• How We Really Read Job Ads

    Good Monday morning,

    The Wall Street Journal dropped by the other day to have a look at our research on making job ads easier for you to read and understand.

    Reporter Lauren Weber has been following our research for quite a while now, and was very intrigued last year with our study that showed recruiters spend about 6 seconds looking at the typical resume. Our head of product and user experience, Selena Hadzibabic, shared studies we’ve done with some very cool eye-tracking technology to watch users like you surf job ads in their search.

    Selena Hadzibabic makes your job search easier at TheLadders

    The key insight she shared was:

    “Even when subjects determined that an opening was appropriate for them, reviewing the actual requirements for the job appeared to be a low priority — results showed they spent only 14.6 seconds, on average, in that section. Applicants spent the most time reading the job description (25.9 seconds) and the company description (23 seconds). In addition, participants’ eyes tended to skim the job description rather than read it closely, and often skipped the bottom section of the description entirely.”

    We use computer eye-tracking technology in our labs to study how you read job ads

    You can read Ms. Weber’s article “How We Really Read Job Ads” over at the Wall Street Journal.

    We’re very pleased to have our research highlighted by the Wall Street Journal, and see the great work that Selena and her team and colleagues do here at TheLadders get kudos and nationwide recognition.

    And we’ll keep trying to making your job search shorter, easier, more successful and less painful.

    Have a great week in the job search…

    We’ll be rooting for you!

  • Thirty companies hiring our subscribers right now

    Good Monday morning,

    I’ve been tweeting about the dramatic increase we’ve seen in hiring numbers over the past several weeks in our system. More people today are telling us that they’ve been hired through TheLadders than ever before. We’re also hearing more generally about success in the marketplace for professionals like you, so this could be (fingers crossed) the beginning of a broad-based recovery in professional hiring.

    Either way, we’d love to see you in your next great gig.

    So whichever of our friends you want to land with — whether it’s Apple, Ernst & Young, IBM, eBay, or any of the thirty I’ve listed below — have a good look at the list, their HR folks, and the jobs they have posted with us, and get cracking on your next new job…

    Director of Marketing – Product Development, San Francisco, CA
    Sr. Enterprise Account Executive, Boston, MA
    Channel Manager – Healthcare Vertical, New York, NY

    Sr Consultant / Manager Solution Developer, Houston, TX
    Sr Consultant / Manager Solution Developer, CHICAGO, IL
    SharePoint Manager / Architect – Houston, Houston, TX

    Account Executive, Jacksonville, FL

    Head of Marketing, Equities and Transactions, New York, NY
    Marketing Manager ( Senior ) Elektron Feeds, Platform & M, New York, NY
    Marketing Program Manager, New York, NY

    Digital Advertising Sales!, Philadelphia, PA
    Existing Account Software Sales – Dealer Services, Queens Village, NY

    Senior Financial Analyst, Phoenix, AZ
    Senior Manager of Vendor Management – Textbooks, Seattle, WA
    Rights & Contracts Manager, New York, NY

    Regional Manager Business Development – Corp Payments, Chicago, IL
    Director Business Development – Dallas, TX, Dallas, TX
    Manager/ Sr. Manager- Risk Management, New York, NY

    Software Integration Architect, Chicago, IL
    Capgemini Global Alliance Director, CX (CRM), Virtual / Travel
    Principal, Communications, Seattle, WA

    Sr. Account Executive – US Army, Arlington, VA
    Sr. Acct Executive – Intelligence Community, Arlington, VA
    Sr. Acct Exec – Fed. Civilian , Arlington, VA

    Account Executive, Cincinnati, OH
    Account Executive – Outside , San Francisco, CA
    Divisional Sales Manager, Chicago, IL

    Tech Strategy – Mging / Sr Miing – Financial Services, CHICAGO, IL
    Organizational Change Strategist, Managing / Senior Manage, New York, NY
    Technology Strategy – Managing / Sr Consultant – FS, New York, NY

    Sr. Manager, Distribution Client Service, King Of Prussia, PA
    Sales Executive – Business Development, Pacific;Southeast
    Relationship Manager – Distribution Operations, Martinsville, VA

    Production Print Sales Specialist, Houston, TX
    Strategic Sales Executive – Managed Services, Dallas, TX
    Healthcare Major Account Sales Executive, Houston, TX

    Sr. Manager Finance, Americas Sales, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Senior Revenue Accountant, Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Senior Manager, Human Resources Business Partner, Santa Clara, CA

    Manager Commercial Banking Consulting, McLean, VA
    Senior Mgr Commercial Banking Financial Svcs Consulting, New York, NY
    Senior Mgr Commercial Banking Financial Svcs Consulting Ernst & Young , New York, NY

    Outside Sales Executive – Entry to Mid Level, Grand Rapids, MI

    Business Development Director IT Service Sales, Retail, Boston, MA
    Salesforce.com Regional Practice Lead, Mid-Atlantic
    Manager, Talent & Organizational Performance, Ontario, Canada

    Director of R&E – Medical Devices, Lake Forest, CA
    Microsoft Senior Business Intelligence Developer, Washington, DC
    Finance Strategy Manager, San Francisco, CA

    Sales : Outside Sales / Merchant Services Rep / Acct Exec, Fayetteville, AR
    Sales : Outside Sales / Merchant Services Rep, San Jose, CA

    OFSAA Consultant, Atlanta, GA
    UX/UI Lead, Morrisville, NC
    Technology Architect-MICROSTRATEGY, Charlotte, NC

    Territory Manager , Orlando, FL
    Sr Public Sector Sales Rep, Pompano Beach, FL
    Territory Manager , Orlando, FL

    Public Sector Account Executive, Rocky Hill, CT
    Major Account Manager, Rocky Hill, CT
    Enterprise Account Manager, Burlington, MA

    UI Architect, San Mateo, CA
    Lead Architect – Big Data, San Francisco, CA
    LAMP Software Engineer, San Mateo, CA

    Platform Operations Engineer, Reston, VA
    Senior Solutions Architect, Reston, VA
    Senior Solutions Architect, Reston, VA

    Business Process Re-engineering Project Manager, Cupertino, CA
    Worldwide Supply Chain Manager, Cupertino, CA
    AOS Fulfillment Operations Reporting Lead, Cupertino, CA

    NAM Regional Real Estate Head of Transactions, New York, NY
    HR SS Business Architecture and Innovations Head, Long Island City, NY
    Data Center – Facilities Manager, Dallas, TX

    Sr. Account Manager, McLean, VA
    Air Force Sr. Account Manager, VA
    District Sales Manager – COCOM, McLean, VA

    Director, Digital Center of Excellence (COE), New York, NY
    VP Account Planner, Rx Pharmaceutical Advertising, HAMILTON, NJ
    VP Account Planner, Rx Pharmaceutical Advertising, New York, NY

    Project Leader – Partner Services Finance, Boston, MA
    Senior Manager, Global Risk, Boston, MA
    Equity Manager, Boston, MA

    Good luck in your search this week!

    I’m rooting for you!

  • Seeking VP, Anything

    Good Monday morning,

    “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.

  • TheLadders on the TODAY Show

    Good Monday morning,

    Live! from New York, it’s…

    …my colleague Amanda on the TODAY Show!:

    Amanda Augustine, known to many of you as @JobSearchAmanda, helps you make the most of your job search.

    I’ve been working with Amanda for a decade now, and was awfully proud to see the young woman who started here right out of college get the spotlight she deserves on national TV last Wednesday morning.

    For all of her advice, whether it’s overcoming interview jitters, using mobile to land a gig, or navigating the strange shores of social media, her AskAmanda columns are a fantastic, practical insight into the modern job search.

    When I have a tough job search question I can’t answer, I turn to Amanda. You should too.

    You can see the whole TODAY show segment here on YouTube.

    Have a great week in the search!

  • Employers hiring for April 2013

    Good Monday morning,

    We have over thirty 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. The month of March ended up being quite strong for employer demand, and we expect more in April, so if you could help out, we’d appreciate it!

    Steve Steve Kohn
    President at Affinity Executive Search
    Senior Mechanical Design Engineer, FL
    Senior SharePoint Developer, FL
    Plant Manager – Director of Operations, FL
    Joe Joe Doyle
    Recruiter at iPRO Staffing
    Patent Counsel – Prep & Pros, San Diego, CA
    Sr. Product Manager, Analytics, San Jose, CA
    IT Technology Partner, Oakland, CA
    Frank Frank Merritt
    CRMS, Senior Recruiter at Harvard Risk Management Corporation
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant, Dallas, TX
    Professional Benefits Sales Consultant, Nampa, ID
    Risk Management, B2B Benefits Sales Consultant, Minneapolis, MN
    Shari Shari Munro
    Vice President at Techpros
    Sr. Software Engineer – Geometry, Burlington, MA
    Sr. QA Engineer – Java, Lexington, MA
    Software Engineer – Java or Ruby Hacker!, Cambridge, MA
    Richard Richard Bryant
    President at Bryant Associates
    Technology Sales Rep , Chicago, IL
    BPO Business Development Director, CHICAGO, IL
    Purchasing Manager, IN
    Brittany Brittany Bland
    Dishcrawl at Dishcrawl
    Account Executive, San Mateo, CA
    Sales and Marketing Foodie, Atlanta, GA
    Sales and Marketing Foodie Hilton Head Island, Hilton Head Island, SC
    Jack Jack Kelly
    Managing Director and Executive Recruiter at Compliance Search Group
    Compliance Quality Assurance Testing – Investment Bank, New York, NY
    Anti Money Laundering Compliance , NJ
    Compliance Officer, New York, NY
    Next Step Systems Next Step Systems Recruiter
    President at Next Step Systems
    Software Engineer / Global Rates, CHICAGO, IL
    Realtime Software Engineer, Chicago, IL
    Trading Systems Data Analyst, Chicago, IL
    Jim Jim Porter
    Senior Recruiter at The Porter Group
    Major Account Executive/2958642, Baltimore, MD
    Sales Rep / -8540460, Baltimore, MD
    Sales Rep / -1403009, Baltimore, MD
    Craig Craig Kennedy
    Founder/President at Kennedy Unlimited Inc Professional Staffing
    Manager Spray Foam Construction, Houston, TX
    PCT Control Systems Design Engineer, Houston, TX
    Drilling Engineer Mining, Houston, TX

    Good luck on your search!

    I’m rooting for you,

    Marc Cenedella

    Marc Cenedella, Founder

  • Bad news, you just got one year’s severance

    Good Monday morning,

    It’s not just an April Fool’s joke when the pink slip arrives as you’re looking over the latest job openings for you.

    Sometimes that bad news comes in the prettiest packages. One of the most common I’ve seen in the careers business is the generous severance payout. What seems like a gift from the highest graces too often turns out to be bad tidings in disguise.

    The “severance vacation” – that fool’s gold of “time off” that turns a few well-deserved weeks into several empty seasons – has led too many professionals, executives, and high-performers to mistakenly act against their own best interests.

    How can it be that something as seemingly non-controversial as a full year’s “money for nothing” can end up hurting you?

    First off, the severance vacation can lead you into a false sense of security. “I’ve got enough cash put away so that I don’t have to worry for a while” or “I’m in good shape so I don’t need to look right away” are how we hear it from our clients here at TheLadders. This phony freedom from fear lulls you into believing that the future is far away. Instead of your sixth sense flashing warning signals and blaring the alarm siren, your pleasant-enough living situation inhibits you from securing your future cash flows and career prospects.

    That serene sense of calm is harmful. When urgency is low, and the bank account is flush, it seems there’s always a good reason to spend another day contemplating instead of cold-calling. And more time spent on the sidelines leads to ever-worse habits and rustiness. You forget the more obscure industry buzzwords. All that sun leaves you a little slow on the uptake when it comes to the tough interviews. You get softer, you get happier, you get lazier.

    That’s because the alternative – the job search – welcomes avoidance. The job search involves rejection, rejection involves pain, and pain is something most of us want to experience at the gym and not carry through our waking day.

    The pain of the job search is the result of how unusual the job search is relative to the rest of our lives. A job search occurs perhaps twice a decade and involves meeting a lot of strangers so that they can assess you. That the assessment is in regards to your professional ability to meet their specific, narrow, corporate need, does nothing to alleviate your feeling of being a-foot-and-a-half short of puberty and still in braces at the junior high dance. It’s embarrassing.

    It’s true, the job search is the most unusual, unnatural, unenjoyable part of our lives that is, nonetheless, unavoidable. (And avoid it, we try! If Dr. Seuss were still about, he could write a book about the job search entitled “Oh, the excuses you’ll make!”)

    So how to handle the bad news that you got a year’s severance?

    First, a layoff notice is actually an acceptance letter for your new job – and that job is at “Your Job Search, LLC” with you as the President and Chief Search Officer.

    You’ll need to negotiate a start date. Give yourself an enjoyable, but manageable, severance vacation: one week if you’re antsy, two weeks if you’re bold, three weeks if you want to follow a flight of fancy.

    Having a tight schedule for your severance vacation will make those days of leisure sweeter for their scarcity, and allow you to tough it out in a better class of airline, hotel, or amusement park. You need to take the break you deserve and recharge your batteries.

    Because once you come back, your new job is full-time. You’ll need to approach it with a seriousness of purpose and dedication to success befitting a professional. And your new job has just one goal – getting yourself into a new seat at a new company getting paid in dollars, not promises or favors.

    So don’t let good fortune ruin your luck. When the breaks go your way, bank your plenty rather than fritter it away, and make a timely transition into your new job-finding job.

    It’s the best way to ensure that you’ll be collecting a year’s pay, and not a year of empty wandering.

    Good luck with the job search this week!

    I’ll be rooting for you.

  • That was easy — we’ve got a couple dozen jobs for you

    Good Monday morning,

    You know, almost half of searches done here at TheLadders are done without a keyword. That’s great because you get to see all the great jobs in your city. But sometimes that can return more jobs than you have time to review in a morning. So when you’re seeing too many jobs, you should also consider using keywords, such as job title, to target your search:

    Or use radius to limit, or expand, your search:

    Each of these searches ought to return a couple dozen jobs for you to review; and by combining keywords and radius, or adding additional keywords such as “Fortune 500″, “startup” or “green”, you’ll see jobs that are more interesting to you.

    We’re making your job search easier so you can get back to March Madness, or tonight’s premiere of ‘The Voice’, the best show on television (hey, I do advice and encouragement for a living, of course it’s my favorite show!)

    Good luck with the search this week!

    p.s. Follow me on Twitter: @cenedella and let me know who you think’s going to go all the way this season.

  • Networking is a hassle, this one simple question works better

    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 buddy if he knows of any jobs for people like you. How would he?

    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 – 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!

  • My single best job search tip (…if you’re going to save just one of my newsletters, this is the one…)

    I’ve been writing this newsletter for almost ten years now, and I’m asked for career advice all the time. I love when some little bit of advice really resonates for someone and makes a difference in their search — and I love it when you reach out to let me know!

    The consistently best bit of advice I’ve ever 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 over the years.

    Why?

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

    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 the years, and for making this one my best.

    P.S. And I’d like to thank my wife’s law school classmate, Erin Abrams, now at Citigroup, for reminding me that the “silver star” question is just as important — if you’re interviewing people who will report to you, or any future colleagues who are a rank below you, ask them, too, how you can help them succeed next year on their review. Believe me, they will be very grateful.

  • These companies are hiring, can you help?

    Good Monday morning,

    We found out Friday that things remain pretty grim — the US economy grew by a measly 0.1% in the last quarter of 2012, according to the government.

    Despite the news, we’ve seen higher levels of hiring activity than ever at TheLadders. As I mentioned last week when I shared 100 of the most recent hires made on TheLadders, we’ve got more HR Professionals and Executive Recruiters active on our website than ever before in our history.

    And with that, here are fifty of our employers that are looking to hire professionals like you right now…

    Microsoft
    PwC
    Citi
    Capital One
    ADP
    Verizon
    Intel
    Amazon
    Baxter
    CSC
    Metlife
    Chrysler
    Home Depot
    Kforce Inc.
    Level 3 Communications
    Nuance
    Sears Holdings Management Corporation
    Coventry Health Care
    Gentiva Health Services
    Emeritus Senior Living
    Life Technologies
    HP
    Gentiva
    UnitedHealth Group
    Arrow Electronics
    Amerigroup
    Pacific Dental Services
    Techpros
    Avanade
    CVS Caremark
    Lucas Group
    Quintiles
    Unisys
    USAA
    Pitney Bowes
    Aon Hewitt
    Ingram Micro
    Financial Services Company
    Crowe Horwath
    Johnson Controls, Inc
    Ameriprise
    Compliance Search Group
    RGP
    Novo Nordisk
    UPS
    Visiting Nurse Service of New York
    Everbank
    Kellogg Company
    LivingSocial
    Gentiva Health

    You might ask: how can that be? With the unemployment rate still so high for this point in a recovery, and the discouragement rate even higher, how can it be that so many companies are hiring so many people?

    Well, it’s two things, Readers.

    First off, you have to remember that most hiring is replacement hiring. It’s not companies saying that they’re going to grow their workforce by leaps and bounds, rather, it’s companies replacing routine attrition that occurs as employees flow in and out of any organization.

    Think of it this way. Even though the level in your bank account probably doesn’t change too much in a particular year, and you may be more or less happy with where it is, a lot of new dollars come into your account each year from your current job. And then those dollars go out as expenses. So the vast majority of activity in your bank account is the addition of dollars to replace the ones you’ve already spent, even if the overall level stays about the same.

    Same thing in the employment market.

    We may be more or less happy with the overall rate of employment or unemployment, but the changeover from new employees coming in and old employees going out is far, far more important to your job search than the overall level.

    Therefore: most hiring is replacement hiring. Which means that most companies are hiring all the time.

    Second, some companies are always expanding. There are always sectors of the economy that are growing while others shrink. As an example, if your company has anything to do with Apple Inc. right now, you’re growing.

    And that’s whether or not your company has anything to do whatsoever with technology. If you sell cardboard boxes to Apple, you’re growing. If you sell real estate maintenance to Apple, you’re growing. If you sell the little plastic biodegradable forks that the geniuses who design iPads use to eat their arugula salads at their gorgeous headquarters… guess what? …you’re growing.

    So part of the job search is figuring out where’s the growth and where’s the shrink, and allocating your time accordingly.

    With that, I’ll wish you the best of luck in your search this week, Readers!

    I’ll be rooting for you.