• Would you mind replying to this employer about a job?

    Whenever a recruiter posts a job with us, we want to connect our members as quickly as possible. So we look through our whole directory of members, including you, to find those best fit for the job.

    And then we send that job, real-time, via an e-mail hiring alert, to a select group of professionals like you.

    How select?

    Well, on average, about 125 of you, which results in 3 to 4 applications for each job.

    We’ll send the job to fewer or more professionals depending on what the computer tells us, but the goal is to get about 3 to 4 of you who might not have seen the job, and might potentially be the right fit, to apply. That’s our target based on our conversations with recruiters about what makes the most sense for them.

    Win-win.

    So when you see something like this in your Inbox (or in “Activity” on our website or app)…



    …you’ll know that it’s a job hot off the presses, and that, if you decide to apply, the magic of modern computer science can let you feel comfortable that you’re one of just a handful of professionals who feel equally excited about it.

    The match, by the way, is based on the information you’ve given us, so the great thing is, the more info you give us, the better we can target you with jobs. Update your profile here to let us understand you better.

    Again, these alerts are sent out in real-time when a recruiter posts a job. The early bird gets the worm, so you should take advantage of this personalized heads-up about a new job opportunity.

    Have an easy week on the job search, Readers!

  • How to win in 3 easy dreams or less

    I’ve shared a stage with Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP, in the past, and to that old showbiz saying about never sharing a stage with children or animals if you want to get noticed, let me add Bill. There’s probably a picture of him on Wikipedia under ‘charismatic’, and he’s just a wonderful guy to hear speak… from the audience… not if you’re up next.

    So when I heard he was writing a book with my good friend Joanne Gordon, whose previous hits have included writing with the CEO of Starbucks and sharing the stories of 100 successful women in business, I was pretty excited.

    Well, the book is coming out tomorrow and I managed to persuade Joanne & Bill & their publishers Simon & Schuster to share, exclusively with TheLadders audience, these three excerpts.

    I’m pretty sure you’re going to want to pre-order “Winners Dream” here. (And, by the way, if you’d like to see all the SAP jobs available on TheLadders today, go here.)

    ~~~

    Want It More

    Context: Bill grew up in working class Amityville, Long Island and went to Dowling College, which he paid for with profits from a small corner deli he owned and operated. He dreamed of working in Manhattan, wearing a suit and tie. At 21, a sales job at Xerox was his dream. This is his final interview the day he went to Xerox to compete with dozens of other recent college grads, most of whom had degrees and pedigrees far more impressive than his, and wearing suits much more polished than his $99 one.

     
    I wait on a bench with one other applicant in the demo room, where Xerox showcases all of its machines. It’s like a museum overlooking Central Park. I’m on top of the world, and if I want to stay here, I must nail this final interview.

    After about an hour, the wall clock ticks closer to five o’clock. I figure that Mr. Fullwood has either forgotten about us, or this wait is a test. I walk up to the receptionist. Her desk plate tells me her first name is Joanne.

    “Joanne, I just want to introduce myself. I’m Bill McDermott, and I am waiting for an interview with Mr. Fullwood, and I’m not in any way impatient. I just want you to let Mr. Fullwood know that no matter how long I have to wait, I will be here when it is convenient for him. But please give him the message that I will not go anywhere; I will be here as long as he wants me to wait.” Joanne smiles as she gets up and goes into his office with a piece of paper.

    In a few minutes, she comes out and motions for me to follow her down a long hallway toward Mr. Fullwood’s corner office. Standing in front of me is a handsome gentleman. He is beautifully groomed and impeccably dressed. I take a seat and a deep breath and hear my mom’s voice: “Bill, there’s no ceiling on you. There’s nothing that you cannot do. Just remember, be yourself, that’s the most important part of you. Just be you.”

    Mr. Fullwood apologizes for running late, and the interview begins. It is just an incredible exchange. I am so happy to be here, in this moment, and Mr. Fullwood is a delightful, honest, open man. He asks me about my college experience, the deli, my parents, what I believe in. Finally, he asks me what I want.

    “Bill, what’s your dream?” No one outside my family has ever asked me what I want, but it’s a question I’ve waited years to be asked by someone who has power to grant it to me. I tell him how I admire David Kearns’s [Xerox's CEO] focus on quality, and how I am willing to do anything for Xerox. “Sir, one day I would hope to become the CEO.” Nothing in my upbringing informed me that such an ambitious answer for an entry-level job could be taken for hubris, or come off as insincere, let alone ridiculous. I am just being me, full-throttle Bill. While other applicants are “considering their options,” and going for some sales job, I am going for a dream.

    “Bill, it was very nice meeting you,” he says at the end of the interview “You obviously have tremendous passion. We have very rigorous processes here at Xerox to review candidates. The human resources department will get in touch with you in the next few weeks. Thank you very much for your time.” Oh, we are not done.

    “Mr. Fullwood, I don’t think you completely understand the situation.” I pause, and then explain. “I told my father as I left him at the train station today, that I guaranteed I would come home tonight with my employee badge in my pocket. In twenty-one years, I’ve never broken a promise to my dad, and I can’t start now.” Silence. I don’t fill it. Mr. Fullwood looks at me with his head kind of tilted, like a puppy waiting to see what I’m going to do next, but I don’t make the next move. This man doesn’t know my family history, and I don’t want or need him to know about the floods or the fire or how often my dad works overtime. No one owes me anything because of my past. All I can do in the present is ask for a chance to be miraculous in the future I look into Mr. Fullwood’s eyes until he smiles.

    “Bill McDermott, I am going to do something I have never done in all my years at Xerox and hire you today. As long as you haven’t broken any laws, you can go home and tell your father that you will be working for Xerox.”

    I have to be sure I am hearing what I think I am hearing, because this is big.

    “Mr. Fullwood, when you do the background check on me, I’ll check out just fine, but I do want to confirm that you’re going to hire me at the Xerox Corporation and I’m going to work for this company, yes? You’ve given me the job, is that right?” He nods as if even he can’t believe it, and as I shake his hand, he holds it.

    “Mr. McDermott, that’s right.” I gotta hug this man, so I do.

    “Mr. Fullwood, I won’t let you down. Thank you. Thank you very much.” I pump his hand a few more times before leaving his office. I high-five Joanne on my way to the elevator and wave to the other applicant, still sitting on the bench.

    Thirty-eight floors down, I charge out of the front of the building, onto Fifty-Seventh Street, and into the rush-hour flow of men with loosened ties and women in their business suits and sneakers. I run west toward Sixth Avenue, and on the corner I see a restaurant called the Bun n’ Burger. I walk inside, find a pay phone, and take a
    quarter out of my suit pocket. I dial my house and get my mom and dad on the phone. “Break out the Korbel,” I declare. “I got the job! We’re gonna celebrate tonight!”

    ~~~

    Register Ambition

    Context: In his early years as a salesman at Xerox, Bill is passed up for a job he wants, and does not take it lightly.

      Early one Wednesday morning, I leave my parents’ house in the dark and instead of catching my train, I drive my Firebird over the New York State border toward Xerox’s offices in Stamford, Connecticut, where the top regional executives work. When I park in the empty lot, at about seven o’clock, the lights in the building still haven’t been lit.

    I have no appointment, and my surprise visit has the potential to scorch my career. I’m just a low-level marketing rep showing up unannounced to see Roy Haythorn, a vice president and general manager of Xerox’s eastern region, for one reason: I’d been passed up for a promotion to an account representative position.

    I know Roy from last year’s President’s Club trip, the annual celebration for Xerox’s top sales performers. He’s one of the most dynamic leaders I’ve seen at Xerox. Relentlessly upbeat, the man believes that everyone should win on merit. Roy’s also a bit of a gunslinger. He holds monthly instead of quarterly meetings so that his teams know exactly what to do to hit their sales targets, and when his people succeed, Roy throws spontaneous, often lavish celebrations. I like Roy.

    My intent here is not to reverse the decision and get the job I’d lost.

    I am here to understand why and to make sure that Xerox’s leadership understands my ambitions. If I was passed over for performance, I need to know how I can improve. But if I was overlooked for reasons that had nothing to do with my skills, I want to register with Roy just how serious I am about excelling-and working for a company that makes that happen for people who show results.

    Sitting in my car, waiting for a parade of Mercedes-Benzes and BMWs to arrive, I contemplate other outcomes. If Roy refuses to see me, I’ll assume that Xerox does not stand by its open-door policy, and I’ll consider quitting. If, after our meeting, I don’t believe Roy supports me, I’ll assume that Xerox isn’t sincere about nurturing top talent, and I’ll send my résumé to a company that is-like one of the financial firms that are always trying to poach people from our sales force. A third scenario, I know, is that I’ll leave Stamford satisfied, but because I broke the coveted chain of command, people below Roy will retaliate and sabotage my career. It’s a risk, but I cannot hesitate to ask for what I want.

    As a kid, when I delivered newspapers, I walked up to strangers’ front doors and asked for unpaid route money. As a salesperson, when I make cold calls, I almost always ask for the order. Now, to ensure that I do not fall through corporate cracks, I have to ask for the job I want. Here we go.

    Inside the lobby, I ask the receptionist for Mr. Haythorn’s floor, flash my business card, and am waved through. I exit the elevator and walk past offices lining the perimeter. The quiet, stark décor has the hushed aura of power, which pumps me up even more than New York City’s bustle. I approach Roy’s assistant with a smile. He has just arrived. One moment. Yes, he will see me.

    In his office, I thank Roy for his time and explain that I was passed up for an account representative job. Roy has no idea I was not promoted. The account job is three levels below this man’s radar.

    “Mr. Haythorn, I did not come here to get anyone in trouble or to ask for the assignment,” I say. “The decision has been made; I understand that. I am here to understand why I was not selected, given that my sales were three times higher than the sales of the person who got the job, and to understand how I can do better so I can keep moving up, because that’s why I came to work for Xerox.” I am not asking Roy for a guarantee that I’ll get any gig I want. I’m asking to be heard, to be mentored, to be seen as a contender for top jobs.’

    “Bill, I’m glad you came and brought this to my attention.” I’m relieved. Roy doesn’t sound annoyed. “Today is important, Bill, but the long haul is more important. Nine times out of ten, things will go right for you, but maybe one time out of ten, they won’t. Don’t let that stand in the way of your ambition.” Roy was telling me to be patient. Then he said, “As long as you perform, and as long as I’m around, things will be good for you at Xerox.” I believe him. Take care of your top performers, and they will take care of you. When I get up to leave, we shake hands. “Thank you, Roy. Thank you for your support.”

    On the way out of the building, I see Emerson Fullwood, polished as ever but shocked to see me walking Stamford’s hallowed halls.

    “Bill, what’s going on?”

    “Emerson, I was passed up for a job, and I needed to understand why. So I came to see Mr. Haythorn.” Emerson thinks I’ve gone too far. He too urges me to have patience. He assures me my time will come.

    Was I being too bold? To me, approaching Roy was no different from approaching the top manager at the Finast supermarket to state my case instead of hoping my application got noticed in the pile. I respected protocol. But in truth, I didn’t have the patience to let it thwart my career. I had to speak to someone who believed that performance deserved to be rewarded. That was Roy.

    Driving back into Manhattan, I feel as if I’ve accomplished something much greater than if I had actually gotten the promotion: I had stood up for myself. No one would ever care about my career as much as I did. Careers had to be nurtured and protected, and that was how I would go after my dreams. As long as I acted with integrity- I wouldn’t badmouth or offend others-I felt comfortable, and unapologetic, being my bold self.

    A few months later, when an account representative position opens up, I am chosen to fill it.

    ~~~

    Follow your Heart

    Context: Bill has been with Xerox about 15 years and is feeling antsy to leave, but is not sure where to go. The career lesson I personally love here is not to let your desire to leave a job dictate when and where you land. Wait for the right opportunity.

      It’s New Year’s Eve, and instead of celebrating the millennium, I’m pacing. I have until midnight to sign an offer letter that will make me president of an internet company called Techies .com. The Minnesota-based start-up is on the verge of an initial public offering during the hottest stock market in American history-but I can’t bring myself to sign the letter. What’s wrong with me? Today, December 31, 1999, the Dow Jones and the NASDAQ closed at record highs. I now have a chance to take part in the gold rush-if I sign that paper and fax it back by midnight.

    So what’s up?

    The home phone rings. I know it’s Techies .com’s VCs, the guys that faxed me the document hours earlier.

    “Julie, tell them I’m stuck in a snow drift.” She picks up the phone and looks out the window. It’s not snowing.

    Techies .com was not profitable, but that didn’t seem to matter to investors. Like most online companies that started up during the internet craze, the excitement surrounding Techies .com was based on millions of dollars in funding and promises, not proof, of success. I’d met the management team and liked everyone well enough. The company’s business model-to collect revenues from technology job postings and create a community of tech workers-was simple
    enough. Plus, the company was about to close $22 million in financing, and in January it was scheduled to file its S-1 with the SEC for its impending IPO. By spring, Techies .com could make me a billionaire, at least on paper. So why am I pacing? Am I not ready to leave Xerox? I get on the phone and tell the investors I’m sorry, I can’t accept their offer. Even as the words tumble out of my mouth, a part of me wants to shove them back in. The VCs ask why. I tell them what’s in my heart: if I say yes, I’m fairly sure I’d be doing it for the wrong reason. “The only thing about your company that really interests me is the money,” I admit. “And that’s the wrong reason to work for anyone.”

    I hang up feeling relief and regret. Did I blow it? “Poof, there goes a billion dollars. Happy New Year.” Julie looks at me, cool-headed.

    “Bill,” she says, “you didn’t say no to the money, you said no to something that you didn’t believe was right for you.”

    Julie is, as usual, correct. If and when I leave Xerox, it has to be for a company with a reputation I am proud to be associated with, a business I can get passionate about, and a name I want next to mine on a business card. Most dot-coms were babies, barely old enough to have a reputation.

    My Techies .com debate did serve a purpose. It stirred my desire for something more. But as hungry as I was, the decision to leave a company and the decision about where to go were two distinct choices. I could not let my desire to fly exert too much influence over my choice about where to land next.

    I returned to work after the holidays with a hunch that I would not be at Xerox much longer.

    [On May 2, 2000, Techies .com rescinded its plans for an IPO. Had I taken that job, I would have lost the only thing about the company that interested me. The money. Bullet dodged.]

    ~~~

    What inspires in Bill’s story isn’t the success, of course, but the setbacks. Maybe you can see yourself in the eager college-grad, or the ambition-burning junior employee, or the wary and experienced senior exec.

    And what I love about the story here is how it puts you in Bill’s shoes and you feel the frustration and the elation and the anxiety of success-to-be. You’re on board for the journey and come out the other side feeling like maybe today is the day you’ll dream just a little bit harder.

    Have a great week in the search, Readers, and I hope you’ll enjoy Bill (and Joanne’s) book as much as I did!

  • The 8-minute resume

    I always recommend you get your resume professionally written, but for those of you who have a “do-it-yourself” mentality, I’ve put together this simple 8-minute guide. It’ll take you 8 minutes to read, probably an hour or two to do, and provide months of benefit in reducing your resume anxiety.

    My recommendations below are for a professional with 10 to 25 years experience. For those with fewer than 10 years, you’re likely better off with a 1-page resume, for those with more than 25 years and at very senior levels, three may sometimes be appropriate. But seriously, if that’s you, you’re shouldn’t be relying on your own typing skills to market your self.

    As with any “do-it-yourself” project, the key to success is to not get in over your head. So the instructions below are a simplified version of my best advice, tailored to be achievable by you on your own. Again, I must recommend that it’s much better for you to get a professional to do this for you, but if you’re set on “do it yourself”, here goes!….

    Resume Goal

    First, the goal of your resume is to get you an interview for the job. You may believe your resume has other purposes:
    - To showcase your every achievement
    - To justify why you’re changing jobs
    - To explain why you’ve left so many, or so few, jobs in your career
    - To mention when you received promotions awards, or recognition
    - To describe the size of organization or team or budget you had responsibility for
    - To land you a job offer without an interview

    Trust me, none of those are the goals of your resume. Actually, don’t trust me. Read our research on how long recruiters spend on your resume. The answer is 6 seconds for the first pass.

    So the goal of your resume is to get you the interview.

    You get the interview by persuading 3 layers of reviewers that time spent with you will be worth more than time spent with another candidate. I’ll describe below who these 3 layers are — screeners, recruiters, and hiring managers.

    You’ll persuade those reviewers by providing quantifiably proven results that you can do the job very well.

    Resume length and structure

    Your resume will be 2 pages total.

    It will be composed of a professional summary and a chronological detail of your professional success. I won’t address your contact information at the head of the resume, or your educational background at the bottom of the resume in this newsletter (but of course, they should definitely be there!)

    Professional Summary

    Your professional summary is a separated list of two or three lines that summarizes your professional ambitions, background, and talents. You’ll include 12 -15 phrases of two or three words each in this section. On your resume, you should begin this section with the three or four job titles you want most, and then intersperse the skills and successes…

    Job titles: list 3 to 5 job titles of jobs you would actually accept as your next job. It does not matter that you have never actually had this job title in the past, but it is important that it is a plausible next step in your professional career. A job search that includes both small and large companies will have a broader range of job titles than one specifically focusing on, say, the Fortune 500.

    Examples: VP, Marketing • Director, Marketing • Brand Marketing Leader • CMO

    Professional skills: list 4 to 6 skills that you possess that are important to your success in the jobs outlined above. They should be skills you currently possess and should be “level appropriate”. I.e., don’t list skills that are obvious or would be assumed for your level. If you’re applying for C-suite jobs, listing “time management” or “presentation skills” would be far too junior to mention in your summary.

    Examples: Agile Development • Software Architecture • Engineer Recruiting • Technology Innovation

    Descriptions of your past success: list 3 to 6 phrases that describe your demonstrated past success. Any type of achievements or attributes for which you have received recognition are appropriate.

    Examples: President’s Club • Top-producing Saleswoman • Exceeds Quota • Consultative Selling Expert

    Chronological detail of your professional success

    In this section you will provide a chronological detail of your professional success, starting with your most recent job first. Notice the word choices here, please. We are detailing your success. We are not listing your past job titles or duties. We are not describing your staff composition or budget size or administrative systems used.

    Again, your resume is a marketing document and needs to persuade your reviewers that time spent with you will be worthwhile, so we are going to detail your success.

    You’ll have about 30 ~ 40 bullet points across all your current and past positions, and each of these will be a marketing bullet point that will make one persuasive argument on your behalf.

    After you list company name, employment dates, and your title for each role, the bullet points will be distributed as follows:

    • Your most recent, most important, job gets 8 bullet points.
    • Your next job also gets 8 bullet points.
    • Your next two jobs get 4 bullet points each.
    • Everything else – all of your past jobs together, even if they were your favorite, most nostalgic, most enjoyable times in your life — get just ten bullet points total. Nobody is hiring you today for the job you had a decade ago.

    It’s important to note that this distribution is across each job or title, not company. So if you’ve been at the same shop for 20 years, you should be splitting up your 30 bullet points across the different job levels and titles you’ve had.

    The basic structure of a marketing bullet point is a success verb and a number.

    Every bullet point in your success resume must include a number expressed in dollars, percentages, or a simple, “plain old”, straight-up number.

    Importantly, every bullet point in your resume must include a success verb. These are verbs that show success – something got better. So verbs such as increased, decreased, improved, reduced, etc., are what we are looking for. Explicitly forbidden are static verbs — “managed”, “my responsibilities included”, “I was hired to…”, etc. Verbs that merely describe a fact of the matter rather than show you in a heroic light.

    Now with more time, we might get into a host of other success verbs, but we’ve only got 8 minutes, so I am greatly limiting the scope below. You are going to copy and paste these exact 8 bullets into the section describing your first job and your second job. You are going to pick 4 from this list for each of your next three jobs.

    This seems boring, but it really doesn’t matter. Unless you are applying to be a thesaurus writer, nobody cares how clever your success verbs are. The millions of hours lost each year to professionals like you looking up synonyms for “improved” is a complete waste of time — none of the three layers of reviewers are grading you for verbal facility.

    So with that, here are your 8 bullet points for your 8-minute resume:

    - Increased x by %
    - Decreased x by %
    - Improved x by $
    - Reduced x by $
    - Introduced new x that led to # more….
    - Removed old x that led to # less…
    - Successfully added # new x….
    - Achieved the removal of # new x…

    You will copy and paste these bullet points into your resume and then fill in the blanks.

    “x” can be profits, costs, clients, vendors, products, practice areas, strategies, risk, volatility, etc. And, of course, it’s important to have a number, dollar, or percentage increase / decrease mentioned in each bullet point. You’ll be surprised at how many you can write using this template, and how this process jogs your memory for all the great stuff you’ve done…

    - Increased new customer visits by 17% without increasing ad budget.
    - Decreased AWS bill by 42% through improved architecture (vs. 19% industry average).
    - Improved revenue per SaaS client by $4,250 through consultative sales training.
    - Reduced cost-per-hire by $7,010 through employee referral program via TheLadders’ Maven app.
    - Introduced 2 new products that led to 2,500,000 more MAUs.
    - Removed old systems that led to a 75 FTE reduction in offshore headcount.
    - Successfully added 3 productive warehouses to our nationwide network.
    - Achieved the removal of 5,000 external firm billable hours per year by reorganizing internal staffing.

    But, you might say, I brought amazing non-quantified value to the organization! I introduced Agile Development, led a huge bond offering, brought innovative logistics strategies to bear, or reorganized our selling methodology.

    Yes. I agree those are impressive and important achievements.

    But they are only impressive and important to the extent they are quantifiable. New methodologies, exhibiting leadership, or bringing innovation to a company are interesting to your bosses’ bosses only to the extent they improve, quantifiably, the outcome of the company — more users, more revenue, faster turnaround, higher client satisfaction.

    In the interests of getting you out of here in 8 minutes, however, I’ll make a concession. You get 3 “mulligans” — three bullet points in your resume where you don’t have to produce a quantifiable result. That’ll be our compromise, OK?

    Overall, the above outline is remarkably simple because the job search process, despite all the anxiety and confusion, is remarkably simple. You want to do work similar to the work you’ve done before but at a new place and a new level. To do so, you need to explain to new people what can give them confidence that you will be able to contribute to the new team. The easiest way to do that is to share numerical data that show you have contributed in the past and can, therefore, contribute in the future.

    Your audience

    Your resume is a marketing document that needs to get past three people to get you your interview:

    A junior resume screener who is comparing your resume to a list of skills, titles, or companies that he or she is given by the recruiter. Overly clever resumes or cutesy positioning can really kill you with this person, because they don’t understand the nod and the wink that comes with writing “Chief Bottle Washer” when you really mean “Co-Founder”. For these reviewers, the choice of phrases in the professional summary is especially important.

    A recruiter, whether internal or external, who, on average, will give your resume 6 seconds first screening. And then, perhaps, spend 2 – 3 minutes with it to make sure you’re worth presenting to the client or hiring manager. By giving them easy-to-digest numbers they can share with the client or hiring manager, you make it much easier to present you, rather than some other candidate, for the interview.

    The hiring manager who will be interested in finding out “what can this person do for me and my team in the next year or two.” This person will review your resume in more detail. She will be looking for indications that you have previously solved the types of problems this job will have to deal with.

    Your goal is to quantifiably prove that you can. Numbers are the most persuasive friends you have in this situation. Every bullet point spent on describing historical circumstances, promotions, or scope of responsibilities is wasted and lost on a hiring manager.

    Eight minutes to a better resume

    By following the above, you’ll be in a much, much better place than with other methods of do-it-yourself resumes. Of course, there’s a lot of nuance that 8 minutes can’t get you, but the above is ⅔ of the way there.

    And with that, have a great week in the job search, Readers!

  • My single best tip

    In the decade I’ve been writing this newsletter, the single best tip I’ve given, that has come back to me over, and over, and over again, is this:

    When it gets to that part of the interview with your future boss where they ask, "well, do you have any questions for me?", say yes, and ask:

    "How do I help you get a gold star on your review next year?"

    This bit of advice has helped more people in more interviews than any other bit of advice I’ve shared in the last decade that I’ve been writing to you.

    Why?

    Well, the interview process lends itself to self-absorption. We spend so much of the time talking about ourselves that we sound like one of those people who talks only about themselves.

    Or, conversely, we become "job analysis engineers" and ask all sorts of questions about the job and reporting structure and how it fits in with the company’s five-year plan and so on. I love getting questions from candidates in interviews, but I do have to admit I feel that they’re not quite getting the point of a "face-to-face" interview when they pull out six pages of typed, single-spaced questions and promptly bury their nose in their papers without making eye contact.

    We get so obsessed with the details of the job that we forget about the work.

    Working together and being a good addition to the team mean being concerned with how you are making the team successful. And that means being concerned with how much you are helping to make your boss successful.

    Asking this question shows that you have empathy. It shows that you have an interest in your boss’ career and future success. It shows that you are not just a self-absorbed "what’s-in-it-for-me" kind of person. And it shows that you know you are there to "give" as much as you are there to "get".

    Dozens of subscribers have told me how the interviewer’s face lights up when asked this question. I have heard time and time and time again from our six million subscribers how effective it’s been in interviews.

    (And, remember, you want the vibe to be a cool & relaxed Vince Vaughn, not an obsequious Steve Buscemi.)

    The gold star question is an easy tip to implement in your job search: it’s easy to do, easy to understand, and it’s easy to measure.

    And that makes it my best bit of career advice in over a decade of doling it out.

    So thank you, Dear Readers, for paying attention, trying it out, and letting me know how it goes…

  • Please review the other applicants for this job first.

    Would you like to see the name, title, compensation, work history and educational background of each person applying to the same jobs you’re applying to here at TheLadders?

    Well, I can’t show you name, and sometimes I need to truncate the title in order to preserve anonymity, but our popular feature "Scout" shows you the compensation, skills, title, work and educational background as well as overall years of experience for each applicant to the jobs posted directly here on TheLadders.

    For obvious reasons, we can’t show you personally identifiable information like current employer.

    But for understanding how realistic your prospects are in 2014, and how stiff the competition is, there’s no better insight on the web. (Or mobile.)

    For example, here’s a closeup of the two parts of an applicant for a Director of Strategic Planning job:

    Vice President of Marketing

    This person’s current title is Vice President of Marketing, their compensation is around $160K, and they have over 15 years experience.

    How you compare

    The other half of the graphic shows you the salaries, years of experience, and education level of all the applicants to the job, and where "you" place. (When you log-in to your account the "you" arrows will accurately reflect the information you’ve given us, so you can compare easily.)

    Here’s an applicant for a VP Technology job, with a degree from Cal and over 15 years experience:

    VP of Technology

    Or a candidate for a Regional Vice President, Sales job:

    Regional Vice President of Sales

    Or a Director, Human Resources position:

    VP / Director of HR

    This information is helpful to you, because it allows you to understand the type of experience and background that others are bringing to their applications for the job, and the landscape of available options as the employer or recruiter may see it.

    From this, you’re better able to determine when you’d be a top prospect for a position, or, alternatively, when you’re kidding yourself about your suitability for a job. When every other applicant is much more experienced or a higher pay-grade than you, it’s best for you to save your clicks for another day.

    And that lets you spend your time more wisely.

    It also looks great on the iPhone and Android, so you can make the most of your airport downtime:

    TheLadders on mobile devices

    Make sure you get all the advantages you need to get to the finish line in the job search by using “Scout” this fall!

  • These companies are hiring, can you help?

    It’s my birthday today, but the gifts are for you! Today we have more jobs, more recruiters, and more hiring activity on TheLadders than ever before.

    So take a look this partial list of top employers on TheLadders and select your own best present to yourself… a job you can truly love for years to come:

    Amazon
    Coca-Cola
    Microsoft
    Intel
    Fresenius
    Citi
    MetLife
    PwC
    Gentiva Health Services, Inc.
    Kforce Inc.
    Capital One
    Aetna
    Gentiva
    Baxter
    Nigel Frank International Inc.
    BAE Systems
    CSC
    Thermo Fisher Scientific
    StaffingForce
    Chrysler
    Axius Technologies Inc
    Quintiles
    Financial Services Company
    Next Step Systems
    Career Development Partners
    Evan Thomas
    ThriveIT
    Mason Frank International
    Open Systems Technologies
    DMC
    Valleysoft Inc
    Robert Half Technology
    Crowe Horwath
    Bloomberg
    Paychex
    Bey
    Office Depot
    HiredMD
    Synvolve
    UTC Aerospace Systems
    Arrow Electronics
    Ingram Micro
    Unisys
    Avanade
    Parallel Partners
    Comcast
    CGB Consultores
    TCS
    Ginas Tech Jobs
    Aon Hewitt
    Flowserve Corporation
    Cameron Craig
    ADP Corporate
    Celgene Corporation
    MMC
    HCA
    McGraw Hill Financial
    Nuance
    JAS Recruitment
    NewTown Solutions
    Heartland Payment Systems
    EappsTech llc
    Pitney Bowes
    On-Board
    Softworld Inc
    Allstate
    First Data
    Molina Healthcare
    The Davis Companies
    Robert Half Legal
    Enterprise Products Company
    U.S. Cellular
    Dignity Health
    UPS
    University of Miami
    Avis Budget Group
    Progeny Human Resource Solutions
    Technology Navigators
    VUI
    NTT DATA, Inc.
    Insperity
    Lucas Group
    Worldpay
    EApps Tech LLC
    Robert Bosch Shared Services
    Bravens Inc
    Sedgwick CMS
    Caesars Entertainment
    Rangam Consultants Inc.
    Level 3 Communications
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota
    NCR
    The Creative Group
    3K Consulting Inc.
    The Bowdoin Group
    Staples
    Pro Services
    KORE
    Diebold, Inc.
    Visiting Nurse Service of New York

    When you land it, let me know @cenedella and I’ll make sure to wish you an early Happy Birthday!

  • Hired!

    Thousands of your fellow subscribers have found their new jobs this summer on TheLadders!

    So while we don’t have the space to share them all, here are a hundred of the top positions landed by your fellow subscribers through TheLadders.com this summer:

    Title Salary Location
    VP, Human Resources $170K Connecticut
    Revenue Cycle Manager $93K Indianapolis, IN
    Director Digital Marketing $125K Boca Faton, FL
    Account Executive $100K Seattle, WA
    Operations Manager $140K Chicago, IL
    Systems Manager $104K Lenexa, KS
    Sales Manager $140K Springfield, MA
    Manager of IT $100K Orlando, FL
    Director Business Development $90K Atlanta, GA
    National Account Executive $105K Louisville KY
    Packaging Consultant $75K Kansas City, MO
    Director of HR $150K Hartford, CT
    Factory Manager $110K Portland, OR
    Senior Architect $130K Corona, CA
    Territory Account Manager $65K Dallas, TX
    Director of Quality $130K Bossier City, LA
    Senior Software Engineer $125K New York, NY
    Global Process Owner $140K Charlotte, NC
    Director of Operations $100K Kentucky
    Director of Quality Assurance $150K Lake Forest, IL
    Complex Manager $185K Douglas, GA
    Account Manager $50K Alabama
    Chief Operating Officer $180K New Jersey
    Finance Manager $165K New York, NY
    Claims Representative $55K Indianapolis, IN
    Director of Marketing $145K Boston, MA
    Regional Business Development Manager $80K Chicago, IL
    Director of Field Marketing $185K Sunnyvale, CA
    Engineering Manager $120K Eau Claire, WI
    Process Manager, Blackbelt $83K Frisco, TX
    Lead Process Controls Engineer $130K Louisiana
    Sr. Enterprise Account Manager $116K Bend, OR
    Point of Care Specialist $85K Milwaukee, WI
    Director of IT $170K Virginia
    Plant Manager $90K Florida
    SVP, Marketing $160K St. Louis, MO
    Director of Alliances $150K Portland, OR
    Senior Director, Marketing $160K Princeton, NJ
    Director of Operations $140K Baltimore, MD
    VP Partner Strategy $180K Centennial, CO
    VP, Marketing and Development $165K Chicago, IL
    Benefits Consultant $40K Maryland
    Senior Manager $120K Exton, PA
    Marketing Coordinator $48K Houston, TX
    Operations Manager $91K Glen Burnie, MD
    Account Manager $70K Bay Area, CA
    Senior Engineer $132K Cary, NC
    IT Director $145K Dallas, TX
    Financial Consultant $47K Houston, TX
    Sr. Technology Advisor $130K New Orleans, LA
    Systems Administrator $95K Portland, OR
    Finance Manager $90K Danvers MA
    Marketing Director $120K College Park, MD
    Regional Sales Manager $65K Dallas, TX
    Sales Manager $85K Boston, MA
    Inside Sales Director $125K Scottsdale, AZ
    Associate Director $155K Boston, MA
    Director of Managed Services $150K Minneapolis, MN
    Director Global Technical Support $165K Boston, MA
    Technical Sales Specialist $127K Minneapolis, MN
    HR Director $130K Houston, TX
    Corporate Controller $140K Tacoma, WA
    Service Manager $70K Los Angeles, CA
    Sales Manager $105K Minnesota
    Chief Operating Officer $200K Cherry Hill, NJ
    Sales Manager $70K Des Moines, IA
    CFO $200K Houston, TX
    Senior Mortgage Broker $100K Aliso Viejo, CA
    Release Engineer $71K Auburn Hills, MI
    Business Development $80K Austin, TX
    Facilities and Operations Manager $75K Florida
    Pre Sales Engineer $110K San Diego, CA
    Plant Manager $125K Tupelo, MS
    Senior Engineering Consultant $95K Chicago, IL
    Client Director $106K Remote
    Manager $180K New York
    eCommerce Specialist $110K Dallas, TX
    Chief Marketing Officer $120K Houston, TX
    Director of Business Development $150K McLean, VA
    Account Director $135K Venice, CA
    Systems Engineer $115K Dayton, OH
    Director of Operations $120K Ontario, CA
    Chief Technology Officer $225K Beverly Hills, CA
    Product Manager $115K Atlanta, GA
    Revenue Cycle Director $122K Sacaton, AZ
    Security Engineer $135K Pittsburgh, PA
    Business Development Manager $70K Denver, CO
    Director of Distribution $100K Seymour, CT
    Project Manager $105K Ashburn, VA
    Supply Chain Manager $85K Salt Lake City, UT
    VP Asset Preservation $180K Plano, TX
    Account Executive $60K Louisiana
    Vice President of Sales $85K Birmingham, AL
    Chief Financial Officer $275K New York, NY
    Sr. National Account Manager $125K Phoenix, AZ
    Senior Director, Creative Services $120K Chicago, IL
    PMO Consultant $180K New York, NY
    Cost Accountant $71K Bay Minette, AL
    Director, Benefits Service Center $145K New York, NY
    VP Finance and CFO $155K Raleigh NC

    Why are all these hires occurring on TheLadders? Well, over the past 2 years, we’ve doubled the number of recruiters using TheLadders to recruit for their next hire.

    And the reason for that is because TheLadders professionals are interested in a new job, and behave respectfully. While the typical job posting on LinkedIn or Monster gets hundreds (thousands!) of unqualified applications, the typical job at TheLadders gets just 21 applicants that are targeted, relevant, and interesting to the HR person or recruiter.

    And that leads to more interested recruiters and more hires!

  • The difference between book smarts and experience on Labor Day

    Cartoonist Hugh MacLeod nailed it with this cartoon:


    (For more of Hugh’s clever work, visit his site here.)

    There is a world of difference in the workplace between knowing facts, and knowing how those facts fit together. Even more important is knowing what to do about it.

    Hugh’s cartoon is a good reminder of your goal in the interview process.

    You see, anybody with book smarts can come into an interview and repeat the information they’ve found online about the company, the industry, and the job.

    Your goal, especially for those of you further along in your career, is to share and explain how you can make the connections between those bits of information. Particularly if your interviewer is not as experienced in your domain, it’s up to you to show that those little lines between the dots exist, that they’re important, and that you have a certain level of mastery of them.

    So it’s not simply:
    “I implemented an incentive plan.”
    “I cut headcount.”
    “I implemented Agile development.”
    or “I launched our TV advertising campaign.”

    But rather, it’s… “Based on my past experience, I knew that we…”

    “Shouldn’t implement just an incentive plan, but had to divide the sales team along industry lines in order to hit our goals.”

    “Shouldn’t just cut headcount, but that we should remove 2 classes of managerial oversight which were actually impeding our ability to hear directly from the field.”

    “Shouldn’t just switch from Waterfall to Agile, but that it was important that we bring the Customer Care teams into each Agile Team.”

    “Shouldn’t just launch a national TV advertising campaign, but that we should overweight on shows targeting the 44 – 64 demographic on Mondays and Tuesdays, because I’d learned from research that would have the biggest bang for our buck.”

    You see, it’s not just sharing the information, but sharing how you made the connections between the bits of information, that allow the interviewer to understand your capabilities.

    And that gets you the job.

  • Love your work. Got time to tell me more?

    With 80,000 recruiters now using TheLadders for hiring, it’s always a good time to share even more about your success in the workplace.

    If you haven’t updated in the last 6 months, update your career accomplishments and resume with us now.

    You see, recruiters and employers love what we share with them about your background, but they’d always like to know a little bit more.

    It’s a lazy August Monday. Take this opportunity to give yourself a little career insurance and update your resume and work history with us now. It’s super easy and you’ll be glad you did this for yourself.

  • The best employers and recruiters in the country for you

    Each quarter, our CEO Alex Douzet publishes our list of the best employers and recruiters in the country. These represent the savviest, most supportive and most successful hiring professionals in the USA, and we are pleased to have them be part of the extended TheLadders family.

    With great pleasure, acclaim, and gratitude, may I present this selection from our most recent “Top Recruitment Professionals in America” list, for Summer 2014:

    Top Corporate Recruitment Professionals
    Scott Davis Scott Davis
    Talent Acquisition Partner at Weyerhaeuser Company
    Maintenance Planner – Sweet Home, OR
    Reliability Engineer – Lebanon, OR
    Unit Materials Management Leader – Dierks, AR

    Kristyn Grasing Kristyn Grasing
    Staffing Consultant at Quest Diagnostics
    Physician Account Executive – Fremont, CA
    Sales Representative – ExamOne – Birmingham, AL
    Technical Product Manager – Health & Wellness – Lenexa, KS

    Heather James Heather James
    Corporate Recruiter at Accruent
    Account Executive – Minneapolis, MN
    Account Executive – Denver, CO
    Software Engineering Manager – Austin, TX

    Julie Beltman Julie Beltman
    HR Partner at Check Point Software Technologies, Inc.
    Regional Sales Desk Manager – San Carlos, CA
    Commercial Account Manager – Denver, CO
    Sr. Product Marketing Manager – San Carlos, CA

    Mohammed Waji Mohammed Waji
    Senior Technical Recruiter at CORE Education & Technologies Ltd.
    Business Analyst – Jacksonville, FL
    Business Analyst – San Antonio, TX
    ETL Oracle Database Developer – New York, NY

    Maureen Massetti Maureen Massetti
    Sr. Recruiter at Wolters Kluwer
    Software Engineer – Hartford, CT
    Director of Internal Controls – New York, NY
    Product Manager – Marketing – New York, NY

    Pamisetty  Rajesh Pamisetty Rajesh
    Talent Acquisition Specialist at KMM Technologies
    SAS Analytical Modeler – New Hyde Park, NY
    SQL Server Developer – Charlotte, NC
    Salesforce Developer – Chantilly, VA

    Christine Foglio Christine Foglio
    Sourcing Strategist at QVC Inc.
    Director Industrial Engineering – West Chester, PA
    Senior Compensation Analyst – West Chester, PA
    Senior Manager Product Management – West Chester, PA

    Ria Baker Ria Baker
    Sales Operations Manager at PGXL Laboratories
    Regional Account Manager – Bridgeport, CT
    Regional Account Manager – Philadelphia, PA
    Regional Account Manager – Providence, RI

    Lindsay Maanavi Lindsay Maanavi
    Senior Technical Recruiter at Saggezza
    Business Development Manager – User Experience – Chicago, IL
    Business Development Manager – User Experience – Santa Clara, CA
    Scrum Master – Bolingbrook, IL

    Bob McIntire Bob McIntire
    Senior Strategic Recruiter at Ricoh
    Services Executive Sales Manager – Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Services Executive Sales Manager – Jacksonville, FL
    Services Executive Sales Manager – Atlanta, GA

    Elaine  Finegan Elaine Finegan
    Helene at Classic Westchester
    Matter Management Analyst – White Plains, NY
    Advertising Operations Specialist – White Plains, NY
    Director of Product Development – Stamford, CT

    Steve Navarro Steve Navarro
    Lead Recruiter at 8×8, Inc.
    Marketing Communications and Events Manager – San Jose, CA
    Marketing Automation Administrator – San Jose, CA
    Sr. Operations Support Engineer – San Jose, CA

    Dan Krupansky Dan Krupansky
    Recruiter at PrimePay
    Outside Sales Account Executive – Cleveland, OH
    Outside Sales Account Executive – Trenton, NJ
    Outside Sales Account Executive – San Ramon, CA

    Glenn Garrett Glenn Garrett
    Sr Technical Recruiter at Griffin Solutions Group LLC
    Manager of Consolidations – Pleasanton, CA
    Sr. Auditor – Pleasanton, CA
    Plant Electrical Engineer – Spring Hill, KS

    Chelsey Canavan Chelsey Canavan
    Marketing and Sales Manager at Treeline Inc
    Inside Sales Representative – Boston, MA
    Software Sales Representative – Billerica, MA
    Senior Sales Executive – Reston, VA

    Debbie Harding Debbie Harding
    Contract Recruiter at Crossmark
    Executive Assistant – CMO – Addison, TX
    Human Resources Manager – Addison, TX
    Key Account Director – Seattle, WA

    Top Executive Recruiters
    Jack  Trudeau Jack Trudeau
    Head of Phaidon Consulting Services USA at Selby Jennings
    .NET / C# Front Office Fixed – Income / Derivatives Developer – New York City, NY
    Head of North American RFP Team – New York City, NY
    Senior Financial Analyst – San Antonio, TX

    Wayne Cozad Wayne Cozad
    CEO at Cube Management
    Director of Regional Sales – Buffalo, NY
    Marketing Manager – Whittier, CA
    Marketing Manager – Pasadena, CA

    Next Step Systems Next Step Systems
    President at Next Step Systems
    Technical Support Engineer / Server Support – Minneapolis, MN
    Senior Network Engineer – Chicago, IL
    Trade Support Engineer – Chicago, IL

    Anjela Mangrum Anjela Mangrum
    Owner at Mangrum Career Solutions, LLC
    Technical Sales Representative – Angola, IN
    Sales Engineer – Cloverdale, CA
    CNC Programmer – Plymouth, IN

    Linda Gaul Linda Gaul
    Operations Manager at Clover Business Solutions
    Full-Stack Software Engineer – Needham, MA
    Senior Windows Security Analyst – New York, NY
    Enterprise Technology Security Architect – New York City, NY

    David Molnar David Molnar
    President at National Register–USA
    National / Global Accounts Sales Manager – IT, Cloud, Telecomm – Hickory, NC
    National / Global Accounts Sales Manager – IT, Cloud, Telecomm – Edison, NJ
    National / Global Accounts Sales Manager – IT, Cloud, Telecomm – Alpharetta, GA

    Zachary Straub Zachary Straub
    Recruiter at CNI Consulting, Inc.
    Vice President, Sales – Houston, TX
    Annuity Specialist – New York City, NY
    Relationship Manager – Dallas, TX

    Robert Hawthorne Robert Hawthorne
    President at Hawthorne Executive Search
    VP Sales – Charlotte, NC
    VP Sales – Dallas, TX
    VP Sales – Atlanta, GA

    Jonathan Sack Jonathan Sack
    Managing Director at Aspire Careers
    Sr Global Solutions Engineer Team Lead – San Francisco, CA
    Sr Global Solutions Engineer Team Lead – San Jose, CA
    Sr Global Solutions Engineer Team Lead – Richmond, CA

    Ashish Jain Ashish Jain
    Principal at Global Recruiting Partners LLC
    Process Automation and Control (PAC) Engineer – New Orleans, LA
    Controls Engineer – Rodeo Refinery – Rodeo, CA
    Product Development Director – Oklahoma City, OK

    Congratulations to them all! For the full list of 200 Corporate Recruitment Professionals and 200 Executive Recruiters, click here. click here.
    Good luck to you in your search this week.