November 13, 2010

Recession, otherwise rebranded as R8 - Bad for Most, Great for Others


Ahh, the recession of 2008, can we give it another name – like “R8”, something clever, you know, rebrand it like P. Diddy did.  Maybe all this economy needs is a new brand identity – hmm . . . Anyway, as I become more and more acquainted with the ugly side of recession (the one that’s begging for a rebranding) aka, the unemployed side or as the market has gracefully coined, “In Transition”, I’ve been keen to spot the instances where some in the free enterprise market are cashing in.  Take for instance the increased use of public transportation systems or the secondary educational system that is seeing record enrollment (although the recent buzz on higher education as the next real estate bubble  has me already thinking I should have done a NPV analysis on my ROI (I know, blame it on the MBA, but I just have to squeeze some return out of this sucker.)

I’ve located another business that has emerged with a vengeance into the market – professional resume writers on online job search engines, specifically JobFox and Ladders.  They’ve tapped into a genius business model -- providing a desperate pool of emotionally driven consumers fighting a growing competitive job market with a service (professional resume writing, because yours sucks) at the cost of only $$ in the big picture of future $$$$ that could make or break your next big opportunity!!  The marketing position can practically sell itself – it’s a no-brainer return, sign me up now!

I say genius, not because I like them, but because they’ve happened to capture a vulnerable consumer (me) with a value proposition (what’s the monetary value of a new job to you) that’s pretty damn hard to resist.  We all know when monetary decisions are tied to emotions (think the new mother purchasing her first car seat), the talk of price and value takes on a whole different story and people empty their pockets.

With the case of JobFox.com and Ladders.com – two obviously different sides of the spectrum, with Ladders.com promoting to an executive talent group and JobFox targeting anywhere from a middle to executive talent pool, it’s expected that their resume pricing services should be different.  A great example of pricing for what your market will pay.  But does it also mean that if I invest more in the premium service, my return will be greater – isn’t that the theory behind ROI – greater risk = greater reward.  If I do invest, though, am I just another chump in the pool of chumps who helped someone else’s free enterprise strategies blossom.  If I don’t am I “saving” my way out of my next job?  Ugh, jeez, really? Really?

I was tempted, not gonna lie, still am, because if it works, then it is a price well paid.  However, knowing what I know (which isn’t much), I’m tempted to smell nothing but the makings of a cookie-cutter, easy profit driven my some entry level sales team.  But hey, that’s what free enterprise is all about, right?

Here’s a sample of my recent critiques from one of the services:

Brandy, go back and reread your resume . . . The bottom line: Your resume simply does not fully reflect your professional caliber, and you are not making the first impression count

Ouch, talk about straight to the gut – who do I make the check out to?

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