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Cracking the New Job Market: The 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy Paperback – Bargain Price, August 17, 2011
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“Cracking the New Job Market: The 7 Rules for Getting Hired in Any Economy may end up being the only book you need in your job search and if it’s not, it comes tantalizingly close.” ―New York Journal of Books
The rules for finding professional work once seemed clear and unwavering: capture career highlights in a resume, practice answers to standard interview questions, and do lots of face-to-face networking.
Cracking the New Job Market shows how these rules have changed and delivers new job-hunting strategies that actually work. The key, rather than to emphasize past accomplishments, is to sell your self on the value you can create for an employer. This new approach to getting hired requires new skills. Author R. William Holland, a human resources insider, shows job seekers how to:
• Gather information on what a prospective employer finds important
• Emphasize those skills, accomplishments, and qualities in tailored resumes and interview answers
• Identify the intersection between personal talents and what the marketplace needs
• Unlock the networking power of social media
• Negotiate the best possible offer
Enlightening and practical, this myth-busting book delivers seven powerful rules for landing a great job—even in a difficult economy.
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If you're not yet convinced of the value of social media, there's a chapter that explains how sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter can give you an advantage over traditional search methods. There's also the expected offerings on interviewing and negotiation, although much of these tips were already familiar to me.
Interestingly, Holland's claim that 'Career Choice Is More Than Following Your Passion' may be unsettling to those of us who have been advised differently in books such as What Color Is My Parachute. But it does provide some food for thought that having a strong interest in a profession doesn't always guarantee career success.
In today's challenging job market, the old methods of job search no longer work. Especially for those who are suddenly thrust into unemployment for the first time in a long while, Holland's book provides some worthwhile advice on how to 'demonstrate value' to attract potential employers.
If you are searching for a new job, I'd recommend reading this guide and then talking to insiders in your industry to learn more about what they're really expecting.
On the plus side:
Holland gives a good discussion of writing a resume. He talks about adding value; this style is the same that many consultants (including me) have been promoting for years. The idea is to show accomplishments, not just list "tasks" (a word I think should be abolished from resumes when you target positions above the clerical level).
Holland also does a very good job of discussing places to seek opportunities, an overview of social media (you'll need to get more in-depth info but he gives you a good start), and a summary of how to dress and prepare for an interview. In particular, he points out that job candidates may need to dress more formally than employees of the company. They wear jeans but you probably shouldn't.
On the downside, a lot of his advice seems to be straight party line. It's not especially new or revolutionary: just put together in a readable, convenient package. The only major disagreement I have concerns cover letters. I recommend writing cover letters to answer the items in the ad directly, point by point.
I had trouble relating to the section on college students. For one thing, I don't think it's possible to be an expert on careers in all fields and all phases. Entry level career planning is totally different from midlife career planning. I also know many college students with liberal arts backgrounds who have enjoyed successful careers in major corporations. People skills are more important than just about anything. I'd also recommend encouraging college students to work hard and choose demanding professors so they will build their skills, especially in writing and speaking.
Not surprisingly I also thought the section on returning to school at mid-career was not helpful. The idea at that stage is to network among fellow students. Learning a new skill via the classroom may or may not be helpful to getting a new job. And the section on financial planning should have been omitted: the advice is basic. Ultimately, if you're at the age discrimination stage, you need to think about working for yourself if you don't want to settle.
Finally, I was surprised to see a functional resume at the back of the book. Consistently I've seen employers who are leery of these resumes.
Holland is certainly qualified to write this book, but may be too well qualified. He's away from the trenches and grass roots, and his background comes from HR - a department may job seekers try to avoid if at all possible.
If this is a top level view into the job search world, you could do worse.
Whether this book addresses the 'new job market' is questionable, since it seemed as if this info was stale the moment it was printed.
As Holland's book indicates, the new job market doesn't resemble this model at all. Employers aren't as concerned with college degrees and former job titles. They want to know what value you can create for them in the future. Today's job seekers don't expect to stay within the same company or in the same position for more than a few years. And employers don't expect they will either. Social media has nearly replaced networking groups.
Holland uses his years of experience in human resources to offer sound advice for today's job seekers. His conversational, inspiring style will be much appreciated. While every chapter is a winner in this book, the 7 Rules are complemented by helpful Appendices that discuss how to encourage value creation in your children, how to financially plan for new career realities, how to apply the rules to worldwide employment, and an example of a functional resume.
Job seekers everywhere need to pick up a copy of this book!
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I received no compensation of any kind.