Last month, I wrote a piece called Conquering the First Obstacle: How to Write a Great Resume. I touched briefly on the problem of length, but that seems hardly to have been enough. It’s time for me to answer “How long should my resume be?” once and for all. Read More →
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Back in January, Todd Cherches penned a piece called Thirteen Books That Can Change Your Life in 2013 (If You Actually Read Them). The response was (and still is) overwhelming. We heard from scores of readers who were interested in Todd’s selections. Some thanked us for bringing new books to their attention. Others were reminded of some venerable old classics. Somewhere in the middle of it all, we had an idea: what if we did a book club based on five of Todd’s books? We kicked the idea around for a while, and finally decided to put the idea to a vote.
Here’s the deal: you (our dear readers) get to select five of Todd’s 13 books. Once we’ve got that nailed down, Todd will kick off each book with a blog post designed to guide and inform your reading. We’ll give you six weeks to read each book, because we know you’re busy. At the end of each reading period, we’ll host a meet-up at our offices where you can come and chat with Todd and your fellow Guns about the book and how it’s impacted your professional and personal life.
So what do you say? Deal? Read More →
There are a million reasons why we love The Onion here at The Hired Guns, but this piece on hiring recent grads has a special place in our heart.
“A Bachelor of Arts? In communications? I mean, where did this kid come from?” said HR director Robert Bradshaw, who, after seeing Wilhelm’s impressive 3.20 cumulative GPA, walked the résumé directly into the company president’s office and said, “We must hire this person immediately.” “I mean, not only did Corey manage to get into the University of Washington School of Communication right out of high school, but—get this—he then graduated with a degree in that very field. A Bachelor of Arts, no less. Rare and gifted is all I have to say.”
“His résumé says he minored in History, too. We really have to move fast if we want to snag this guy.”
Companies often advertise for “thought leaders” and “game changers,” but during the interview process, they usually reveal that they really just want to build incrementally on what they’ve already got. In a second interview with a major company, I realized that although they want to be recognized as an innovator in their industry, their major focus is on building the adoption for their current technologies across the company. I can do this, but I have the skills, insight, and passion to build the next generation. Is it worth continuing the conversation with them? Do I stand a chance of convincing them to innovate?
That’s a great question. It’s actually pretty rare for prospective employers to be guilty of outright false advertising. It’s way more likely that they’re “aspirational innovators,” meaning that they want to innovate. Someday. When the stars align and everything is perfect, they’ll take that leap. Unfortunately, that’s not quite your timeline, is it? Read More →
February’s BLS Jobs Report landed on Friday, and the numbers were surprisingly positive. A healthy 236,000 jobs were added to the private sector, a whopping 71,000 more jobs than expected. While you might think this would be cause for celebration, the reaction among major news outlets was decidedly mixed. The Gray Lady — followed by scores of other outlets – unleashed a frenzy of upbeat articles, each presenting a rosy outlook for the still-wobbly economy. NPR was more measured in its coverage, being bold enough to give some airtime to the falling participation rate (this number measures the amount of employable adults actively engaged in the labor market). It also balanced Friday’s good news with coverage of the continuing challenges faced by the long-term unemployed. Naturally, The Wall Street Journal did what the Wall Street Journal does best: rain on everyone’s parade.
In short, the numbers are more promising than many observers expected, but change is still to come. Here’s what the situation looks like from our spot in the jobs space. Read More →
by Tyler Bradford
We recently wrote about how to act (and not act) during your entry-level job, but, admittedly, I skipped a small step: actually landing that first job. Gone are the days when companies willingly hired scores of college graduates, paying them a living wage and starting them on the upward professional track. Twenty first-century twenty-somethings can no longer rely on such linear development, faced instead with such ambiguous prospects as scores of unpaid internships which may or may not convert into full-time employment and companies who simply refuse to invest in the emerging work force.
In this weekend’s Style section, the New York Times featured profiles of several such disheartened young professionals, exposing a life defined by nonfat soy lattes and incessant iPhone 5-checking (this is the Style section, after all). If you’re in your 20s (I am) or care about the state of employment at all, the article might just make you cry. Maybe you’ll want to throw your computer against the wall (not going to help your career). But if you take a second to take some deep breaths, there are actually some key points to take away. Besides, you’re never going to be able to beat the odds if you don’t know what you’re up against (that’s what we tell ourselves, anyways). Read More →
Long before Marissa Mayer upset the Yahoo cart (and the well-articulated response to that overturned cart in The New York Times), I’ve had to weigh out the pros and cons of what it means to have a work life when you don’t have an office. In the solopreneur world, it isn’t one way or the other, but rather a blend of both. And that blend is something bigger companies can learn from. The best part is that we set the policy and we can change it! Read More →
May 21 brings the third annual User Experience Awards, honoring outstanding UX projects and practitioners. To find out more, I sat down with Beverly May, founder and president of Oxford Technology Ventures, a UX consultancy. Beverly founded the UX Awards and remains the moderator and chief advocate. If you have a project, idea, app, site, or software that you’d like to have considered, there’s still time! The submission window is from March 15 to April 15. For more information or to submit, visit userexperienceawards.com.
Tell me a bit about you. What gets you out of bed in the morning?
I like creating and using well-designed products. I find the challenge of designing something with a serious “wow” factor to be deeply motivating. Designing a new digital experience is a lot like being an architect (the original UXers were called “Information Architects,” after all); we design something that someone else will eventually experience. Using a great app is a lot like walking into a wonderful building. When the architect has done it right, you can appreciate the skill that went into conceiving something new and refining every detail. Read More →