Logo-rMy 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.

Buyer Beware.