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Career Comeback: Repackage Yourself to get the job you want [Hardcover]

Lisa Johnson Mandell
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

4 Feb 2010
Unfortunately, getting older can be a career killer. That's what entertainment journalist Lisa Johnson Mandell discovered when she sent out a resume that made her sound like an aged veteran. Her new career makeover guide - expanded from the Wall Street Journal article about revamping her "older" image to land her dream job - acknowledges that experience matters but looking and acting up-to-date matter just as much. Mandell provides ten strategies for putting a youthful spin on resumes, Web pages and personal presentation. Looking young and staying technologically current is crucial to competing in an increasingly tough job market. CAREER COMEBACK offers the ultimate makeover to-do list: From "botoxing" your resume by deleting dates and early jobs, tech-savvy tricks for starting and improving your website or blog and online networking, to updating your wardrobe, Mandell shares the secrets that will get mid-career job seekers noticed and on the payroll.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Springboard (4 Feb 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446549657
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446549653
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 15.9 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 729,918 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

An invaluable guide to looking younger, fresher, and savvier, on paper, online, and in person, to compete in today's youth-driven job market.

About the Author

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award-winning entertainment reporter and film critic who gives daily reports on 16 Entercom radio stations and runs She has appeared on news and talk shows including NBC's Today Show, CBS's The Early Show, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, CNBC, CNN, Rachael Ray, Fox News, and others.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted but sensible job-seekers' manual 10 Dec 2010
By Rolf Dobelli TOP 500 REVIEWER
Lisa Johnson Mandell, an entertainment journalist, has been there: an underemployed, 40-something woman looking for work in a tough industry, Hollywood's media market. Armed with that experience and a journalist's sensibility for snappy writing, she offers a surprisingly useful, if not fully original, book on resurrecting or reinventing your career. By defining "an older woman" in the workplace as beyond 40, Mandell may be focusing on too young an audience for her aging-in-the-workforce advice, but her book is engaging and easy to read. Its handy lists cover everything from updating your wardrobe to learning about today's youth culture to interviewing like a pro. Suggestions for rolling back the years on your résumé rank at the top of the usefulness list. Mandell offers sensible pointers for establishing your brand and promoting yourself online. Her suggestions to sample youth culture, with an ultracaffeinated Red Bull drink or a round of the Halo video game, probably won't send you directly to the CEO's chair, but they might be fun. (Plus, that shot of caffeine might help you update your résumé in 15 minutes flat. Just proofread it later.) getAbstract thinks older women who want to return to the workforce will get a valuable shot of energy from this book. Especially when combined with a Red Bull.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.3 out of 5 stars  14 reviews
44 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Valuable Investment 16 Dec 2009
By Rita Sands - Published on
I had the priviledge to receive a copy of Lisa's book to help me in my job search. What helped me tremendously was the section she calls "botoxing your resume." I had paid a well-known job search company a significant amount of money to write my resume -- I received no call backs for interviews using that resume. But, with Lisa's advice I redesigned my resume and I started getting calls. In fact, I was told by a recruiter that I had an EXCELLENT resume. The other pieces of advice that helped were the suggestions about ATTITUDE, such as interviewing like a "rock star" and "looking the part." Being out of work is overwhelming and at times demoralizing, but Lisa's encouraging advice made a tremendous difference. I could not afford to let my emotions negatively influence a potential employer -- or my motivation to find the RIGHT job. She reminded me that if I didn't behave like a dynamic professional...why would anyone believe me? Career Comeback also helped to reinforce that I was also doing some things right -- and helped to show me many ways I could do them better. I kept Lisa's book closeby and reread sections again and again as I went through my job search -- I call her my personal job coach. I would greatly recommend this book to anyone in today's challenging job market -- and even to those who are not in the job market but want to remain viable. The job market has changed dramatically in the last few years, and Lisa provides a lot of advice so professionals can remain competitive.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OK for those who are really out of the loop 30 Mar 2010
By Seattle Hobbit - Published on
If you're really out of the loop with current trends, technology and culture, and don't know too many Gen-Y or Gen-X workers, this book likely has information that will help you with your job search.

However, if you're accustomed to working with new technology and people from these generations (or even if you're an older Gex-X person yourself), you're probably not "out of the loop" enough to learn a lot from this book. For example, if you didn't know that Gen-Y wants to communicate by text even if they're across the room from you, you haven't been watching what's been going on in the world around you for the past 5 or more years. That tidbit isn't exactly news to many of us.

Also, the fashion advice in this book is decided biased toward America. Those seeking work in Canada, the UK, New Zealand or Australia would do well to ignore it and follow the norms that apply in their countries. For example, in America, hose = dowdy, but elsewhere, no hose = unfinished and not well put together. I did greatly appreciate the author bucking the Clint Kelly "the best hemline for every woman is right at the bend of the knee" advice trend on skirts, and recommending that each woman should choose the skirt length that is most flattering to them, not what is the current trend. And do workers over 40 really need to know that a casual dress code does not mean that jeans that show one's butt cleavage and muffin top are OK? I think that's more likely to be advice useful to the Gen-Y set.

One piece of advice is to invite a 20-something to peruse your closet and toss anything not current-style. If I did that, I'd end up with nothing but hiphuggers, ugly patterned maternity tops (going out of trend, but still popular after they came into style during the celebrity baby boom a few years ago) and shrugs in my closet! No thanks, I'll keep my Lafayette 148 modern-but-classy blazers and dark skirts in cuts that look good on me until I see someone at my professional level in my industry dressing like a 20-something. ;-) It's decent advice if you want to land a position on a department store sales floor (even then, you'd risk being seen as trying to look much younger than you are), but not necessarily spot-on for the professional services industry.

The book spent entirely too much time on "how to make yourself look younger" via cosmetic procedures, surgical and otherwise. While certainly this is often vital for on-camera "talent" type work where people are "cast" as much as "hired", I don't think it should be as big a part of most job search activities as the author seems to think it should be, given the amount of space dedicated to this and other appearance-related content in the book. Given that the writer has spent most or all of her career in the industry, it's the world she knows. Just don't assume that you, a reader of the book, necessarily inhabit a world with the same values.

The book also includes a couple resume "before and after" examples. I found the "after"s too busy with multiple fonts and full of graphic design for design's sake, making it harder to identify the content rather than easier. But there likely is a happy medium between the two, like using the format suggested for the "new and improved" resumes, but without the visual noise.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and Fun Advice for Over 40 Job Seekers 6 Feb 2010
By LegalBeagle - Published on
Unemployment abounds for all job seekers, but those over 40 face additional age related barriers. In Career Comeback, author Lisa Johnson Mandell, a 49 year old entertainment journalist, shares how she successfully "botoxed her resume" to a new job. As Johnson Mandell confesses, "my own career comeback plan involved finding my niche, branding myself, freshening up my image from head to toe, rabid social networking, and age proofing my resume so that my over-forty status would not be readily apparent."

Career Comeback walks the reader through the necessary steps to become an "ageless" job seeker. Johnson Mandell is a talented writer who makes a serious subject fun such as including a "How Hip Are You" quiz (hint if you don't know what Huffpo and DS are you probably need a pop culture refresher course) and "12 Items You Need to Throw Away Now" (who knew that nude panty hose was passé?) . And for the short of cash job seekers, she details a "One-Day Career Comeback for $50 or Less."

Career Comeback is an informative and surprisingly fun read!

Publisher: Springboard Press (January 7, 2010), 256 pages.
Advance Review Copy Provided Courtesy of the Publisher.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great jump start for those of us who need a push 15 Feb 2010
By S. Nichols - Published on
There came a time not too long ago t I wondered if I was too old to continue with my education. It is taking me longer than I had planned and as the years whiz by I feel as if I once again missed the boat. I know, a lot people have reinvented themselves in their "mature" years, but I still hold on to some doubt that I will be among them. Or at least this is what I thought before I read Career Comeback by Lisa Johnson Mandell.

Normally I stay away from anything that smells of "self help" but the subject matter appealed to me. I thought it would not hurt to hear what Mandell had to say about repackaging yourself to get the job you have always wanted (back cover blurb). I was not disappointed, no rather I was energized by Mandell's advice.
Mandell writes in a very engaging manner. She is straightforward and likable. You will not find a collection of spin, double speak or sound bites. This book is full of wisdom for those of us over 40 and feel too old to change professions. Mandell reminds us that we have more to offer than those who are just starting out in the job market. We more stable, less likely to become pregnant, marry, divorce, move or decide this job is not for us. Mandell teachers her readers how to use their life experience as an asset in job interviews and most importantly teaches us that we have a lot to offer. This last point really resonated with me. I had forgotten my own worth! After reading this book (twice) I feel better about my plans and look forward to changing careers. I highly recommend this book to anyone of any age who is hesitant to change careers. Mandell may inspire you to go for that golden ring.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mandell presents 10 useful strategies that can make you stand out and help get any midcareer job seeker noticed and on payroll. 8 April 2010
By Blaine Greenfield - Published on
Entertainment journalist Lisa Johnson Mandell received a rude
awakening when her husband told her, "Honey, you look old." . . . He
was referring how she came across on her resume (not in person), but
still, Mandell came to the realization that she needed to change
how she came across to others.

Her book, CAREER COMEBACK (see also Section 2), evolved as a
result . . . its subtitle says it all: REPACKAGE YOURSELF TO GET THE JOB

Mandell presents 10 useful strategies that can make you stand out and help
get any midcareer job seeker both noticed and on the payroll . . . I particularly like how
she used many real examples, often featuring people she knows and/or even herself.
Some of the advice I had never even thought about before; e.g., this one tidbit:

* The number one mistake people make when submitting their resumes by e-mail or online?
Titling their Word resume document simply "Resume.doc." How is an employer, dealing with
a long list of attachments from many applicants, supposed to organize and process resumes
quickly and efficiently when they all have the same title? Always, always use your own name
when you title your resume, something like "Lisa Johnson Mandell.doc." Many employers just
delete all submissions simply slugged "Resume" and move on, figuring if job candidates are
not savvy enough to properly label their most precious submissions, how are they going
to handle work files at that particular company?

The author also had this excellent suggestion for cover letters:
* So let's begin at the beginning. Rather than starting with "Dear," "To Whom it May Concern,"
or, heaven forbid, "Hi," it's best to begin your letter with "Greetings"--it avoids awkwardness and
is always appropriate, especially when you don't know the name of the person who is going
to process your letter and resume. Plus, if a person named something like Lynn Swanson
is to receive your resume, you don't know if it's a male or a female, so "Mr. or Ms. Swanson"
is out, and "Lynn" is too informal for a first contact.

Mandell even shares information on what to do when you get asked
certain interview questions:

* I'd be willing to be that anyone who has ever been to a job interview has had the misfortune
to be asked by a lame interviewer, "So what kind of a salary are you looking for?" That is
usually an inappropriate and unprofessional question, and it puts you in the most awkward
of positions, but you can't stop anyone from asking it. You squirm, because you know that
if you state a figure that's too high, they may write you off and hire someone else who comes
cheaper, and if you state a figure that's too low, they may try and take advantage of you
by hiring you for less than they'd intended to pay you. It's inappropriate to answer that question
with a question, something like, "I'm not sure yet what the positions. What salary range are
you offering?" If pressed, an all-encompassing answer could be, "It's negotiable, depending
on the responsibilities for the position and the benefits that go with it." Don't let anyone
intimidate you into stating the first number.

CAREER COMEBACK is excellent for anybody seeking something other than his or her first
job . . . my only criticism with it has to do with the fact that it is directed at women,
which is too bad in that many men could benefit from a book of a similar nature. . . I also
think that the publisher should have made the female-only approach clearer
on the cover . . . it wasn't until I got to page 75 that I realized much of the information
(from that point on) was not directed to me.
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