My roadtrip to

TheLadders invited me to visit with them and check out their operations during their “Position Accomplished” summit. Why me? I suppose because I have some influence in the HR / Careers Space.  (shrugging shoulders) I had heard about TheLadders and how they only promote 100K+ jobs to those who pay for their service, but that’s all I knew. Since it was a free trip to New York, lodging and a meal (and since I had never been to NY before), I said, “yeah, why not?”

Some other people from the industry were there (Gerry Crispin, Kevin Wheeler, John Sumser, Fistful of Talent and others) and that was a bonus as some of them I had only read about (or exchanged tweets, emails, et cetera) but never really met in-person. So, again, another bonus.

So, I visited their offices and made a video about it. (What are the odds of that?) My impression was that TheLadders is a company that is growing and definitely, not risk adverse. I liked that they did not outsource their tech jobs and that they seemed to be building a culture where customer service is everything. (It made me wonder if they picked up a trick or two from Zappos.)  I was surprised to hear that they were growing during a recession and thought that it spoke volumes about them and what they have to offer. I mean, if you’re going to pay for a service to find a job when there are so many free alternatives, I can only assume that they have a service worth paying for. I thought the Founder represented the company well in answering my questions and (to his credit) was as transparent as I thought he should be with my questions and the queries others had during my visit there.  I did not ask about their latest commercial when I was there, but after a few email exchanges, I found out that the people featured in the commercial are all customers of  TheLadders and that (in some sort of survey) the ad has a “3 to 1 positive sentiment.”

SIDEBAR: Umm… okay, for the record, I thought the commercial was weird and wacky and if the intention was to spark controversy, it definitely did its work.  I thought the concept was cool, but the finished production was a bit too edgy for my tastes. Just sayin…  Also for the record, I LOVE their commercial featuring the b-movie monster and the one where they place $100K under sealed glass in a public square. Very, very cool! Okay, back to my rant now…

A day or so ago, I caught wind of a disturbance in the force. It seems that some of my colleagues who attended the Position Accomplished Summit were getting some flack about posting their (overall) positive opinion of TheLadders. I read through some of the comments and raised an eyebrow at how passionately (some) people were against TheLadders and even going so far as to call them a scam.  Wow!

I scanned through the article about TheLadders being a scam and if it is true, I would be very surprised.  I did not get the impression that TheLadders were run by shysters, but by people who are (presumably) trying to prevent a negative online reputation and more importantly, seeking to bring the best value they can to their customers. My conversations at TheLadders extended to several people who worked there and not just the Founder. Just FYI…

Okay, so I have never been a customer and prior to my visit was wholly indifferent to them, so far be it from me to be an apologist for them now. What I can say is that after being there,  my impression of the company was positive. I thought the people I met represented them well.  From what I could see, they are serious about customer service and they are hungry for more success. Yes, I could be totally wrong and simply conned into this impression, but I doubt it.

For the sake of being objective, here are a few links from my colleagues who attended the “Position Accomplished” Summit so you can read what they have to say:

And here are a few links from a couple of people who were not in attendance, but whose opinions I respect nonetheless.

So, when its all said and done, my position is this. Their service costs $35.00 (more or less, I think that’s the cost) a month. They even have some sort of free version you can play around with as well. If you like their service (and a lot of people do), then keep paying for it. If  you don’t like the service, don’t buy it. At the end of the day, that is the only real choice to be made.

If you care to vent about TheLadders or pose questions to them, feel free to leave a comment below. I will give them a heads up and ask them to respond in kind. For now, scroll down a bit further and check out the video I made commemorating my trip. Hope you enjoy it.  (If not, I will refund your money back.) Cheers…  Jim

Road Trip to


P.S. TheLadders did not pay me to produce this video. I just thought it would make a great blogpost. Just fyi…

How to look for work without angering your boss

Q: Jim, I have a job, but I need another one for several reasons. I don’t want to plaster my resume all over the place because I am concerned that one of the recruiters might see it or worse, my manager discovers it. I do NOT want to be without a job and to tell the truth, a promotion (with extra pay) would be good about now, but… I really want to leave. I know I’m all over the place with this request, but can you help me?


Desperate, but working

A:Okay, I think I have a solution for you “Desperate” but, it will take a little bit of work. Create a report on something pertaining to your industry as a way of promoting your employer. At the end of the report, have an “About The Writer” section with a short bio that promotes your background. In this way, you are taking initiative to promote your employer and (possibly) get on a fast-track for promotion. Embedded below is a whitepaper I did to promote a recruiter training website I produced called – The Searchologist. Check out the “About The Writer” section on page two for a working example of what I mean.

Which Resume Sourcing Tool Should I use?

Not sure what to write about? Here are a few ideas:

* My report (obviously) was a consumer report. Can you do something similar that puts your employer in a positive light?
* How about interviewing several satisfied customers and compiling a report of testimonials?
* Do a bit of research and find comments made about your employer. Use that to create a collection of testimonials.

Once you have your report, send it to various bloggers who report on your industry and (if the force is with you) they will share your findings with their audience. After reading it, someone could notice your bio and think that you might be someone who would be a good fit for their company. Okay, so maybe its a long shot, but its possible. I would very much like to hear what other people think of this strategy.

Do you think this is a good idea?

How can I improve my phone interviews?

Q: My phone interviewing skills are rubbish. I need help. How can I improve my phone interviews?

A: Umm… I would suggest recording your phone interviews, listen to yourself objectively, spot your mistakes and work towards improving them. Since I have no idea of what your specific mistakes are and (forgive me) have a strict work / life balanced schedule, I cannot give better advice than that. Umm… Hmm… Oh wait, you might be wondering about equipment you can use to make said recording. If so, I HIGHLY recommend Google Voice.

Now before I go any further, let me err on the side of caution and say that different laws apply to call recording so check with the current state and federal laws as far as that is concerned. To be on the safe side, when you use Google Voice to record your call, Google shouts it out on your call something like, “…this call is being recorded.” I’m not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but I can tell you that some states require both parties to consent to recording a phonecall whereas others require only one person on the call to consent. Which states? Again, I don’t know, just sayin’…

First thing first is to get a Google Voice number, which is free, so no pressure there. One your call is initiated, simply press 4. You can do it when you first accept a call, or any time after it’s started. To stop the recording, press 4 again or hang up. And badda-boom, badda-bing, Google adds a MP3 recording of your call to your Google Voice account. You can even download it! How convenient is that? Anyways, that is what I suggest you do.

Anyone know of other tools out there for recording phonecalls? (Preferably free tools)

How do I get noticed by a hiring manager? (Part 3)

Hmm… This one question is getting a lot of mileage. Should I stop? Let me know in the comments.

Q: How do I get noticed by a Hiring Manager? (Part 3)

A:Once you have found magazines, trade journals, newsletters, whatever, that speak to your niche, look at the advertising. Chances are the companies featured in the magazine have a job opening or, may soon have a job opening. It can’t hurt to look them up and see what’s what. Maybe you can get lucky and strike up a conversation on how you can save them the expense of posting a job opening for a certain role because you already fit the bill. Just sayin’…

Hmm… I think I am beating a dead horse with this strategy as I cannot think of anything else to do with magazines as a resource for jobs, so… Oh, wait, I just thought of something else. (Smile)

Most magazines have a feedback section, sometimes its called “Letters to the Editor,” but its all the same. People who have read the previous issue share their thoughts on what they read. In many cases the person commenting will list their names, emails and (in fewer cases) their website address. Why not comment in this printed forum and instead of a website (assuming that you do not have one) list a link to your Linkedin profile or (better yet) a link to your resumebear resume. At least if you do that, you can get stats on when it was seen, printed and/or forwarded. Just a thought…

For inspiration, I am sharing an image of the feedback section of “Fast Company” magazine. The arrow is pointing to someone’s name, location and email address. Wouldn’t it be amazing if a hiring manager happened to be reading your brilliant comment and send an email to you for more information? Hey, it could happen, but only if you write in. Just sayin’…


How do I get noticed by a Hiring Manager? (Part 2)

In my last post, I answered the question, “How do I get noticed by a Hiring Manager?” by suggesting that you get yourself featured in the news. In this post, I want to go a bit deeper with that strategy.

Q: How do I get noticed by a Hiring Manager? (Part 2)

A: Look up reporters that specialize in your niche and get them to quote and/or write about you. This may sound like a daunting task, but its actually quite easy. Well, its easy to find them, getting them to write about you is the challenge. To do that, go to the library (or bookstore) and pick up a copy of “Writer’s Market.” Its a NICE resource that gives you a list of all the consumer magazines and trade journals in circulation. At least, I think they list everyone, if not, certainly most of them.

Once you find a magazine that catches your eye, get a copy of it and take note of the people who wrote the articles. Send an email to the reporters / writers of the articles (and sending one to the Editor wouldn’t hurt) citing yourself as an expert willing to be quoted in an article. (What’s the worse they can say?)

Writer’s Market has a website that you can subscribe to for a nominal fee ($5.99), but I prefer the hardcopy. I guess I’m old school that way.

Do you know of any other resources that will let me connect with reporters who report on industry specific issues? If so, leave me a comment as (contrary to popular belief) I do not know everything.