The Books

I’ve often been asked, “What’s your favorite resume book?” or “Can you give me a suggestion for a book on interviewing?” or “I’m new to the job search, which book provides the basics?”

First, here’s a listing (with links) of job search books that I recommend  — and yes, I own them and have read each of them. There are many other good books on the market, but these are the ones that I’ve referenced in my writings, quoted in my lectures, inspired me to do further research, or that I’ve given away to job seekers that I mentor. (The list was last updated 29-Dec-2014)

Resume Magic – Susan Whitcomb

One of the best resume books on the market. A large book that covers a wide variety of topics including STAR (CAR/SAR) statements, e-resumes, cover letters, grammar, distribution, and numerous samples. When researching a resume question, it’s the first book I reach for. Published in 2010, it’s still one of the best on the market!

Sixty Seconds & You’re Hired – Robin Ryan

This is probably my favorite book on the interview process, including questions to ask, avoiding pitfalls, negotiations, and more. Even the title reminds us — keep your answers to interview questions about a minute long…good enough without overdoing it!

The Networking Survival GuideDiane Darling

I’ve always found it tough to do job networking…it never really made sense to me. Until I read this book! It covers the steps from preparation to follow-ups to finding meetings and more. It is by far my favorite job networking “how to” book.

Find a Job Through Social Networking – Ellen Sautter & Diane Crompton

This book covers the broad spectrum of online networking – not just Twitter and LinkedIn, but also blogs, online groups, web portfolios, other social sites, etc. It gives you both steps for getting setup quickly and for developing a long-term online personal brand. (Yes, I read their prior book as well- dated but good: Seven Days to Online Networking)

Guerrilla Marketing for Job Hunters 3.0 – Jay Levinson

An unorthodox book on job hunting with many good (and questionable) strategies. I’m still reading this one, but so far I’ve marked more good pages/ideas in this book than any book I’ve read other than Resume Magic. (I read all of 2.0 & most of 3.0)

Over-40 Job Search Guide – Gail Geary

Yes, there are jobs out there for those (of us) over 40. This book helps you avoid age discrimination, update your image, emphasize your ‘applicable’ (not ‘historic’) experience on your resume, and how to tactfully answer those age-related questions.

Who Moved My Cheese – Spencer Johnson

Adjusting to change is difficult. This book is an easy, quick read that helps you get a grip on the fact that change occurs, that you need to recognize it, and some advice on how to respond to it. It was the first book I read when the company I worked for in the late 90s folded, and I’m glad I did…I wish I had smelled the cheese sooner.

StrengthsFinder 2.0 – Tom Rath

Sometimes you really don’t know what it is about a job, career, or project that you do or don’t like. Sometimes you seem to just know that a job isn’t right for you…but you aren’t sure why. This book, which includes an assessment, helps job seekers evaluate their strengths and passions and explains why some roles/jobs are better suited for certain personalities. Combining guidance from this book along with details from O*NET really pin-pointed my passions for certain jobs and careers. Well worth the money.

What Color is Your Parachute – Richard Bolles

A perennial standard — it provides basic steps for conducting a job search. It’s not a “help me find a job right now” book, but more of a career search planning guide. Although revised annually, it hasn’t changed greatly between 2001 to 2014, so even old copies are fine. Good for the person just starting out on their first job search.

A Better Way to Make a Living…and a Life – Peter Bourke

The world has changed. Life-long employment, pensions, and job loyalty are mostly things of the past. We need to think “Me, Inc.” and take a hold of our own careers. But the book covers more than just finding work — it’s about life, fulfillment, and hearing your calling.

Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters – Martin Yate

While many recruiters don’t read cover letters, there are many that do read them. This is about the best cover letter book on the market. There are a lot of examples and there are some great phrases in the book that I’ve lifted and used (with slight modifications) in various resume summary and STAR statements.

. . . . . . . . Some OK books that are not my first choices. . . . . . . . .

Second, here’s a list of books that I have read that I don’t think measure up to being as beneficial as the ones I’ve listed above. In general they are “OK”, but aren’t books I would reread or recommend. The books might have good points, but could be boring to read, some are outdated, a few offer overviews without details, several are not relevant to today’s job search, a couple don’t understand the job search Web tools available today, or (my biggest gripe) several make statements of “fact” without supporting their facts:

  • Job-Hunting Online, Bolles & Bolles
  • How to Find a Job on LinkedIn Facebook Twitter MySpace and Other Social Networks, Schepp & Schepp
  • The Executive Resume Book, Foxman
  • The Resume.Com Guide to Writing Unbeatable Resumes, Curtis & Simons
  • The Overnight Resume, Asher
  • Job Nation: The 100 Best Employment Sites on the Web, Weddle
  • How to get a Great Job in 90 Days or Less, Carroll
  • The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success, Breitbarth

(You’re welcome to post a response if you agree, you disagree, or you want to offer a well-considered review of your own.)

. . . . . . . . Some books that I’m still reading. . . . . . . . .

Third, here’s a list of books that I’m currently reading that I’ve selected from Amazon or pulled from the shelf at my local Barnes and Noble:

. . . . . And finally several book suggestions from my friends. . . . .

Fourth, here’s a list of some additional books from a few of my peers that I respect, but that I have not yet read (although I do have a few of these books on my “to read soon” list).  These books cover a wide range of subjects from interviewing to networking, from dealing with fears to assessing your skills, from resume writing to negotiating an offer, from late-in-life careers to online search techniques:

From Judi:

Interview Magic by Susan Whitcomb

“Susan is a job search coach on the west coast and has written a series of books with the word Magic in the title. This is a good book about interviewing.”

Attitude is Everything by Keith Harrell

“This book illustrates that even though you had a plan, things can change and how you can pick yourself up and find a job you love.”

The E-myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

“E, as in entrepreneur, for anyone considering starting their own company, this book covers the good and the bad that they should know.”

The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan Pease

“80% of our communication is non-verbal and the job seeker must be good at reading their network contacts’ and interviewers’ body language and being aware of their own.”

From MaryAnne:

Wellbeing by Tom Rath

“Good assessment perspective –  I would warn career explorers not to get into too much ‘analysis paralysis’ on assessments.”

Fearless by Max Lucado

“What is the root of your fear and how will your faith move in to resolve it!”

Career Comeback by Lisa Johnson

“Focused on mid-career female job seekers, yet with tips to get any job explorer to rethink where they want to go and how are they going to get there using today’s tools and technology! It also recommends physically getting a bit spruced up, since it IS a competitive market out there.

Empowered by Praise by Michael Youssef

“This book hits home – how we can continually praise God in all situations, many positive comments!”

From Terry:

What Should I Do with My Life by Po Bronson

“The author interviewed 900 ‘regular’ people and wrote 56 short real life stories of people who found the most meaningful answers to the question. Most have overcome fear to find a larger truth about their lives and that has made all the difference. It’s a very good book to help job seekers open their minds to more than money and prestige.”

From Chris:

Drive by Daniel Pink

Me 2.0 by Dan Schawbel

A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink

Career Distinction by William Arruda

Be Your Own Brand by David McNally

No More Dreaded Mondays by Dan Miller

Raising Your R&R Factor by Robert Littell

Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim

48 Days to the Work You Love by Dan Miller

Resumes That Knock ’em Dead by Martin Yate

What’s Your Type of Career by Donna Dunning

The Five Things We Cannot Change by David Rico

50 Best Jobs for Your Personality by Michael Farr

The Heart and Art of Netweaving by Robert Littell

Little Black Book of Connections by Jeffrey Gitomer

The Christian’s Career Journey by Susan Whitcomb

The Unofficial Guide to Landing a Job by Michelle Tullier

Finding Meaning in the Second Half of Life by James Hollis

Networking for Job Search and Career Success by Michelle Tullier

From Rich:

Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

The Power of Who by Bob Beaudine

The Art of Mingling by Jeanne Matinet

How to Work A Room by Susan Roane

Be Quick But Don’t Hurry by Andrew Hill (with John Wooten)

How To Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds or Less by Milo Frank

. . . . . . . . . .

I’ll update this page as I keep finding good job search books. Also, if you are in the business of helping people with a job search and have a book that you’d recommend, send a reply and I’ll work the recommendation into the list. (No self-advertising and no commercialism, please.)

I’m also gathering a list of links, blogs, periodicals, and newsletters that are career related, plus a list of books and other readings that provide support, encouragement and faith-building to help you along the journey to your new career…so keep watching here.


. . . .

If you are unemployed, please take a few seconds and let me know your job hunt situation:


One Response to The Books

  1. Bob Rudy says:

    I would like to recommend the book, Knock “em Dead, The Ultimate Job Search Guide by Martin Yate. This book includes Cover Letters, Resumes, etc. What I like most about the book is the Index to Questions which helps those being interviewed with perspective on how to answer the questions most effectively. Highly recommended to everyone I know.

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