Debra Feldman

Be Your Own Talent Agent

How to land a new job faster.

October 20, 2011
by Debra Feldman

Before the recession, it was not unusual for employers to hire external recruiters to identify candidates, screen applicants, recommend top prospects and be a critical part of the hiring process. Nowadays, companies spend less on talent acquisition, have fewer open positions to fill and internal movement and referrals account for nearly 65 percent of candidate sourcing (PDF).

Most employers have adopted online recruiting resources (corporate career sites, job boards and social networking). The number of available positions has decreased, while the size of the qualified applicant pool has grown. The corporate job market has been turned upside down and it’s created the perfect storm, challenging candidates to find a new solution. Job seekers must adopt job-search strategies and tactics that are effective in today’s environment in order to gain a competitive advantage, expedite the search campaign process and get the best offer in the shortest time possible. Responding to print advertisements with paper résumé submissions used to generate interviews leading to job offers. Now most job hunters find that that applying online is not productive.

In the old days, jobseekers depended on recruiters to find the openings, present them to employers and orchestrate the process for them. Today, you must be more proactive and develop connections with target employers, rather than relying on recruiters to maintain relationships with decision-makers. To find a new executive position, you have to be your own agent, promote yourself unabashedly as the singular, reliable, outstanding resource who will always deliver, fit in with the team and increase profits, decrease costs and/or improve processes. With recruiters eliminated, you can interact with employers directly and describe your accomplishments firsthand.

Once a connection is established, both parties benefit if they keep in touch: employers have ready access to screened prospects that they can tap for future opportunities and even if you are not hired immediately you gain precious insider knowledge that can help cultivate deeper trusting relationships and leading to more opportunities. As a jobseeker, networking delivers lifetime career insurance, an inside track to unadvertised or the “hidden” jobs.

The best method to eliminate job searching roadblocks is to network coupled with:

  • The correct market positioning;
  • A memorable, remarkable value contribution tailored to each employer;
  • Communicate your expertise clearly to the hiring authority or someone whose recommendations the decision-maker trusts; and
  • Volunteer to work at companies and follow up politely and persistently to stay on their radar when positions do open up.


While recruiters used to devise the marketing plan and sell the candidate to the employer, you are now responsible for your own planning, packaging, promoting and pricing. You have to manage the process and transact the sale. Transitions take more effort, but if you continue to networking before needing a job, the right connections will help accelerate a smooth landing.

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Debra Feldman is the JobWhiz(TM), a nationally-recognized expert who designs and personally implements swift, strategic and customized senior level executive job search campaigns, banishing barriers that prevent immediate success. Her gift for Networking Purposefully(TM) and expediting stalled job searches connects candidates directly to decision makers, not HR. Learn more about her groundbreaking techniques that compress job searches from months into weeks leveraging online visibility and maximizing traditional techniques.

(C) Copyright, 2011, Debra Feldman. All rights reserved. Used with permission.