Latest Articles

Listen Up! 8 Tips for Becoming a Better Manager

Be a Better ListenerQuick! Who’s the best manager you’ve ever worked for? Picture him or her in your mind. Now think: what made you pick this person?

So who was the worst manager you’ve ever had? Do the same thing: visualize working for this person while thinking about what made them so horrible.

I can’t guarantee it, but if I had to guess, one of the key differences between these two was that the good manager actually listened to you, while the bad one didn’t.

Am I right?

When the good manager listened to you, how did it make you feel? Valued? Validated? Respected? Trusted? Confident? Engaged? Empowered?

How did the bad manager make you feel most of the time? Probably the exact opposite. So if you’re a manager — or even if you’re not — look at yourself in the mirror and ask: Am I a good listener? More importantly, if you asked other people that question, what would they say? If you’re interested in becoming a better manager, it’s time to refresh your approach to listening.    Read More →

The 2014 Job Market Will Be Hot. Here’s How We Know.

Man sweating in the heatAll of us here at Hired Guns HQ hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We also hope you rested up, because you’re going to need it.

As we head into December, hiring in the digital space continues to intensify. We placed more full-time talent in November than any other month in 2013, and it already looks like we’re going to blow past that number in December. Our clients are looking to start the new year with their teams intact, so we’ve got back-to-back interview days booked throughout December. And since December hiring activity is — in our experience, at least — a reliable barometer for job growth in the coming year, big things are coming in 2014.    Read More →

5 Rules for Building a Great Portfolio

You need a portfolio. Yes, I know you know that. But do you actually have one? If you do have one, when’s the last time you updated it? If you answered anything other than “yes” and “recently,” you’ve got work to do. If you’re unsure how to build a portfolio or unclear on what to put in the one you’ve already got, we can help.

Here’s the deal: portfolios aren’t just for writers and visual artists. Product pros, UXers, content producers, and anyone else who builds or designs needs to be able to show off their work to a recruiter or networking contact at a moment’s notice.    Read More →

I Blew It: A Humble Retraction

Vintage skater fallsI don’t say this often (or ever, according to my wife), but I was wrong. Back in early October, I published an article called “You’ve Got Six Weeks Left to Find a Job in 2013. Here’s How.” In it, I made the argument that no one hires late in Q4. And even though I later pointed out that some last-minute shoppers would be looking for talent in the waning days of 2013, that turns out to be something of an understatement.

People are hiring. Like crazy. What is normally a slow season for hiring has become a frenzy. Companies are suddenly starving for talent. Our inboxes are flooded. Our gig board has more gigs than ever. We’re placing people left and right. So once again, I was wrong.

There. I said it. Happy now?

Good. Now stop gloating and get yourself over to the gig board.

Outsource the Things You Hate

domestic goddessEveryone’s busy. But you’re crazy busy. You have literally more work to do today than any human could possibly accomplish. On top of that, your car needs an oil change, you need to cook dinner, and you still have to make time for the kids. You’re not the first person to face this dilemma, but you might be one of the few who handles it like an economist. The New York Times recently addressed the economic principal of comparative advantage and the benefits of outsourcing the tasks that don’t provide value.

From the article:

Embracing the D.I.Y. ethos is (wrongly) perceived as evidence of thrift or even moral virtue. A personal chef is the sort of luxury people associate with hedge-funders, Europeans with several surnames and oil sheikhs. Still, you need not be an heiress to benefit from paying for a personal assistant or gofer of some kind. From an economist’s perspective, it’s similar to taking out student loans: an investment in your future earning potential. Yet few outside the field see it that way.    Read More →

THG in the News: Allison Hemming and Ashley Milne-Tyte Lean In

If a company needs you but they aren’t hiring for a role where you can shine, don’t let that stop you from pitching the idea. That’s the lesson that Hired Gun Ashley Milne-Tyte covered in November 10’s Metro. Our very own Top Gun Allison Hemming lent her expertise on the art of pitching a job, making the article a Hired Guns double whammy.

You can read the whole article over at, but here’s a bit to wet your whistle:

Conjuring up the job you want is far more common than some of us may think, but according to Allison Hemming, CEO of placement agency The Hired Guns, you have to be judicious. When you go for an interview, you can’t forget you’re auditioning for a particular spot. “You have to know what the company’s pain points are.” So don’t start by enumerating all the extra things you can do (or would rather do); gain the trust of the interviewer first. Listening to and questioning your interviewer, according to Hemming, “is the most under-utilized skill set when it comes to job hunting.”

The Q4 Hire: Fact or Fiction?

SasquatchA month ago, I wrote that you’ve got six weeks left to find a job in 2013. If you took that advice to heart and got your job search in gear, you can probably skip this article. But since you probably didn’t, I’ve got some good(ish) news: you still have a shot at ditching your current gig for greener pastures before the year ends. Believe it or not, you can still get hired in Q4.

While most companies will have closed the books on open headcount by early December, some hiring managers are still searching for talent until the last minute. These creatures are elusive, but if you know what to look for, you might spot one in the wild. If you snoozed through October and just can’t bear the thought of sticking around until March for your bonus, this one’s for you.    Read More →

Our Top Horrible Boss Story, Plus More Stories from Our Readers

Woman attacked by gorillaYou guys have some awful bosses. Seriously.

We got tons of stories, ranging from amusing to worrisome to alarmingly criminal. We laughed (schadenfreude is a great afternoon pick-me-up). We cried. We thought about alerting the authorities. But without further ado, the winning horrible boss story comes from reader Pasko1. Here’s a snippet:

How about my boss of 8-1/2 years? It wasn’t that he was a paranoid maniac who used to watch the dozens of security cameras remotely at his house — closed-circuit video of our office where no cash was stored and which had nothing more than beat up, second-hand furniture, off-brand computers, and about 100 of his disgusting deer heads and other things that he shot while on international hunting trips paid through the company checking account as, you guessed it, “business conferences.” … What really got to me was when he made me spend an entire day monitoring his wife’s phone usage on the Verizon Wireless website while he was going through his divorce. I then had to investigate each phone number that called her or that she called. I then had to do an ANALYSIS of each number, total minutes, total calls, and CHART THE BUSY PERIODS DURING THE DAY.    Read More →

1 Day Left: Tell us the Most Horrible Boss Story & We’ll Re-Write Your Resume

Halloween is tomorrow. While you steel yourself for an office filled with Walter Whites, zombies, and Miley Cyruses (Cyri?), why not tell us about the worst boss you’ve ever had? If you give us the most horrifying boss story of all, The Hired Guns’ resume expert will re-write your resume for you. We’ll call you, talk with you about your past accomplishments and current goals, and then give you a resume that’s sure to get you noticed. All you have to do is vent about your jerk supervisor. You know, just like you’re going to do at the bar later.

Be warned: the competition is stiff. The comments from our first post include a stalker, a psychopath, and a serial fraudster. We’ve also gotten email submissions about various nutjobs, creeps, and a few we can’t quite print. Think you can do better?    Read More →

Grab These 10 Career Apps and Make Your Job Search Mobile

Vintage office phoneMost people think that managing your career means carving out a weekend afternoon and spending quality time with your laptop, grinding away at your resume or scouring job boards. There was certainly a time when this was true. (OK, this was true until maybe about two years ago. You get where I’m going here.) These days, however, you can manage your career from the coffee line or, better yet, from inside one those interminable meetings your boss is so fond of. These 10 career apps can help you find jobs, bolster your network, and develop mobile-friendly personal marketing collateral.    Read More →

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