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Tales from the Job Search Trenches

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Be Careful When Searching for Jobs

My friend was, until recently, one of the millions of unemployed. He lost an excellent management job back in August and was thrown into the scary, mine-filled waters of the online job search.

He’s smart, so he was able to avoid most of the turds floating around in that lagoon.

One of them caught his attention, though. He signed up for a free resume critique at The Ladders. Theladders.com caters to executives and claims to help its members land career management jobs paying more than $100k per year.

It offers a free critique of your resume. You upload it and a resume expert goes through it and gives feedback on it. My friend uploaded his and got really good feedback about why it wasn’t landing him any interviews.

But, along with the feedback came an offer. We will rewrite your resume and cover letter for a mere $700!

Wow. Time for a big pause. To be honest $700 is nothing if it helps you get a job that pays more than $100,000. But could ladders.com really deliver on its promises? A careful search through a skeptic’s eyes (mine) turned up this:
A client of a resume writer certified by the National Resume Writer’s Association (the NRWA, who knew?) submitted a resume to the ladders and got back a blistering critique. The accredited writer found that “After reading the critiques that bashed the resumes they created, I found that the information they provided was not only subjective, but it was often inaccurate and incorrect.” (Read the discussion.)

Got that? Inaccurate AND incorrect! That’s a double negative!

I also found that the Wall Street Journal offers a similar service—free critique and a fee-based rewrite—for less. And the NRWA can also refer job seekers to certified resume writers who would do the rewrite for even less.

Bottom line, friend rewrote the resume himself based on the feedback he received, got interviews, and is now once again employed. And he didn’t spend $700 to do it.

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