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.
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 lÏetting me know how it goes…
I’m rooting for you!
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:
We’ve all been there — the job rejection that really stung, as with this tweet from Brian Acton in August of 2009…
Brian was feeling a bit washed up. His 11 years as an early employee at Yahoo! was now two years in the past.
He’d bounced from job to job in Silicon Valley’s startup land, and now he’d been turned down by both Facebook and, as he tweeted a few months prior, Twitter.
It’s kind of scary to be pushing 40 and feel like you’re being pushed out the door.
But the most beautiful thing about Brian is the good grace and optimism with which he handled his rejection — “It was a great opportunity to connect with some fantastic people. Looking forward to life’s next adventure.”
The hurt radiates from those 140 characters. And also a strength of character.
So Brian stuck with it. And ended up landing a job with an old colleague from Yahoo! — somebody he’d hired, actually. It wasn’t much, and he got the grand title of ‘Co-Founder’ and no salary for his efforts.
Which paid off. If you’ve followed the news this past week, you know that Brian and his co-founder sold their company to Facebook for $19 billion, with a ‘b’, making Brian’s stake worth some $4 billion. Again… with a ‘b’.
Which speaks to the importance of never giving up. Even if you’re “too old” or “past your prime” or “washed up.”
And the point of this story is not that you, too, can go start a company and sell it to Facebook for billions.
The point of the story is that you just never know what’s going to happen to you… unless you quit trying.
If you quit trying, I can guarantee that all of your fears will come true — you’ll be forgotten, you’ll be passed by, and you won’t get the next great opportunity.
But if you keep trying, good things can happen.
If you keep trying, something will come your way.
If you keep trying, sooner or later, as the odds begin to pile up in your favor, you will get that lucky break.
And while it may not have the delicious poetic justice of being turned down for a 6-figure job only to get a 10-figure payout four years later, sticking with it will give you the satisfaction of giving yourself the respect, and the chance, you deserve.
Have a 10-figure week in your job search this week, Readers!
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 Winter 2014:
Top Corporate Recruitment Professionals
Talent Acquisition Specialist at Lexis Nexis
Solutions Consultant- – Los Angeles, CA
Territory Manager – White Plains, NY
Litigation Solutions Account Executive – New York, NY
Corporate Recruiter at CVENT
HR Business Partner / Senior Associate (L&D) – McLean, VA
Sales Executive, Ticketing – McLean, VA
HR Operations / HRIS Analyst – Austin, TX
Recruiter at Radiant systems
Senior Project Manger – Thousand Oaks, CA
Desktop Support Analyst – Franklin Lakes, NJ
Business Analyst – Franklin Lakes, NJ
Talent Acquisition Partner at Weyerhaeuser Company
Production Supervisor – Emerson, AR
Maintenance Engineering Manager – Cottage Grove, OR
Site Operations Supervisor – Fontana, CA
Recruiting Manager at Taxware
Director of Production Operations – Wilmington, MA
Principal Software Developer – Wilmington, MA
North American Sourcing Strategist at Accenture
High Performance Research Fellow – High Tech – San Jose, CA
Compensation Design / Discipline Manager – Seattle, WA
Senior Manager, Technical Accounting – Chicago, IL
Sales Recruiting at ADP
B2B Retirement Plan Sales Professional – Denver, CO
B2B Software Sales Professional – Sacramento, CA
B2B Software Sales Professional – San Francisco, CA
Talent Specialist at Havas Worldwide Health
Director of Operations – Rx Pharmaceutical Advertising – New York, NY
Medical Director, Rx Pharmaceutical Advertising – New York, NY
Account Supervisor, Rx Pharmaceutical Managed Care – New York, NY
Senior Recruiter at Groupon
Account Executive – San Francisco, CA
Reserve Account Executive – Boston, MA
Getaways Account Executive – Los Angeles, CA
Recruiting Manager at Avanade Inc.
SharePoint Developer Consultant – Houston, TX
SharePoint Developer Sr. Consultant – Houston, TX
Business Intelligence Developer Consultant – Houston, TX
Recruitment Consultant at Capgemini
Portal Architect – Liferay (Manager) – Chicago, IL
Senior Solutions / Security Architect – PA
Sourcing Specialist at Honeywell
Structural Engineer – Tulsa, OK
Mechanical Engineer – Tulsa, OK
Static Equipment Engineer – Tulsa, OK
Manager, Talent Acquisition at Rust-Oleum
Marketing Communications Manager – Vernon Hills, IL
Senior Systems Engineer – Vernon Hills, IL
Sales and Inventory Analyst – Vernon Hills, IL
Director, Recruiting at RentPath
Outside Sales Executive – Dallas, TX
Outside Sales Executive – Washington, DC
Outside Sales Executive – Richmond, VA
Talent Manager at BCG Company
Great Plains Consultant – Akron, OH
NetSuite Consultant – Atlanta, GA
Audit Associate – Akron, OH
Federal Talent Acquisition at EMC
Software Sales Manager – McLean, VA
Sales Engineer (Presales) – McLean, VA
Sr. Sourcing Specialist at Gartner, Inc.
Sr. Account Executive – Arlington, VA
Client Recruitment Specialist, AllegisTalent2 at American Express
Regional Manager of Business Development – Valdosta, GA
Recruitment Specialist at Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
Actuary – Chicago, IL
Client Service Specialist at Starwood Hotels & Resorts – Allegis Group Services
Associate Director, Digital Technical Lead – Stamford, CT
Top Executive Recruiters Joe Szlosek
Partner at J&S Recruitment
Senior Plant Quality Engineer – Medical Device – Ithaca, NY
Senior Buyer – Food Ingredients – Albany, NY
Human Resources Generalist – Elmira, NY
Senior Technical Recruiter at Rangam Consultants Inc
Procurement Manager – New Brunswick, NJ
Marketing Specialist – Boston, MA
Project Coordinator – New York City, NY
VP at Brookfield Associates Inc.
Regional Sales Manager – Baltimore, MD
Sr. Sales Professional – Elmsford, NY
Group Insurance Representative – National Leader – Philadelphia, PA
Director of Corporate Sourcing at The Premier Group
Sales Manager – Regional – Paramus, NJ
Information Technology Manager – Morristown, NJ
Marketing Director – Danbury, CT
Recruiter at Royce Ashland Group, Inc.
Supply Chain Engineer – Warehousing – Alpharetta, GA
Transit Planner – Austin, TX
Senior Associate Auditor – Kansas City, MO
Recruiter at MR Chicago
Process Engineer – Indianapolis, IN
Quality Engineer – Indianapolis, IN
Repair Supervisor – Schaumburg, IL
President at Right Executive Search
Project Manager, Profit Planning (Automotive) – Kalamazoo, MI
Cost Planning Analyst – Kalamazoo, MI
Senior Tax Accountant – Stamford, CT
Project Manager at Reaction Search International
B2C Sales Account Executive – Rockville, MD
B2B Sales Account Executive – Walnut Creek, CA
Aerospace Sales Professional – Miami, FL
Executive Recruiter at Linium Resources
Assistant Vice President, Finance & Tax / FP&A Specialist – Jersey City, NJ
Roadshow / Corporate Access, VP – New York, NY
Desk Review, AML Compliance Specialist – New York, NY
Managing Partner at The Lambright Group
Software Engineer – Chicago, IL
Sr. Software Engineer – Chicago, IL
Outside Sales Enterprise Sales Executive – Atlanta, GA
Congratulations to them all! For the full list of 200 Corporate Recruitment Professionals and 200 Executive Recruiters, click here.
Good luck to you in your search this week.
We took the obvious and put it on your smartphone:
We push jobs to your phone based on your personal profile.
This is really convenient when you’re just trying to kill five minutes productively at the airport, your kid’s soccer match, or while waiting between meetings.
We give you a reality check and show you all the other applicants for the job.
Anonymously, of course — but you get to see their years of experience, salary, and a bit about their background. Makes it easy to know if you’re wasting your time, or have a pretty good shot at being competitive for the role.
Easily show interest to employers for the jobs you want.
It’s no secret that our social, connected world, is a bit more immediate, and a bit more casual than the formal days of typed cover letters and letters of introduction. We support both long-form applications and short, one-click, indications of interest for the employers who prefer that. That means it’s easy for you to get started right away from your smartphone.
Employer feedback direct to your phone
You’ll know where you stand when employers send their feedback direct to your phone. When employers review your application or indication of interest, and make a determination, we share that info with you. That way it’s easy for you to focus your efforts on the opportunities most likely to turn into an offer for you.
So I hope you’ll download TheLadders mobile app for your phone and get going today!
We have over sixty 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. Even with the distraction of the Olympics, we expect February to be a month of strong demand for new employees, so these employers will appreciate your help!
National Sales Manager at EBA Financial
Outside Sales Representative – Arlington, VA
Outside Sales Representative – Alexandria, VA
Outside Sales Representative – Hampton, VA
Partner at Bradford Group Consulting and Staffing
Senior Business Data Governance Consultant – Edison, NJ
Senior Data Modeling Consultant – Edison, NJ
Senior Data Modeling Consultant – Stamford, CT
Recruiting at Advocate Merchant Solutions, Inc.
Senior Sales Executive – Helper, UT
Senior Sales Executive – Helenville, WI
Senior Sales Executive – Hellertown, PA
Senior Recruiter at The Porter Group
Sales Representative / 7550149 – Baltimore, MD
Sales Representative / – 7751733 – Baltimore, MD
Regional Sales Manager/-1071283 – Baltimore, MD
President at Search Solution Group
Director of Real Estate – Charlotte, NC
Financial Reporting Analyst (BIG 4, CPA) – Charlotte, NC
Project Engineer – Charlotte, NC
Managing Director and Executive Recruiter at The Compliance Search Group, LLC
Treasurer / Chief Compliance Officer Company – Fort Lee, NJ
Senior Manager/ Director- Anti-Money Laundering – New York, NY
Director Regulatory Relations – Jersey City, NJ
Founder/President at Kennedy Unlimited Inc Professional Staffing
Manager Safety Instrumented Systems – Houston, TX
Project Manager Industrial Distribution – Houston, TX
International Trade Manager – Houston, TX
President at RMN Global Search
Contract Attorney – Atlanta, GA
Real Estate Finance Associate Attorney – Atlanta, GA
IP Litigation Associate Attorney – Atlanta, GA
Recruiter at iPRO Staffing
Business Strategy & Intergration Manager – Phoenix, AZ
Director of Emergency Department – Kingman, AZ
Directory of Respiratory Therapy – Kingman, AZ
Manager at VBENCH
Developer – Chicago, IL
Mobile App Developer – Chicago, IL
Sr. Consultant – Hammond, IN
Go for the gold!
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, where you work in an office, in 2014, 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 they didn’t already know 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 it.
And write a different sentence that makes sense.
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 a Japanese star being signed to play for the Yankees).
Rather, the things you do that deserve a bonus describe your accomplishments, not your position.
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 the number of $ signs and % signs on your resume. Now double them.
That is, rewrite your resume and include twice as many $ and % as were on your original resume. (And 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 $11 million in new bookings through database marketing.
- Reduced server load by 73%, and server cost by 22% through refactoring old code base.
- Save $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!
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 mobile).
For example, here’s a closeup of the two parts of an applicant for a Director of Strategic Planning job:
This person’s current title is Vice President of Marketing, their compensation is around $160K, and they have over 15 years experience.
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:
Or a candidate for a Regional Vice President, Sales job:
Or a Director, Human Resources position:
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" in this (remarkably cold so far) New Year!
We’re starting 2014 with more employers on TheLadders system than ever before. Compared to a year ago, we’re seeing:
Twice as many registered employers
Almost three times as many logins as a year ago,
With three times as many searches, and
50% more job postings posted with us.
All of that means that we’ve got lots of employers with a need to fill their 2014 jobs right now. Today. Pronto.
And I mean quick.
So take a look through this partial list of top employers on TheLadders and click through to see employment opportunities on TheLadders:
Have a great week in the search, Readers!
I’m rooting for you.
Thousands of your fellow subscribers have found their new jobs this past year on TheLadders!
Employers using TheLadders to hire grew 50% in the past year, and hiring activities on our site doubled.
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 $150K New York VP of Software Development $160K Parsippany, NJ Vice President Operations $145K Tulsa, OK Vice President of Brand Strategy $140K Columbus, OH VP of Sales $100K New York, NY Vice President, Engineering $120K Peoria, IL VP of Marketing $175K Charlotte, NC Senior VP $150K New York, NY VP of Operations $125K Houston, TX VP Creative Development $100K Tampa, FL Vice President $200K Melville, NY VP of Marketing $140K Goshen, Indiana Director $145K Raleigh, NC Plant Manager $135K Louisville, KY Director of Finance $105K Los Angeles, CA Project Manager $110K Houston, TX Sales Manager $107K Muskegon, MI Strategic Account Manager $88K Milwaukee, WI Division Sales Specialist $125K Virtual / Travel Senior Director $110K New York, NY Account Director $150K New York, NY Client relationship Manager $80K Chicago, IL Executive Director $125K Alamogordo, NM Citrix Business Systems Architect $166K New York, NY Chief Financial Officer $130K Coppell, TX President $200K Pittsburgh, PA Director of Sales $110K Colorado General Manager $175K New Jersey Marketing Manager $95K San Diego, CA Maintenance Manager $100K Havre de Grace, MD District Manager $90K Nashville, TN Assistant Controller $100K Long Island Director, Global Learning & Development $145K Dallas, TX IT Program Manager $170K Troy, MI Sr. Buyer $100K Houston, TX International Sales Manager $95K Wisconsin Senior Financial Analyst $95K Miami, FL HR Partner $107K New York, NY Task Lead $95K Arlington, VA Systems Engineer $85K New York, NY Program Manager $115K San Diego, CA Sr. Tax Manager $100K Charlotte, NC Software Manager $90K Champaign, IL Tech Research $150K New York Director, Supply Chain $150K St Louis, MO Senior Tibco Developer $110K New York, NY Sales $90K Alpharetta, GA Infrastructure Integration Engineer $145K New York, NY Director, Marketing $145K Chicago IL Director of Territory Sales $110K Virtual Call Center Manager $120K Nashville, TN Manager, Global Accounts $108K Los Angeles, CA Director of Internal Audit $220K Atlanta, GA Western Region Sales $110K San Jose, CA District Sales Manager $85K Milford CT Branch Manager $100K Temple Terrace, FL Director of Financial Accounting Operations $170K Ashburn, VA Direct Response Sales Executive $100K New England Hospital Manager $110K Concord, CA Senior Account Manager $110K Virtual / Travel Project Lead $113K Reston, VA Sr. Director, Marketing $145K Los Angeles, CA Project Manager $80K Dallas, TX Director of Engineering Services $145K Flat Rock, MI Director, Market Research $142K Seattle, WA Account Executive $100K Boise, ID Channel Program Manager $120K Chicago General Manager $180K El Paso, TX Cloud Healthcare Manager $150K Atlanta, GA Senior Principal $140K Boston, MA Branch Manager $90K Harrisburg, PA Director of Marketing $135K New York, NY Client Partner $132K Cincinnati, OH Client Manager $85K Orlando, FL Sr. Account Executive $125K Midwest Account Executive $200K Boston, MA Controller $131K Naperville, IL Account Executive $100K Florida Director of Sales $105K Iowa HR Director $123K San Francisco, CA Sr. IT Project Manager $140K Sunnyvale, CA Sales, Marketing & Public Relations Manager $120K Annapolis, MD Business Development Manager $120K Austin, TX COO $110K The Dalles, OR Director Testing and Quality $160K Sunnyvale, CA Account Executive $90K Philadelphia, PA Director of HR $130K New Jersey Supply chain Manager $110K Long Branch, NJ CRM Strategist $150K Lakeland FL General Manager $125K Yonkers, NY SAP GRC Systems Controls $130K New York, NY Account Executive $100K East Meadow, NY Chief Research Officer $185K Virtual / Travel Agent $85K Orange, CA Site Manager $115K Bethlehem, PA Senior Software Sales $90K Dallas, TX Director, Pacific Operations $150K South Korea Contracts Administrator $85K Redwood City, CA Consultant $115K New York, NY Director of Learning $115K Sacramento, CA
Good luck in your search this week!
I’ll be rooting for you.
These are the last days of the year, and a good time to make your New Year better-paying.
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.
I’ll be rooting for you.