If you’re looking for work, you know there are a lot of “how-to” books out there. Here is my list of the top ones you should read. All (or most) of them should be available at your local library, so you can stimulate your mind while not depleting your pocketbook.
The Job Search Solution: The Ultimate System for Finding a Great Job Now by Tony Beshara. Full of real world advice and not your standard, generic fodder, Beshara’s book challenges readers with a unique vision of the business world. Chapter 12 (Overcoming Employer Biases that Can Keep You from Getting a Job) will be of special interest to older workers or those who have been out of the workforce for an extended period.
The Pathfinder: How to Choose or Change Your Career for a Lifetime of Satisfaction and Success by Nicholas Lore. Beyond having a “great career”, this book tell you know to have a “great life”. Even if you’re not actively job-hunting, you owe it to yourself to read this — you’ll come away with a new direction and maybe some life-changing insights.
Passion at Work: How to Find Work You Love and Live the Time of Your Life, by Lawler Kang. Kang’s book is as much about learning who you are as it is about career success. His Process of the 5 Ps leads you through a step-by-step blueprint for realizing your dreams.
I Don’t Know What I Want, but I Know It’s Not This; a Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work, by Julie Jansen. Whether you’re unemployed and unsure of what to do next, or suffering an existance in a mind-numbing job, Jenson’s book can help you find your way out of the fog. The book includes some helpful quizzes and questionnaires to get you on your way.
Escape from Cubicle Nation: From Corporate Prisoner to Thriving Entrepreneur by Pamela Slim; forward by Guy Kawasaki. Before you go all Johnny Paycheck on your boss, read this book. Everything you need is right here.
The Networking Survival Guide: Get the Success You Want By Tapping Into the People You Know, by Diane Darling. No matter what the job outlook is, networking is THE key to getting the job you want. Darling breaks networking down into small, doable pieces, reminding readers “From your first conversation in the morning until your last conversation at night, you are networking.”
101 Great Answers to the Toughest Interview Questions by Ron Fry. Getting through the interview is something that makes most of us break out in a cold sweat. This book walks you through the most difficult, pitfall-laden questions you’re likely to encounter and helps you work out the best way for you to answer them.
Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer by Susan Britton Whitcomb. Quite simply, one of the very best books written about resumes. A must-have if you’re crafting your own resume, and a useful resource even if you’re having a professional write one for you.
Can I Wear My Nose Ring to the Interview? A Crash Course in Finding, Landing, and Keeping Your First Real Job by Ellen Gordon Reeves. If you’re a recent grad, you probably feel left out by the advice in a lot of career books. Here’s one that understands the needs of young job-seekers and answers the questions other books never ask.
Instant Interviews: 101 Ways to Get the Best Job of Your Life by Jeffrey G. Allen. Jeff Allen completely rewrites the rules on job search and teaches you how to land actual interviews – fast! Organize your overall job hunt strategy and learn little tricks of the trade that get you hired.
How to Land a Top-Paying Federal Job: Your Complete Guide to Opportunities, Internships, Resumes and Cover Letters, Application Essays (KSAs), Interviews, Salaries, Promotions, and More! by Lily Whiteman. If you’re looking for a federal job, you can’t do any better than this. Whiteman lays out every step in what is arguably the most intricate, difficult, time-consuming job search process anyone can ever undertake — working for the federal government.
I’m sure there are other great books — please hit the comment button and share your best recommendations!