In Search of Job Hunt Books
April 12, 2006 4:13 AM   Subscribe

JobHuntFilter: I'm looking for good, practical books with advice about the process –– how to write a compelling cover letter, what to wear to an interview, etc. I'm especially interested in short, succinct books like Don't Send a Resume. Thanks.
posted by captainscared to Work & Money (11 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
While preparing for my last round of interviews a few years ago (that got me my current job), I found 60 Seconds and You're Hired very helpful, especially for interview strategies. It's very short and offers very practical advice.
posted by wheat at 4:24 AM on April 12, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks Wheat. That's the kind of thing I'm looking for.
posted by captainscared at 4:42 AM on April 12, 2006

You won't find it in a book, but I always like to give several (brief) but specific examples of the types of projects I've worked on at each job (assuming you aren't a recent college grad).

I think that grabs their attention a lot more than the usual cookie cutter resume. And while it's important to writte a nice cover letter, that won't get you the interview if your resume is "ho hum" typical or they can't really get a handle of your work experience.

It has worked well for me.

ps. Proofread the bejeezus out of your cover letter and resume. It should be error free.
posted by bim at 5:13 AM on April 12, 2006

Unfortunately not as short as you might like, but What color is my parachute? is right up your alley.
posted by 1024x768 at 6:34 AM on April 12, 2006

You may find Ask the HeadHunter interesting. It's a weekly column written by a professional headhunter, i.e a person who companies will pay to find candidates to fill a job. (the website looks kind of dated but that's only because it's been online since 1995!)

His philosophy can be roughly summed up as follows: The common resume/interview system is often sub-optimal for both candidates and employers. The best way to find a job is through networking (he claims something like 80% of jobs are filled through personal networks). The best way to ace an interview is to do the job in the interview - act like you are already employed and demonstrate how you will be able to help your boss, thus showing how hiring you will be a good decision.

It's a refreshing approach and whether you agree or not, I recommend reading through the archives and some of his articles just to see what he has to say. Personally I think he's absolutely right - for example my (albeit limited) experience has absolutely demonstrated that most jobs are filled through personal networks.

Best of luck!
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:07 AM on April 12, 2006

Oh, by the way, I was just browsing his website and I noticed he has a book (Amazon link). I haven't read it but I will recommend it on the basis of his columns.
posted by PercussivePaul at 10:30 AM on April 12, 2006


We've got a short interview/job search guide called The Core to Success on the AppleOne web site. It sounds like you might be looking for something a bit more comprehensive, but it's free at least.

posted by willnot at 11:19 AM on April 12, 2006

I bought "Resumes that Knock 'em Dead" and "Interviews that Knock 'em Dead" and thought they were both great. Neither are really short, but using them I landed a dream job in a Fortune 100 company at twice the salary I had previously, so they must be doing something right! :-)

I have serious interviewing phobia and "Interviews..." helped by giving common questions and ideal answers for each, or at least advice on what concepts you should be trying to communicate. "Resumes.." is 3/4ths real-life resume examples that you can study while writing your own.
posted by jennaba at 11:19 AM on April 12, 2006

Correction: I just looked and realized the book I have wasn't "Interviews that Knock 'em Dead, it's "Knock 'em Dead 2005: The Ultimate Job Seeker's Guide". Sorry!
posted by jennaba at 11:22 AM on April 12, 2006

Rob Sullivan was one of the presenters at a Jaycee job training workshop I went to. He has a really good book, Getting Your Foot In The Door When You Don't Have A Leg To Stand On (Amazon link). It was the most helpful book I read when I was job-hunting.
posted by SisterHavana at 1:35 PM on April 12, 2006

I will second both What Color Is Your Parachute and Resumes that Knock 'Em Dead. The latter has a bit too much sort of mindless business slang tossed around in the book, but honestly, the advice in the book is pretty dead on for resumes (ditto for the interviews book).

Parachute is longer, but the chapters are sectioned like their own books (it's in my backpack right now), and the resume and job hunting section is excellent. Bolles has been very good in the last 30 years in keeping that book current, so there's a reason that it keeps showing up on people's list of job hunting/career changing books.
posted by smallerdemon at 1:44 PM on April 12, 2006

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