• You should give me a bonus this year because…

    If you’re like most people, you have a resume that includes something like this:

    Hired as Director, Tri-State Area
    Responsible for a budget of $1.2 million
    Managed staff of 5 in our downtown office

    Your details may be grander, or your career may be at an earlier stage, but lots and lots of people have this style of information presentation on their resume.

    Can you spot the error?

    These resume bullet points simply describe what you did. They don’t tell your future boss how good you are at doing the job.

    It’s obvious… If you’ve got a job… and you work in an office… in the year 2015…

    Three things happened:
    - You were hired for that job
    - You had some monetary resources to manage
    - You had people working for or with you

    Seriously, you haven’t told the employer or your future boss anything with those three bullet points.

    So here are two simple tips.

    First, read your resume out loud, putting the phrase “You should give me a bonus this year because…” in front of each line.

    If it doesn’t make sense that somebody would give you a bonus, or increase your bonus, because of that line… delete the sentence and write a better one.

    For example, going into your boss’ office and telling her “You should give me a bonus this year because you hired me to be Director, Tri-State Area” wouldn’t get you very far. You don’t really deserve a year-end bonus just for getting hired. (Does not apply if you’re an NFL coach switching jobs).

    Rather, you deserve a bonus when you accomplish something:

    You increased sales. You decreased expenses. You improved the time it takes to do the tasks. You increased the efficacy of the process or product.

    You made your company better somehow. You didn’t just show up… you did something well.

    Which brings us to the second tip.

    Count how many $ signs and % signs and specific numbers you have on your resume…

    And now double that number.

    That is, rewrite your resume and include twice as many $ and % and #s as were on your original resume.

    The minimum you should have, if you’ve been in the workforce for over a decade, is twenty.

    Dollar signs and percentage signs are indicators of achievements that you can quantify. Quantifiable achievements are more persuasive than qualitative achievements for most resumes.

    So rather than just increasing sales, decreasing expenses, or improving task times, you..

    Increased sales by 27% in my region through the effective use of strategic selling.
    Decreased costs by 11% in my division without impacting productivity.
    Generated $14 million in new bookings through database marketing.
    Reduced server load by 73%, and server cost by 22% through refactoring old code base.
    Saved $1.2 million in recruiting and legal costs by insourcing.
    Improved factory throughput by 17% by re-engineering the supply chain and introducing new manufacturing techniques.

    When you read these bullet points with “You should give me a bonus this year because…”, they all make sense. And that’s because they provide a quantifiable achievement that made the company better because you were there.

    And demonstrating to your future boss the types of achievements that he can expect from you, in numbers that he can understand, is the best way for him to come to the conclusion that you’re the right person for the job.

    And that’s how you make your resume so much more effective in about two minutes on a cold Monday morning in January. And that is quite an achievement!

    Have a 55% more fantastic week in the job search this week, Readers!

  • 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, 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.

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

  • These companies are hiring. Can you help?

    We’re starting 2015 with more employers on TheLadders system than ever before.

    Compared to a year ago, we’re seeing:

    - 50% more jobs posted by recruiters and employers. For the 5th year in a row here at TheLadders, jobs posted increased by more than 50% compared to a year ago!
    - 50% more recruiter activity — log-ins, searches for star candidates like you, etc. Employers are even more active on TheLadders today than they were a year ago.
    - They’re spending more time on our site — not only are there more of them, but they are happier and more engaged with TheLadders system than ever before!

    All of that means that we’ve got lots of employers with a need to fill their 2015 jobs right now. Today. Pronto.

    And I mean quick.

    The reason, of course, has only a little bit to do with us, Readers, and everything to do with you, our fantastic members.

    You see, employers like you. So they spend more time with us.

    Take a look through this partial list of top employers on TheLadders and click through to see employment opportunities on TheLadders:

    Capital One
    Thermo Fisher Scientific
    Koch Davis
    Kforce Inc.
    Bank of America
    Cynet Systems
    Level 3 Communications
    Diedre Moire Corporation, Inc.
    Evan Thomas
    Open Systems Technologies
    Allstate Insurance
    Ingram Micro
    Crowe Horwath
    Next Step Systems
    JAS Recruitment
    NTT DATA, Inc.
    Arrow Electronics
    Cognizant Technology Solutions
    Parallel Partners
    First Data
    Molina Healthcare
    Cube Management
    The Creative Group
    Hcr Manorcare
    UTC Aerospace Systems
    Toyota TEMA
    Sedgwick CMS
    Celgene Corporation
    Rangam Consultants Inc.
    Heartland Payment Systems
    Mangrum Career Solutions
    The Home Depot
    Ajulia Executive Search
    St Josephs Hospital
    Axius Technologies
    Dignity Health
    Access Staffing
    Avis Budget Group
    Lucas Group
    CAC Services
    Ventures Unlimited Inc
    Check Point Software Technologies
    Webrecruit North America
    Novo Nordisk
    Delta Construction Partners
    Tenacious Staffing
    Flowserve Corporation
    Time Warner Cable
    University of Miami
    Direct Sales Recruiting, LLC
    Sonya M Recruiting
    First American
    Equifax, Inc.
    CoberonChronos client

    Have a great week in the search, Readers!

  • Hired!


    Thousands of subscribers have found their new jobs this past year on TheLadders!

    Employer activity on TheLadders grew 50% in the past year, and more recruiters are using TheLadders than ever before…

    Why? 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 14 applicants that are targeted, relevant, and interesting to the HR person or recruiter.

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

    Title Salary Location
    Director, Marketing (Americas) $140K Sandy Hook, CT
    Energy Efficiency Consultant $66K Syracuse, NY
    Vice President $155K Peekskill, NY
    Vice President $160K San Marcos, CA
    Data Analyst $70K Vicksburg, MI
    LAN & Wireless Planner $101K Flat Rock, MI
    Director Marketing $95K Iowa City, IA
    Software Sales Executive $130K Eliot, ME
    Sales & Marketing VP $165K Plano, TX
    EVP $194K Temecula, CA
    Director of Marketing $130K Sunnyvale, CA
    Implementation Manager $130K Atlanta, GA
    Strategic Account Executive $100K Pittsburgh, PA
    Sr Manager Global IT $125K Garland, TX
    Account Executive $50K Springboro, OH
    PR Manager $79K Bay Shore, NY
    Division Controller $130K Kalamazoo, MI
    Director of Local Marketing $122K Louisville, KY
    Director of Estate and Gift Planning $125K Woodland Hills, CA
    Supply Chain Director $160K Denton, TX
    CTO $150K Unknown, NA
    Director of Logistics $80K Brandywine, MD
    Physician Engagement Executive $135K Dallas, TX
    Director $190K Miami, FL
    VP of Sales $120K Palm Beach, FL
    Director Digital Marketing $125K Deerfield Beach, FL
    Enterprise Architect $145K Schaumburg, IL
    Senior HR Manager $118K Valley Stream, NY
    Marketing Manager, Consumer Products $119K Overland Park, KS
    Vice President Sales $175K Beacon Falls, CT
    Purchasing Manager $120K Norwalk, CT
    Sr. Materials Manager $120K Harlingen, TX
    CMO $200K Bedford, NH
    Regional Sales Consultant $95K Livermore, CA
    Facilities Manager $80K Sycamore, IL
    Product Support Manager $100K Champlin, MN
    Sr. Director, Human Resources $150K Dacula, GA
    VP Enterprise Sales $150K Fort Lauderdale, FL
    VP of Finance $125K San Francisco, CA
    Senior Manager $135K Castle Rock, CO
    Account Executive $115K Raleigh, NC
    Head of US Activation & Media $360K New York, NY
    Vice President / General Manager $150K Mishawaka, IN
    CFO $150K Huntingtown, MD
    Sales Manager $85K Toms River, NJ
    Sr. Process Eng Mgr $95K Prattville, AL
    Contractor Account Mgr $95K Littleton, CO
    Account Executive $100K Kirkland, WA
    VP of Sales $235K Lexington, MA
    Chief Marketing Officer $220K Jacksonville, FL
    Director of Sales $150K Maplewood, NJ
    Sr. Logistics Manager $155K San Jose, CA
    Director Operations $110K Waukesha, WI
    Director of Finance $120K Joliet, IL
    Specialty Pharmacy Account Executive $77K Hamden, CT
    FP&A Director $120K Denton, TX
    COO $125K Rancho Cordova, CA
    Product Manager $115K San Francisco, CA
    Director $140K Kirkland, WA
    Business Analyst $109K Riverview, FL
    Account Manager $75K Roseville, CA
    Project Manager $120K Frisco, TX
    Account Executive $40K Washington, DC
    Vice President $250K Marietta, GA
    Sr Maintenance Manager $118K Marshalltown, IA
    Account Development Manager $155K East Northport, NY
    EVP $270K New York, NY
    Senior Manager IT $120K Garland, TX
    Integrated Production Manager $105K Austin, TX
    Risk Management Consultant $65K Philadelphia, PA
    Manager, FP&A $105K Richardson, TX
    Executive Director $125K Los Angeles, CA
    Account Manager $40K Acworth, GA
    Senior Executive Assistant $100K Pelham, NY
    Sr Director of Product Development $185K Virginia Beach, VA
    Project Director $200K Munster, IN
    Director of Professional Services $155K Burlington, MA
    Director, Software Development $200K Plainsboro, NJ
    Director of Innovation $90K Lehi, UT
    VP, Human Resources $170K Shelton, CT
    Director, Human Resources $120K Richmond, IN
    Account Manager $120K Nashville, TN
    Accountant $78K Chatsworth, CA
    Director of Operations $145K Newton, NC
    GM $125K Brooklyn, NY
    Director of Intelligence Team $120K Laurel, MD
    CFO $200K Forest Hills, NY
    Financial Advisor $70K Ridgewood, NJ
    Plant Manager $130K Broomfield, CO
    Program Manager $135K San Antonio, TX
    Digital Marketing Consultant $55K Chicago, IL
    National Sales Manager $125K Loganville, GA
    Vice President $185K Vancouver, WA
    Director of Sales $100K Long Beach, CA
    Corporate General Manager $150K Beaverton, OR
    Plant Controller $104K Swisher, IA
    DevOps/Release Manager $110K Chicago, IL
    Computer Systems Security Analyst $90K Glen Burnie, MD
    Business Development Manager $65K Carmel, IN
    OEM Sales Manager $115K Nashua, NH
  • Pop quiz: Do you a) change nothing this year, or b) improve your career?

    These are the last days of the year, and a good time to make your New Year better-paying.

    Let me know about your promotion at work this year, or your pay raise / new target compensation, and we’ll make sure that the jobs we send you in 2014 match your ambitions.

    It’s awfully easy to update your career history with us:

    Just add your company name, title, and work dates, and that gives us a lot of information that we can use to tailor our results to you.

    So make the most of this last Monday of the year, update your title with us today, and you’ll get a lot better jobs for all of your tomorrows.

  • Take the week off with Bing & Bowie

    Take this week off from the job search.

    While I’ll encourage you to make the most of August, get the jump on the other guy in December, and use the summer slowdown to your advantage, there are times when even fervent job geeks like me will advise you to take a load off and skip the job hunt.

    This week is one of them.

    Whatever your denomination, this week is for family, festivities, philosophy and fresh thinking for a fresh new year.

    So I thought the most ecumenical of approaches would be to share this video of Bing Crosby and David Bowie singing a lovely, peaceful, percussive ditty together:

    Because nothing says “the holidays” like a traditionalist from the Greatest Generation and an androgynous glam rocker sharing a piano and a song at the most wonderful time of the year.

  • I can’t believe you wrote that in an email

    “I can’t believe you wrote that in an email.”

    It’s bad enough when your friend or colleague tells you that.

    But what happens when your email is tweeted, passed around online, and ridiculed by some of the nastier people you’ve never met?

    Perhaps you wrote something a little unkind, or impolitic, or snide. Or, worse yet, you wrote something that reveals that you need to review your moral bearings in the world — it was harmful, crass, prejudiced or offensive.

    Your mother might have told you “don’t put anything in writing that you wouldn’t want to see on the front page of the New York Times.”

    In today’s social media world, you should assume that everything you write in email, post on Facebook, or tweet, will eventually end up on the screen of the person in the whole world who you would like to see it least.

    Because whoever is the most embarrassing person in the world to see what you just wrote, is online too.

    And they’re going to see it. As will all your future employers, customers, colleagues, and friends.

    So for the New Year, make a new promise to yourself, to never ever ever ever ever ever ever ever ever send embarrassing emails.

  • So if not me, who did get the job?

    When two candidates are equally experienced, equally credentialed, and equally capable, who gets the job?

    Well, when two companies have similar products, with similar ratings, and similar prices, which do you pick?

    If you think about it, you might say: “the one that wants my business more.” The saleswoman made an extra effort, or the people at the store went out of their way to be kind, or it’s as simple as they just smiled back and said “we’d like your business.”

    It’s no surprise: we prefer to buy from companies that make us feel like we’re a welcome part of their community.

    And who gets the job if the applicants are equals?

    The candidate with a passion for the business. A zeal for the industry. An excitement. An enthusiasm. A zest for the art, and the craft, and the science, of what makes a company in the field succeed.

    In today’s economy – a sophisticated economy increasingly based on design, thinking work, proprietary creativity, and the ability to grasp and apply complex intellectual abstractions – the need is greater than ever for those who can… think.

    And thinking work is different from the typical jobs of even a generation or two past. A steel mill manager, a radio set salesman, or a train operator could measure their success in physical quantities: how much steel poured, sets sold, or tons shipped.

    In an information economy, on the other hand, the measures of success are increasingly intangible. The iPod was better than other MP3 players not because it had more, but because it had fewer buttons and features – the right buttons and features for music on the go. A restaurant chain displaces a competitor because it feels more (or less) like home. A shoe company thrives because it gives away half the pairs that you buy. Even vacuum cleaners, cars, and backyard grills are made, marketed and sold in ways that were inconceivable in the last century.

    Producing these products and services, consequently, is less a function of the volume of resources that are put in. In generations past, more raw materials, capital equipment, or men punching your time clock meant more finished products or services coming out the other side. Today, it’s often more important how little you put in, or how artfully you arrange the features.

    Finding people who can make those decisions well, and then execute on those decisions, is difficult for bosses.

    They have to figure out who is going to understand the customer better, the manufacturing process better, the marketing better, the interface better, and so on.

    What’s more, bosses need to determine who’s going to stick with it – there are a lot more forks in the road, and bumps along the way, in this intangible world. Perseverance through the inevitable fumbles and fiascos is needed because without perseverance there are no victories.

    And what bosses have discovered is that somebody who is passionate about the business tends to be a better employee and a better professional to work with.

    Because somebody who is passionate is inherently motivated, and internally driven to succeed, they try harder to find answers. They think up clever stuff on their own. They enjoy the business, and the customers, and the industry so much that they’re always discovering new things or perceiving additional ways that the business could succeed.

    In short, passionate people are better employees because they care more than dispassionate people. Passionate people care more than the average employee, they care more than the average applicant, and they care more than you.

    And that’s why you didn’t get the job. It’s why you got passed over, turned down, or put in the “nice to have” pile.

    If you truly want success in this business climate, you need to do what you’re actually passionate about. Otherwise, you’re just unfairly stacking the deck in some other applicant’s favor.

  • Thanks for the raise!

    Whether you’re searching for a job or seeking a promotion or raise, you have lots of questions about how much you can get paid in exchange for your daily grind…

    Could I earn more somewhere else? What’s the competition like for my role? Do I have the right skills to move up in my career?

    This Thanksgiving, you’ll give thanks for a new feature we’re unveiling here at TheLadders. We’ve combined market research and 10 years of data from our six million+ members to bring you salary and job demand data for jobs like yours. Just visit our comprehensive job market guides here to help empower and improve your career.

    Here’s a sample screen:

    And here’s what you’ll find when you visit our job market guides:

    Annual compensation
    Shows the average annual compensation and income distribution for a particular title in a specific location.

    - Compare locations to see which city is likely to yield a high income for that title
    - If you’re considering a move into a certain career, you can gain a better understanding of what compensation will be like

    Shows what the level of competition is like based on how many job seekers there are per open job in the city for that title.

    - Helps decide when to move on to a new job – if competition is high, it may be worth waiting until it’s average or low
    - Gives you an understanding of how likely it is that you will land the job you want
    - You can determine how hard you’ll have to work for the job (although you should be pulling out all the stops anyways!)

    Desired skills
    Shows the 10 skills recruiters mention most in job postings for the title in question.

    - Gauge your level of candidacy for this title based on how many of the top skills you possess
    - Uncover which skills you should acquire to propel your career
    - Play to your strengths in interviews by highlighting the skills you possess that are most desired by recruiters (insert these into your online profile, resume, and cover letter as well!

    Ladders Rank

    Ladders Rank is a grading system that calculates the optimal cities for this job title. We take into account annual compensation, volume of jobs, and job competition. Shows the top 3 cities for this job title, and where the city you searched for falls on the list.

    - Gives you an understanding of how feasible it is for you to land a good job in your city with a good salary
    - If you’re open to relocation, it helps you gauge which cities will be best for your discipline

    So I hope you’ll enjoy these job market guides — after turkey and football of course — during this Thanksgiving week, Readers, and that they’ll lead you to a better compensated 2015! There’s nothing we like to hear more than ‘Thanks for the raise!’

  • Proud of this turkey?

    This Thanksgiving season all-around car guy Bob Lutz talks straight about the turkey that was the Pontiac Aztek:

      “One guy I informally interviewed about how the Aztek happened was one of the top guys on the project. And this guy, he looks at me and he says, “I’m proud of it.

    Proud of the Aztek?

    “Yup. That was the best program we ever did at GM. We made all our internal goals, we made the timing, and I’m really proud of the part I played in it.”

    He had tears in his eyes. It was almost tragic. Everybody wanted to will this thing to succeed, and it didn’t work.

    All the emotional commitment and pride in the program was that it achieved all its internal objectives. And it was probably one of the great defeats in his life, or in his career.”

    It can happen.

    When we get too caught up in our own heads, instead of paying attention to what the market, or common sense, require, we find ourselves with a contraption as hideous as the Aztek lumbering around our driveway.

    When process rides shotgun over outcomes, bad things happen.

    The same thing can happen to you in your job search. If you find yourself saying things such as:

    “I’ve sent out hundreds of resumes with no replies.”

    “I’ve been doing lots of networking, but don’t seem to be getting anywhere.”

    “I’m not receiving any callbacks after my 1st phone interviews.”

    You are focusing too much on the activity and the process, and not enough on the market and what your potential employers need. You could end up with something that is as much of a dud and in as little demand as the Aztek.

    So this pre-Thanksgiving week, knock the stuffing out of your job search by taking a moment to review whether you’ve matched your actual career background, current skills and experience to what’s needed in the employment marketplace today.