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  • Writer's pictureCara Heilmann

My 30-30-30 Method for Job Search Success

A lot of people think that getting a job is an HR recruiting function. It is not. It is a sales and marketing process. The sooner you make that switch in your head, the sooner your job search will be successful.

If you’re looking for a job, you’re now in the sales and marketing business. The product? You.

Once you have your collateral materials – I call this your dossier which for most people is a kickass résumé, supplemental cover letter, and a rocking awesome LinkedIn profile – then it is time to hit the market.

But not just hit the market, to engage a go-to-market (GTM) strategy.

This is the GTM strategy I recommend: I call this the 30-30-30 method.

Picture it as a three-legged stool – each channel is equally crucial:

Channel #1 - Jobs that are posted. I call this Low Hanging Fruit. You know a job is there and a need.

Channel #2 - Your network.

Channel #3 - Third party recruiters. These are not corporate recruiters, but agencies, headhunters, and external recruiting firms that help companies find top talent.

How did I come up with these channels? Easy. My experience.

Every single head of talent acquisition worth their salt knows what channels produce the best candidates.

We keep records. We test new channels. Deep six ones that don’t work. We apply our limited $s to only those channels that work.

I analyzed both my stats and those of talent acquisition departments, shifting the focus to YOUR perspective – the candidate.

What I found was the 30-30-30 Method.

Let’s go deep into each of these to give you actionable steps to engage your GTM strategy.

Channel #1 - Jobs that are posted.

You know these jobs exist; they're your easiest target. But don't get stuck in the endless cycle of online applications. Instead, leverage them to focus your networking efforts. If you don't know anyone at the company, find a peer on your "Networking List of 20" list to make an introduction.

Channel #2 - Your network.

Your most powerful resource is right at your fingertips. Quickly list the 20 closest family members, friends, and colleagues who know and support you.

Forget LinkedIn connections for now; these are your real allies.

Reach out to them when you spot a job opening and ask for a referral. Craft a concise email for them to send, emphasizing your qualifications.

Swipe this file to get you started on your Networking List of 20:

Now that you have your list, when you find a job posting you like, do these things:

  1. Quickly apply

  2. Go to the company’s leadership page on their website.

  3. Open your Networking List of 20 and find a somewhat match – someone in the same vertical function and somewhat the same level.

  4. Ask your person if they’d be willing to put in a good word in for you at a company.

  5. Once they say yes, do the below:

Use one of the many free apps to find email addresses – if not publicly listed, as many are public – then draft a short email that your friend could send to that person at your target company.

The email could look like this:

Subject line: Referral

Hi James:

I would like to put in a strong recommendation for Cara Heilmann for the head of HR position at your company. I’ve known Cara for over 10 years and she is an exceptional leader and executive. At XYZ company, she led as vice president of people and led an employee-focused transformation that enabled our company to scale from 500 to 2,000 employees in less than three years. I highly recommend her and would be happy to share more. I’ve attached her résumé for your hiring committee to review.


Patricia Smith

General Counsel, 123 Company

- - - -

Notice a few things:

  1. The subject line. A simple Referral is perfect.

  2. It is short.

  3. It has your PDF résumé attached.

  4. It has your friend’s title and company – ask to send from their company email – so James sees immediately it is a peer of his.

This, my friends, is a referral.

That email will go from James to the CEO, the hiring manager. The CEO will send it to the recruiter that she/he is partnering with to find candidates. That recruiter will see the string – my internal client, head of legal, external head of legal – and will think, “I better call this person.”


Channel #3 - Third party recruiters.

This one might require some extra effort. Without a career coach's recruiter database, it can be challenging.

However, a coach can help you access this vital resource.

Once you have a list of recruiters, don't hesitate to cold call them directly – Saturday mornings around 9 AM often work well.

Mention your career coach's referral, and you might find yourself in a quick phone screen.

This, my friends, is the "30-30-30 Method." It's a tried-and-true strategy that I've developed through my extensive 20+ years in talent acquisition and as a career coach.

Think of it as a strategic marketing campaign for your job search.

Now, it's time to put these tactics into action and land your dream job. Good luck!

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