Finally, after years of customer complaints and warnings from former employees, resume writers, and my favorite headhunter Nick Corcodilos; the Ladders is being sued for their resume critique and sales scams.
I wrote about the Ladders Resume Critiques in 2008 in this blog here. It outlines what is was like to work for them as a commissioned salesperson. Since then, there have been numerous complaints about the Ladders.com all over the web. But have they changed? Tell me your experience, good or bad.
I’ll be the first to admit I have a beef with theLadders.com If you put their name in my search bar, you’ll find previous blogs I’ve written about this company, along with links to other sites waxing about their practices
In fact one of our resume writing associations (or academies, I don’t remember) hosts an annual conference that has the Ladders as its major sponsor. It’s the main reason I refuse to attend. The Ladders runs a resume service where they will critique your resume and convince you using a boilerplate email that you need to fork over $700 for a new one. Some Ladders customers have turned the tables on the company and resubmitted their newly minted resumes only to get the same boiler plate letter again stating the Ladders should re-write their resume. Because of this, I have had to add a clause to my contract that states “1st Rate Resumes does not respond to critiques used for competitive sales.”
To add further insult to injury, many of the purported $100K jobs on the Ladders website don’t pay $100K, nor were they published with the consent of the employer. They were picked off employer websites to beef up their offerings to subscribers without even checking what the salary was being offered. This has pissed off many HR Directors when they get applications for jobs that only pay $50K and the applicant is expecting twice that.
The other complaints coming in have to do with those employers who pay the Ladders to produce $100K candidates. Apparently they are listing jobs in the $185K and getting applications from people who haven’t made more than $75K a year. Recruiters are tired of paying high fees to get sub par candidates.
According to Nick Corcodilos of AskTheHeadhunter, subscribers from theLadders.com are calling for an investigation. And some are calling for a class-action lawsuit. All I can say is, it’s about time.
Apparently theLadders.com is not only pissing off professional resume writers, as I’ve blogged before; but now Hiring Directors are getting annoyed at them for re-posting vacancy announcements without permission. The blog “Fistful of Talent” has generated many comments which are worth a read, along with a response from Marc Cenedella of theLadders.
The chief complaint is that the Ladders claims to post $100K jobs, but the vacancy announcements they’re copying are for jobs that pay far less. Jobseekers worth only $80K are expecting the job to pay $100K because they it was advertised on the Ladders.
–Susan Geary / 1st Rate Resumes
My association with other professional resume writers includes an e-group thread that allows us to ask questions of one another (such as, how do you write a resume for a person getting out of jail? etc.) Over the past couple of days the topic has been about the Ladders.com and their “free resume critique offer.”
I used to be very loyal to the Ladders and even critiqued resumes for them for about a year when they first launched. I was a sub contractor for another company. The guy I subcontracted for was super nice and told all us who critiqued and sold resumes, if the resumes look good, say so! Ask if their phone is ringing. If it is, then leave the document alone. Many times I’d run across a resume that was obviously written by a professional resume writer and I would let the requester know it was well written. I didn’t sell a whole lot of resumes at $700 a pop. But those I did close sales from people that said they appreciated my honesty during the critique.
My relationship with the Ladders ended a year ago when the company decided we weren’t closing enough sales, and they took their critiques and sales in house. I didn’t stay on, because I’m just not that aggressive.
So, back to the subject at hand on our resume writers egroup. It turns out that the Ladders is ripping to shreds, documents written by certified resume writers. I got mine ripped apart about 6 months ago when one of my very loyal clients sent it in just to see what someone else thought. He was kind enough to send the canned form letter to me which was extremely verbose and mentioned things like “the document lacks a list of core competencies” which it blatantly had. My client knew they were trying to scam him into a $700 resume, and admitted he was thoroughly pleased with the $350 package I sold him. His first resume, which I wrote for him in 2002 yielded 6 interviews (from 12 applications), 3 offers, and $10K more a year, so he trusted my expertise enough to come back for an update when he was laid off 6 months ago. I sent him to the Ladders to find a job, only to have them slap me hard. I switched allegiances and never recommended the Ladders again.
The resume writers from our egroup forum were comparing notes. It turns out we all got the same critique from sales people who make a healthy commission on every sale. Some of my colleagues have been in business for 20 years, have authored books, and won numerous awards. These harsh critiques were unwarranted.
So just in case you’re sending in a resume to the Ladders for a critique. I suggest you send in a few different versions. Change the name, the companies, etc, and then compare what you get back. You’ll see what we saw. An impersonal long winded critique trying to get their hands on your hard earned money.
If your phone is ringing for interviews, then the resume is doing its job. It doesn’t matter what I think, or the Ladders. Leave it alone and don’t change a thing.