It’s getting so you can’t avoid the cheesiness of the job boards no matter where you turn in the career industry, because they seem to multiply like the spawn of Bernard Haldane. After embarrassing themselves at data-base dumps like HotJobs, job-board executives re-form similar operations under new names, and run the same rackets. The trend now is to sucker-punch the “$100K+” market — managers who believe they can buy their way into the next corporate suite for the price of a “Premium Membership.”
Marc Cenedella (formerly of HotJobs), the founder and CEO of TheLadders (“The Most $100K+ Jobs”), sends his members regular solicitations that compete with the ripest junk-mail ad-copy scenting your e-mail box. A reader passed along a sample that had me howling, until tears ran down my cheeks for the $100K+ suckers who swallow it.
The pitch is for resume writing — $695, or $1,375 for an emergency. (I kid you not.) Cenedella must not be making his nut with the $100K+ job listings, so TheLadders is now peddling resume-writing services. (I’m trying to figure out why I need a resume, when TheLadders’ data base is full of $100K+ jobs posted by “over 35,000 recruiters and hiring managers” who are waiting to find me in a search. All my info is in the data base, right? Oh, well. Guess I don’t understand the career-data-base business.) Take a look at this, from a January 28, 2008 e-mail solicitation:
“A professionally written ad is a waste of time, right? When your company launches a new product or service, you let the new kid write the copy, right? After all, everybody knows how to write and there’s not much skill to it, is there? Any old amateur can do it, yes?
“Look, people don’t get to the $100k+ level by making rookie mistakes like this – you know it takes a professional to craft a gripping, powerful ad that is going to move product.
“And yet, when it comes to their own resume, many people do let an amateur write it – themselves. Which is pretty risky when you think about it. Here you are, selling the most important product you’ll ever sell – yourself.”
But it isn’t Cenedella’s preachy pitch that this reader wanted to share. Read on.
“There’s a skill to writing resumes, folks. You need to address three different audiences simultaneously: the resume screener, usually a pretty junior person in HR who is looking for certain keywords, the recruiter (either an outside headhunter or an inside corporate recruiter) who is looking for a plausible fit and set of skills and experience, and the hiring manger [sic], who is looking for a more nuanced elaboration of your background and the specific successes you’ve had in your career.”
A nuanced elaboration indeed. Cenedella is going to sell you a professionally-crafted resume that you could not possibly write on your own, you dumb amateur, because you’ll make a mistake. “Look, people don’t get to the $100k+ level by making rookie mistakes like this.”
“…you know it takes a professional to craft a gripping, powerful ad that is going to move product.” Ooo, yah — and for $1,375 in an emergency.
In Silicon Valley, we used to call it, “eating your own dog food.” That’s when you use your own product in your own company, to show your prospects and customers that it really tastes fine and performs as promised. I dunno whether Cenedella eats his own dog food. But, if “the most accredited executive writing team in the country” that will write your resume writes his ad copy, too, then there might be just a single, wee-little, tiny spelling mistake in your resume that will make you look like a rank amateur and cost you a $100K+ job…
… just like that one tiny $100K+ spelling mistake in his ad copy costs Cenedella his credibility in a business that he’s got no business pretending to be good at. Which raises the question, Can the spawn of HotJobs, Monster, Bernard Haldane, and other career rackets convince you they know what they’re doing in anything they do?
If you really want help with your resume, maybe you oughta hire a real resume writer.
[More: TheLadders: Going down?]