Latest Articles

How Google’s Hummingbird Just Made My SEO Training Sessions Easier

Google HummingbirdI usually love training people on digital best practices, but I’ve often felt that I’ve met my match when trying to convince sometimes-recalcitrant print editors to embrace SEO. Fortunately, Google’s Hummingbird just made my life easier.

Experienced editors often resist SEO because they misunderstand it and feel threatened by it. They think that “marketers” — a four-letter word to many editorial types — have no right to be telling them what to do. They are used to having their judgment respected and not compared to metrics (not that they actually believe the numbers anyway). They also tend to think that the kind of straightforward language that plays best in page titles and online headlines is uncreative or even dumb. Yes, the word “dumb” has been used on me.

I learned my lesson quickly.    Read More →

Are You Still Using an Objective Statement on Your Resume?

greedy old manBy now, most of us know that it’s a good idea to include a little intro at the top of your resume before diving into your experience. You’ve probably got one on your own resume. But is it the right kind? Or is it the dreaded “objective statement?” If so, your job search might be over before it even starts.

Somehow, people still use these. I read tons of resumes, from the entry level on up to C-level execs, and I’m routinely horrified by the fact that these are still in use. I’m even more horrified by what they usually say. Here are some examples that actual humans have put on their resumes:

  • “To find a company that recognizes and rewards my exceptional product vision and gives me the resources and creative freedom to build something amazing.”
  • “To use my terrifyingly high IQ to help you build your buisness” (Yep. “Buisness.”)
  • “$165,000″

What — aside from being terrible — do these have in common? Each of them addresses the job seeker’s goals instead of advertising how their skills can benefit a particular company. Even the most well-crafted objective statements are little more than Christmas lists, filled with the shiny things job seekers want.    Read More →

Natural Selection: A Noah Scalin Exhibition

Natural Selection Noah Scalin

Natural Selection is an exhibition of new portraits of scientists and their skulls created from everyday materials. The artist, Noah Scalin, is the creator of the award winning Skull-A-Day project. He’s also our friend and a long-time Hired Gun. Check it out!

Natural Selection
Krause Gallery
149 Orchard Street
New York, NY 10002
Thursday 10/17 – Sunday 11/24

Get tickets and more info here.

Do You Work for a Monster?

vintage witch on halloweenHalloween is almost upon us, and what better way to celebrate than with some scary stories? We’ve all worked for a monster or two along the way, and we want to hear your stories. Head over to Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or the comment section below and tell us the scariest story about your horrible boss. We’ll run the whole bunch on Halloween.

And yes, there’s a prize.

To get your storytelling juices flowing, we asked some of The Hired Guns’ team for their most monstrous boss moments. Here’s what we got.

Jen Geller, our Talent Booker: “One of my very first bosses was a dangerously unbalanced news producer. When she didn’t get her way, she threw video tapes at people. Hard. Also, when her boyfriend dumped her, my job became helping her stalk him full-time. She ordered me to follow him to dinner to see who he was dating. She made me drive her by his house since he wouldn’t recognize my car. This lasted for an entire summer. It might have lasted longer if I hadn’t quit.”    Read More →

7 Ways to Prepare for a Layoff

Vintage fallout shelter signDo you sense a disturbance in the force? Has the Fair Trade coffee in your office kitchen been replaced by Folgers? Have two VPs and the CMO left recently with no comment from the executive team? Has the HR manager has told you that they’re putting the search for your new business analyst “on hold?” Is your boss being sketchier than usual? If you answered “yes” to two or more of these items, then you’ve observed one of the 7 Signs That a Layoff is Coming. This is no time to get depressed or panic. This is the time to cowboy up and prepare for a layoff.

“But I’m great at my job!” you say. “I’m necessary! They can’t live without me!” Here’s the hard truth: no matter how great or necessary you are, you still cost money. And because you cost money, you need to assume that your name is on the list. The storm clouds are gathering, friend, and you should prepare to get wet.    Read More →

You’ve Got 6 Weeks Left to Find a Job in 2013. Here’s How.

Turkey dinnerYou’ve got six weeks left to find a job in 2013. Yes, you read that correctly. No matter how festive you may (or may not) be, vacation time starts November 15. Even though most people won’t start taking time off until the following week, no one is starting first-round interviews the week before everyone leaves.

Then December brings end-of-year meetings filled with annual summaries and budgeting exercises that often threaten to chop any open headcount. The December holidays? Those are a wash.

Unless you’re prepared to wait until the second week of January to start looking again, it’s time to kick your job search into high gear.    Read More →

Postmortem of a Venture-backed Start-up: The Sonar Story

sonar subbyBrett Martin co-founded Sonar Media in 2010. This article originally appeared on Medium.com

For those unfamiliar, Sonar Media Inc. was a mobile app created to help make the world a friendlier place. Our mobile app buzzed in your pocket when friends were near and ushered in a new wave of “Ambient Social Networking” companies. Downloaded by millions of people all over the world, Sonar was promoted by Apple and Google in 100+ countries, won numerous awards such as runner-up at TechCrunch Disrupt and Ad:Tech Best Mobile Startup, raised nearly $2,000,000 from prominent angels and VCs, and was featured on more than 300 publications including the New York Times, CNN, CNBC, TechCrunch, and TIME.

And yet, we failed.    Read More →

Give Yourself Permission to Ditch the Grind and Do What You Love

DetentionThink back to when you were still a kid in school. For days and weeks and months on end during the school year, the routine was the same: you caught an aging yellow school bus in the morning, worked your way through the same regimented class schedule with subjects that had been taught 1,000 times before, and ate the same mass-produced lunch in the same cafeteria.

But amid all of this dreary routine, there was one day that always stood out: the field trip.

The field trip was your only escape from the repetitive doldrums of your life. It was also the only time the school bus took you somewhere interesting: a museum, an aquarium, some cool kind of factory, or really any place that WASN’T your classroom for a day.

All it took was a permission slip from your parents. Without that, you were doomed.

Now replace “school” with “work.” For far too many people, the repetitive scene I’ve just described is how they live their professional lives. They endure a terrible commute each morning, go through the motions each day, and aren’t excited by their work. The only bright spots are the weekends.

But as an adult, you don’t need a permission slip to do what you love.    Read More →

How to Ace Your Second-Round Job Interview

Second-Round PanicSo you nailed your first job interview. You prepared ahead of time by doing research on the company, the role, and the hiring manager. You gave a compelling account of your skills and experience, relating each to the hiring manager’s most pressing challenges. You walked out feeling confident that they’d call you in for a second-round interview.

And so they have. Now what?

The first-round interview is a fast, nerve-wracking examination of your personality and ability. The second-round job interview, however, is a different creature altogether. The rules have changed and there are new expectations and challenges. Before you freak out about the next interview (“But I already told my best stories!”), take a deep breath and study up on our handy how-to for acing a second-round interview.    Read More →

Want to Launch a Start-Up? Start Here.

Boot Camp for Digital Start-UpsJerry Shereshewsky calls himself “the last of the Mad Men.” His career started in the mail room at Young & Rubicam in 1969. Since then, he’s built a resume that reads like a who’s who of the biggest names in the marketing world. In 2010, he left his gig as CEO of Grandparents.com to found the digital marketing consultancy GrownUpMarketing. On Tuesday, October 29, Jerry and the team at GrownUpMarketing will hold their first annual Boot Camp for Digital Start-Ups conference here in New York. The Hired Guns sat down with Jerry to find out just why this conference is so necessary for digital entrepreneurs.    Read More →

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