Why applying for jobs is still the star of proactive career action (and much easier with Ladders)


Pat Brien | January 4, 2022

Social Distancing
Vaccine Mandates
Job Furloughs

No matter what we’re hit with, or how it affects us, applying for jobs remains our shining star in terms of proactive career action. Technology created a huge buffer against the reaction to COVID-19 across the world, helping many of us realize that there hasn’t been any real need to commute to an office for years.

Americans adapt quickly. They tend to stay positive in the face of overwhelming odds. And technology was more than ready to cope with millions of people working from home and searching for remote work, even when we weren’t so sure.

Still, whether or not that applies to you makes no difference. Asking for a promotion from an ungrateful boss aside, job applications remain the best way to take that next step up. Being proactive is one of the big winners in life, and we’ll spell that out using real experience here.

Here’s how we proactively adapted at Ladders and what it now means for job search.

Thinking ahead to get ahead – remote working

In early March 2020, in the face of growing concerns about COVID-19 and increasingly loud whispers about lockdowns, Ladders Founder and CEO, Marc Cenedella, brought two things to the table: leadership and his laptop. The table itself was in his kitchen.

This happened after he ordered an “experiment” to evaluate how the company would cope if obliged to work remotely under potential lockdowns. Online meetings were brushed up on or practiced, then everybody went their own ways, hoping to stay connected.

An office worker sits at his desk, which is in the middle of  a flower-filled field.
Home is where the heart is. Today’s office can be anywhere.

The move was so surprising that The Washington Post interviewed him and wrote an article: “This New York CEO put his company in a simulated coronavirus lockdown”. The proactive move meant that Ladders didn’t miss a beat when the lockdowns hit. In fact, the experiment was so successful that we continue to work remotely today, simply because proactivity fuels success, and success fuels staying power.

Applying for jobs under scrutiny

Using over 18 years of experience, we looked at how this would affect our seven million plus high-end members and 22,000+ verified recruiters. There really hadn’t been anything quite like the pandemic before, of course, but the potential ups and downs of remote working from a member and HR/recruiter perspective could be proactively studied and acted on.

Once we started reaching objective conclusions about job search, job applications, hiring and retention, we started giving advice to all sides, while conducting surveys and interviews to find out what everybody was feeling and thinking. That advice continues and the results of our surveys and interviews led to other strong conclusions.

Just as proactivity fuels success, looking and listening fuels ideas, from which comes innovation, serious solutions, and more success. COVID or not. Lockdowns or whatever rears its head next. All comers taken on. We’ll be ready.

Making applications easier, because we can

One thing we found is the only thing more frustrating than lockdowns for our members is endlessly filling out repetitive, boring, job applications forms. Experienced professionals jumping through hoops for potential employers, grinding out the same details time after time, as if already employed in some soulless, dead end job.

Remote working appeared to make it worse. Perhaps finishing a hard day’s work at the home office, only to have to start on job application forms, one after the other for as long as bearable, is actually worse than taking a break between the two things – even in the form of a commute. Or maybe many factors created that feeling?

An office worker is slumped at her desk, sleeping.
Endless job application forms or unconsciousness? You decide!

Either way, we got proactive again and created Apply4Me – a service for Premium members, in which they complete 1 form, 1 time, and our expert team applies to jobs on their behalf. Today, the Apply4Me button can be found sitting beside virtually every job on our jobs page. With a single click, the job is applied to, the member is informed and given access to the application, and the action is recorded in their account, for easy review.

Not surprisingly, perhaps, it’s a smash hit. Today, members can even download an app and use Apply4Me on jobs sites across the net. The frustration of endless job application forms is over for our members; but, more importantly, time is saved for living life – and the value of that can’t be overestimated, obviously.

As an end note to this section, we conducted research and found that our Premium members save an average of 18 minutes per job application. Which is great, because it’s easier to be proactive in your job search when it isn’t limited to mind-numbing, time-wasting tedium, right?

Moving “remote” closer to home

Terrible pun in the title aside, remote work job search has always been a bit remote in the past as far as job search goes, so we decided to bring it closer to home. Under “Jobs” in the Ladders search bar, “Remote Jobs” can’t be missed in the dropdown box. On the search page itself, a “Show me remote work only” option can be seen and clicked in the search options on the left of the page.

We even send dedicated “Remote Jobs” emails out to members, with job title, location, salary, etc., based on their chosen preferences, to be sure nothing gets past them.

And if job opportunities are for some reason too remote to pop up in your search, or in an email from us, you can make your resume work for you by uploading it to Ladders and joining a talent pool regularly searched by our 22,000+ verified recruiters. 

Even proactively getting your resume ready to represent you in the new remote-friendly world couldn’t be easier. We have many resources available, including a free resume rewrite from our partners at Leet Resumes. For other options, you only need look in the Ladders search bar under “Resumes”.

Why applying for jobs should be easier for experts

Any talented person who has honed their talents, gained qualifications and experience, and worked hard to help companies thrive, should not be expected to spend weeks or months reading about, writing and editing resumes capable of getting past Applicant Tracking System (ATS) technology, then attracting attention from busy recruiters who scan them in seconds.

A bridge of wooden blocks have a wooden figure walking along it. A human places a missing piece as the figure steps toward the gap.
At work a team supports you. In your career, you’re alone. Why?

Anybody who wishes to do so should be supported and helped by experts at every step, of course. A resume is vital to successful job search and career advancement, therefore doing it yourself and going it alone should be recognized as two different things.

Each professional has a right to a team, just like the teams they work with in companies, so that everybody helps everybody else’s expertise shine through in the final product.

And they should not be expected to jump through job form hoops, just for a chance of being considered by a company, as if the company is doing them a favor, rather than a deal being reached based on mutual benefits. That’s the bottom line and it’s important to us at Ladders and to our members.

So when we say: “Get proactive in your job search!” – you can rest assured that we’ve worked hard to make that job search as easy and productive for you as possible. 

Now “Get proactive in your job search!”