www.asktheheadhunter.com | May 13, 2008
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Hi Nick -

I'm a recruiter at TheLadders.com, and am working on many internal hires -- our company and business is growing quickly! In fact, I'm currently recruiting for a full-time Staff Resume Writer position. Our resume services are a successful and growing line or [sic] our business, and we're at a point where we're looking to strengthen our team. Your name came up in conversation as a talented Resume Writer who really knows the industry. Will you consider a full-time opportunity at The Ladders.com?

I've attached a copy of the job description. Please let me know if this is an opportunity you may be interested in!

Thank you,
[name deleted]
137 Varick Street, 8th Floor
New York, NY 10013

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Nick's Reply
This e-mail solicitation arrived addressed to me. I reprint it without any editing.

After painting a stark contrast between people's own efforts to find or fill a job on the one hand, and TheLadders sophisticated services on the other, TheLadders' CEO Marc Cenedella says in one of his e-mail "updates" to his clients, "Look, people don't get to the $100k+ level by making rookie mistakes like this..."


Would you pay TheLadders for "exclusive" and "premium" services to help you land a "$100k+" job, when the company recruits for its own positions by sending out an e-mail like that to the last guy on the planet who would ever take a job there?

What if you're an employer? Would you trust the company behind that recruitment e-mail to bring you "the most elite applicants" from a "targeted audience" of "only qualified, experienced professionals"? Those expressions are part of the pitch on TheLadders web site.

I'm not an elite applicant. I am not part of a targeted audience of resume writers. I'm not a qualified, experienced, or professional resume writer. I am not listed in any data base of resume writers. I don't even like resumes. And anyone who Googles my name knows I wouldn't consider a full-time opportunity at TheLadders.com. (You may have noticed that I deleted the recruiter's name. She doesn't deserve to have my commentary follow her around when she finally gets smart and applies for a real job elsewhere.)

This is how TheLadders recruits for its own positions, while it peddles -- what? -- elite, executive-class services to you.

This is how TheLadders hires the resume-writers that it rents out to you for up to $1,375 per resume.

This is how TheLadders operates.

How little self-respect could a company possibly have? It's not like I'm looking for evidence to embarrass these bozos -- they send it to me.

My criticism and general denunciation of job boards is no secret. If you doubt that the organizations behind most of the job boards are stupid, mindless, dangerous, and interested in nothing more than your money (and the billion-plus dollars HR execs dump into this sinkhole every year), think again. That e-mail demonstrates that TheLadders may be the worst of the lot precisely because it pretends to be the most elite, high-end jobs-candidates-resumes service online.

You could send a dog with a note in its mouth and get better results than by using the methods TheLadders did to recruit me to write resumes. What's TheLadders doing differently to fill your company's positions, or to match you with a job? "Look, people don't get to the $100k+ level by making rookie mistakes like this..."

The good news is, Monster.com has nothing to fear. Both companies are pathetic. But, I can offer Monster some free, unsolicted advice about how to compete with TheLadders. On its home page, Monster should add the term $100k+, so it appears at least 30 or 40 times. TheLadders features $100k+ on its About page only 23 times. That ought to bring the two competitors up to par.

Nick Corcodilos
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