What Color Is Your Parachute? 2017: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Bolles
What I like most about the PARACHUTE series is the author. If you don’t know it already, it will be clear after reading this book, that Richard Bolles is PASSIONATE about job search and advancing careers. His passion for the subject shows up loud and clear in this latest installment in the series.
It is easy to see why this series has been so wildly successful. Honestly, you would be absolutely NUTS to not read this book (or a recent edition.) The author has extensive experience in the field, and backs up his ideas with impressive evidence. That is, the recommendations here are not theoretical—they are founded in decades of experience. Furthermore, the material in PARACHITE is presented in a clear, easy to read format.
There is one priceless section--do not miss "Conversation Tips." The author knows WHY the interviewer is asking you these questions! For example, Bolles notes in Tip #13 that "Employers don't care about your past; they only ask about it as a way to predict your FUTURE behavior.”
Simiarly, watch out when the interviewer suggests, "Tell me about yourself." Bolles notes, "How you answer that question will determine your fate during the rest of the interview." This question if really a test of sorts, Bolles explains. What they are really doing is a sneaky “What experience, skills, or knowledge do you have, that are relevant to the job I am trying to fill.” Forget your hobbies and personal history.
This edition has updated suggestions on how to best use social/networking sites. In LinkedIn, for example, Mr. Bolles points out the importance of completely filling out your user profile, so that prospective employers can get an accurate picture of your qualifications. Bolles notes that surveys always show that not having a picture is a turn-off.
Finding your mission in life will not be trivial--and it will not be quick. The author points out that being forced to find a job can also have beneficial effects on our whole life. It offers "a chance to make some fundamental changes in our whole life. It marks a turning point in how we live our life." Some of the appendices will certainly be controversial, because the author (a former Episcopal priest) makes his own religious beliefs clear. It is indeed very unusual for a job-search book to include exhortations on self-examination and one’s mission in life.
I suspect many readers of prior editions will be wondering if this year’s edition is really all that different from recent editions. That is--is it really necessary to go out and buy the very latest model? In my opinion, if you have an edition just 1 or 2 years old, you are not missing much. Many of the changes in the “2017” version are related to internet services. For instance, the author includes the latest and greatest job search engines that were not listed in prior editions. As another example, the author includes updates to the very latest career counselors.
All in all, WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE 2017 is an outstanding work. It continues the string of top-notch career guides by the #1 expert in the field. As Mr. Bolles explains at the end of the book, PARACHUTE is not written by committee—it is personally researched and written by the author. If you are serious about your career, you would be nuts to not read this book (or at least a recent edition.)
Advance Review Copy courtesy of NetGalley