The Ladders... The Last Thing U Wanna Use to Get Up!

(The Ladders employees soliciting their services)

There I am watching television when I see a commercial advertisement for The Ladders. The Ladders apparently promise users $100K+ jobs and have a good response, seems reasonable. So I jumped online and as I began to type I noticed in the search bar The Ladders Scams, hmmmm (CLICK). So as I began the research it seems that The Ladders is nothing more than a site, looking to cash in after you've posted your resume following registration. If your a programmer or have any knowledge in regards to automated letters/message emails than you know what I'm going to say is probably the truth. Soon after posting your resume, a letter is then sent to you advising you that your resume basically sucks and The Ladders can create a million $$$ resume for you....... for $700! Yup, $700! But whats funny is a resume they created, was used w/ a newly created profile and the same letter was sent out. You programmers already know... I'll just end this post by saying don't go to The Ladders unless you plan on getting f***ed, literally!

The Ladders Letter:

Dear [name],

Thank you for your resume submission! My name is [Ladders employee] and I will be providing your resume critique.

In this email I will outline my thoughts, provide a price quote to you, explain the process, and give you instructions at the end of my review to get started. If you decide to proceed, you will be working directly with one of our top writers versed in your industry and level.

Our methodology is simple: We apply extensive resume writing experience and knowledge of the $100k+ job market to determine how well your resume represents your value and distinguishes you from the competition.

Please note that I am NOT critiquing your background, experience, or potential for success. I am commenting on how you are MARKETING those assets to potential employers and how you are competing against others with similar goals. Your resume needs to be assertive in showing prospective employers how you would be of value to them, because no matter how good you are at your job, the resume is what really lands the interview.

Before I begin the critique, I do need to warn you about my style, because my comments can seem blunt–but the reality is the job market is very competitive now, so I find it beneficial to tell it as it is rather than “yes” people to death. (I hate when it’s done to me!)

Here are the major issues I see on your resume:

Your summary is missing the “WOW” factor. You’re relying on too many “business clich├ęs” – things like, “Excellent written and verbal communication skills”. These “crutch” phrases don’t really tell the reader anything about you and what you’ve done! You need a much more results-focused introduction, to grab the reader’s attention and make them want to keep reading!

The five main aspects within a distinguished summary indicates: your highest career achievements, experience level, your value, your industry and your immediate career goal, and convey, “Look how what I have to offer will be an asset to you”.
I also recommend including a “Core Competencies” subsection just below the summary — specific areas of expertise and knowledge that can be supported by solid accomplishments. Including a list of “Core Competencies” is a great executive strategy, and provides both a quick and comprehensive look at your strengths from the beginning. Additionally, a core competencies or “keyword” section also increases the odds of an electronic screening agent making a match between your resume and an open job requisition.

Today’s job descriptions briefly sum up your position in paragraph format, then uses bullets for your most marketable attributes – results of the duties listed in the paragraph. This strategy separates the duties from the results and really highlights your key accomplishments, making them easy to find when the resume is quickly scanned. As you only have SECONDS to grab their attention. You have everything bulleted – resulting in NOTHING standing out to the eye of the reader.

On another note…the “references” tag line just isn’t done anymore – ESPECIALLY for upper level executive resumes! It’s like saying “the end” at the end of a movie.

The language could be MUCH stronger. You vacillate between active voice and passive voice in the document (“Responsible for”, etc.). In the active voice, the subject acts. In the passive voice, the subject is acted upon. The active voice is more natural, direct, vigorous and emphatic – traits you want your resume to have in tone.

The vast majority of resumes are handled now by resume databases whether online or Human Resource Information Systems within companies. The databases have “preferences” for certain design elements. One of them is a preference for sans serif font styles. Change the font to something that is sans serif and avoid the default Times New Roman or other serif fonts.

Jamie, your resume is your self marketing tool. It gets you in the door. It must be strong on ALL levels in order to achieve the best results. All-in-all, I don’t think you’re putting your “best foot forward” if you plan to use this resume in its current condition. You’re underselling yourself. You are in need of a self-marketing brochure – one that shows your high caliber. This document isn’t doing that for you.

Please understand, all of this is not to say that you are not a good candidate, merely that the way your resume presents your career is not yet very effective or exciting to the reader (who typically has read 100+ resumes just before getting to yours).

You need to remember the purpose of a resume — to take an AGGRESSIVE approach in selling you to a potential employer. Why does that employer want to interview YOU? You need to be MUCH more active in pulling out your forte — things that will show potential employers what they get for their investment (your compensation). What can you bring to the table that your competition cannot? What sets you apart? Right now you are not giving the reader the best information to excite him/her enough to contact you for an interview. Remember, unless you can convince them of your VALUE, they will not contact you.

Most people are like you — they struggle to put themselves down on paper effectively — but that’s where we come in, because we are experts at knowing the best way to present you. In fact, even Marc Cenedella, CEO of TheLadders came to OUR writing team when he needed a resume!

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