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Interview with Bill Hyers

Posted By Nikki Enfield, Thursday, May 28, 2009
Bill Hyers currently serves as the White House liaison for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Prior to joining the Administration, Bill worked on over 20 campaigns at the local, federal, and state level including John Edwards for President, Gillibrand for Congress (06), Nutter for Mayor, and Obama for President.

1.  Describe your current job
My main job is to manage campaigns, which requires knowledge of fundraising, communications, field, and candidate relations. In my current job in the Administration I use many of the same skills I developed on the campaign trail to help Veterans get what they rightly deserve for their service.

2. How would you describe your career path? How did you get started in progressive politics?
I started out serving 5 years in the Army for a good personal base, and after college began working on campaigns. I started in field on local campaigns such as Rybak for Mayor and then Dutcher for Governor. After several campaigns in my home state of Minnesota I branched out nationally on John Edwards for President in 2004. After several more campaigns in Field, I started managing campaigns, several small ones before jumping to a congressional, a major mayors race, then onto statewide. 

3. What are the three most important skills for success in politics?
Strong work ethic, ability to listen, and very thick skin.

4. When you're hiring, is there anything in particular on a resume that makes you pick up the phone to schedule an interview? Is there anything that gets the resume tossed into the circular file post-haste?
Don't overstate your experience (it's a small business), keep it on 1 page, 2 only if you have more than 10 years, keep your references on your resume, and make sure current contact info is in there!

5. What would be your first next step if you were looking for a job in the progressive political world today?
Take your time, be willing to take on multiple roles for many kinds of organizations.  The more you learn in the early years, the better chance you will have of excelling later.

Tags:  career advice  job advice 

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