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A VC Gives Pointers on Hiring the Right People


Great comments on hiring from Managing Director of Garage Technology Ventures, Guy Kawasaki His philosophy of hiring? Simple—hire someone who complements your weaknesses–and someone better than you. Obvious? Of course. Often done? Of course not! Many people hire people just like themselves, thinking, hey if I’m successful, some like me will also succeed. Read the rest of this entry »

Happy St. Patrick’s Day from AC Lion


AC Lion’s Managing Director, Dan Goldsmith, Quoted In The Wall Street Journal

Job Hunters, Beware
By Sarah Needleman

There’s been no shortage of warnings about the career dangers of posting racy content on sites like Facebook and Twitter. Yet many job hunters still don’t heed that advice, and others don’t realize they’re doing just as much damage by doing things like bending the truth or spamming their résumés. Recruiters say such faux-pas can result in immediate and lasting career damage.

“You’re going to be remembered—and not in a positive way,” says Colleen McCreary, chief people officer for Zynga Game Network Inc., a San Francisco developer of social games including FarmVille. “Recruiters move around a lot from company to company, and that can carry on with them for a long period of time.”

Ms. McCreary says candidates consistently damage their reputations by sending cover letters that disingenuously claim a specific position at the company is their dream job. With a check of Zynga’s applicant-tracking system, she can see that those people submitted the same letter for several other openings, too. “They’ve now lost all their integrity,” she says. As an alternative, she recommends that job hunters write about the two or three positions they’re most qualified for in a single letter. Read the rest of this entry »

The coolest way I’ve seen to understand the Social Media landscape

The Conversation Prism by Brian Solis and Jesse Thomas

Happy New Year from AC Lion


Avoid These 10 Common Resume Goofs

Ten Most Common Resume Goofs
Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC.
1. Email Errors
One of the most common goofs we see is an incorrect email address. Since most job search efforts are centered around email communications, having an email address that is wrong or difficult to interpret can be a pothole in the road to success. Double-check your email address to make sure it is correct. Don’t use your work email address on your resume and try to avoid having an email that has the number 1 in it as it can be difficult to tell if it’s a letter or a numeral. Avoid goofy or cutesy email monikers such as vanhalenlvr83 or similar. Email systems that use automated spam authenticators are loathed by recruiters and line managers alike, so stay away from them during you job search. Remember, you can set up an email address that you use JUST for job search.
2. Mechanical Mistakes
Misspellings are the most common mechanical mistake. People rely on spell-check too much. Spell-check can’t tell the difference, though, in meaning. If you write “manger” instead of “manager”, spell-check won’t flag it. Other mechanical problems include verb tense shift and capitalization. It seems like when in doubt, job seekers will capitalize something just “to be on the safe side” but that just creates an error.
3. Fluff Phrases
The profile or summary is often the most difficult section of the resume to create. As a result, job seekers fall back on soft-skill phrases or fluff phrases such as “good communicator” or “hard-working”. These sound good but they tell the reader nothing. These are subjective traits that are opinion-based. You may think you are a good communicator but your peers might say otherwise. These traits will be judged in the interview so don’t load the resume down with these. Remember, 99.9% of all the other candidates will also be claiming these skills. Have you ever heard of anyone putting “bad communicator” or “lazy with sloppy attention to detail” on the resume?
4. Too Much Information (TMI)
Job seekers often forget for whom they are writing. The recruiter or hiring manager is going to be skim-reading the resume and will be looking for the main points. The job seeker, on the other hand, feels it’s necessary to put every bit of information possible in the resume, right down to including that Eagle Scout designation from 1984. Having too much information, or irrelevant information, is a common resume error.
5. Too Little Information (TLI)
The opposite of TMI is TLI – too little information. Being too general in the resume is just as bad as being too wordy. Usually too little information takes the form of no details on achievements. Most people can get their job duties or role descriptions down but falter when it’s time to detail their successes in some sort of quantitative or qualitative way. As a result, the content is thin or bland and doesn’t inspire the reader to make contact with the job seeker.

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6. Passive Voice
We are all taught that formal writing is passive voice writing. Most people have a tendency to write in the passive voice, especially when composing their resumes. Passive voice – “responsible for”, “duties included”, etc. – is weak writing. Resumes need to be powerful sales documents and passive voice doesn’t persuade the reader. Make sure the resume is written in active voice with lots of solid keywords throughout the content.
7. Functional Format
Using the functional format (also called a skills resume) is probably the most deadly error you can commit in terms of the resume’s effectiveness. Recruiters and employers literally detest the functional format. It does not give them the information they need in the format they want. Additionally, it generally indicates that the job seeker is trying to hide something since the functional format is used to cover up problems such as date gaps, job hopping, or lack of experience. Just the mere appearance of the functional format is a huge turnoff to decision-makers.
8. Personal Information
The fact that you are an avid skeeball player, or that you collect old world coins has no relevance to whether or not you are qualified for the position. So why include information on hobbies, sports, or interests?
9. Poor Design
The old large-left-margin layout is long out of fashion and fancy designs, images or tables will really give the databases a hard time when you upload your resume. The best thing to do when it comes to design of your resume is KISS – keep it simple, sweetie. Yes, make it appealing, but over designed resumes will get scrambled in uploads, and thus not win interviews.
10. One Page Length
One page resumes are long gone unless you are a new graduate without much experience. Having said that, we still see plenty of one page resumes for more senior job seekers come in for critiques. It does surprise me! When a job seeker tries to limit the content of the resume to fit into one page, he/she is cutting vital information to adhere to a “rule” that is not valid for most resumes. Many resumes (including mid-level) are two pages in length and three pages are acceptable for some senior level candidates.
About the Author:
Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 75,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!
Visit AC Lion for our current job listings.

Ahead of the Bell: Google 3Q signals ad rebound

Google shares rise as 3Q results signal Web ad rebound with search leader as prime beneficiary
NEW YORK (AP) — Google Inc. shares rose in premarket trading after the company’s third-quarter results signaled that the Internet advertising market is experiencing a turnaround and that the search leader is set to be the prime beneficiary.
At least one analyst said the company’s shares could hit $700 apiece, a level not reached since December 2007.
The Mountain View, Calif., company’s results were “stellar,” said Jefferies & Co. analyst Youssef Squali, lifting his price target on the stock to $600 from $470, and raising his earnings estimates for the company.
Canaccord Adams, meanwhile, raised its target by $140 to $700, saying YouTube results are improving and advertisers’ budgets are likely to ramp up for the holiday season.
Google shares peaked at nearly $750 in November 2007, just before the start of the recession. In the third quarter, the company posted its biggest quarter-to-quarter sales increase — 8 percent — since the end of 2007.
Google shares were up $17.34, or 3.3 percent, to $547.25 in premarket trading Friday. They’re already up 72 percent this year, but the stock is still attractive given Google’s prospects of 15 to 20 percent growth every year for the next several years, Squali said in a note to clients.
“Advertisers both in the U.S. and overseas are coming back,” Squali concurred, and “committing bigger budgets.”
Continued growth is also likely to come as search traffic increases and consumers’ click-through rates on ads rebounds, said Merriman Curhan Ford in a client note. Additionally, there are revenue growth opportunities in display ads and mobile phones, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Heath Terry.
“Google is the company best positioned to benefit from the recovery in the ad market and overall growth in Internet usage,” Terry wrote. He has a price target of $680 on the shares.
Google is considered a barometer for the state of online commerce because its search engine serves as the hub of the Web’s largest advertising network.
Meanwhile, analysts commended Google for cutting expenses, which bolstered earnings. Year-to-date, capital expenditures are down 70 percent compared to last year, said William Blair analyst Megan Friedman in a note to investors.
Google executives said the company is set to ramp up spending, increasing hiring, buying up tech startups and spending more on computers.
In the third quarter, Google earned $1.64 billion, or $5.13 per share, a 27 percent increase from last year.
Excluding expenses for employee stock compensation, Google said it would have made $5.89 per share — above the average estimate of $5.42 per share among analysts polled by Thomson Reuters.
Revenue for the three months ending in September climbed 7 percent to $5.94 billion. That is Google’s fastest revenue growth rate so far this year.

Thanks to Mike Adler for suggesting this timely read from Yahoo Finance

“Do You Want To Sell Sugar Water For The Rest Of Your Life Or Do You Want To Change The World?”

Would that line get you to sign on the bottom line? Worked beautifully for Steve Jobs, who used it on Jon Scully. Stole Scully from a nice, secure job as CEO of Pepsi to the then-risky start up known as Apple. Scully had built Pepsi into the powerhouse rival to Coke. Jobs wanted him to do the same for Apple.
And that line worked on Scully. But why? And would that line work for you? Yes, we’d all like to think we’d make that brilliant decision but hindsight is 20/20. And for me, transforming the world is not usually top dog on my job wish list. I’d rather have a goal I can achieve—and a better commute.
But it did work on Scully. And this week, I finally understood why. Steve Jobs brilliantly figured out what motivated Scully—and then pitched it perfectly to him. “To him” is the critical part of that sentence. Selling Scully on the hip startup environment or the market research data would have failed miserably. Jobs knew what made Scully tick—and what would motivate him.
And I have to thank Anne Miller for that understanding. Anne has an innovative way of analyzing people, that got me—and my team—to better tailor our pitches to the particular receiver. In under an hour, her fun, interactive program got us thinking and acting differently (by the way, she gets an Oscar from me for her role-playing.) Like me, you’ve probably sat through many sales training seminars. I wish all of them were as relevant as Anne’s. She’s worked with over 100 media companies and now I know why. Her presentation will make my team function better—and make us all better sales people.
Bonnie Zaben is COO of AC Lion. Anne Miller’s dynamite session was the first in our Fall 2009 Professional Development series. (You can read one of our interns take on the session below) Kudos to Eve Stieglitz, Director of Digital Media Search here at AC Lion, for coordinating this series. Stay tuned for posts on our future sessions. They should only be as good!

Learning to Read People Better

Here at AC Lion, a new Professional Development Series has just been kicked off. This series is meant to help our team be all that they can be. Internal and external resources on the Digital Media or Sales space will be speaking on specific topics geared towards the team’s personal business development.
To kick off the series, Anne Miller was invited to speak with us. Anne is an internationally known speaker, author and seminar leader who teaches sales people how to increase their business. She regularly coaches CEO’s and senior management to communicate successfully to key constituencies; and enables technical people to transform complex information into simpler, meaningful messages.
Anne spoke to us about the four different personalities of selling styles- Ideas, People, Data, and Action. For each one, we went through different scenarios to differentiate between the styles. This helped us classify and clarify our own intrinsic styles as well as help us better understand, connect, and work with our clients and candidates.
To check out more info about Anne Miller, or to recruit her for your own company, please check out her
Estee Colman is part of AC Lion’s Fall 2009 cadre of interns.

Using YouTube to Sing Goodbye ( or The 2009 version of “Take This Job and Shove It”)

Well, the show 9 to 5 may have been a bust on Broadway but the newest musical approach to giving notice caught my eye today. YouTube’s former Head of Industry Marketing, Kristin Kovner, uses her favorite video site to sing her resignation. Yep, you saw that right—sing her resignation. In a warbling rendition of “I’ll Be Seeing You,” she tells her colleagues that she’s leaving Google for AOL. Kudos to Kristin for creativity—and promoting a great new way to say “let’s stay in touch.”

She’s the latest of a stream of Googlers crossing over to the other side at AOL (followers of Tim Armstrong and Jeff Levick unite!) BusinessInsider is lamenting the Google Brain Drain The Google Brain Drain Goes On And On
listing 17 top people to recently leave. Even have a graphic interface highlighting the ex-pats. Yes, that talent is in demand—and other employers will pay top dollar. Yes, Google is much bigger and has probably lost its entrepreneurial vibe. And yes, a larger company means more internal competition (read: less promotions) for top talent. But Google’s strength has been hiring the best and the brightest. Now, they just have to keep them. Even if there’s no free lunch anymore.
So Kristen is just the latest brain to drain from Google.
One final note to Kristen—don’t quit your day job. Yet.
Bonnie Zaben is COO of AC Lion. Her 20 years experience has taught her that exiting gracefully is the sign of a true professional. She’s seen resignation letters, stay in touch emails, let’s do lunch air kisses and even someone who was fired by voicemail. But YouTube to resign was a new twist!