TheLadders Contributor

Recent Posts

13 ways your resume can say 'I’m unprofessional'

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

April 15, 2014 @ 07:00 AM

Hiring pros share the faux pas they find in real resumes, including wacky e-mail addresses, defunct phone numbers and cookie-cutter templates.

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No offense, thebigcheese@domain.com, but if nobody has told you yet, we’re telling you now: That e-mail address is not making you look particularly professional.

Unprofessional e-mail addresses are just one way of sending hiring managers the wrong message. If you want to be taken seriously when you apply for jobs, you need to put some polish on your resume, your cover letter and everything contained therein. Hiring professionals repeatedly run across these red flags that scream “unprofessional.” A number of recruiters and HR managers shared with TheLadders common errors from their own professional experiences.

Topics: Resume & Cover Letters

Resume, meet Technology: Making your resume format machine-friendly

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

April 03, 2014 @ 08:00 PM

How to format a resume so that the software recruiters use to store resumes doesn’t garble your document – and your chances.

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You’ve probably heard this advice for making your resume stand out: Sprinkle in plenty of juicy keywords so recruiters will pluck your document out of the pile.

But these days, the first review of your resume is more likely to be a software program, known as an applicant tracking system (ATS), than a human being interested in the quality of your paper stock and the power of your prose. While those qualities will be important in subsequent rounds, your first challenge will be to win over a very sophisticated machine that plays by its own complex rules.

In these competitive times, is a grab-bag of keywords really enough to ensure your resume rises out of that mysterious electronic swamp? If not, what else do you need to know about the processes that happen inside these ATSes — systems that are, in fact, fueled by sophisticated data-warehousing technologies — to stand the best chance of getting your resume in front of human eyeballs?

Topics: Resume & Cover Letters

25 things every young professional should know by age 25

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

January 30, 2014 @ 05:05 PM

Danny Rubin shares his favorite leadership skills and practical tips all 20-somethings should know to succeed in the workplace.

Interview_SkippyLast year, Kirk McDonald wrote a popular op-ed in The Wall Street Journal called “Sorry, College Grads, I Probably Won’t Hire You.” McDonald, the president of a tech company in Manhattan, believes most young adults don’t have the one skill that’s in high demand: computer programming.

McDonald’s argument got me thinking. What else should 20-somethings know once they are out in the real world? The result is a comprehensive list of leadership skills and practical tips all Millennials should know. Below are five of my favorite items from this list.

Topics: Job Search, New to the Workforce, Professional Development

How to stop references from costing you the job

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

January 13, 2014 @ 09:18 AM

Don't let the wrong referral sabotage a job opportunity.

Speak_No_Evil_Mouth_CoveredMany job seekers underestimate the power of references and referrals in the hiring process. Who you know -- and what they have to say about you -- can be the difference between landing your dream job and being shut out.

Companies are openly embracing referred candidates now more than ever to save on costs and time. According to the 10th Annual CareerXroads Source of Hire Report, nearly 65 percent of all job openings are filled through internal movement and referrals, with referrals as the No. 1 source of external hire.

To harness the hiring power of your contacts, you must understand the difference between how to build up your references and referrals. Here’s how to first grow your network of referrals:

Topics: Interviewing

3 things you must do now to land a job in 2014

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

January 09, 2014 @ 11:57 AM

Jump-start your New Year’s career resolution with these three steps.

Skippy_NewYear_SignThe New Year is traditionally a time to reflect on last year’s accomplishments and personal growth. But more importantly, it is a great time to make plans and goals to enhance your life in the future.  If your goal includes moving up in your career, here are three of the first steps you need to take to get noticed by potential employers and help you get a fresh professional start in 2014.

Topics: Job Search, Personal Branding

Attention all new small business owners: It’s time to rip off the band-aid

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

January 02, 2014 @ 10:00 AM

Five steps to ensure the financial stability you need to start your own business. 

Ripping_Off_BandaidIt’s 6 A.M. Your alarm goes off; you’re about to begin your 9-to-5 day. But, unlike most of your co-workers, you also have a 5-to-9 day on top of that. You are an entrepreneur. You decided to start your own business, but are leery of quitting your day job. You have bills to pay. You’re unsure how successful you will be on your own. Too many worries to take the plunge. But plunge you must in order to give it your all and make a success of your own business.

Have no fear, there are a few precautionary measures you can take to ensure financial stability. This will give you the push you need to just rip off that protective covering and quit your job. If you write out a plan and follow it to the letter, you should be fine.

Topics: Professional Development, Entrepreneur

Stay competitive: 6 things every professional should do

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

November 18, 2013 @ 01:00 PM

“Success is dependent on effort.” [tweet this]

Confident_Skippy_FaceLeftThis simple, yet refined quote by the Greek poet Sophocles is a career motto every professional should live by. Moving forward and staying ahead in your career truly comes down to the effort and time you put into it -- not just being in the right place at the right time.

If positioning yourself for success isn’t on the top of your to-do list, you’re likely to experience a few career-slowing repercussions. These could include fewer future job opportunities, limitations from moving up the corporate ladder, and even a narrower skill set.

Topics: Professional Development

The secret to getting hired at McKinsey

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

September 10, 2013 @ 02:32 PM

Learn what it takes to land a job with the trusted advisor to many of the world's most influential businesses and institutions.

Follow_Up_Letter-150x150It ranks among the unquestioned laws of big business over the last half century: If you want to be taken seriously, you hire McKinsey & Company. The job seeker’s corollary: If you want a career in big business, you seriously hope that McKinsey & Company will hire you. A perennial top-place finisher in rankings of the most coveted employers, McKinsey is also among the most selective. Last year, the consulting powerhouse received 225,000 job applications. It made offers to a mere one percent—or 2,200—of them.

Topics: Job Search

10 traits of quality finance job candidates

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

August 15, 2013 @ 02:22 PM

Consider these 10 must-have traits for employment as a finance professional.

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Traditional hiring tactics have conditioned job seekers to focus explicitly on their professional experiences, educational background and hard skills during the job-search and hiring process. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hired without the proper skill set, there’s more that goes into a quality finance candidate than just one’s professional makeup.

If you’re struggling to find work as a finance professional in the molasses-like job market, showcasing employer-coveted personality traits of the finance industry might be just what you need to spice up your job search. No company is exactly alike, therefore finding a candidate to meet each firm’s one-of-a-kind company culture is crucial to mutually beneficial employment. So crucial, in fact, major companies like h.h. gregg, Sprint Nextel Corp., and Avis Budget Group are turning to personality tests to better assess the traits of applicants.

Topics: Job Search, Professional Development

10 traits of quality finance candidates

Posted by TheLadders Contributor

July 02, 2013 @ 03:31 PM

Confident_Skippy_FaceRightTraditional hiring tactics have conditioned job seekers to focus explicitly on their professional experiences, educational background, and hard skills during the job search and hiring process. While it’s unlikely you’ll be hired without the proper skill set, there’s more that goes into a quality finance candidate than just one’s professional makeup.

If you’re struggling to find work as a finance professional in the molasses-like job market, showcasing employer-coveted personality traits of the finance industry might be just what you need to spice up your job search. No company is exactly alike, therefore finding a candidate to meet each firm’s one-of-a-kind company culture is crucial to mutually beneficial employment. So crucial, in fact, major companies like HHGregg., Sprint Nextel Corp., and Avis Budget Group are turning to personality tests to better assess the traits of applicants.

Topics: Job Search, Professional Development