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A book that explains what is myth and what is reality in the job-seeking world and offers a better way to find a job that fits you.

What Color Is Your Parachute?: A Practical Manual for Job-hunters and Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles

  • "We begin with a simple fact: our whole job-hunting system is Neandarthal....Year after year this so-called system fails one job-hunter after another, condemns man after man, woman after woman, to go down the same path, face the same problems, make the same mistakes, endure the same frustrations, go through the same loneliness, and end up feeling as though there is something wrong with them." - First two paragraphs of What Color Is Your Parachute?

  • Listed in 1995 by The Library of Congress as one of the "25 Books That Have Shaped Readers' Lives." The list also includes books such as Catcher in the Rye, To Kill a Mockingbird and The Bible.

  • Bolles is a member of Mensa, a Cum Laude graduate of Harvard, holds two honorary doctorates, and has been called "the one responsible for the renaissance of the career counseling profession in the United States over the past decade" by Money Magazine.

For most of us, finding a job or changing careers means an incredibly frustrating process of sending out hundreds of resumes, tediously scouring the Internet or newspapers for classifieds, selling yourself like a piece of meat at job fairs and then leaving your fate in the hands of a bunch of strangers. The inefficiency and sense of powerlessness can leave you wondering if you'll ever be able to find work you can live with and feeling like the last kid picked on the playground. Well Richard Nelson Bolles has some news for's not your fault!

According to Bolles, a man that Modern Maturity Magazine calls "America's top career expert," this hunt and peck method is absolutely ineffective. In fact, he lists resumes, classifieds and the internet among the five worst possible ways to find a job. His first gift to you is the empowering feeling of realizing that it isn't you that is the problem, it is our outdated system of job-hunting. So who came up with this incredibly backwards system, and why are your friends still out there using it?

In What Color Is Your Parachute?, Bolles explains how this strikingly futile system came about, why most people remain limited by it, and exactly why it doesn't work. So if it doesn't work, you might ask, "Then what does?" This invaluable book, updated annually for nearly three decades, describes Bolles' alternative system, the Creative Approach to job-seeking. The system aims to put you, the job-seeker, in charge, rather than at the mercy of the job market, and has redefined the very vocabulary used by modern career counselors.

Just as importantly, Bolles offers you a wealth of concrete tools, resources and exercises to help you strongly define your job skills and find people with the power to connect you to the job of your dreams. He explains to you what employers are thinking, the tricks they use, and the subtle fears that lie behind their probing interview questions. He also explains how even the shy, handicapped or undereducated job-seeker can avoid becoming a casualty of the most common pitfalls of job-seeking.

So whether you're dreading another hopeless round of circled classifieds and rejection letters or just can't stand another work-day of pointlessly trudging through the motions, pick up this book. It has helped literally millions of people to escape that fruitless cycle and find work that is meaningful, fulfilling and rewarding. Written in a fun, easy-to-read style, it can help you avoid becoming just another resume sitting in a dusty drawer.

Resources Related to What Color is Your Parachute?

  • Emergent Associates, LLC - My company, through which I often coach and consult with people on issues related to career direction and setting up new projects and businesses.

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