Don’t Tar All Career Websites with The Ladders Brush

Recently, a class action lawsuit was filed against the American jobs website The Ladders.

To those of us who have been following the Ladders controversy for some time, the case comes as no surprise but while investigating the details of the complaint, I came across an online discussion between job seekers who were assessing a number of other careers websites.

“LinkedIn is just as bad,” one said.

“Yes, also a total scam,” agreed someone else.

The conversation carried on in this vein and I’ve seen and heard it repeated elsewhere.

This attitude is a real shame. LinkedIn is far and away the most useful job search website in the world and it’s totally free. (Yes, you can pay to upgrade your account, but there’s no need to do this as most of the site’s features are available free of charge). In both senses, it bears no relation to The Ladders.

I would urge people to stay away from the Ladders for the reasons given in the article linked above. I encourage my clients to spend very little time (if any) posting their resumes to job boards such as or Careerbuilder as these sites no longer add much value to the job search.

But it’s lazy thinking to decide that all websites are useless just because some websites are not effective.

If you create a powerful profile on LinkedIn (with a strong headline and a good photo), and use the site actively and effectively, you will gain access to job opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise find. That’s just a fact.

If you’d like to learn more about using LinkedIn, as well as other creative job search strategies, I’ve collected some of my best advice here in a series I called “The Smart Job Search.” I hope it helps and let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment or shooting me an email (address to the left in the white bar).

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