in Nebraska I called once a week for a few months after the time they noted a decision would be made. It paid off, but this could backfire.

If you encounter someone on the phone who says they are uncomfortable talking to you about your status, chances are you do not want to work there, as they did not bother to inform you with any communication. (Yes, I encountered this situation, but learned even more about how the company handled their business relationships.)

If you miss out on a job you really want, try to find out what could make you a stronger candidate. A sign of a good organization is one that is respectful in turning down a candidate, but makes the interview process a positive experience. Keep these companies in your list to contact in the future.

Lesson in interviewing
Sometimes a job interview is nothing more than a learning experience to know what you do not want in a job. It is also a great opportunity to practice your interviewing skills and learn how to further sharpen your resume.

Plan your strategy for how you will ask for the job now!

You might look at the examples of cover letters and business letters for the job application prcoess provided by the U.S. Department of Labor.

Workforce suggestions? Please contact Jannet Walsh at for ideas on blog topics or workforce related topics.
Looking for a job? Looking for a new employee? JobsHG

Native Minnesotan Jannet Walsh is a blogger, columnist, journalist, photojournalist, terrier owner, hula hooper and more! Contact her at Click here to view full biography. View her other blog at
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