5 Tips for an Efficient, Less Stressful Job Search

Debra Feldman '72NRS, '74PH
October 17, 2019

Alumna Debra Feldman, of the Columbia Career Coaches Network, shares her top tips for a smooth job search. 

This article originally appeared on JobWhiz.com. Feldman writes on the job search process often—also check out her thoughts on where to discover hidden dream jobs and how to use a different type of SWOT analysis for your job search.

If you are thinking about making a job change (pending personal or professional factors) or committed to a future date, DO NOT WAIT to launch. You’re probably overloaded with recommendations to maintain a network and have contacts ready to help. But DO NOT restrict your search by limiting networking to those you already know.

Instead of grabbing your Rolodex, surveying your LinkedIn account, updating your confidential resume, and setting up meetings, identify WHO NEEDS TO KNOW YOU. These are hiring authorities and their posses who know about unadvertised positions, future vacancies, and upcoming needs.

Where should you begin to outshine your competition, beat the New Year crunch, and reduce inevitable pressures which accompany job searching? If you plan to keep the day job and not openly disclose (especially to your current employer and work colleagues,) future intentions, I have five top tips to guarantee your efforts will exponentially improve your results and cut your job searching time.

  1. Identify which of your skills, interests, strengths, and talents you want to use in your next job. These are your core competencies and most desired requirements an employer wants.
  2. Research and find specific employer organizations where your background (see #3) would be a good fit, both satisfying your career objectives and meeting the employer's needs.
  3. The employers in #2 are your networking targets. You need to get on the radar screen of hiring authorities and their trusted confidantes who are most likely to want to meet you and have a job you can and want to do.
  4. Tailor your confidential resume to suit each of these potential opportunities to enhance your ability to attract their interest, establish your credibility, and gain their trust.
  5. Arrange to meet one-on-one, by phone or in person, with these target connections whether you know about an existing opening or are being smart about accessing unadvertised roles or penetrating the hidden job market.
  • Who do you know that fits this description? Put them on your target contact list.
  • Who can introduce you or has useful information relevant to this search? Add to your target contact list.
  • This is not "only a casual informational" meeting; be purposeful and ready to describe what you expect to contribute and how you’ll accomplish these objectives by sharing recent success stories that prove your abilities.
  • Create an agenda to make the best use of their time and your own.
  • Don’t get sidetracked with unrelated interactions. Stay focused.
  • Adjust your networking strategy as you learn from your exploratory interactions and research: add more (and remove) contact names, refine your introduction, edit resume content, etc.
  • Follow up consistently to stay top of mind and increase your knowledge of the current job market, industry trends, and further focus your goals.

Applying these five tips will produce the best hiring offer in less time. Referrals from your existing and new first-degree contacts expand your access to more highly desirable job leads as well as establish a foundation for mentorships (both directions,) sponsorships, and future career transitions.

Image courtesy of Debra Feldman. 

Debra Feldman '72NRS, '74PH, known as JobWhiz, is an international executive talent agent and job search consultant. She researches and identifies the most efficient, effective job search strategy to focus your campaign on generating unadvertised leads in the hidden job market. Approaching your search as a marketing project, she collects extensive data about your capabilities and surveys the market to find potential opportunities that best match your, and employers' expectations, to land your dream role. After expertly positioning you to attract the appropriate hiring decision makers who will fully appreciate your potential value, Feldman arranges one-on-one meetings between you and the right contacts in senior management, owners, investors, and board members to expedite the selection process while simultaneously establishing lifetime career insurance -- the relationships you need to gain access to future opportunities as a member of the inner circle.

Learn more about Feldman and view the full list of Columbia Career Coaches Network members.