Larry Smith: On Tomorrow’s Class, Knowing Yourself, and Keeping it Simple

Larry Smith at PoptechWe sat down with Larry Smith, our coach for tomorrow’s What’s Your Story? course, to talk about work, life, and presenting it all in just six words.

What is a Six-Word Memoir®?
Ernest Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. As the legend goes, he wrote: “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” In November 2006, at the online storytelling community I founded called SMITH Magazine, we gave the six-word story a personal twist, calling it a  “Six-Word Memoir.” (And partnering with a little-know company called Twitter for what was supposed to be just a one-month contest to win an iPod). The idea is as simple as it sounds: tell the story of your life in exactly six words. Those six words can be an attempt to sum up your whole life — think of it as the title of your autobiography or epitaph on your tombstone, as Mario Batali did when he wrote, “Brought it to a boil often” — or one aspect of your personal life (“According to Facebook we broke up”) or professional life (“I tell amazing stories in PowerPoint”).

How does it help professionals refine their personal brand?
The parameters of just six words help you get to the essence of who you are and what you do best. Ever notice that the higher up you get on the ladder, the shorter your emails and meetings can be? Being brief, precise and very much in tight control of your own personal story is a boon for anyone in any part of their life — from your online dating profile to your resume.    Read More →

Six-word CVs, Four New Classes, and One Chance to Win.

As impossible as it may seem, summer’s already over. It’s time to put away the board shorts and flip flops and start thinking seriously about honing your professional skills. But unlike your kids, your fall schedule has something to look forward to. This fall, The Hired Guns Academy offers four distinct courses to help you take the next step in your career.

First off is What’s Your Story? Master the Art of the Elevator Pitch and Harness the Power of Short-Storytelling. On Wednesday, September 19, Larry Smith, founder of SMITH magazine and author of It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure, helps you hone your “elevator pitch” and teaches you how to make it “flex” depending on the audience you’re speaking to and the stage of your career you’re in, so people remember your name and what you do best. Sign up here.

But wait – there’s more (yes, we just went there.) We want you to take a crack at crafting your own six-word CV. Make them funny, make them heart-wrenching, make them suit-and-tie serious — just make sure they sell you in just six words. Tweet them @TheHiredGuns using #6wordCV, email them to us at, or just leave them in the comments below. The best six-word CV, as determined by our eminently qualified and highly vetted panel of celebrity judges, wins free admission to Larry’s September 19 class. We’ll share the best submissions on our blog, but only the best six words will win.    Read More →

THG in the News: AOL Jobs Quotes Our Outlook for a Sunny September

The Hired Guns in the NewsWhen The Guns tweet, the web listens. Just this morning, AOL Jobs quoted The Hired Guns’ optimistic outlook for September hiring:

Unemployed workers looking for more evidence of a pickup in hiring this month might take some inspiration from The Hired Guns, a New York City-based employment agency focused on the high tech and creative fields.

Via Twitter on Friday, the firm said that it expects hiring in September “will be strong based on the brisk biz we’ve been seeing.”    Read More →

NPR’s #PubJobs: A Case Study in Recruiting with Twitter

Writing for MediaShift, NPR’s director of talent acquisition, Lars Schmidt, lays out a successful Twitter strategy he used to publicize and fill openings at the company.

First, he promoted the use of the hashtag #PubJobs for any jobs in public media — wherever they were. By also getting American Public Media and local public-radio and -TV stations on board, Lars not only helped fill NPR’s own openings but also helped get “great talent in the system” in general.

Since the launch of #PubJobs last June, the hashtag has appeared in over 700 tweets by 130 unique contributors. Roughly 60% of them were retweets, which Lars believes points up the “virility” and “visibility” of the campaign. And as far as ways to use social media to get the right people to keep your company in mind, it definitely beats asking applicants for their Facebook passwords ….

Twitter’s Ultra-Cheesy Recruiting Video

They wanted to make the “best/worst recruiting video of all time.” Mission accomplished?

[via TLNT]

Bullet Points: Keeping Morale High w/o Raises; Office Party Drinking, Chartified

[via The Next Web]

Bullet Points: Twitter’s New Look, and the Backlash Against Bizspeak Blather

  • In what’s being seen as a play to fend off Facebook and Google Plus, Twitter has given itself some new bells and whistles. An international rollout will include personal profile pages and timelines, and new ways to find tweets you might be interested in.  More from the Wall Street Journal (on what it means for the company) and Lifehacker (on the changes themselves).
  • The CEO of the French tech firm Atos hasn’t used email since he got the position three years ago. Now he’d like to make the company’s 74,000 other employees do the same, at least for internal emails. Instead, they might use an in-house wiki and IM, along with other tools.
  • Dan Pallotta looks at the horrors of lousy, meaningless business expressions: “You will gain tremendous credibility, become much more productive, make those around you much more productive, and experience a great deal more joy in your working life if you look someone in the eye after hearing one of these verbal brain jammers and tell the person, “I don’t have any idea what you just said to me.” [HBR]
  • The plans for Apple’s supercollider-shaped headquarters include lots and lots of fruit trees, as well as gardens, a fountain, and an open-air amphitheater. [Forbes]
  • The Freelancers Union’s Sara Horowitz talks health insurance with the New York Times’ David Bornstein: “Many people believe that there are only two options for health care: the current, for-profit, dysfunctional, system where costs are spiraling out of control, and a single-payer system. . . I believe there is another strategy where civil society (such as nonprofits, social-purpose businesses and other institutions) create a new support system to get their basic needs met. The reality is that government is subsidizing less and less. . . it’s unrealistic to think that government will be able to fund and operate a single-payer health care system in the next three to five years.”
  • From Hired Gun pal, John Vorwald: Budget Travel’s newest list of the World’s Weirdest Hotels.


Bullet Points: When Twitter’s More Trouble Than It’s Worth

  • “[My] habit started to feel less like a rush and more like a burden. Instead of tweeting to reflect on my life, tweeting had become my life. I began to think seriously about giving it up.”
  • Could a company force a departing employee to hand over the personal Twitter account he used on the job? Probably not, but it’s a grey area….
  • A survey of 72,000 people, conducted by TNS Digital Life, found that consumers’ feelings about interacting with company brands on social networks varied widely by country. Those in developed markets, including North America and Europe, had the most “resistance to both buying and engaging with brands” on Twitter, Facebook, and the like. You can find out more tidbits from the survey in The Next Web and in the teaser video below.

Bullet Points: New York City’s Twitter-Addicted Masses

[Via Stuff I Stole from the Internet]

Bullet Points: Nice Guys Finish Last; Social Recruiting Blossoms; Is Middle Management Going Out of Style?

  • “[Agreeable] workers earn significantly lower incomes than less agreeable ones,” writes Rachel Emma Silverman in the Wall Street Journal. The gap, which is larger for men, is discussed in a paper presented at this year’s meeting of the Academy of Management.
  • Professor Lynda Gratton’s book The Shift predicts the end of middle management. But the Economist marshals some facts and decides that “there are still reasons to believe that theirs is not a wholly useless profession“: “it could be argued that the demise of the middle manager correlates all too suspiciously with the rise in the cult of the CEO.”
  • Recruiters’ love for social media isn’t going away: it’s just too good at finding those appealing “passive candidates.” [Baltimore Sun]
  • NPR looks at the companies who will guarantee you a certain number of Twitter followers—for a price.
  • The advice is for those in finance, but we think it’s got a much broader application. “Stop doing dumb stuff,” says Steve Player. “Much of this ‘dumb stuff’ masquerades as standard finance processes,” but stopping it is the “only way you can find the time for doing critical things that can add value.”
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