So I decided that I hate am dissatisfied enough with my work situation that I need to go find a new job. The problem is that I never want to get another job like the one I just had. Here I am, over 10 years out of college, and I still haven’t figured out what I want to be when I grow up. I can assure you that I never aspired to be a Cog in The Man’s Wheel, or corporate peon, which I am now. But I get paid okay and part of my job is to take people to lunch and ball games, and I have a J-O-B so I’ll stop my whining.
But I want to get a job that I really love and that pays me even more than I’m making now. I’m pretty sure this job doesn’t exist, but I went to TheLadders.com anyway because it seemed like a good place to search for a job that pays over $100K. That’s the promise. So I do my little search and they tell me all I have to do is upload a resume and I can see the jobs. So I go do that, and then they’re like, oh no, actually you have to pay us to see jobs. What? But I mean, whats $30 if they are going to open the doors to my sparkly new $100K+ job? I had been on the site approximately 8 minutes and my ADD kicked in, so I decided not to decide and just left the site, leaving my job search squarely in God’s hands.
But then TheLadders began to stalk me.
It began innocently enough with a “Welcome to TheLadders” email minutes after my ill-fated trip there. And then I got an email that said they found jobs for me, so I clicked to see what they came up with and oh look! I have to pay my $30 to see them. Whatevs. So I ignore them. But then they started sending an obscene amount of emails – probably as many as I’ve sent to Oprah over the span of 15 years — and I couldn’t get them off my mind and then they told me they would give me 25% off, so I couldn’t resist. I should have been like Oprah when she gets my emails and just hit delete. Instead, I reasoned that perhaps if I just gave them the money, they’ll leave me alone. So I needed a distraction from my soul-sucking, dreams-crushing work and paid my money and signed up.
For signing up, they say they’ll hook me up with a free, personalized resume critique from a professional resume writer! Score! If I would’ve known that, I would have signed up the first day, instead of waiting for the 18,000 follow up emails they sent. I went to a top MBA school. I know my resume is solid, but they might suggest a few word changes here and there, and I’d be open to that. So sign me up! They tell me its going to take some time for them to go over it, which is fine, since I know I’ll be so busy wading through all the exclusive jobs they hand selected for someone with my fancy skills and experience. I’m actually thinking they are going to look at it and ask me if they can show others all its finery and then offer me a $200K + job as a professional resume reviewer. So as I wait for them to reveal to the world my resume writing prowess, I go look for the lucky employers that are about to fight over me.
Um…..there were like two “exclusive” jobs and the rest they found out on Google somewhere and have no idea whether they pay over $100K. Plus, they had all of these listings for jobs that had been filled. If you took out all of the fillers and fluff, you might find 3 jobs that aren’t bogus. Okay fine. So I’ll go back to indeed.com and wade through all the real and fake jobs, but at least I’m getting a personalized resume critique. Luckily, I didn’t have to wait long. My critique was ready just hours later. This is what it said in its entirety (you can skip to the parts in bold for the net net):
Thank you for sending me your resume! My name is Alyssa Ballard, and I will be providing your resume critique. I have been extensively trained by TheLadders.com in the analysis of executive level resumes. As I’m sure you can imagine, a 100K + resume has certain components that will differ from those of a candidate seeking a lower level position and we have spent countless hours mastering the complexities of these documents.
It was a pleasure to read about your qualifications and experience and I wish you the best of success in your job search. In this critique I will outline my thoughts, explain the process, and give you some guidance at the end of my review to get you closer to your goal.
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.
Love, plain and simple: you are missing MANY of key strategies on your resume, and it doesn’t fully reflect your career level. There is not enough excitement to your document, nor any burning desire to pick up the phone and call you. With all your experience, you deserve a better resume!
Please keep in mind I would love to go over this with you once you’ve had a chance to give my comments some thought. Feel free to message me in the message center or call me at (646) 454-2316 if you have something that you would like to discuss.
Now, here are the major issues I see on your resume:
You are missing the biggest SELLER on your resume – The Summary! A great summary is absolutely essential for having a strong, hard-hitting resume that makes an impact on employers. A summary should communicate your record of achievement, your experience level, your value, your industry, and intimate what your immediate career goal is! Of all the sections of the resume, the summary is the most important because it gets read the most and sets the tone/focus for the rest of the document.
I recommend including a “Core Competencies” section within the summary to get the reader’s attention right from the start. Remember a “Core Competencies” section is not a listing of soft-skills, but rather an area to highlight your own personal areas of expertise.
Love, this upper section is becoming increasingly important as the job market becomes more competitive. This is a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and you haven’t taken full advantage of it. We NEED to fix this before you send it out again.
The content of the experience section is quite thin. You haven’t included enough information to give the reader a clear, complete picture of your abilities or accomplishments. It’s like you have the outline completed but you haven’t filled in enough details. The reader isn’t able to grasp the context of your work, the value of your candidacy, or how your background meets their needs because you haven’t created a complete picture. Honestly, for your level and salary goals, I would expect two FULL pages of information and you have only one – less if you were to have utilized the full width of the page. Poor job descriptions fail to create a good frame of reference for your achievements.
Another problem that I see here has to do with your use of bullet points. You have bulleted every statement, which is a very ineffective formatting tool—not to mention indicative of a lower-level career. Bullets are used to draw attention, but when you put your entire job description into bullets, you’ve negated their purpose.
You’ve done a good job getting your accomplishments down but you’ve failed to put them in a frame of reference. Employers need to see description of your role first – what your duties were – in order to properly grasp the significance of your accomplishments. Without that frame of reference, the accomplishments are more window dressing than substance and employers will discount them as “fluff”. You need to do a much better job showing how you have gotten things done in the past so the reader can be assured you can get things done in the future.
For example, you have:
§ Drove 132% YTY growth, exceeding revenue and profit plans
§ Analyzed and alleviated customer financial constraints through devising creative configurations with customized financing and payment plans, increasing order sizes by 15% – 100%.
§ Coordinated efforts between testing and development teams, improving average issue resolution time by 50%.
These are excellent! Too bad their effects get entirely lost in translation! HOW did you achieve them? What challenges did you face? How did this impact the bottom line? It’s obvious you have the data, but including high-impact background information to support the data is what will set you apart from the crowd.
Love, it’s obvious to me that you have some wonderful experience here but that is also because I read between the lines. Potential employers with hundreds of resumes to read through are not going to do that. We need to make you stand out at first glance!
Moving on, we really need to work on elevating the language throughout the document! The document’s verbiage doesn’t support your goals. It’s “average” – not what you want when you are trying to sell your abilities and position yourself above the competition. Step up the language by using stronger action verbs to create excitement and keep your reader engaged!
Communication is the #1 skill that has the most impact on your promotion, your retention, and your performance. A resume is a crucial communication tool in your career. If you aren’t communicating well in your resume, hiring managers will assume you are not a good communicator in person.
DESIGN AND FORMAT
Your resume has an outdated appearance and nothing jumps out to grab the reader’s attention. I would recommend a more attractive or reader-friendly design to the document to provide a better first impression and better readability. Good formatting and design is especially important for candidates targeting higher salaries (such as you are) because employers expect you to have a more pulled-together, slick presentation of yourself as they expect you to give a professional presentation to customers, vendors, and others with whom you would be dealing at your target level. Visual impression is the first impression so make it good.
Although many people don’t think that the design of their resume should be a big deal, it really is. Think about it. If your resume is more pleasing to the eye then people will want to spend more time looking at it!
Love, I would suggest that you go back and reread your resume, and you will see that this document is selling you short. The bottom line: Your resume simply does not reflect your professional caliber as best it could. You have an excellent background…you have the qualifications…but you are just not making that first impression count.
Only the BEST RESUMES—NOT CANDIDATES—get the most attention and eventually an interview. Love, you are clearly a very strong candidate but that is simply not enough to get an interview!
You need to remember the purpose of a resume—to take an AGGRESSIVE approach in selling yourself to a potential employer. Why does that employer want to interview YOU?
Remember, unless you can convince them of your VALUE, they will not contact you.
**GETTING THE INTERVIEW**
Love, there are two things to consider here:
• You are a premium member of TheLadders.com BECAUSE you’ve got the valuable experience, the superior skills, the unique qualifications and most importantly the DRIVE to get that next 100k+ job (yes, we redirect people who don’t fit our profile; it is in our best interest to do so).
• On paper, your wording and presentation leave much to be desired. Your resume does not generate excitement and professionalism.
These two elements combine to make you the ideal candidate for a resume rewrite. We are here to make your job search QUICK and SUCCESSFUL! To this end, it is crucial that your document look as impressive as you do, and that you do not LOSE interviews in the process.
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. Most competing professionals employ the services of professional resume writers, creating a disadvantage for those that make the attempt alone.
* FOOD FOR THOUGHT *
• Get noticed more and faster. Members who had their resumes professional rewritten are 38% more likely to be contact by recruiters
• Get hired! A resume rewritten by our team will increase your chances of landing a job by 40%.
**OUR PROCEDURES (simple but highly effective)**
Our team is an elite group of skilled professionals, hand-selected, trained, monitored and mentored by TheLadders.com. Each of them is a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and an expert in resumes for at least one of the ladders. We provide customized critiques, resumes, and career search tools for you based on YOUR specific professional needs. Our resume writing team has prepared more than 15,000 powerful executive resumes with an unparalleled level of success.
If you decide to take advantage of our resume writing service:
1. Your assigned resume writer (not me) will send you a set of questions that will ask you things you haven’t even thought to include on your resume. Alternatively, they may call you if they think that will be more effective.
2. After completing and returning the information, the writer reviews the data and if necessary contacts you to “pick your brain” about certain answers.
3. The writer then completes the first draft of your rewritten resume and submits it to you for review, usually within five-seven business days.
4. From here you work closely alongside your writer to tweak and adjust your resume to make sure it is absolutely perfect.
5. Once you’re completely happy with your new resume, the writer finalizes the document for you and sends it to you in Word format.
We strive to complete the process as quickly as possible. We know how important every day is when job searching, so we don’t want to keep you waiting.
You will be in excellent hands working directly with our team. TheLadders.com Resume Team works with the best executive resume writers in the world, some of whose credentials include:
• Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW)
• Internationally Certified Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC)
• Featured in: TheCareerJournal, Executive Registry
• Career Expert cited in The Wall Street Journal‘s publications
• More than 200 resumes/cover letters published in 20 career books
• VIP Contributor to High-Level Resumes (Career Press)
**PRICING AND FREE COVER LETTER OFFER**
The investment to create your resume is 695.00. This may seem like a lot at first, but if you stop and think about it for a moment, it’s really a modest investment. A resume that gets you a job is PRICELESS. If it shortens your job search by two days, or results even in a 1% increase in salary, it pays for itself. An ineffective resume can cost thousands of dollars in lost time, income, and opportunity.
Limited-Time Bonuses: To further help you in your job search, we’re offering a major bonus if you purchase the resume service within 7 days:
We’ll write the cover letter for free (a $135 value)!
Okay, so that wasn’t the ringing endorsement I was expecting. They stopped just a little short of asking me to be the model for everyone else. I mean, WTF? If I wanted to be flogged and humiliated, I would have called one of the soccer moms down the street or one of the popular girls from junior high.
I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I have the biggest piece of shit resume ever written and that I am probably bipolar with illusions of grandeur. Yeah, me too. The professionals at TheLadders have just verified every insecurity I have ever had in my life. I SUCK. Not a little bit. A lot. And they are sure that I will never get a job so long as I live unless I fork over my $695 (but at least I get a cover letter too, at a $135 value!!).
So I did what every mature professional would do in this situation and curled up in the fetal position sucking my thumb under my desk for a few minutes, or hours, I’m not even sure because I was so delirious from the pain. But then all of a sudden a calm came over me and soft white light shone on my crumpled body and I realized that my two year old found the flashlight I’d been missing (and that this could be fixed)!! This shameful piece of shit that I call a resume can be rewritten!! For just $695, I can buy my dignity back in the form of a resume that (apparently) will have a summary! It will be 2 FULL pages. It will have real big words in it. I will land the job of my dreams. I am on my way to becoming fucking Oprah.
The only problem is that I don’t have the kind of money laying around and if I asked BD about it, he would probably laugh hysterically. When he found out I wasn’t kidding, he might file for divorce. I’m told that divorce only costs $300 to file online. Of course, after seeing my resume review, he may want to cut his losses now and skip town anyway. He now has proof from certified resume writers that his wife is a complete loser, and it may even be grounds for him to take the kids away. Or at least make sure I get no alimony. AWEsome.
So I’m ready to sell my two year old to raise the money for my sparkly new resume, which will make my life worth living again, when I decide that everything about this site has been fishy. The way they make you download a resume and then let you see no jobs. The way you have to pay to see jobs you could find for free. The way they tell you that your resume makes you appear to potential employers as an illiterate cave person who might not be qualified to wash dishes at Dennys. My resume might suck, but not that bad.
So I Googled “Ladders Scam” and I got me an education. Apparently everybody who pays TheLadders gets told they suck. Cue Michael Jackson. I am not alone.
I hope these douchebags go down. But how could they not, if this is how they treat people? Maybe I should go down too, though. I can’t believe I wasn’t tipped off by all the shadiness before I even plunked down the money. I’m definitely not that smart.
Still, that doesn’t change the fact that I need to go find a new job. More to come on that…