The Turbocharged Job Search Playbook

Debra Feldman '72NRS, '74PH
May 24, 2022

Entry Level, Mid-career, and Experienced Candidates Benefit from Targeting the Right Contacts
Debra Feldman, JobWhiz Executive’s Agent*

Creating the right go-to-market job search strategy is necessary to out-compete other candidates. Identify what makes you better and who needs to know you exist. Establish connections with hiring authorities to get in the door. Present your qualifications with enthusiasm. Your secret sauce is following up, being likable, and showing you are trustworthy. A swift, smooth search starts with knowing how to attract and who is the right hiring authority. 

Where’s the best place to begin looking for a new opportunity? Not online but inside yourself. Identify your superpower, what you want next, name your dealbreakers, and describe the circumstances that produce the challenges you solve. Then, determine who owns the problems you solve and how to get their attention. The answers to these questions will point you towards landing a good-fit opportunity and get you there faster.  

Networking is more reliable than applying to openings for generating conversations with hiring decision-makers, arranging informational meetings, and facilitating referrals beyond first-degree contacts. Networking purposefully puts job seekers in control by identifying who needs their skills. Applying is often a shortcut into a black hole, while networking pays back with long-term relationships that support future career transitions and professional contacts beyond those you communicate with routinely.

For over 20 years, Network Purposefully™ has unfailingly generated one-to-one meetings for job seekers with hiring decision-makers. Network Purposefully focuses exclusively on the hidden job market, connecting directly to unadvertised positions known only to the hiring authority and close confidants. Companies rarely hide a vacant job. But, often, a role doesn’t exist until the right person comes along.

Why devote networking to hiring authorities, not HR reps or external recruiters? Getting a good career opportunity requires interacting directly with the hiring authority. HR does not make an offer without the hiring authority’s approval; only the hiring authority can allocate funds to hire or restructure a team to accommodate new talent.

When candidates Network Purposefully™ and assess risks and opportunities from the hiring manager’s perspective, they can anticipate an employer’s concerns, address the organization’s needs, and demonstrate their relevant skills and knowledge. It is worth creating a job search go-to-market strategy that improves and accelerates campaign results plus offers long-term benefits for future career success.

Take these steps to create an effective go-to-market strategy.

⭐Identify your skills and knowledge (value contribution or proposition)

⭐⭐Identify which of your talents the current market needs (marketable skills)

⭐⭐⭐Identify what circumstances generate the problems/challenges you fix (What is the work you do?) Don’t use a label like a job title or role. Describe the technical tasks and activities you perform, the solutions you deliver, and what sets you apart from your competition. For example, “nurse who teaches children and caregivers how to administer IV meds at home, choose, obtain and organize clinical supplies, recognize signs requiring professional intervention” not “registered nurse”  or “home care practitioner.”

⭐⭐⭐⭐Identify individuals who own these challenges or know and can introduce you to people who are responsible for addressing these problems (job leads)

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Communicate proof of your knowledge and skills with success stories relevant to each hiring authority and decision-maker and express your interest in supporting them

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐Follow up regularly with contacts using best practices to promote trustworthiness, talent, and likeability.

Follow these steps to create an effective game plan to move swiftly from where you are to where you want to be, hired and in a new position feeling appreciated and fulfilling your needs.


*Debra Feldman, Columbia’s Career Coaches Network, researches and qualifies connections to unadvertised jobs matching individual candidate’s needs. Networking purposefully creates inside access for a faster landing plus long-term relationships.