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Don't Send a Resume: And Other Contrarian Rules to Help Land a Great Job Hardcover – May 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 172 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion Books; First Edition First Printing edition (May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786865962
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786865963
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.9 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,064,658 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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A resume with a "for everyman" cover letter is junk mail. Read the first page
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 25 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Fox challenges the conventional wisdom in useful ways in this provocative set of 44 mini essays on getting a terrific job. He argues that you should think of getting a job as "marketing and selling of yourself." He provides the primary metaphor to marketing, and gives you an outline of what to do. He encourages you to get even more ideas by reading books about marketing, having made the translation to this environment and issue. The material is clear and easy-to-execute, and following this advice will probably increase your chances of getting the best job you are qualified to do.
Mr. Fox isn't against resumes, he just wants to change the way they are used. Rather than lead with a general purpose resume, he wants you to customize a resume for each opportunity after having met someone in the company. "You are a product." Even though you are not a widget, you will be hired as though you are. As such, he wants you to fit the specifications precisely, in a way that you cannot do until you have more information.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 49 reviews
89 of 90 people found the following review helpful
Classic Marketing Principles Applied to Job Searches 7 May 2001
By Donald Mitchell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Fox challenges the conventional wisdom in useful ways in this provocative set of 44 mini essays on getting a terrific job. He argues that you should think of getting a job as "marketing and selling of yourself." He provides the primary metaphor to marketing, and gives you an outline of what to do. He encourages you to get even more ideas by reading books about marketing, having made the translation to this environment and issue. The material is clear and easy-to-execute, and following this advice will probably increase your chances of getting the best job you are qualified to do.
Mr. Fox isn't against resumes, he just wants to change the way they are used. Rather than lead with a general purpose resume, he wants you to customize a resume for each opportunity after having met someone in the company. "You are a product." "You are not a robot, but you will be purchsed as if you were a robotic assembly machine." As such, he wants you to fit the specifications precisely, in a way that you cannot do until you have more information.
His basic blueprint for getting a job entails these steps:
(1) target organizations for their fit with your talents and interests, and their geographical proximity to where you want to live
(2) research those organizations
(3) send a custom impact letter to the highest level person who can hire you to get an interview (you can use ads to give you an idea of what they are looking for)
(4) plan the interview
(5) estimate the economic value of what you can do for the organization
(6) bring helpful ideas to the interview
(7) conduct an analysis of what the organization needs during the interview
(8) write and send that individualized resume
(9) Follow-up with a thank you letter within a day with some new idea in it
(10) Plan any subsequent interviews to reflect what you've learned.
He encourages you to stand out, even if that means being a litle outrageous. He tells stories about getting a creative job in an advertising agency by sending a fish as a message and a wind-up toy to get into business school.
He also suggests looking for jobs where others don't look -- with venture capitalists, small companies, in China and Cuba, accountants and lawyers who handle family companies, bankruptcy trustees and lawyers, and commercial loan officers.
I thought the advice was generally pretty good. The boldness advice should be tempered to match the type of organization and work you want to do. You don't want to seem out of character for what that person likes. Also, the economic benefits of your working with the company should be conservatively stated in the context of how that companies values such benefits. That point wasn't made clear.
After you finish reading this book, I also suggest that you think about whether you should start-up a new organization with a team of people who have complementary skills. That's another place where most people don't look.
Add the most value you can to the lives of others . . . and to yourself!
87 of 92 people found the following review helpful
RIGHT ON THE MARK! 11 May 2001
By Sandra D. Peters - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Jeffrey J. Fox is accurate, full of wisdom and absolutely correct when he advises not to send resumes and other unauthorized material in searching for employment. Some people send them unsolicited and "willy-nilly" everywhere and anywhere, and then wonder why they do not receive a response. Save money on the fancy paper, printing and binding costs and spend your time reading this book. Some companies literally receive hundreds of resumes each week, and a good majority eventually work their way into file #13, better known as the trash can.
From years of management experience and having written extensive training material on the topic, I can tell you that no employer is going to be impressed by a resume that tells the reader why YOU need a job, and to be very blunt and honest, most employers do not care why. An employer wants to know what you can do for the company, not what the company can do for you. What exceptional knowledge, experience, training, marketing skills, sales ability, customer service skills, client base, ideas, productivity, etc. can you bring to the company that is more impressive than the other thousand and one applications sitting on the desk? The employer wants to know how the company is going to benefit if they hire you over everyone else, and what specific strategic plan you have in mind that will help the company grow to its full potential and increase productivity, motivation and profits. Are you a team player and can you also work well independently? Can you take direction and constructive criticism? As for a job interview, it is an opportunity to listen, learn and sell - to convince the employer why you are the best person for the job. You also want to pay close attention to your manners and social skills. It is a known fact that when it comes to hiring management personnel, many decisions are made in a social setting, i.e., over dinner, on a golf course, etc. If etiquette is not one of your foremost subjects, it is time to hone up on social graces and conversational skills.
Employers already know you need the job or you would not be applying; they know you need to put food on the table, a place to live and that you have debts to pay - we all do! An employer well trained in business management will hire those they feel can best do the job, and that does not necessarily mean those most in need. Employers are not in business to be social assistance providers, they are in business to make a profit or their company will not survive.
For those who constantly find themselves sending resumes with little or not response, I strongly suggest you read this book. It is true, factual, accurate and right on the mark! Believe me, this author is a top-notch pro! After reading, "Don't Send a Resume", you may change your entire approach on how you search and apply for employment and conduct yourself during interviews. This book is a great opportunity to learn from past mistakes, and it could open new doors to your future.
24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
Landed a Job in 8 Days Using this Book 11 Sept. 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Since I was moving into an entirely different field, I was concerned that my lack of direct experience would cause my resume to get overlooked. After reading this book I realized it didn't matter--I wasn't going to send them a typical resume. Instead I made up my mind to follow the steps of the book and land a job in this field.
I sent out 3 resu-letters and immediately got a phone call for an interview with one company. Several days later I had the interview, which I prepared for using Fox's interview "sales" techniques. The interviewer seemed very impressed with both my anwers and my prepared questions. At the end of the interview I was offered the job.
Of course not everyone is going to have such immediate results, and I feel fortunate to have had such good results so quickly, but the ideas expressed in this book are direct, powerful, and clear. By the time I had finished reading the book I felt confident that I was going to land a job in my new field soon--I just didn't realize how soon.
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Highly Recommended! 5 Oct. 2001
By Rolf Dobelli - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
For a book that tells you not to send a resume, the author spends an awful lot of time telling the reader how to write resumes (or "resu-letters") and what to do with them next. Don't be fooled by the clever title. Jeffrey J. Fox hasn't banned resumes, he simply wants you to understand how to write versions that will work for you. He explains what to do - and not do - to land a terrific job. In bite-sized chapters that get right to the point (in a book so small you could fit it into a leprechaun's briefcase), he guides you through job-hunting research, planning and marketing the product of you. Some of what he offers is innovative; some is standard, common-business sense. Even if you only dig out a few gems, we [...] note that this is a fine place to begin your job search - and a very fine place for job search beginners.
20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
Not the best book to start with 1 Oct. 2005
By M. Cina - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
Fox's book demonstrates breadth, but lacks depth. It is perfect for people who have been bouncing around the job market for a few years; it is dangerous for those just starting out. This book's lack of depth leaves entry-level workers very "raw" for hiring managers.

I began using Fox's guidelines in this book religiously 6 months ago. I still had no call-backs after about one month into my job search. After three months, I was a tired (he recommends waking up at 5:30 AM) and defeated Social Scientist with a Masters degree and background in advanced Statistical methods. Only after I retired this book to a shelf and picked up a more conventional approach did the job interviews start pouring in.

Don't waste your money if you're fresh out of school. Use caution otherwise.

I recommend HOW TO INTERVIEW LIKE A TOP MBA by Shel Leanne.
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