Job Search (or job-hunting) is a subject near and dear to my heart. I teach a course in ‘Personal Branding’ at Stanford University Continuing Studies, and with my own job search book, the Job Search & Career-building Workbook, I am keen to identify the best books on job search out there. Indeed, in my own book, I have an appendix, identifying my favorite job search books.The reason for this is that the Workbook is a practical manual to Internet job search, but one should also refer to other really good books such as the justifiably famous, What Color is Your Parachute series.
Here you go, book lovers: my list of books on search engine optimization, all with handy-dandy links to Amazon for your purchasing pleasure.
Updated: June 11, 2016
Recommended Books on Job Search for 2016
- Job Search and Career-building Workbook 2016 by Jason McDonald, May 12, 2016. UPDATED for 2016 – My step-by-step book on job search and career-building, starting with goals, going through personal branding, SEO (Search Engine Optimization), and the use of social media sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. Pro’s: it’s written by me, and has step-by-step worksheets and YouTube videos. Cons: not as fun as taking a class with me, personally.
- Careers – Like visuals? This book presents a super summary of hundreds of possible careers in an exciting, lively visual way. Use it to help figure out what type of job / career you want. Excellent for that first step. In its own words, ‘Covering more than 400 jobs, Careers is organized in an easy-to-navigate, clear structure that helps guide teen and tween readers. Check at-a-glance summary panels for chosen careers to learn about salary, working hours, training, and career paths. Cross-referenced job matrix tables offer another way to learn about all the options. Tweens and teens with no idea of what kind of job to look for can start with their favorite school subjects or hobbies and find relevant careers from there. It may not be time for your teen or tween to prepare a resume and find a job, but the advice in Careers can help young people start thinking about the future!”
- StrengthsFinder 2.0 – This mega best seller purports to help you identify your strengths, and be stronger. If you are seeking to advance in your career, it’s a good idea to know your strengths and weaknesses, no? In its own words, ‘In its latest national bestseller, StrengthsFinder 2.0, Gallup unveils the new and improved version of its popular assessment, language of 34 themes, and much more (see below for details). While you can read this book in one sitting, you’ll use it as a reference for decades. Loaded with hundreds of strategies for applying your strengths, this new book and accompanying website will change the way you look at yourself–and the world around you–forever.’ (Tom Rath, author).
- What Color Is Your Parachute? 2016: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers – Richard N. Bolles brings us the ‘classic’ job seeking guide. ‘What Color is Your Parachute,’ is a traditional favorite among persons seeking jobs, or trying to find ‘meaning’ in their workaday lives. It’s a bit ‘groovy,’ and in its own words, ‘This helpful manual shares proven tips for writing impressive resumes and cover letters, as well as guidance for effective networking, confident interviewing, and the best salary negotiating possible. But it goes beyond that by helping you to zero in on your ideal job—and life—with its classic Flower Exercise. Whether you’re searching for your first job, were recently laid off, or are dreaming of a career change, What Color Is Your Parachute? will guide you toward fulfilling and prosperous work.’
- So Good They Can’t Ignore You: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love – If ‘What Color is Your Parachute,’ and other books often emphasize ‘following your passion,’ then this book is quite the opposite. Read both approaches, and figure it out for yourself – there probably is no ‘right’ answer. In it’s own words, ‘In this eye-opening account, Cal Newport debunks the long-held belief that “follow your passion” is good advice. Not only is the cliché flawed-preexisting passions are rare and have little to do with how most people end up loving their work-but it can also be dangerous, leading to anxiety and chronic job hopping.’
- Knock ‘Em Dead 2016: The Ultimate Job Search Guide – New York Times bestseller Martin Yate has helped millions of job seekers improve their job search and career management tactics, changing their lives forever. Featuring his unique, time-tested methods for achieving professional success, this brand-new edition provides you with the tools you need to win your next job and successfully navigate the twists and turns of your entire career.
- Wait, How Do I Write This Email?: Game-Changing Templates for Networking and the Job Search – This is a book about more than just email: about templates for all sorts of job- and career-related contacts and communciations. In its own words, ‘In his comprehensive guide, career expert Danny Rubin provides more than 100 critical email and document templates for networking and the job search. With each template, Danny saves you time and takes the stress out of professional email writing. Page after page, Danny offers detailed instructions for networking (ex: how to contact alumni from your school) and the job search (ex: how to apply even if the company has no openings at the time). He also includes smart LinkedIn templates, memorable handwritten notes, the outline for a powerful one-page resume and a fresh cover letter strategy with a focus on storytelling.’
- The 2-Hour Job Search: Using Technology to Get the Right Job Faster – It’s a bit old (published 2012), but it does emphasize the ‘technical’ side of getting a job, and securing that all-important first interview. In its own words, ‘A job-search manual that gives career seekers a systematic, tech-savvy formula to efficiently and effectively target potential employers and secure the essential first interview.’
- Shut Up And Go!: A Millennial’s Guide to Figuring Out What You Want And How To Get It – This book attempts to wed the millenial’s love of technology and action with the introspection of the 1970s ‘do what you love’ type of job book. In its own words, ‘Combining a decade of studying, knowledge, and learning about inner discovery and accomplishing your goals, Shut Up and Go! is filled with practical tools, insights, and action steps you can take to craft an amazing life. While most books focus on where you should get, but leave you lacking a clear next step, this book provides the how to make it a reality. People all around you are living lives of fulfillment and purpose. You should be too. ‘
- Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type – If you’ve ever wondered what ‘personality type,’ you are, then this is a great job / career book for you. It’s approach is based on the idea that you have a ‘personality type,’ and once you discover that, you can identify the best job / career that ‘fits’ that type. In its own words, ‘The bestselling guide to finding career success and satisfaction through Personality Type is now thoroughly revised, expanded, and updated.DO WHAT YOU ARE–the time-honored classic that has already helped more than a million people find truly satisfying work–is now updated to include jobs in today’s hottest markets, including health services, education, and communications technology.’
- The Art of Work: A Proven Path to Discovering What You Were Meant to Do – A touchy feely book about learning what you truly want to do in terms of your job / career, and then actually doing it. Excellent for that very first, passionate phase of job searching. In its own words, ‘Jeff Goins, a brilliant new voice counting Seth Godin and Jon Acuff among his fans, explains how to abandon the status quo and live a life that matters with true passion and purpose. The path to your life’s work is difficult and risky, even scary, which is why few finish the journey. This is a book about discovering your life’s work, that treasure of immeasurable worth we all long for. It’s about the task you were born to do.’
- How To Find A Job: When There Are No Jobs (Book #2) A Necessary Job Search and Career Planning Guide for Today’s Job Market (Career Development) – In its own words, ‘Paul Rega introduces a revolutionary new concept in career management and personal development called Intuitive Personal Assessment (IPA). Paul takes his readers on a powerful journey as he tells a gripping story about his own career and the unique challenges he’s faced as an executive recruiter. The author shares his vast knowledge of career planning and the inner workings of the job search process, citing hundreds of proven and effective job search techniques. He explains how to market your background to a targeted audience, interviewing skills and techniques, network building strategies, how to utilize personal and business contacts, effective use of social media, including LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter, insider tips on working with recruiters, salary and benefits negotiation, how to write a resume, cover and follow-up letters, how to start and succeed in your own business and much more.’
- Born for This: How to Find the Work You Were Meant to Do – Author Chris Guillebeau bring us this fabulous book on working better, smarter, harder and in a more fllexible way. In his own words, ‘Have you ever met someone with the perfect job? To the outside observer, it seems like they’ve won the career lottery — that by some stroke of luck or circumstance they’ve found the one thing they love so much that it doesn’t even feel like work—and they’re getting paid well to do it. To the outside observer, it seems like they’ve won the career lottery—that by some stroke of luck or circumstance, they’ve found the one thing they love so much that it doesn’t even feel like work, and they’re getting paid well to do it.’
- Job Interview Tips For Winners: 12 Key Ways To Land The Job – First, figure out what type of job you want. Second, search and schmooze for it. Third, get the interview. That interview is very important: don’t blow it. This book will help you ‘ace’ your job interview. In its own words, ‘On the hunt for a new job? This book will show you exactly how to ace your next interview. Learn what to say, how to act, what to wear, and how to prepare for common interview questions. Discover the questions you should ask your would-be employers, and how to present your strengths and weaknesses in the best possible light. Furthermore, learn eight ways you can immediately improve your body language – and understand how to make sure it doesn’t sabotage you during your next interview. ‘
- The 4-Hour Workweek – Timothy Ferriss brings us this amazingly interesting, fun, provocative and somewhat unbelievable book on working smarter. ‘Whether your dream is escaping the rat race, experiencing high-end world travel, earning a monthly five-figure income with zero management, or just living more and working less, The 4-Hour Workweek is the blueprint. his step-by-step guide to luxury lifestyle design teaches”
- The Career Code: Must-Know Rules for a Strategic, Stylish, and Self-Made Career – Career success isn’t only for girls or women, so men, listen up. This is a book about entrepreneurship and careers by women for women, but full of interesting advice. In its own words, ‘In this approachable, authoritative, and inspirational book, you will find the most useful and accessible tips and tricks to strategically build your career into exactly what you want it to be, from negotiating your salary to avoiding the biggest mistake most people make when they quit. Chapters include advice on résumé building, dressing for the job you want, and how to effectively communicate at work—even with the most difficult colleagues—all done with the Who What Wear girls’ practical and polished signature style.’
- Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself – This job book focuses on inventorying your personality, skills, and desires to ‘find your passion.’ In its own words, ‘Are You Ready to Finally Find Your Passion? What’s the secret to living a life full of passion, purpose and meaning? The secret is that there is no secret. The answer is hiding in plain sight. This book is different from other books of its kind, because it nudges you to look inside.In “Find Your Passion: 25 Questions You Must Ask Yourself” you’ll dive into questions that will help you uncover what makes you come alive.”
- Promoted: The Proven Career Acceleration Formula To Reach The Top Without Working Harder Or Playing Office Politics – Author Bozi Dar gives you his career acceleration formula, so you can be the 10% that nabs the 70% (or is it 80%) of jobs out there. In its own words, ‘Inside PROMOTED, Bozi shares the exact, step-by-step strategy that he used to achieve his amazing results, and that he teaches to top executives around the globe. As your trusted mentor, Bozi spotlights what you’ve been doing wrong, and he’ll shatter some of your most cherished beliefs about your career. “
Finally, if you’d like to suggest an job search book for my 2016 list of the best job search books, please just email me your suggestion with a link to Amazon. Thanks!