Posts You Might Have Missed

If you have not done so already, please sign up for my new newsletter, HSS Employment Insights.

There you will be able to read articles on:

Body Language: The Beauty of Being Underestimated

Woke at Work

Retaliation vs Revenge

Physics and the Job Search Paradox

Ghosting Recruiters

Cybersecurity for Job Seekers

Really Stupid Advice for Job Seekers!

Reference Checking 101

How Much is “Too Much” When it Comes to Social Media Postings?

The Proper Use of SWAG: Never Give Anything Away for Free

REALLY Understanding the Unemployment Rate

First Day on the Job at Home

“What Should I Study in College?”

First Day on the Job

What is Your SQ – Stupidity Quotient?

Creating a Job Search/Career Plan

The Resume Conundrum: One or Many?

How to Be the Best Candidate

How NOT to be a Consultant at a Job Interview

The Evil Secret of the Cover Letter

It’s All About Customer Service

Sign up today! There is a new post every Sunday morning (Eastern Time)!


JOB ALERT: Marketing Director, Brooklyn, $120K

Marketing Director – Brooklyn, New York

My client, a dynamic corporation which, for the past eight years has been providing clients with services to consolidate their financial statements across multiple platforms, is looking to further expand their national client base.  Currently servicing companies with revenues of up to eight figures, the company seeks a dynamic self-starter with a minimum of two years’ B2B marketing experience preferably in the accounting or financial products sector.  The Director will be responsible for Demand Generation and Lead Nurturing.

The Director will build the Marketing Department with the goal of eventually hiring and supervising staff.  This is a full-time position, requiring the person to work out of the company’s Brooklyn office.  This is not a remote position.

In addition to the above, the ideal candidate will be entrepreneurial and independent, have a broad understanding of all phases and channels of marketing in the B2B marketing space, and understand the positioning of B2B financial products.  Moreover, they will have experience working with outsourced vendors, strong prioritization skills, and strong written communication and interpersonal skills.

The compensation package includes a base salary range of between $80,000 and $120,000, depending on qualifications, along with medical insurance.  All employees receive National and Jewish Holidays in addition to 10 vacation days.

NOTE: To be considered for this position you must be authorized to work in the United States, live within a reasonable commuting distance of Brooklyn, and have experience with on-line marketing and B2B marketing.

To submit your candidacy, send a cover letter, along with your resume, to Bruce Hurwitz at   Qualified candidates will be contacted within 2 business days.  No phone calls please.

How NOT to be a Consultant at a Job Interview

On a job interview, interviewers sometimes ask candidates to explain how they would solve a problem that they, the company, are having. They provide them with certain information and sit back and wait.

Now some interviewers are con artists looking for free advice. But others are honestly testing the candidate to see if they know their stuff. So allow me to provide two acceptable answers:

The first is simple and will work if the interview is legit or you are being conned:

I would not presume to tell you how to run your business. I don’t have enough information. But what you shared with me reminds me of the time…

And then you tell them about a real problem you had and a real solution.

The second is a little more complicated and more suited if you think you are being conned, although, an honest interviewer should not be offended:

Your question reminds me of a story I was once told. There was a family business. The founder was still running things. His children and grandchildren wanted to make changes. He thought he knew everything. They thought he was going to lose everything. So, without his knowledge, they brought in a consultant.

The consultant looked around the business and, after an hour, met with the owner. He complimented him on a few things but then pointed out problems and told him how he, the consultant who he had just met five minutes earlier, would fix them. The owner thanked him, politely threw him out of his office, and then handed his children their heads on a plate!

A good consultant, and that is what you are asking me to be, does their research, knows what questions to ask, how to ask the questions, and when to ask the questions. And since I would like to consider myself a good consultant, I really can’t answer your question. But you now know how I would go about finding the answer. That said, if you are interested, I can tell you about a similar situation I had and how I dealt with it.

And you take it from there.

These days, with the difficulties in finding qualified candidates for real positions, I hope that the number of employers faking job openings in the hope of getting free advice has diminished. One can only hope. But candidates still have to be prepared. Consider yourself prepared!


Except for job announcements, this will be the final article I will post on this site. I thank you for having been a subscriber. If you wish to continue reading my articles please subscribe to my new LinkedIn newsletter, HSS Employment Insights.

The Evil Secret of the Cover Letter

A cover letter coexists in the three sections of linear time: past, present and future. (Sorry, I forgot to take my medication this morning. I’ll be right back.)

OK. I’m better now. But the sad truth is that some consultants actually talk that way. They want to give the impression that they are scientists (This was even before Covid!) and not simply oracles who some believe should sit on the top of Delphi while others think they should be buried under it! What job seeker has time for this nonsense? None with whom I have ever worked.

Yes, a cover letter deals with the past, present and future (the aforementioned nonsense about linear time), but the purpose of the cover letter is simple: To get the recipient to look at the resume. That’s it. Period. End of discussion. But it can be more than that.

Sorry, but now we have to do some math:

For sake of argument, let’s say that when someone posts an ad for a job, they get 50 applications. (This can actually be a very conservative number.) That’s 50 cover letters to read. Figure an average of at least a minute per cover letter since some (the really bad ones) are well over a page in length, that’s an hour’s worth of reading. And that’s why, based on my unscientific surveys of recruiters and hiring managers, most simply throw them away and go straight for the resume. Which is a shame, because a cover letter can help differentiate a candidate from their competition and complement the resume, getting them the interview. That is why it is so important to write a cover letter that will actually be read. Mine are read!

There are basically two formats for a cover letter. As you will read, I prefer the traditional. The other is a “T-Bar” where the candidate lists the responsibilities/qualifications for the job on the left side of the chart, and their experiences/qualifications on the right. The logic is obvious: You are looking for X, I have done X. Clean. Neat. Simple.

The problem I have with it is that the employer already knows the responsibilities and qualifications for the job. It’s called “the job description” and they wrote it. So why waste time telling them what they already know? If you list them all, then you are sending the message that you cannot prioritize and don’t know what is their key demand or need.

Think of the cover letter as a “tease” or a “movie trailer.” You are trying to entice them to see the movie, i.e., your resume. If the cover letter tells your entire story, why should they read the resume? That is why I prefer a more traditional approach:

First, the cover letter must be short. You, the candidate, want the recipient to know that you can get to the point. You also want them to know that you understand their workload. So you want to make things easy for them. You want them to know that you care about getting the job (you don’t send a form letter) and, given that it is so rare today, that you can actually write a professional letter in English. (If I see one more “u” for “you” or “ur” for “you are” or “you’re,”…)

Second, there is no need in the cover letter to summarize your resume. If you need to summarize your resume because it is not clear, you need a new resume. If you need to summarize your resume so there will be content in your cover letter, you need to continue reading this article because you do no know what you are doing.

Allow me to sort of digress. If they don’t ask for one, should you provide a cover letter? I think the benefits outweigh any negatives. Yes, the recipient might think that you do unnecessary work. (If I wanted a cover letter, I would have asked for a cover letter!) But the fact that you know how to write an effective cover letter says enough positive things about you that it is worth the risk which, I believe is, at best, minimal. And this is why I believe employers should demand receipt of a cover letter. A short, to the point cover letter is a pretty good indication (not perfect, but pretty good) that the candidate won’t talk too much in meetings and will not digress from the topic.

So how do you write a cover letter?

In the first paragraph simply state “I wish to apply for the XYZ position you advertised on 123.” Now you have told the recipient that you appreciate the fact that they may be working on a number of searches at the same time and you want them to know which job you want (granted it should be in the subject line of the email along with any code) and, perhaps more importantly, that you get to the point. So many people start their cover letters by introducing themselves, telling the recipient about their career goals, and some even mention their hobbies, so, assuming the recipient will read the letter, they only know why the person has written them when they get to the bottom of the first page (if they are that lucky!). You appreciate the stress they are under. Again, you know how to get to the point. You know what is appropriate to be included in the cover letter and what can wait for the interview. That is why you keep it simple, just one informative line. So far, you are doing great! You have their attention. They are reading the letter and since they see, basically, that there is only one more real paragraph left, they continue reading.

In the second paragraph you tell them about the one accomplishment that you have had that speaks to the position for which you are applying and will convince them that they want to consider you before you reach out to their competition. You are showing them that you know what they want to hear and can refrain from wasting their time telling them the subjective things that you want them to know. No one wants to hear how great you think you are, they want to know what you can do for them. So: “Having successfully done such-and-such, saving my current employer X dollars, I am not only confident that I can fulfill the requirements of the position, but exceed them.” The unspoken questions are: You want me to save you hundreds of thousands/millions of dollars or your competitor? You want me to raise your client retention rate or your competitor’s? You want me to lower your employee turnover rate or your competitor’s? That’s the message of the second paragraph: I did it for someone else and I can do it for you! The unspoken message is: I am not a big risk to interview nor to hire.

The rest is simple:

Attached is a copy of my resume for your review. (Self explanatory.)

Thank you in advance for your consideration. (Always be polite.)

I look forward to hearing from you. (Self explanatory and not pushy. HR does not want you to call them. Imagine if all candidates called; they would not be able to do any work. You emailed them; they got your email. Now move on!)

Sincerely, (That’s how professionals end their letters.)

Your Name (And that’s why you don’t have to start your cover letter with, “My name is Joe Jones.” They know your name because it’s either on your email address, at the top of the letter, or your signature. When I get one of those I almost expect the next sentences to be: “I am five years old. When I grow up I want to be a fireman.”)

This letter can be read in about 10 seconds which is all the time you have. And that’s the primary evil secret of the cover letter: No one is going to spend more than 10 seconds reading a cover letter!

Job Seekers Avoid These Posts!

Last week a gentleman took advantage of my complimentary 15-minute career counseling session. I guess he liked what I had to say because he felt the need to share with me the following post he saw online last night:

We finalized a resume package for a client on Christmas Eve.

He was anxious to apply for a job he saw here on LinkedIn.

The position was a Vice President of Customer Engagement for a global hospitality company.

He uploaded his resume, wrote a little note about his interest in the role, and signed off to enjoy his holiday.

Less than 24 hours, he got a response.

On Christmas morning.

They wanted to set up an interview for Monday the 27th.

9 AM.

1 zoom call.

The interview lasted 2 hours.

By the end of the day, they arranged to fly him and 2 other candidates to interview in person.

He arrived on Wednesday, interviewed on Thursday and accepted an offer on Friday, New Years Eve.

The offer of $220k (which was denoted in the job posting) was right on the money.

No negotiation.

No bait and switch.

At this point, his head is spinning.

He emails me to tell me it’s the fastest interview to offer he’s ever been involved in.

He asks the HR Director why this is happening so fast…..he’s not complaining, he’s just curious.

She tells him that their company lost many, many, many great candidates in 2021 because their processes were taking too long. On average, 6 weeks.

They were challenged by their boss to make hires within 7 days. 1 week.

She said her team was exhausted, liberated, exhilarated, challenged and inspired by the work they were doing.

But are hoping to expand their time to hire to 2 weeks 😀😀.

This is leadership in action. Setting the bar, meeting the goal and eliminating the noise that paralyzes hiring.

Could you hire within a week?

There are many problems with this type of post. The first is that job seekers read it and ask, “Why him and not me?” Well, assuming for a moment that the story is true, understand that people usually don’t write about their failures. One client got a job offer. How many did not? Don’t let these things depress you. Read them carefully. The flaws are easy to spot. And even if everything is legit, your time will come!

First, this is supposedly a story about a great resume that got someone a job offer. FALSE. The purpose of the resume is to get the candidate the interview, not the offer. So even if it is true that the resume this woman wrote was magnificent, it did not get the candidate the job offer. The candidate got the candidate the job offer because of his negotiating skills. No where does this “resume writer” indicate that she counseled the client on interviewing so she can claim no credit for the offer.

Second, if she did something great to what, I presume, was a mediocre resume, why did she not share that information? Posts on LinkedIn by professionals should be educational. She should have explained what the problems were with the original resume and how she corrected them. She did no such thing. Reading her post one learns nothing about how to improve a resume. This further leads me to believe that this is a work of fiction. If she had something to teach her readers, she would have.

Third, no one is going to be offered a $220,000 job without the employer running a background check and checking references. It usually takes two weeks for a full background check. And given that we are talking New Year’s Eve week, I doubt any background checking company would have been available for a 24- or 48-hour rush job. And what are the odds that three (?) references would have been available to speak to HR about the candidate during that week? The woman does not say that they made a conditional offer of employment, but rather made an offer which was accepted. This also does not ring true to me.

Finally, who calls anyone on Christmas morning to set up a job interview? That’s the very definition of being rude.

To answer the woman’s question, Anyone can hire within a week. But if it is for as six-figure salary, and around Christmas and New Year’s no less, only if they are very sloppy and careless. But then none of that matters since the two things missing, in my opinion, from this woman’s post are, “Once upon a time,” and “They all lived happily ever after.”

Job seekers, when you see something that is too good to be true, it probably is. There are now con artists charging job seekers for materials they claim they, the applicants, need to complete for their applications to be considered, as well as asking them to do projects (write at 30-, 60-, 90-day plan…) without paying them. Never pay an employer anything for considering your application and never do actual work for them without be compensated. There other scams as well, like the guy who contacted me and told me he could get my articles on LinkedIn to go viral. None of his have…

Be careful and don’t take these people seriously. A little research, and a little common sense, will go a long way. They are feeding off of your emotions. They want you to think that if you pay they God knows how much, you too will get a six-figure job. You will be rich! Well, there will be someone getting rich, but it won’t be you.

PLEASE NOTE: I posted the name of the person who posted the post (too many “posts!”) because it was a public post. If it had been private, I would not have done so. I hope she realizes her mistake and removes or edits it. She can invite her client to set the record straight by commenting on her post (which I will not see) or on this article. Nothing would make me happier than to be proven wrong. As some of my readers know, it is now my policy not to respond to comments, but I would like to see a confirmation from her client and, for that matter, the HR department that handled his hiring.

Refocusing Career Counseling Clientele

When I started my company, Hurwitz Strategic Staffing, Ltd., it was with the mission of promoting the hiring of veterans and merchant mariners. I worked with everyone, but our national heroes were my primary concern.

I will still work with everyone when it comes to executive recruiting. If you are qualified for a position I am looking to fill, I will consider you regardless of whether or not you have served. However, when it comes to career counseling, as of January 3, I will only work with veterans, law enforcement personnel, firefighters, healthcare professionals, merchant mariners, and their spouses. The reason is simple: We have new heroes who need our support, not just veterans of the military.

I don’t want to make this political, but the treatment of law enforcement has been disgusting, to put it mildly. Firefighters, to a certain extent, have had to risk their lives because of how law enforcement have been treated. Healthcare professionals are facing burnout. As for our merchant mariners, they have always been the forgotten heroes. And the spouses of all (hopefully) have stood by them. They all need credible career services without the games. Others may be able to afford to go to career counselors, pay thousands of dollars, for services that can last years – that’s not a typo! – but our heroes cannot. The game is simple: The longer the services last, the more the counselor (sometimes called “coach,”) earns. So they have not incentive to work quickly. I work quickly, efficiently and effectively.

All my clients have always paid a flat rate, veterans receiving a 50% deduction, and my services have always continued until the client gets their next job. That will not change. I have no incentive to draw out the process. All I require is an initial 2-hour session and then we will have unlimited interview rehearsals (those are what are important) until the job is secured. (I also make myself available to answer any questions a client has.) No limits. No small print. No strings attached. And the price will stay that which was previously paid by veterans.

Anyone can hire me to help them with their resume and cover letter, as part of my Professional Writing Services, so I am not leaving those who can’t afford my competitors in the lurch. But the important services, the planning of a job search campaign and, most importantly, interview practice, are reserved for my Career Counseling clients.

Let me tell you about some of the veterans, police and medical staff I have helped in the past. In all cases, the key was the response to the offer (it is not a question), “Tell us about yourself.”

One soldier, who had served in the Infantry, told me his response would be to summarize his resume. That’s the mistake most people make. The good response is to tell the interviewer something not in the resume that speaks to their character. In this case, the veteran had guarded a construction site where the Afghans were building a girls’ school. Then he guarded the girls. His response to the interviewers was to tell them about his pride and satisfaction in being a part of girls receiving a formal education for the first time in their lives. Their response was a job offer.

A Marine who came to me was very shy. He did not want to tell me about his military career. It took a couple of hours but he finally relented. A job interview is no place for modesty. He told me that he was the recipient of a Silver Star! When I asked him why he had received it, he smiled and said, “I’d tell you but then I’d have to kill you!” I told him that that was exactly how he should respond in an actual interview. We added “Silver Star recipient” to the top of his resume. His phone starting ringing. He got interviews and he got job offers.

I have a great deal of respect for nurses, having worked at nursing homes for over four years. One nurse’s story was about how she successfully integrated technology (administrative not medical) into her team’s workday, decreasing the time they had to spend away from patients. She, too, got the job offer.

A police officer, who had taken early retirement, told me a story which, when he told it, was very funny. I cannot do it justice, and won’t try. The short version is that while serving on the New York Police Department, in his first year, he delivered two babies. That was it. No more babies. One day he single-handedly captured two armed bank robbers with the loot. He told me he was more afraid delivering the babies than confronting the robbers, face-to-face. When he told the story to the job interviewers, he got the job offer.

One doctor told me a story which I would really like to forget! (I apparently had not made it clear enough to him that I’m a Ph.D. doctor, not an MD doctor! For the record, they are jealous of us because we have one more letter than they do!) In any event, while his story was not appropriate for me, it was certainly appropriate for his job interviewers and he got the offer.

Our heroes have unique stories to tell. They just have to know which ones to tell and how to tell them.

I look forward to serving those who have served – including their spouses.

It’s All About Customer Service

In today’s day and age, it may not be such a bad idea to review the basics, for both employees and employers:

Way back in 2009, when I started my business, I met with a friend who arranged a meeting for me with a friend of his who was thinking about hiring staff. According to my friend, who was a baseball lover, I “hit it out of the ballpark” when it came to answering questions, but I blew it because I did not know the answer to the question, “What are the three things people notice about you?”

The answer was, at least in the case of men, your shoes (which must be shined), your pen (which must be impressive), and your watch (which must be professional). My shoes were shined and my pen, while not expensive, was (and is) impressive. The problem was my watch. In those days I wore a Casio watch with a calculator. Not a very professional look. So I purchased a nice looking Timex and, for the first time ever, people actually complimented me on my watch!

Years later, a gentleman called me about my professional writing services. As we discussed his needs it became clear that he probably would be better off hiring a marketer. I told him, “It sounds like you are trying to buy individual puzzle pieces and not the complete puzzle.” Little did I know that his one hobby was putting together thousand-piece puzzles! Needless to say, it was a productive conversation.

He had met with marketers who were more than happy to charge him thousands of dollars for their boilerplate solutions. They talked to him about logos, and websites, and everything else they could design. The one thing they could not do was to answer his question, Why, when people come to his store, do they leave without making a purchase?

I told him my guess was that he probably had either a staffing problem – his employees did not know how to sell – or a technology problem – closing a sale was too complicated. So I told him I would be happy to do a little friendly corporate espionage but I needed a Rolex. When he asked me why, I told him that I wanted his staff, and the staff of his competitors, to think I was wealthy.

When we were chatting prior to getting down to business, he had mentioned that his wife had a jewelry shop so I was confident he could get me the Rolex. We met at her store, she gave me the watch (I insisted that she not tell me how much it was worth!), I signed away my life, promised her that if I lost the watch, damaged it, or it was stolen, I would make her a widow! (I don’t know why I said it, it just seemed like the right thing to do at the time.) I then handed her my Timex (Who needs two watches?!) and her husband and I left, he headed for his store and I headed for him competitor a half a block away.

At his competitor’s, I was immediately greeted by a saleswoman. She welcomed me to the store, asked me what I was interested in and then, when I told her I wanted to look around, she invited me to do so and to call me if I needed any assistance. I spent a good 20 minutes in the store, touched a few things, inspected a few things, and then proceeded to leave. At the door the woman stopped me, thanked me for coming in, and gave me her card in case I had any questions. I thanked her and left. At no time was the Rolex visible.

Then I went to my friend’s store. No one met me at the door. I was ignored. Then, using my left arm, I reached for something and the Rolex appeared. As if by magic, so did his staff. They asked me what I wanted. I told them “I just want to look around.” They hovered over me the entire time I was there. They pointed out the most expensive things in the shop. Finally, I thanked them and left. They did not thank me and did not give me a card.

I went back to the owner’s wife’s store, returned the Rolex, got my Timex back, and, once my heart started beating at a near normal rate, I foolishly asked her how much the Rolex was worth. Let’s just say it’s a good think I did not know when she gave it to me because it was far more expensive than I thought!

I asked to use the phone, called her husband and told him it was time for him to pay up. (My fee for the initial information gathering was a pastrami on rye, coleslaw and a diet Coke.) You know what I reported. He had a high-end store (thus the need for the Rolex) but low-end salespeople. What surprised him was that I blamed him. I told him that it was a matter of training. That he should not hire me to get new staff for him, but he should find someone, with industry experience, who could retrain his staff. He belonged to a trade organization and could easily be introduced to the right person. Which is precisely what happened and his sales problems vanished.

Sometimes the employees are the problem. Sometimes it’s you, the boss. And sometimes you may need someone willing to tell you that.

6 Unique Questions to Ask Candidates

A month ago, I wrote an article on diversity. I stand by everything I wrote, but it got me thinking about a different type of diversity rather than just having staff that look, pray, speak, etc., like your clientele and/or community. There should be another type of diversity: thinking. A good team has people who think differently and these questions will help employers identify them:

1) What are you currently reading and why?

You need employees who are multi-dimensional. For example, you ask this question to a candidate for a sales position and they give you the name of the latest sales book. Next they answer the important part of the question, Why? They say that they are reading it to keep current in their field. Great! But then you ask them what was the last book they read not related to sales and they don’t have an example to share with you. Not so great.

When I was a fundraiser, I never read a single book on fundraising. I read books on sales, marketing, promotions, etc., because I wanted a different perspective on fundraising. I wanted to be able to approach my prospects differently from my competition. But I also read books on other topics which leads me to my next question:

2) What are you curious about?

Your staff are going to be interacting with people from different backgrounds. It is important that they be able to relate and interact with them intelligently. I, for example, am no scientist. I don’t pretend to be. But I read a lot about science because it interests me, even if I don’t understand it. A while back I met a woman who was borderline rude when I told her what I did for a living. She had no interest at all. As is required at networking events, I asked her what she did. Turned out she was a scientist. So I said, “Let me ask you a question. There’s something I have read but have never been able to understand. Why is it that in the quantum world a single molecule can be in two places at the same time?” Her entire attitude changed. Now we had a friendly discussion.

I have always believed that asking good questions is more important than having correct answers. Asking questions is a sign of personal courage to admit ignorance and the strength to want to learn. Which leads me to my next question:

3) Do you have a side hustle?

In this case, make certain that the candidate knows that it is not a problem. It won’t be held against them. But you may find what they are doing on the side can help with salary negotiations. If they say they are doing whatever it is that they are doing simply to make ends meet, then you know that if you offer them a good compensation package, they may be happy to give it up. You could ask, What would you need to give up the side hustle? The answer may not be dollars but health insurance, child care, adult care, or some other benefit.

Of course, you could also find out that they have a hidden talent not apparent from their resume. Then you could talk to them about making their side hustle a new revenue stream for your company over which they would be in charge. That would change the entire dynamics of the interview and get them really excited about working for you.

4) What does your current/past company really do?

This question gets to the issue of how the candidate thinks. For example, if I am not mistaken, Michael Dell, of Dell Computers, said he was in the customer service business. Amazon, even before AWS, was described as a tech company. Let me give you some fictional examples:

The Acme door company is in the business of making homeowners feel safe. The Acme window company is in the business of cutting heating and air conditioning bills. “We sell doors” or “We sell windows” is simplistic thinking which you do not want in your company.

5) How do you reach decisions?

Some people need data. Some people rely on experience. Some people talk to others who have been in similar situations. Whatever works! But you have to find out if it really does work for them. So follow up and ask for an example of a success and a failure and what they learned from both. A team with people who reach decisions differently, and who are entrusted with coming up with the decision, usually picks the right one! Having a team of people who reach decisions the same way is almost as bad as having a team of yes-men.

6) How do you learn?

This may be the most important question. Some people learn by reading. Some people learn by watching. Some people learn by listening. Some people learn by doing. This is a great way to find out how much supervision a person needs (confirming it by reference checking!) and whether they will be a good match with your, or their supervisor’s, management style.

The bottom line is, having people who think differently is just as important as any other form of diversity. You ignore this at your own risk.

Using Polls to Increase Business

One of the most important characteristics a person can have is curiosity. Seeing all of the polls on LinkedIn, I got curious. “How,” I asked myself, “can a poll be used to help secure new clients?”

Before I could answer that question I had to do some research, first and foremost, by conducting my own poll. So, two weeks ago I launched (if that’s the right word) the above poll.

I wanted something that I knew people were discussing, so that it would attract attention, but not something that would bring out the crazies. So I chose a question about personal pronouns. As you can see, I made it clear that I had no personal agenda. I also said I would not read the comments, a promise I admit to have broken. More on that in a moment.

The first thing I had to decide was the length of time the poll would be active. I chose the maximum of two weeks. Everyday I checked to see the number of votes and the number views (which only I, as the “owner” of the poll, could see). My first lesson was that a week would have been long enough because the numbers really did not change after the first seven days.

The second thing I learned was that a massive number of people, in this case over 9,400, saw the poll. That’s pretty good advertising!

On the other hand, the third lesson was that only two and half percent of viewers cared enough to vote. But, if you think of a poll as a direct marketing campaign, in ancient times, when companies advertised through the mail, a two and a half percent response rate was seen as an overwhelming success.

The fourth lesson was that, in some cases, persons wrote comments (I had a feeling, my curiosity got the better of me, and I broke my promise!) in support of the LGBT community and then voted that the personal pronouns were “silly and unimportant.” So in public it was one thing, in private the opposite! (For the record, only I could see how people actually voted.)

As for the actual results, just so you know, the LGBT solidarity option never had more than 30% of the vote and “silly and unimportant” was always at 48 to 50%. Draw your own conclusions if using “Personal Preferred Pronouns” are helpful are not. Which brings me back to my original question:

Can a poll help you build your business?

I believe it can, as long as it is used strategically.

First, as the person posting the poll you can see who votes and how. So you can reach out to them, thank them for participating, and then move forward, after establishing the relationship, to the ask.

Second, you have to be subtle. For example, if I were to post a poll asking “Under what circumstances would you consider hiring a recruiter?” everyone who did not vote “None,” would hear from me and they would know it. So no one serious would respond.

However, if I were to ask, “How many employees do you hope to hire in 2022?” and provide answers such as; None, 1-5, 6-10, 11+, I may get some responses and therefore leads. (I know. Other recruiters will steal my idea. They may beat me to the punch, so to speak, but they can’t beat me when it comes to charm and good looks!)

Third, if the question I pose and the answers I provide show that I know what the concerns of potential clients are (and, note, this time I am not providing an example – I may be crazy, but I’m not stupid) I will be showing potential clients that I understand them and then, hopefully, they will choose to reach out to me so I don’t have to reach out to them. After all, we all prefer to work with people who “get” us.

Bottom line: done properly, I believe polling can be an important part of business development.

PS Yes, I know, I should have ended the question in the poll with a question mark and not a period.



            My client, a Princeton, NJ-based Content Marketing Platform Company, seeks to fill two new positions.  Candidates preferably will be located in either Princeton or New York City, but may also work remotely.  The company is growing quickly and prides itself on being fast-paced and fun.  Employees have the option to work at the office 2-3 days a week, or remotely.  A monthly all-hands meeting will be held, with the participation remote employees.

Paid Media Buyer/Trader

Candidates with at least 1-3 years’ experience running paid media campaigns optimized for Retention on Advertising Spends (ROAS) and/or website purchases for director-to-consumer clients, are invited to submit their candidacy for this position as a digital media professional who will build, launch and optimize conversion-based campaigns on Facebook.

Candidates must be experienced and comfortable in the performance marketing space; understand how to run conversion campaigns on Facebook; like to plan and keep things organized; prefer to make decisions with good data but are not afraid to make educated guesses when necessary; ask good questions; care, listen and speak up.  Having Facebook Blueprint certification, Google Analytics, and experience at a media agency would be preferred but are not necessary.  The Buyer/Trader will be working with the Director of Paid Media, Creator and Content Team, Director of Client Success, Analytics and Dashboard Team, COO, Product Development Team, and CEO.

Compensation is $70-80,000; medical, vision and dental insurance; equity.


The Ad Tech executive will help the company envision, design, and manage the build of a series of ad technologies that can enhance their existing successful content platform. These enhancements might be an ad server, data management platform, demand-side platform, or other existing or new types of programmatic ad tech.  Candidates must have a minimum of 5-10 years’ relevant experience and a proven track record of success.

Compensation is $125-150,000; medical, vision and dental insurance; equity.

To submit your candidacy, send a cover letter, along with your resume, to Bruce Hurwitz at   Qualified candidates will be contacted within 48 hours.  No phone calls please.