• Hired!

    Thousands of your fellow TheLadders.com subscribers have found their new jobs this Summer!

    It does feel like the economy, if not getting better, has at least quit preventing companies from replacing positions that they need to fill. As a result, companies are hiring, your fellow subscribers are starting new jobs, and we’ve seen a very high level of employer activity on our site — as a matter of fact, 4x the level of logins, job postings and downloads we saw in the summer of 2007 before the whole crisis began!

    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
    Business Development Manager $95K New York, Ny
    Director of IT Operations $145K Atlanta, GA
    Director of Financing Planning & Analysis $170K Boston, MA
    Director of Sales & Business Development $110K Chicago, IL
    Executive Assistant $45K New York City, NY
    North American Sales Manager $110K Virtual
    Regional Environmental Manager $107K Oakdale, CA
    VP, HR $140K Denver, CO
    Senior . NET Developer $97K New York, NY
    Sr. Product Manager $120K Atlanta, GA
    Regional Sales Manager $80K Virtual
    Director of IT $165K Boston, MA
    Account Executive $55K Boca Raton, FL
    General Manager $125K Dallas, TX
    Assisted Living Coord $57K Brooklyn, NY
    Director of Quality $130K Franklin, TN
    Senior Manager Spend Strategy $130K Maryland
    Director of IT $135K Alpharetta, GA
    National Account Manager – Field Sales $85K New York
    Senior Associate $95K Dayton, Ohio
    Project Manager $92K New York City, NY
    Senior Director $185K Toronto, ON
    IT Manager $132K Michigan
    Vice President of Finance $150K Pennsylvania
    Regional Director $130K Cypress, CA
    General Manager $200K Houston, TX
    Vice President of Sales & Marketing $200K Dallas, TX
    CRM Consultant $90K Florida
    Business Analyst $90K Berkeley, CA
    Global Director $180K New York
    Strategic Alliances Manager $115K Nashville, TN
    Director $145K Director
    Technical Lead $115K Blue Bell, PA
    City Manager $75K Orlando, FL
    IT support analyst $52K Dallas, TX
    System Analyst $91K Dallas, TX
    Sr. Product Manager $120K CT
    Chief Financial Officer $250K NYC
    Sales Consultant $70K Tucson, AZ
    National Sales Manager $100K Dallas, TX
    Director of Sales $134K Houston, TX
    Litigation Paralegal $46K Huntsville, AL
    Director of Strategy $130K Dallas, TX
    Regional Sales Manager $140K Dallas, TX
    Vice President of Marketing $135K Houston, TX
    Plant Manager $120K Spokane, WA
    Manager, Information Technology $120K San Diego, CA
    Director of Marketing $100K Wilmington, MA
    Corporate Commodity Manager $87K Florida
    Business Development Executive $50K Seattle, WA
    Sales Executive $145K Phoenix, AZ
    Director of Business Development $105K Wisconsin
    Regional Sales Manager $110K East Coast
    Director of Product Management $150K Atlanta, GA
    Sr. Manager $125K Glendale, CA
    Product Manager $85K Nashville, TN
    Director, Business Development $125K Remote
    Retirement Sales Representative $49K Naperville, IL
    Sales Agent $105K Boston, MA
    IT Director $140K San Diego, CA
    Client Program Director $130K Houston, TX
    Global Account Manager $100K Virtual / Travel
    Director of Finance & Administration $100K Dallas, TX
    Sales Representative $110K Michigan
    Corporate Controller $125K Atlanta, GA
    VP Operations $150K Wisconsin
    Regional Sales Executive $80K Houston, TX
    Regional Representnative $50K Baltimore, MD
    Consultant $160K Los Angeles, CA
    Vice President of Human Resources $140K New Jersey
    Global Enterprise Solutions Manager $85K Seattle, WA
    Regional Sales Executive $70K Princeton, NJ
    Business Development Representative $85K Florida
    VP of Operations $175K Pittsburgh, PA
    Director of Finance $140K Wakefield, MA
    HR Systems Manager $125K Ewing, NJ
    VP Sales & Marketing $200K Janesville, WI
    Director $180K New York
    Director Consulting $128K Remote
    Director of Human Resources $130K Alton, IL
    President & CEO $160K Kentucky
    Commercial Sales $62K Nebraska
    Vice President of Product $145K Minneapolis, MN
    Director Tech Product $165K Denver, CO
    Director Process Improvement $120K Atlanta, GA
    Manager, Digital Marketing $72K Chicago
    Director $115K Tennessee
    Territory Account Manager $90K Dallas, TX
    Solution Architect $130K NYC
    Financial Analyst $107K Tomball, TX
    Presales Consultant $125K Monterey, CA
    Business Development Manager $30K Orlando, FL
    Sales Representative $100K Nationwide
    Director Field Marketing $120K Charlotte, NC
    Sr. Administrative Assistant $45K Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Controller $150K Levittown, PA
    Director of Operations $120K Maryland
    National Sales Manager $100K Richmond, VA
    General Manager $120K Puerto Rico
    Agent $100K Burbank, CA
    Field Sales Representative $60K Tampa, FL
    Product Specialist $150K New York
    Internal Sales $40K Charlotte, NC
    Finance Director $180K Delaware
    Project Manager $105K Waltham, MA
    Director of Sales $55K Houston
    Human Resources Business Partner $120K Murray, KY
    Marketing Manager $110K Falls Church, VA
    Director of Marketing and Sales $165K RTP
    HR Manager $120K Philadelphia, PA
    Global Product Manager $117K Michigan
    Sales Manager $65K Philadelphia, PA
    Senior Management Consultant $185K Virtual
    Territory Manager $52K Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Principal $200K Pennsylvania
    Sales Representative $50K Charlotte, NC
    Solutions Architect $88K NYC
    National Distribution Manager $135K Charlotte, NC
    Sr. Software Engineer $105K Saint Paul, MN
    Director of Marketing $125K Alpharetta, GA
    Sr. Process Controls Engineer $115K Taunton, MA
    Senior Account Executive $90K Scottsdale, AZ
    Sales $25K Chattanooga, TN
    Advisory Manager $150K Everywhere

    Good luck in your search this week!

  • I know what you did this summer

    Well it’s the last week of summer, which means it’s getting time to put the boat away, send the kids back to school, get the grill ready for tailgating, and get ready for football season!

    It also means that it’s time to spy on yourself.

    You see, with the internet being the first place that people go to search for things these days, it’s also the first place recruiters and hiring managers go to learn about you “on the sly.” Almost 90% of recruiters and hiring managers admit to reviewing social media and the Web for information about candidates they are interviewing.

    It’s important that you review your presence to make sure you are making the kind of impression you’d like on the following sites by reviewing your brand, putting your best foot forward, and tackling the bad:

    Twitter

    Facebook

    TheLadders

    Google:
         firstname lastname
         firstname lastname city
         firstname lastname zipcode

    LinkedIn

    Brand

    You should have a simple story to tell about what you’re looking for in your next role and you should use your online presence to support and expand on that story. When employers compared your resume and your answers in an interview to what they find online, there can’t be a disconnect, or something that doesn’t make sense.

    Even better, the articles you share, the comments you make, the professional affiliations you display and the way you present yourself should add color to your career history and provide employers with a more rounded view of your expertise and passion for a particular industry.

    Best foot forward

    If you’ve used other job boards in the past, old versions of your resume could be floating around the web and sending mixed signals to recruiters. Close those accounts that are no longer relevant to your search and update the others with your most current resume and contact information (You can update your TheLadders account here.)

    Make sure all of your professional profiles (including those from your professional memberships and alumni associations), are in alignment with your new resume and highlight your relevant skills, education and experience.

    Bad

    We’ve found that 1/3 of you don’t Google yourself annually, and 1/6th of you have never Google’d yourselves at all. It’s important that you know!

    It’s the first page of results that’s most important, so it’s the first page of results that you really want to focus on and understand.

    If all you find is glowing praise and adulation, fantastic for you and congratulations!

    But if you find material that might put you in the wrong light, it’s important to try and do something about it:

    - If you control the site or page that has the troubling information or photos, patch up your online reputation quickly by removing or deleting the questionable material.

    - If you do not control the site, another way to improve your online reputation is to push the offending material down in the results. That’s why managing your presence on social networks can be so important.

    By making sure you are presented in a brand appropriate way on Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare, Quora, Meetup, About.me, LinkedIn, Google+, etc, you can reinforce the positive and push away the negative.

    Each of these sites allows you to have a public presence on a highly ranked website that count toward your appearance on the Web. By creating a consistent presence across multiple properties, you improve your chances of controlling the first page of results.

    - It’s a long shot, but if you’re unable to remove the offending information, you can ask the site owner or webmaster to remove it. You are asking for a favor, so never approach a website proprietor with outrage, incredulity, or legal posturing. I can guarantee that won’t work, and it usually backfires when said proprietor posts your communications for future visitors to read and ridicule.

    Your best bet is to humbly seek their help… “I’m looking to clean up my online reputation so that my family, friends, and business colleagues won’t get the wrong idea about me. There is some unfortunate information on your website, and I’d really appreciate it if you would consider removing this particular bit. I know you have the right to have whatever you want on your site, and perhaps you didn’t even put everything up there yourself. So I would really appreciate it if you could help out a guy who is in a little bit of a jam.”

    Again, the anonymous Internet seems to make e-mail arguments much easier, and many website operators can be very prickly about preserving their independence, so never, ever take a high-handed or aggressive approach.

    - If all else fails, you’ll have to be prepared for the question in your job interview. Simply and clearly state the circumstances that led to the bad information and then stop. Don’t go into a long or tortured conversation about implications, how it makes you feel, or how unfair it is. By being open, honest and sensible, you may actually be able to come out ahead…

    “Yes, during the downturn I was required to let go over 650 people in my division. Unfortunately, several of the impacted people shared their negative viewpoints of my performance in that role online. I can understand and sympathize with their anger, but I thought that preserving the ability of our company to survive very difficult economic times was in our best interests.”

    “Is there anything specific I can address for you?”

    If you forthrightly answer the question, show an openness to further inquiry (the appetite for digging through dirty laundry is actually much smaller than you’d imagine), and then move on, you’ll be doing the best to put a positive spin on an unfortunate situation.

    OK, Readers, I hope you have a great last week of the summer, and let’s “get back” to work next week!

    I’ll be rooting for you…

  • My 10th anniversary and best tip of the decade


    Ten years ago today, I sent my first TheLadders newsletter to all three of our subscribers.

    Today’s newsletter reaches an audience of 6.1 mm subscribers, and for that, I thank you all very, very much!

    In all those years, 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”.

    Subscribers like you say the interviewer’s face lights up when you ask 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 ever.

    So thank you, Dear Readers, for trying out all my advice over this past decade, and for making this one my best.

    I’m rooting for you.

  • Why we let employers hire you at no charge

    Why do the top hiring professionals in the country — like the forty listed below — choose to work with TheLadders? That’s easy:

    1. It’s free. It’s always free to post your jobs and search the resume database here at TheLadders.

    2. We’re a membership-based community. And that means we’re much better behaved than the average internet hangout. No spam invitations or weird requests to get in the way of their hiring you.

    3. It’s divided by pay-grade. Applicants can’t apply to jobs inappropriately, so there’s no big pile of spam applications for hiring managers or recruiters to go through. In fact, the typical job at TheLadders gets just fourteen well-focused applicants.

    And that’s why the best corporate recruitment professionals and executive recruiters in the country use TheLadders for their hiring needs.

    Each quarter, our CEO Alex Douzet publishes our list of the “The Top Recruitment Professionals In America”. This list represents the savviest, most supportive and most successful hiring professionals in the USA, and we are very pleased to have them be a part of the extended TheLadders family.

    Without further ado, here is TheLadders’ List of Top Recruitment Professionals in America for Summer 2013:

    Top Corporate Recruitment Professionals:

    Dionne Heard
    Accenture
    Corporate Allocation Specialist, Finance, Atlanta, GA
    Corporate Allocation Specialist II , Atlanta, GA
    Head of HR Internal Communications, New York, NY
    Tammy Dutremble
    NCR
    Software Developer III, Alpharetta, GA
    QA Engineer, Sr., Salt Lake City, UT
    Systems Administrator – Application Operations Team , Fort Worth, TX
    Marsha Majewski
    Ricoh
    Managed Services Sales Specialist, Newburgh, NY
    Human Resources Manager, Lisle, IL
    Production Print Sales Specialist, Latham, NY
    Vignesh Vigs
    AurionPro Inc
    Desktop Engineer, Lexington, KY
    Systems Engineer – DMS, Lexington, KY
    Business Analyst, Lexington, KY
    Elizabeth Tse
    Blue Shield of California
    Finance Expert, El Dorado Hills, CA
    Lead Health Data Analyst, El Dorado Hills, CA
    Medicare Sales Senior Manager, Costa Mesa, CA
    Paul Murphy
    Externetworks.Inc
    WebSphere developer, Newark, NJ
    Product Manager, Princeton, NJ
    Director Of Marketing, Princeton, NJ
    Gina Bell
    Cintas
    Digital Marketing Analyst, Mason, OH
    Senior Market Research Analyst, Mason, OH
    Vice President, Distribution and Transportation, Mason, OH
    Scott Hall
    Hunter Technical Resources
    CTO / CIO, Atlanta, GA
    HTML5 / CSS Web Developer, Atlanta, GA
    Project Manager , Atlanta, GA
    Zahid Miah
    IBM
    Senior Strategy & Change Operations Strategy, NY
    Finance Strategy and Transformation (Senior Manager), New York, NY
    Senior Manager Business Strategy & Transformation, New York, NY
    Gary Kaufman
    KPIT
    Sr. Consultant, Oracle Value Chain Planning, Virtual / Travel
    Sr. JD Edwards Finance Consultant, Virtual / Travel
    Sr. Consultant, JD Edwards Manufacturing , Virtual / Travel
    Patty Menke
    Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association
    Market Research Analyst, Chicago, IL
    Manager, BluesNet, Washington, DC
    Data Center Infrastructure Manager, Columbia, MD
    Tami Cusi PHR
    Nexant
    Senior Project Engineer, Boulder, CO
    Senior Project Analyst, Boulder, CO
    Senior Account Executive , Chicago, IL
    Ron Silver
    Nova Training Systems, Inc.
    ERP Sales Executive, Edison, NJ
    Account Executive – Data Warehousing, Charlotte, NC
    ERP Account Executive, McLean, VA
    Surya Prakash
    Radiant systems
    Information Security Consultant, Detroit, MI
    Java/j2ee Developer, Detroit, MI
    QA Tester, Detroit, MI
    Erin King
    MarketSource
    Account Executive, West Columbia, SC
    Business Analyst, Alpharetta, GA
    Inside Account Executive, Alpharetta, GA
    Tracy James
    Spirent Communications
    Regional Sales Manager, Eatontown, NJ
    Product Manager, Eatontown, NJ
    Technical Program Manager – Field Engineering, Eatontown, NJ
    Amanda Goldsberry
    ADP
    Major Accounts District Manager – Sales Rep, Baltimore, MD
    Software Engineer , Detroit, MI
    Major Accounts District Manager, Rockville, MD
    Matt Thomas
    The Right Thing an ADP Company
    Territory Sales Manager , Torrington, CT
    Territory Sales Manager , Virtual / Travel
    Territory Sales Manager , Pittsburgh, PA
    Allison Stromberg
    Traeger Pellet Grills, LLC
    Store Sales Manager, Edina, MO
    Store Sales Manager, Atlanta, GA
    Sales Manager, Charlotte, NC
    Gail Forbes
    Vidality
    Front End Growth Hacker, San Francisco, CA
    Mobile App Developer, Palo Alto, CA
    Maverick Copywriter / Editor, Palo Alto, CA

    Top Agency Recruitment Professionals:

    Darren Frank
    Recruitment Trends, Inc.
    Director of IT Support, New York, NY
    Director, Corporate Process Improvement, New York, NY
    Sr. DB2 / Oracle Database Administrator, New York, NY
    Matty Meyerberg
    Royce Ashland Group, Inc.
    Retail Marketing Manager – National Retail, Chicago, IL
    National Account Manager , Houston, TX
    Full-stack Ruby on Rails Software Engineer, Menlo Park, CA
    Richard Bryant
    Bryant Associates
    Reliability Engineering Manager , Houston, TX
    General Manager, Midwest
    IT Project Leader , NC
    James Warner
    Warner Search Group, LLC
    Patient Monitoring Sales Professional, Las Vegas, NV
    Product Sales Manager, Houston, TX
    Product Specialist , Dallas, TX
    Dhananjay Chouhan
    Collabera
    SOA Architect / Developer, Newark, DE
    .NET Developer , Columbus, OH
    Java Developer, Newark, DE
    Lori Bradin
    Bradin Search Group, Inc.
    Pharmaceutical Sales Rep, Akron, OH
    Pharmaceutical Regional Sales Director , Phoenix, AZ
    Hospital Pharmaceutical Sales Representative , Baltimore, MD
    Steve Kohn
    Affinity Executive Search
    National Account Manager – Lighting , Los Angeles, CA
    Application Production Support Engineer, KY
    APQP Engineer, KY
    Deanna Foulke
    hireVision Group, Inc.
    Electrical Engineer, Allentown, PA
    Software Engineer, Allentown, PA
    Warehouse Manager, Lehigh Valley, PA
    Jeremy Gnozzo
    Search Solution Group
    Assistant Controller, Charlotte, NC
    Senior Data Mining Specialist, Charlotte, NC
    Product Marketing Manager, Charlotte, NC
    Morgan Diaz
    TechPros Recruiting
    Principal Mechanical Engineer Payloads, Boston, MA
    Sr. Engineer – Medical Devices, Salt Lake City, UT
    Senior CAD Engineer Analog Simulation, Austin, TX
    Jack Kelly
    Compliance Search Group
    Head of Bank Anti-Money Laundering Compliance, New York, NY
    Legal Analyst – Paralegal – Asset Management, New York, NY
    Banking Compliance Officer, DE
    Dan Conroy, CPA
    Henderson Harbor Search LLC
    Tax Manager, New Brunswick, NJ
    Senior Tax Manager, New Brunswick, NJ
    Entry Level Research Analyst, Newark, NJ
    Harry W Gibson
    Gibson Associates
    Project Manager – Gas Turbine Engine Design , White River Junction, VT
    Dermatologist – General Practice, Coupeville, WA
    Clearwell Systems Engineer – eDiscovery, Washington, DC
    Robert LaFragola
    The Execu|Search Group
    Director of Internal Audit, New York, NY
    Tax Manager, New York, NY
    Regulatory Accountant, New York, NY
    Phillip Marquart
    Pinstripe Talent, INC.
    Site Head Legal Counsel, Fremont, CA
    Indirect Buyer, Morton Grove, IL
    Area Sales Representative, Midland, TX
    Shree Kumar
    Max Populi, LLC
    SAP SRM Managing / Senior Managing Consultant, Virtual / Travel
    GIS Lead, Pittsburgh, PA
    Director Brand Advertising / Media, San Jose, CA
    Sheryl Gundersen
    Schuler Consultants, Inc.
    Senior Systems Analyst – EDMS, Boston, MA
    Associate Psychometrician , Philadelphia, PA
    Production Superintendent, Seadrift, TX
    Carlos Jacquez
    OPTIMA Organizational Solutions
    General Manager (Call Center), Mahwah, NJ
    Manufacturing Manager, Oakwood, GA
    Sr. Advanced Manufacturing Engineering Manager, Detroit, MI
    Mike Aquino
    MPA Associates
    Project Process Engineer, Peoria, IL
    Mgr Process / Tooling Development, Gainesville, GA
    Quality Control Manager, Jasper, AL
    Kristen Helminiak
    Amotec, Inc.
    Maintenance Manager, Atlanta, GA
    Operations Manager, Atlanta, GA
    Purchasing Manager, Atlanta, GA

    Good luck in your search this week!

    I’ll be rooting for you.

  • What if you got fired today?

    Newsweek, The Boston Globe and The Washington Post were sold in the past 10 days, for about 5% of what they were worth a decade ago.

    Old fame fades. Old treasures dull. Old values disappear.

    What happens when the sun sets on you, dear Reader?

    When the clever things you did in your twenties, and the book learning you picked up in school, and even the scars on your back from your thirties, lose their relevance to the modern corporation?

    What will you do then?

    Because I can tell you, you’re not going to want to take a 95% haircut the way Newsweek and the newspapers did.

    We used to think that famous old companies and America’s greatest cities were somehow safer than the brand new start-up on the corner or the overnight boomtown.

    But the past few years have given us plenty of examples of how even the strongest succumb to time and troubles: Detroit, GM, New Orleans, American Airlines, Lehman Brothers… No company, no institution, no city is safe from change.

    So the worrisome thought for you – with your family to support, mortgage to pay off, and bills coming in – is…

    What would you do if you got fired today?

    What if your employer suddenly went bankrupt, belly-up, beyond the horizon in a boat made of lead?

    And the important thing to realize is that the best time to put together a plan for “what if I got fired today” is the time long before you actually need it.

    That time is now.

    So I’ve put together nine tips for insuring against unemployment by keeping yourself employable:

    Be thankful. At the end of each workday, write down one thing you enjoyed or appreciated that day. Just send yourself an email with two sentences: “What I liked about today was how Abby handled the new client call. It makes me proud to be a part of her team.” Small bits of gratitude remind you of why you took the job in the first place, and help reinforce your willpower to handle the rough times. If you do this every day, you’ll find yourself being more appreciative for your work and your colleagues.

    Show gratitude. At the start of each workday, email one colleague, vendor, or partner, and thank them specifically for something they’ve done for you. Showing your gratitude to others is just plain nice, but it also lets others know what you enjoy and would like to see from them. It doesn’t have to be long:

    “Steve – just wanted to say that you did a great job at the planning meeting yesterday and I thought you handled the question about the 2013 budget cycle very professionally.”

    The world will become appreciative of you for being so gracious. Over time, you’ll find that makes working together a richer and more enjoyable experience.

    Download our app. TheLadders iPhone app makes it very easy to keep an eye on the market, see the bios of people applying for jobs at your level, and give HR people and recruiters the wink when you’re looking for something new. Download our iPhone app today (Android coming soon….)

    Become the #2 person in a local Meetup group in your area of specialty. Meetups are local groups that meet to discuss areas of common interest. There are over 100,000 Meetup topics that cover everything from Marketing to Erlang to Business Law and more. Find one you like, start attending and contributing, and see how you can help organize. And if the right Meetup doesn’t exist in your town yet, you could even be the founder!

    Keep up with the latest. Sign up for one new service each month on your iPhone or Android. Ask your nephews, cousins, or the sharp woman in IT at work for recommendations. Sign up for something new and play with it for 15 minutes. You don’t have to love it – sometimes being able to explain why you don’t like a service or product is more valuable to an employer.

    Get 100 followers on Twitter that you don’t know. Interact with people in your industry and your area and build yourself a little safety net. It might take a week or it might take a year, but getting a community outside of your immediate work can actually feel very liberating.

    Stay connected. Once a year, reach out to your old bosses and let them know how you’re doing. Anybody who has invested the time, effort, and attention in getting your head screwed on straight will likely enjoy hearing how you’ve turned out (and take credit if the result is positive!)

    Stay in touch. Once a month, go to lunch with an old colleague, a former co-worker or a college classmate. Face-to-face, nacho-to-nacho, is the only way to keep true human relationships going. So break bread, grab a drink, or meet before work to share your experiences and trials.

    Keep connections warm. Go through all your contacts, e-mails, Rolodex, whatever and find fifty people from your industry that you wouldn’t ‘normally’ speak with in the next year. Assign those fifty people to the next fifty weeks – one person per week.

    Each week, e-mail just that one person with a reminder that you exist and that you remember them:

    “Hey Jerry, I was just thinking about how great it was to meet you at the annual show in Chicago. I wonder if that re-engineering project of yours ever finished! Well, stay in touch, and let me know if you’re ever in my town or want a few tips on the golf course/ Settlers of Catan / sample sales sites I was telling you about…”

    Look, the worst time to get up to speed on your tech skills, positive demeanor and networking chops is when you find yourself laid off or about-to-be-laid-off.

    So it’s important that you keep up your ability to find new employment just in case disaster strikes.

    With these nine tips, and just 15 minutes a day – between meetings, between flights, between weekend soccer games – you’ll keep yourself safe by purchasing the best type of unemployment insurance… employability.

    Have a great week in the search,

    I’ll be rooting for you!

  • Pro Tip: avoid sounding like a geezer when complaining to me about my age discrimination article

    My article today “Youth is the symptom, not the cause, of age discrimination” elicited a big response from our audience. One e-mailer demonstrated the wrong tack to take:

    Subject: Age is a Mindset Article

    How is an article like this supposed to help already stressed out older workers? And you are stating that 52 is old in the minds of recruiters? I am 66 years old, was a School Psychologist, and am looking for work. I am very sickened by these types of attitudes and articles; and by the way, there is something you can do about it. Older workers generally get along better with their co-workers because they do not spend so much time tweeting rather than real relationship building with other real people. Who in the world would want to work for a company that doesnt respect face to face and phone communication skills, writing and research ability without having to resort to “spellcheck”, etc.

    Sincerely,
    Nancy

    I responded:

    “Hi Nancy -

    The article is designed to help stressed-out older workers by giving them relatively easy steps to overcome mindset discrimination. Writing angry emails to the author is emblematic of the “not invented here” attitude that younger hiring mangers fear in an older worker.

    I would’ve recommended that you start with a proper intro such as “Dear Marc”, provided one or two nice thoughts about what you liked about the article, or at least acknowledged that the author was trying to be a positive force for change, before introducing your criticisms. I would’ve also avoided the run-on sentences and would’ve properly punctuated your final question.

    Presenting yourself as a “criticize first” personality in today’s marketplace will not help you land your next great gig.

    Hope that feedback helps — good luck with your search.

    Best / Marc”

    Folks, there are enough things going against you when you’re over 52 in the US labor market. You need to realize that this approach of talking down your nose to others isn’t helping you get where you want to go, and could accidentally allow others to misperceive you as a ‘geezer’. And you need to avoid that if you want to land your next great role.

  • Youth is the symptom, not the cause, of age discrimination

    One of the things I was most surprised by when I got into the jobs business over a decade ago was the prevalence and practice of age discrimination in hiring right here in the USA.

    Oh, sure… we’re not like some overseas markets where job ads explicitly demand youth, or a particular gender, or beauty(!), in the applicant, but there it is…

    The blank look on your interviewer’s face when you talk about growing up in the 60s or 70s. The skepticism with which your Twit-facebook-gram skills are regarded. The cultural references that pass silently like two Teslas in the night…

    Well, at least the younger generation seems to get your reference to "Gunga-galunga” and giggle.

    Most of the time.

    All of it adds up to a pernicious undercutting of your ability to get hired and get ahead. We just have to admit the ugly truth that age discrimination exists — there’s no doubt about it.

    And there’s no silver bullet for those facing it. If you’re in the job market and over the age of 52, you will almost certainly face stereotypes and negative attitudes regarding your desirability because of your age. And in some cities, in some markets, that negative environment impacts candidates as young as 40 years of age.

    While there’s nothing you can do to stop it, I have, over the years, observed which candidates and applicants have succeeded despite their age and which have failed because of it.

    If I had to summarize, I’d say it appears to me that age discrimination is mindset discrimination first and foremost. And you’ll need to review how you are presenting your mindset — your attitude — to your future employer.

    Every hiring manager is asking herself, every HR person is asking himself, these questions about you and every other candidate they’re interviewing…

    Will this candidate:

    - Be able to excel in this role?
    - Be able to learn and adjust as the role evolves?
    - Be able to master the tools and technologies involved today and tomorrow?
    - Get along well with others on the team?
    - Take direction and feedback?

    And it’s important for you to realize that youth is the symptom, not the cause, of age discrimination.

    What I mean by that is that hiring managers are hiring for open-mindedness, flexibility, and a sociability with others. On average, there’s a perception on the part of hiring managers, whether right or wrong, that those attributes are more frequently found in the young, as opposed to the experienced.

    And it’s worthwhile to review why these attributes have so much value in the business world today.

    As the world changes, businesses change even more rapidly. Companies sometimes need to jump on new trends before they pan out, or hedge their bets, or make sure they’re well-prepared for most contingencies. And that means there’s always plenty of "new" to keep up with.

    So a workforce that is flexible, open-minded and interested in learning is far better than a workforce that is determined to keep doing it the old way.

    "The old way works fine” might be OK for you around the home, but in business, it has proven to be an enormous destroyer of value. Take a look at the hard times that old famous companies have fallen upon. Heck, even some of the newer tech companies that were darlings within the last decade have had difficulties mastering new environments.

    So expecting your future employer to be pleased with an "old ways are tried and true” mindset won’t serve you well in your job search.

    So it is not necessarily youth itself that companies are hiring for, rather, it is those attributes that have proven effective in today’s business environment.

    The cause of age discrimination is the perception around older professionals’ adaptability, curiosity, and team spirit; youth is merely a symptom.

    Since you can’t change your age, your goal is to address the underlying root causes of age discrimination — your goal is not to appear or act age-inappropriate — it is to present yourself, effectively, as a constructive, resourceful, "coachable”, team player.

    When confronting misperceptions in your job search, it is always better to "show” than to "tell”:

    - Describe situations in which you adapted new technologies to the problem at hand. It is helpful if these examples aren’t from the seventies, but rather represent transitions that your interviewer herself went through.
    - Recount how you were able to help younger (and older) staffers get to a solution that was stumping all. Detail the challenges you faced and what tactics you used to overcome them.
    - Relate your experiences with receiving and using feedback constructively. Discuss how you used the situation to update your behavior and outlook. Share the process you went through to find where you could perform better and the steps you took to achieve an improvement. Ideally, quantify that improvement.
    - Illustrate with specific stories your interest in, and passion for, the work that you do. Why does it drive you? What excites you about your work? Your younger competition does this out of habit — because they can’t talk about decades of success in the business — so you need to make sure you put yourself on a fair footing.

    As you can see, the important thing is that rather than telling the hiring manager that you’re open-minded, curious, flexible, adaptable to new circumstances, and sociable enough for the role, show him that you are.

    And a final word to remake the point about youth being a symptom and not a cause of age discrimination.

    On occasion, one finds older candidates that mistake having an open mindset with mimicking a twenty-year-old’s mindset.

    There is a difference.

    Arriving at a job interview replete with the names of the latest bands, dropping age-inappropriate lingo into your answers, and wearing clothes that reveal too much about your desperation by trying too hard, all have the opposite effect of what you’d hope for.

    Interactions like these reconfirm your interviewer’s fears that you’ll be obtuse, unsavvy, and a management challenge on the job.

    No, your best tactics are to communicate, verbally and nonverbally, that you are adept at keeping up with the times, and, even more importantly, interested in doing so. And the best way for you to do that is to show them precisely those behaviors and traits for which they are interviewing.

    Good luck in the job search this week, Readers!

    I’m rooting for you. Gunga-galunga.

    P.S. You can find more resources on my colleague @JobSearchAmanda‘s blog here.

  • Recruiters are jerks… aren’t they?

    It’s no secret that the job-seeker’s relationship with recruiters and HR people can be fraught with fear, confusion, irritation and anger. It doesn’t take long in this business, or in your job search, to hear those feelings surface among people looking for, or open to, new employment.

    So let me explain why recruiters aren’t jerks, and how understanding their behavior, incentives, and needs, can help you get hired faster.

    First, some truths:

    - Recruiters and HR people work for the hiring manager, not you.
    - Their career choice is HR / recruiting, not the other field in which you’re currently employed.
    - Their job is to get a position filled, not to get you a job.
    - They have dozens of open positions, with demanding clients, and too many applicants.
    - They’ve discovered from long experience that professionals, like you, sometimes don’t know what they want.

    So you will inevitably find that HR people and recruiters:

    - Don’t have the same sense of urgency about your fate as you do.
    - Don’t prioritize your needs over the needs of their client.
    - Might not have the technical / business / experiential grasp of your field that you do.
    - Fail to take into account nuances of what you believe you’d like to do next.
    - Don’t respond as often, accurately, or forthcomingly, as you’d like.

    So, of course, you might feel entirely justified in writing off the whole bunch of them in your most irritable moments.

    But that’s not actually going to help you get hired.

    And, truth be told, the hiring managers that desperately need you for their job, don’t have the time and attention to manage the entire process, which is why they introduced an HR professional or recruiter into the equation in the first place.

    So rather than treat recruiters and HR people as miserable service providers, might I suggest a different approach?

    Treat them as customers.

    After all, you’re selling the most important thing you’re going to sell this year — your labor — probably three, four, or more, years’ worth.

    That’s multiple hundreds of thousands, or even millions, of dollars.

    So instead of grumbling about how poorly they’re doing at the task of purchasing your labor, perhaps you could help your customer out?:

    When they don’t understand your industry or specialty

    Explain to them, non-condescendingly and without irritation, how your specialty works, and where their perception misses the mark.

    When they call or e-mail with a job much different than what you do

    Politely explain why it’s not a fit, or, much, much better, connect them with someone who does fit the requirements of the position they’re looking for today. Making a customer happy by sending them to the right shop is a great way to build their trust in you for the future.

    When they do get you an interview with the “buyer”

    Don’t take it for granted and feel like you can abuse them once you’ve met the “Big Cheese”. Keep them informed, keep them in the loop, and keep being honest with them. In addition to your getting a job offer, it’s their reputation as a “buyer” that’s on the line when you go in for an interview, and they’ll be just as anxious as you are. It’s only fair that you keep them apprised of your progress.

    When they’re unprepared, lazy, or obtuse

    Realize that when you’ve bought a car, an appliance, insurance, or some big-ticket item in the past, that you, too, were once unprepared. Being a professional, at your high level, means that not every day and every encounter is going to go perfectly. Remain professional, courteous, and keep focusing on your ultimate goal — to make a sale and get a job. Blowing up at your customer isn’t going to help.

    When you don’t hear back from them at all

    There are so many reasons that a “buyer” will stop calling you — ranging from bureaucratic roadblocks on their side to simple forgetfulness. Desperate, angry follow-up never helps. The most effective tack to take is to call once a week for three or four weeks. If you haven’t heard back by then, you likely won’t at all.

    Look, I understand that treating recruiters and HR people as your customers will have all the usual frustrations of customer service, and is especially nerve-wracking at a time and life situation in which you really need to get out of your current position and into a new one.

    But no matter how badly you want it, burning the people who are there to facilitate your getting hired is short-sighted and ineffective.

    To make the most out of your job search, you’ll need to treat the recruitment professionals with whom you come into contact, as buyers of a very important, and very expensive, product: You.

    And that’s the best way to get past your initial impression of HR people and recruiters when you begin your job search…

    Now, inevitably, a few dozen of you will write in to share the “Tale of the Big One That You Landed All By Yourself” — that time you got the job by ignoring the HR person or recruiter and going directly to the source… the hiring manager.

    Congratulations on that.

    But how would you feel about a salesperson in your company who said they didn’t need to do any pro-active selling because the last big deal fell right into their lap when the buyer sat next to them on the flight home from San Diego?

    Lucky happenstance is not a plan for success.

    Work with the system, and not against it, to maximize your outcome.

    Have a great week in the job search, Readers!

  • It felt so awkward, until I tried this one tip

    Even if you’re a sociable, gregarious, people-loving person, the “networking” phone call can be a dreaded task in the job search. You feel like you’re imposing, and it feels awkward to ring up your friends, former colleagues, and college buddies to ask for a favor from such a helpless position.

    So here’s how to stop worrying and learn to love the networking call.

    The tip, which I picked up from my friend John Lucht, is this:

    “Don’t ask for a job, ask for a reference.”

    Asking someone to be a reference makes networking a positive experience for both of you.

    You see, everybody hates to say “no” to a request from somebody they know. When you call your contacts and ask if they know of any jobs out there, you’re putting them in the position where they have to say “no” to you.

    After all, they’re busy with their own lives and aren’t paying a lot of attention to job openings right now.

    So asking for job information or job leads makes networking uncomfortable for both of you.

    To make it easy for them to say “yes”, you need to ask them something that is easy to say “yes” to…

    When you call your old colleague or contact, ask them if — when the time is right in your job search — it would be possible to use them as a reference.

    This approach has three positives in its favor: it doesn’t cost them anything to say “yes” to that request, it’s an easy way for them to feel like they are being helpful, and it makes the call much more comfortable for both of you.

    And now that you’ve turned the networking call from a negative conversation to a positive one, both you and your contact will feel better about the interaction.

    That’s important, because positive interactions make your contacts more inclined to help you. They may even feel a little bit honored that you think highly enough of their opinion to ask them to be a reference.

    So now, as they go about their business, they’ll not be screening your calls to avoid further awkward interactions, but instead they’ll be a little bit more inclined to keep their eyes and ears open for opportunities that might make sense for you.

    If they overhear something at the club, if their cousin mentions a corporate expansion, if there’s some trade rag gossip on positions opening up, they’re much more likely to want to reach out to let you know that there might be an opportunity for you.

    So my best advice, handed down to me from an expert with forty years of recruiting experience, is this: don’t ask for a job, ask for a reference.

    And you may never dread a networking call again.

    Have a great week in the search.

    I’ll be rooting for you!

    Download our tremendous new iOS app with 4 1/2 star ratings here.

  • Three ways you’re sabotaging yourself

    While you’re reviewing the thousands of job openings and employers on TheLadders this week, here are three ways you just might be sabotaging your own job search (without realizing it!)

    1. Email address

    What email address do you use professionally?

    If you’re using AOL, or your local cable provider, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot.

    Only 5% of new users at TheLadders sign up with AOL email addresses these days. If you’re still using AOL to represent yourself professionally, it could be sending a signal that you’re uncomfortable with new technology and that you haven’t prioritized keeping your skills up-to-date.

    Using your local cable provider’s default email — whether it’s bellsouth.net, optonline.net, or tampabay.rr.com — increases the chances of a typo leading to a missed connection. Because people don’t pay as much attention, or care, to what they’re typing after the ‘@’ sign, using less-familiar domains in your email should be avoided.

    More than 45% of new users at TheLadders use gmail.com. Because gmail is well-known for its utility, ease-of-use, and power, using gmail as your address is a smart move that also sends the message that you’re up-to-date with the times.

    What’s before the ‘@’ sign is important too.

    Common ‘household’ or ‘joint’ email strategies such as ‘jimandnancy@’, ‘smithhousehold@’, or ‘huxtablefamily@’ are not good email addresses to use for your professional job search. Professionals are accustomed to writing directly to other professionals. Requesting that they email your spouse & kids when contacting you is awkward.

    The best email address is your first name, followed by a dot, followed by your last name, at gmail.com:

    cliff.huxtable@gmail.com

    If that’s taken, then for the purposes of your jobsearch, add next year’s number to your address:

    cliff.huxtable.2014@gmail.com

    You’re probably going to be using this email address into the New Year anyway and starting now makes you seem ahead of the times. And everybody wants to hire somebody from the future, right?

    2. Can a stranger read your resume?

    Print out your resume. Take the top third and rip it off. Hand it to somebody you don’t know.

    Can they tell you, without asking you any additional questions, what you want to do next?

    For too many of my subscribers, the answer is no. The reason is that you’re trying to do the wrong thing with the top third of your resume. You’re trying to tell people about your character and your abilities and your many, many different skills and your flexibility and too many things!

    You know what the person who is reading your resume is trying to find out?

    “Does this gal, or guy, want this job that I have to fill?”

    Obviously, given that you’ve spent the time to create a resume and send it to them, they know you want a job. But do you want this particular job?

    Is it something that you’ve done before? If so, did you like it? If so, do you want to do it again?

    Because you spend all of your time with yourself, it seems so very obvious that you want the type of job that you’re looking for.

    But strangers don’t know that. And, chances are, you’ll most likely be hired by a stranger.

    So it’s important that you make it easy for people who don’t know you.

    Show them, at the very top of your resume, what job you want, and why you’re qualified for it. You’re not naming every skill and experience, but you’re giving the reader a sense of what you can do.

    If they can’t tell, by reading the top-third of your resume, what you want to do next, then you’re never going to get to the next step.

    3. Did you talk to a live person today?

    The internet delivers you news, information, funny cat videos, electronic books, fashionable shopping, and, via TheLadders.com, the latest and greatest job listings at the professional level.

    So… “hooray!” for the internet.

    But here’s the truth — the internet is not going to hire you.

    No, you’ll be hired by a living, breathing, thinking, smiling person.

    So the question is: did you talk to that person today? Did you try to?

    It’s important, while you’re searching, looking, peeking and applying to all those great jobs you find at TheLadders, that you also realize that you need to make talking to people, live, in person or on the phone, a priority.

    Have you called your old contacts? Returned the call from the company that perhaps you’re only mildly interested in? Have you taken a former colleague to lunch? Did you call back the recruiters you’ve met over the past six months? Drop by a conference?

    Connecting with people, live, in person or on the phone, is essential to getting hired. Too often, we fool ourselves into believing that self-directed activity is the best way to get hired. It’s not. Connecting with others is.

    If you’re more of an introvert, more comfortable communicating by writing than by speaking, you can still connect with others. I’m not going to mislead you and say that it’s better, but it’s still sufficient if you write thoughtful, sensible blog posts, comments, emails and contributions on industry-related topics and threads. But it’s important that you’re connecting with others, not just yourself.

    When it comes to getting hired, you need to ensure that every day is a “talk to a person who could potentially hire me” day.

    Because eventually… they will.

    So those are the three things you might be doing to sabotage your own efforts in the job search, Readers. Avoid them and prosper.

    P.S. The fourth thing you’re doing to sabotage yourself? ‘Seasoned’. If you’re using the word ‘seasoned’ to describe yourself… don’t.