Friday, May 16, 2014

What Color is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Resumes - Review

Occasionally, Richard (Dick) N. Bolles will release a sort of special focus guide, such as his books on online job search, that are complimentary to the annual What Color is Your Parachute? Like the other Parachute books, Rethinking Resumes is written in the same clear, plain-language style, updated to reflect the times and concerns of his regular readers and any job seeker. The virtue of this series has always been its clarity, the common sense and pragmatism, and Bolles willingness to update and credit other career and HR professionals for their ideas, which this book also possesses.You can read Rethinking Resumes in an evening, and probably go back in a few months and find something new that you glossed over, and both readings will be worthwhile.

However, there will be a few readers who will pick this book up and wonder A resume book with only one sample? Get over it. Even in resume books with one hundred samples, job seekers still struggle with what to do in their individual case and this book will help answer those questions. The 45 Question Starter Kit (pp. 55-63) is something that I will go over with clients when they have questions about how to write a proper Highlights section.

In addition, there is also plenty of good advice on deciding if you want to hire a resume writer or write your own resume, how to find out if a resume service is a scam, what type of resume to post to a job board and the targetting required to give a resume directly to an employer.

I'm grateful for the section on removing empty keywords and phrases on resumes, as well as the list of stinkers provided, and the process Bolles provides for developing better statements about work experience (pp. 45-47), though I think many job postings are still referring to these phrases as key components while the recruiters who screen the resumes in response those postings are distastefully holding their noses while working through the empty text.

Each year we assign reading to our incoming student staff, and I wish I had got my copy of this earlier so I could add it to our reading list. I think they would have gotten a great deal out of it, and I'm glad it will be available to them in this year. Personally, I would put this next to Why Good People Can't Get Jobs: The Skills Gap and What Companies Can Do About It on my mental bookshelf to recommend to people who are trying to put together a resume that will get them an interview.