• 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 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 your phone.

    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”!

  • Employers hiring for May 2014

    We have over seventy thousand employers looking for new employees on TheLadders, and we could use your help.

    If you, or your friends or colleagues, could fit the bill for one of the below-listed jobs, please let us know by clicking through and applying.


    Joseph Anthony Vaccariello Joseph Anthony Vaccariello
    Owner & Recruiter at Genesis
    Engineering Technician – IA
    Principal Engineer, IC Design – San Jose, CA
    Lead IC Design Engineer – San Jose, CA

    Scott Hensley Scott Hensley
    VP of Sales at Advocate Merchant
    Senior Outside Sales Representative – Indianapolis, IN
    Senior Outside Sales Representative – San Diego, CA
    Senior Outside Sales Representative – Dallas, TX

    Shawndetta Miller Shawndetta Miller
    SR. Executive Recruiter at William W. Professional Staffing
    Software Engineer – Java – Portland, OR
    Software Developer – San Francisco, CA
    Senior Data Scientist – San Francisco, CA

    Kristyn Grasing Kristyn Grasing
    Staffing Consultant at Quest Diagnostics
    Hospital Account Manager – Milwaukee, WI
    Sales Representative – ExamOne – Tampa, FL – Tampa, FL
    Marketing Specialist – Lenexa, KS

    Herald Massey Herald Massey
    Sr. Technical Recruiter at Rangam Consultants Inc
    Java / J2EE Developer – Alpharetta, GA
    Java / J2EE Developer – Warren, NJ
    Business Analyst / Project Manager – Orangeburg, NY

    Lindsay Davis Lindsay Davis
    Executive Recruiter – CPG at The Judge Group
    Marketing Manager, Demand Generation – NJ
    Product Manager – Lancaster, PA
    Senior Trade Marketing Manager – Lancaster, PA

    Elaine Weinberg Elaine Weinberg
    Senior Recruiter at Bradfordgroup Consulting and Staffing
    Mobile Software Engineer, Research – Cincinnati, OH
    Mobile Software Engineer, Research – Philadelphia, PA
    Mobile Software Engineer, Research – Indianapolis, IN

    Frank Merritt Frank Merritt
    CRMS, CITC, Senior Recruiter at Harvard Risk Management Corporation
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – Overland Park, KS
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – Olathe, KS
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant – Lawrence, KS

    Mike Cirner Mike Cirner
    Director-Information Technology Recruiting at Fowler Placement Services
    Account Executive – Public Sector – WA
    Account Executive – Public Sector – CA
    SAP Project Manager – NY

    Steve Kohn Steve Kohn
    President at Affinity Executive Search
    Automation Engineer – WI
    Store Manager – WA
    Sales Manager – IL

    Have a great week in your search!

  • When Bono, Warhol & famous people were rejected, too

    The accumulation of rejection letters, voicemails, emails, and, yes, unfortunately, text messages, is a good sign for any job search. You need to go through a lot of maybes and uh-unhs before you find the right YES!

    So you can imagine that famous people who were once not famous got a lot of rejection letters on their way up.

    For example, here’s Bono being turned down by RSO:





    And Andy Warhol getting the gong from the Museum of Modern Art:







    Part of any search for a fit in your career involves the exploration of possibilities. The more possibilities and the more opportunities you explore, the more rejections you’ll receive. But you’ll also get something very valuable with those turn-downs: a better sense of where your talents do belong.

    You see, it takes some effort to find out what we’re not in order to find out what we are, and where we belong.

    So while I know it’s foolish to ask you to enjoy those rejection texts, at the very least, perhaps you can understand the vital role they play in getting you to your destination.

  • Seeking VP, Anything

    “Oh, I’m looking for anything,” you might tell well-meaning friends who ask.

    It’s a problem.

    Because in today’s economy, no employer is looking for a “VP, Anything”, or a “Director of Whatever Needs to Be Done.” They’re looking for an experienced professional who can solve specific problems.

    When you’re thinking about moving jobs, you need to have a brief, pithy assertion of who you are and what you’re qualified to do. It’s important that you be able to explain to an old colleague, or a new connection, in 30 seconds or less, what it is that you’re looking for.

    That’s called an “elevator pitch” – a concise statement of your abilities and goals that can be shared in the time it takes an elevator to go to the top floor.

    Vague and general aren’t helpful:
    “I’m a saleswoman”, or…
    “I’m in logistics”, or…
    “I’m a finance guy”, don’t work because they don’t explain succinctly what you need and how your audience can help.

    No, in the 21st century you need to be more precise and more concrete. You need to describe what you’ve done and what you’re looking to do… specifically.

    So it’s not “I’m a saleswoman” but rather…

    “I’m a sales management professional looking to lead a 100+ person sales organization, and am particularly interested in opportunities leading sales teams going through the transactional-to-relationship-selling transition.”

    It’s not “I’m in logistics” but rather…

    “I’m a logistics team leader who specializes in driving efficiency improvements in established groups, bringing down the cost of production year after year.”

    And it’s not “I’m a finance guy” but rather…

    “I’m a finance guy who enjoys rationalizing finance teams in multi-unit businesses and creating metrics and operating procedures that partner with the business to drive understanding of the underlying levers of growth.”

    You need to be specific and concise in your description of your ambitions, so that your network contacts, your future boss, or an HR recruiter can understand how and where you’ll add value and improve the business.

    So please, avoid the easy temptation to say that you’re looking for anything, and be specific in your job search. It’s the best way to let people know how to help you, and to let companies know how you’ll help them.

    I’m rooting for you!

  • Leonardo da Vinci’s resume

    Before he was famous, before he painted the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, before he invented the helicopter, before he drew the most famous image of man, before he was all of these things, Leonardo da Vinci was an armorer, a weapons guy, a maker of things that go “boom”.

    And, like you, he had to put together a resume to get his next gig. So in 1482, at the age of 30, he wrote out a letter and a list of his capabilities and sent it off to Ludovico il Moro, Duke of Milan.

    So to celebrate Leonardo’s birthday tomorrow on April 15th, I’d like to share his wonderful resume with you. You can click on the link below to see the full-size version.

    Leonardo da Vinci's Resume



    The translation of this letter is quite remarkable:


    “Most Illustrious Lord, Having now sufficiently considered the specimens of all those who proclaim themselves skilled contrivers of instruments of war, and that the invention and operation of the said instruments are nothing different from those in common use: I shall endeavor, without prejudice to any one else, to explain myself to your Excellency, showing your Lordship my secret, and then offering them to your best pleasure and approbation to work with effect at opportune moments on all those things which, in part, shall be briefly noted below.

    1. I have a sort of extremely light and strong bridges, adapted to be most easily carried, and with them you may pursue, and at any time flee from the enemy; and others, secure and indestructible by fire and battle, easy and convenient to lift and place. Also methods of burning and destroying those of the enemy.
    2. I know how, when a place is besieged, to take the water out of the trenches, and make endless variety of bridges, and covered ways and ladders, and other machines pertaining to such expeditions.
    3. If, by reason of the height of the banks, or the strength of the place and its position, it is impossible, when besieging a place, to avail oneself of the plan of bombardment, I have methods for destroying every rock or other fortress, even if it were founded on a rock, etc.
    4. Again, I have kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; and with these I can fling small stones almost resembling a storm; and with the smoke of these cause great terror to the enemy, to his great detriment and confusion.
    5. And if the fight should be at sea I have kinds of many machines most efficient for offense and defense; and vessels which will resist the attack of the largest guns and powder and fumes.
    6. I have means by secret and tortuous mines and ways, made without noise, to reach a designated spot, even if it were needed to pass under a trench or a river.
    7. I will make covered chariots, safe and unattackable, which, entering among the enemy with their artillery, there is no body of men so great but they would break them. And behind these, infantry could follow quite unhurt and without any hindrance.
    8. In case of need I will make big guns, mortars, and light ordnance of fine and useful forms, out of the common type.
    9. Where the operation of bombardment might fail, I would contrive catapults, mangonels, trabocchi, and other machines of marvellous efficacy and not in common use. And in short, according to the variety of cases, I can contrive various and endless means of offense and defense.
    10. In times of peace I believe I can give perfect satisfaction and to the equal of any other in architecture and the composition of buildings public and private; and in guiding water from one place to another.
    11. I can carry out sculpture in marble, bronze, or clay, and also I can do in painting whatever may be done, as well as any other, be he who he may.

    Again, the bronze horse may be taken in hand, which is to be to the immortal glory and eternal honor of the prince your father of happy memory, and of the illustrious house of Sforza.


    And if any of the above-named things seem to anyone to be impossible or not feasible, I am most ready to make the experiment in your park, or in whatever place may please your Excellency – to whom I comment myself with the utmost humility, etc.”


    What a fantastic piece of personal marketing! There’s none of his famous backwards-mirror writing here – this letter was intended to be read and to persuade.

    I’m a hopeless pedantic, so here’s what I think we can learn from Leonardo’s resume:

    You’ll notice he doesn’t recite past achievements. He doesn’t mention the painting of the altarpiece for the Chapel of St Bernard; he doesn’t provide a laundry list of past bombs he’s built; he doesn’t cite his prior employment in artist Andrea di Cione’s studio.

    No, he does none of these things, because those would be about his achievements, not the Duke’s needs.

    Instead, he sells his prospective employer on what Leonardo can do for him.

    Now imagine being the Duke of Milan and receiving this magnificent letter from the young prodigy of Florence. The specific descriptives paint a vivid picture of siege engines and bombardments and mortars and trench-draining and bridges to defeat the enemy. You can imagine the scenes that ran through the Duke’s head as he held this letter in his hands and read through Leonardo da Vinci’s bold statements of capabilities.

    What Renaissance Duke wouldn’t want “kinds of mortars; most convenient and easy to carry; [that] can fling small stones almost resembling a storm”? Sounds pretty enticing.

    And that’s exactly what your resume needs to do, too. Not the laundry list / standard bio that talks about you, but the marketing piece that talks about the benefits to your future employer and how you fit into his or her needs and desires.

    So it turns out that even on his 562nd birthday, this remarkable fellow Leonardo da Vinci is teaching us about the future. What a genius…

    Here’s wishing you an illustrious week, Readers!

  • ❶ Train our robot + ❷ It’ll fetch jobs = ❸ Less work for you

    Remember watching the Jetsons and thinking how robots were going to make your future cool?

    Yeah, so did we.

    Use our easy robots to do your work in the job search and you’ll find out when Spacely Space Sprockets, Cogswell Cosmic Cogs or over 60,000 real employers on TheLadders are hiring:

    1) Train our robot on what you want in a job here: your job preferences.

    2) It’ll fetch jobs based on your preferences and send them to you. (If you want even more control you can also create your own, very specific, keywords searches and save them here on the jobs page).

    3) Seriously, if you want a lot less work and stress in your job search, we’ve made these robots for you. Take advantage of them, they won’t mind!

    And if you ever need to say “Jane, stop this crazy thing!”, you can just go here and here to turn them off.

  • Hired!

    Thousands of your fellow subscribers have found their new jobs in March on TheLadders!

    We’ve had more activity from employers and recruiters on TheLadders this quarter 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 21 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 your fellow subscribers through TheLadders.com in the past months:

    Title Salary Location
    Vice President $160K Sioux Falls, SD
    Vice President $156K Mechanicsburg, PA
    Vice President – Data Governance $110K San Ramon, CA
    Vice President of Sales and Marketing $130K St. Louis, MO
    Vice President, Business Solutions Manager $110K Milwaukee, WI
    Sales Engineer $125K Seattle, WA
    CFO $105K Cleveland, OH
    HR Business Partner $155K Mountain View, CA
    Commodity manager $90K Warrendale, PA
    Product Manager $82K New Jersey
    Insurance Sales $120K Dallas, TX
    Sales Manager $70K San Diego, CA
    Product Manager $90K Chicago, IL
    Senior Manager, Employee Engagement $150K Berwyn, PA
    Sales Manager $75K San Diego, CA
    Account Manager $80K Oakland, CA
    Senior Quality Engineer $97K North Carolina
    CFO/Operations $180K Washington DC
    Director of Sales $135K Travel
    Senior Systems Engineer $100K Minnetonka, MN
    Sales Manager $85K Burnsville, MN
    Security Consultant II $125K Virtual
    Senior Director $180K Virtual
    Senior Manager, New Business Development $122K Malvern, PA
    Regional Sales Director $130K Mason, OH
    Senior Project Manager $125K New York, NY
    COO $142K Washington, DC
    Director $115K Kansas City, MO
    Account Executive $90K Atlanta, GA
    Director Marketing $180K Boulder, CO
    IT Systems Manager $105K Dallas, TX
    Director of Marketing and Business Development $90K Atlanta, GA
    Systems Architect $137K Philadelphia, PA
    Project Manager $90K New York, NY
    Director of SaaS $115K Scottsdale, AZ
    Location Sales Manager $100K Atlanta, GA
    Internal Auditor $85K St. Petersburg, FL
    Web Developer $75K Fort Belvoir, VA
    Electromechanical engineer $80K Indianapolis, IN
    Senior Manager PR $138K Sunnyvale, CA
    COO $180K Portland, OR
    Business Development Executive $100K Atlanta, GA
    IT Support Manager $87K Winter Park, Florida
    Senior Manager $153K Pennsylvania
    Windows Infrastructure Consultant $131K New York, NY
    Director of New Business Development $95K Massachusetts
    Sales Director $110K Pittsburgh, PA
    Senior Engineer $85K Overland Park
    Account Manager $80K Richmond, VA
    Director $145K Los Angeles, CA
    Senior Product Marketing Manager $100K Austin, TX
    Director of Communications $150K New York, NY
    Program Manager $93K San Antonio, TX
    Senior Engineer $110K Milpitas, CA
    TV Producer $100K Virginia Beach, VA
    Network Security Analyst $92K Danville, VA
    Director of Distribution $100K Seymour, CT
    Sales Account Manager $125K Seattle, WA
    Strategic Account Manager $100K Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Program Manager III $140K Poway, CA
    Senior Team Leader $170K Neenah, WI
    Web Developer $85K Fort Belvoir, VA
    Senior Sales Executive $90K Bellevue, WA
    Operations Manager $123K Milwaukee, WI
    Director of Manufacturing $140K Milwaukee
    Director of Comunications $125K Boston, MA
    HR Manager $87K Philadelphia, PA
    Senior Program Manager $165K Washington, DC
    Product Marketing Manager $107K Chicago, IL
    Senior Account Executive $99K Chicago, IL
    Lean Leader $160K Charlotte, NC
    Business Development Manager $130K Fort Worth, TX
    Director of Sales $135K Chicago, IL
    Director, Advertising Sales $150K New York, NY
    Distribution Center Manager $75K Dallas, TX
    Senior SQL DBA / Business Intelligence Analyst $76K Dexter, MI
    Account Manager $85K Virtual
    Account Director $140K New York
    Senior Program Manager $162K Arlington, VA
    General Manager $103K Oregon
    Service Delivery Director $180K Rockville MD
    Senior Auditor $110K Mesa, AZ
    Director of Learning and Development $115K Columbus, OH
    Director of IT and Operations $126K Washington, DC
    Regional Sales Manager $113K Philadephia, PA
    Senior Government Account Manager $91K Cheyenne, WY
    CFO $170K Tampa, FL
    Senior Sales Exec $120K Virginia
    Outside Marketing and Sales Rep $100K Summit County, CO
    Account Manager $100K Los Angeles, CA
    Product Manager (Software) $125K Phoenix, AZ
    Director Of Operations $120K St Louis, MO
    Regional Sales Manager $135K Virtual
    Administrator $94K Petersburg
    Senior HR Business Partner $150K Nashville, TN
    Senior Director Marketing $195K Memphis
    Account Executive $75K Baltimore, MD
    Logistics Manager $115K Pensacola, FL
    Service Relationship Manager $90K Lanham, MD



    Good luck in your search this week!

  • The top 5 regrets of the dying

    Written several years ago, the simple article “Top Five Regrets Of The Dying” recounts the lessons learned by a hospice worker in Australia from her departing patients…

    Bronnie Ware writes: “For many years I worked in palliative care. My patients were those who had gone home to die. Some incredibly special times were shared. I was with them for the last three to twelve weeks of their lives.

    People grow a lot when they are faced with their own mortality. I learned never to underestimate someone’s capacity for growth. Some changes were phenomenal. Each experienced a variety of emotions, as expected, denial, fear, anger, remorse, more denial and eventually acceptance. Every single patient found their peace before they departed though, every one of them.

    When questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

    1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.

    This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people have had not honoured even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

    It is very important to try and honour at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realise, until they no longer have it.

    2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.

    This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

    By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

    3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.

    Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

    We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

    4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.

    Often they would not truly realise the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

    It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

    5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.

    This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.

    When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

    Life is a choice. It is YOUR life. Choose consciously, choose wisely, choose honestly. Choose happiness.”

    ~ ~ ~

    Now, Readers, you may find Monday morning an awkward time to ponder the great questions of your existence. After all, Monday morning is a time for starting, not for stopping, or for navel-gazing, and there’s a helluva work to get done this week.

    But, in fact, there is no better time than this Monday morning for you to be thinking about the future and how you’ll look back on the past; on how you’ll look back on today.

    That’s because every change begins with a start, just like this Monday morning.

    Are you doing what makes sense for you and your family? Are you doing what’s right for who you are and who you want to be? Are you living the way you will wish you had wanted to?

    In my conversations with subscribers like you over the years, I’ve found time and again that the answers to those questions are: “no”.

    And when asked the reason why?… there’s never much of a good answer other than that they hadn’t started yet.

    So this Monday morning, on your way to work, as you sit there, alive and living in a way that someday, somewhere, you’ll remember fondly, distantly, perhaps ruefully…

    Take this moment to ask yourself the most courageous question of all:

    Will I regret this when I’m gone?

    Whatever your answer, Readers, you know…


    P.S. I also loved these life lessons shared by Erma Bombeck and Regina Brett. “I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.” and “The best is yet to come.” Indeed.

  • I hadn’t realized I was doing it wrong until they told me

    Here’s an easy way to turn dreaded employment networking into deadly effective bonding:

    When you’re networking, ask for a reference, not a job.

    Whether you’re doing catch-up drinks or grabbing lunch to reconnect, your primary need is to get an ally, not a tally of job listings. Recruiting a helping hand to your search is your goal.

    So don’t ask your college friend if she knows of any jobs for people like you. How would she?

    And don’t ask your boss from two jobs ago if she has the names of any people who are currently looking to hire somebody like you. It puts her on the spot. Uncomfortably.

    No, instead, ask for a reference. Mention that you’re going to be moving on, or you’re already looking, or that you’re actively out on the street. Let them know the type of positions you are and are not suited for, and what you’re hoping to achieve in your next opportunity.

    And then ask them if — when it gets to that happy place in your search — if it would be OK to use them as a reference.

    By not putting them on the spot about specific job openings, you reduce the awkwardness inherent in the networking conversation.

    And by letting them know that you hold them in high enough esteem to potentially use them as a reference, you’re actually paying them a compliment.

    You’re also making it easier for them to say “yes”, and to feel good about themselves for being a good friend and helping you out with a little favor.

    All of which means that you have a new buddy in your search — one who’s going to be thinking about keeping an eye out for new opportunities and an ear open for fresh possibilities for their reference-able friend: you.

    It’s wins and grins all around.

    Now, this doesn’t work for just any old person you meet on the street. There’s probably a pretty good match between people you’d take to lunch and those you could ask to be a reference. So my advice would be to stick to asking those you know well enough.

    Being realistic, the widely offered and deeply wrong advice from the past decade that you should try to extract favors, concessions, names, jobs, and career assistance from people you’ve only met over the phone is not only useless, it can be counterproductive to your aims by antagonizing your broader network.

    By making your networking about compliments, you’ll find it pays dividends.

    Good luck in the search this week!

  • One resume to rule them all

    If I ripped off the top third of your resume and handed it to a complete stranger…

    …would they be able to tell me what you wanted to do with the rest of your life?

    If the answer is no, then you should consider updating your resume strategy.

    You see, the top 1/3 of your resume should be a professional summary that expresses quickly and succinctly what you’re looking to do next by showcasing the abilities that will get you there.

    HR professionals, hiring managers, executive recruiters: they’re all pressed for time these days and they can’t try to guess what you’re looking for.

    A “professional summary” at the top of your resume lists the relevant accomplishments, qualifications and proficiencies for the job you would like to get, and is an important part of helping people understand you and what role they should consider hiring you for.

    The biggest temptation is to list all your past accomplishments. Avoid it.

    Nobody wants to read your “ingredients” label — the comprehensive listing of everything and anything that you contain.

    Would you market Coke Zero by putting Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Benzoate and Potassium Citrate in the same size font on the label as “great Coke taste, zero calories”? No, because you’d want to emphasize the most important things, rather than distract people with irrelevant information.

    So don’t make it tough on your audience. Use the top-third of your resume to list the skills, capabilities and talents relevant to your next job.

    You also need to stick to just one resume. This has been the best advice for a long time, but it’s even more so in our digitally-connected social media world.

    I know all the arguments for multiple resumes. You want to tailor each to the position. You want to target a particular firm. You want to emphasize “this” here and “that” there.

    My experience over the last decade suggests:

    • They’re not paying that much attention. As our own research has shown, small changes in word emphasis are lost on the typical resume reviewer. They spend 6 seconds doing a first review of your resume. Get the big picture right, and good things follow. Waste time wordsmithing and you’ll frustrate yourself.
    • You’re not that good of a writer. Perhaps a great writer could communicate these subtle nuances, if she had enough experience with the audience, the material, and the intended effect. That great writer is probably not you. Focus your efforts on where you can make the most impact.
    • Even if you are a good writer, you’re too close to yourself, and too far from understanding the market for professionals like you, to craft the right message. Your target audience has reviewed dozens of resumes for this very position. As a result, your audience has a much more nuanced and subtle feel for what the market looks like and which experiences and backgrounds are big advantages. It’s simply unlikely that even a great writer will guess correctly what each particular reviewer wants to see most. You are far better off getting a single resume “mostly right” and investing the rest of your job-search time elsewhere.

    And finally, your online presence needs to back up your paper resume and be consistent with your offline job goals.

    You’ve got social network profiles, results about you that show up in Google searches, and a social media presence that looks the same to your audience regardless of which resume you give them. It is important that your online and offline presences provide one consistent story.

    If the two look dissimilar, or, even worse, conflict in small or important ways, you set yourself apart as an unserious, or potentially untruthful, candidate. Nothing will get you not hired faster than untruths.

    It is highly unlikely that you’re a skillful enough writer and editor to make one social presence support two or more competing resumes. So you need to have one resume.

    One presence, one theme, one summary, one coherent career goal…

    One resume to rule them all.

    Have a great week!

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