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on 17 November 2009
A quick review to say that, while I love this book - I borrowed a very old copy and was really inspired by it, so decided to get the most up to date version - I sent this particular one back as it is missing a lot of what helped me in the previous editions.

It's a 'hard times' edition for the recession, and as such is streamlined and very practically focussed, with punchy chapters on e.g. interview advice, CVs etc. That may be just perfect for a lot of people but what I bought the book for was the really (for me anyway) helpful chapters that talk about what sort of thing you want to do with your life, with advice and exercises to help you think about your values and goals; just what I need at a time when i'm trying to re-think my career. In the 2010 edition this is largely absent, save for a brief chapter at the end, so it wasn't for me and i'll probably try and get the 2009 edition intead, but if you're looking for very practical jobhunting advice, this could be helpful - as long as you remember it's very US-focussed.
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VINE VOICEon 4 December 2012
I bought this book on the recommendation of a friend but had low expectations. I thought it was going to be a jobs manual related mainly to the USA. How wrong I was.

This book addresses the task of finding a new job in such a detailed, thorough way that it could more properly be called a life review. In fact, the author suggests you do treat unemployment as a chance for a life review, and fully appreciates how hard that can be. It contains the kind of chapters one might expect: How to find Hope, Seven Secrets about the Jobs Market Today, The Best and Worst Ways to Look for Jobs, Life/Work Planning - Planning a Campaign of Attack, Understanding Yourself, Social Media, Five Ways to Change Career, CV Tips, How to Deal with Problems on Your CV, Starting Your Own Business.

I particularly like the fact that all the statistics, and there are many, are clearly backed up by referenced figures. For example, the fact that looking for employers' job postings on the internet has only a 4-10% success rate. This was a complete revelation to me.

The author shows deep understanding about how it actually feels to be unemployed and makes sensible practical suggestions. For example, this is the right time to keep fit, even if you can only afford to run; this is the right time to keep your place tidy, and not to live in chaos; this is the right time to catch up on our reading, perhaps especially anything that might help in your job search, but keeping your mind open avoids that 'I'm a sad victim of redundancy' syndrome.

There's an entire section on the spiritual aspects of tackling unemployment, which the author leaves you to apply to the rest of the book if you choose. So many manuals either proselytize their own brand of spirituality, whether New Age, Christian, whatever, or they are 100% bound in the commercial jobs market. This man was for many years an ordained Christian minister - however his approach to spirituality is applicable whatever your belief system. For me it was one of the best parts of the book.

Suitable for anyone looking to get a new job, change jobs or find more meaning in their work/life balance. Get the up-to-date version if you can, because the statistics and many links are reviewed annually.

Very clearly laid out and suitable for those with a visual disability.
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on 26 April 2008
In 38 years I have had 16 jobs and 5 career paths trying to find something I liked. (sacked and won my tribunal once and redundant once) This book was great for three things.

1. Makes you really think about what you want to be when you grow up.
2. Focuses your attention on where you are going
3. Does not try to say it has the answers but puts the responsibility clearly on your shoulders where it belongs.

If you are looking for an easy way to find a job then don't buy the book. If you are looking for a real, practical guide to improving your life then buy it, get into the spirit of it and work at it.

No book has all the answers, you do, this book just makes you realise it.
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on 17 July 2008
This book was recommended to me; indeed it seems to be well reviewed from a number of sources. However, if you are anything like me (background in British academia but wondering about the prospects of a non-academic future) you may well find yourself infuriated by the poor (and poorly excused) grammar and punctuation, and the fairly shallow content which is needlessly stretched out over 400 pages. I read on in hope of some pearls of wisdom and admit that there are *some* useful comments here but not enough to warrant paying for this book. Typically, advice will involve (say) typing `how to write a CV' (or, rather `Resume' - see below) into Google to give you an idea how to write a CV (p63).

While there is some helpful and reassuring advice on interviews and interview technique, I wish it had been made clear to me before I read this book (A New York Times Best Seller) that it will be of most comfort to a reader who is (a) American, and (b) religious. The chapter on working out your dream job, for example, emphasises that the decision is about you:

"Your agenda. Your wishes. Your dreams. Your mission in life, given you by the Great God, our Creator." (p240)

For at least some of you, this characteristic snippet might help inform your decision as to the kind of book you were about to `add to basket'.
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on 14 July 2008
I have bought and given away so many copies of this book over the years I should be on commission :o) I first bought it in 2002 when the corporate I worked for hit recession, I put my occupation into internet job sites with the result 'there are currently no jobs available within this category'. PANIC. This book then made me think totally differently: it made me realise I actually didn't want to do the career I'd finished and had an opportunity to do something else. It pointed out the accepted ways of job hunting (particularly the internet) aren't always the way people get jobs, and advised using each option as a tool to try, not just use one. I recognised myself taking rejections on my applications personally, losing confidence and applying for less and less demanding roles. One of the most important pieces of advice I took was to treat applications like lottery tickets - don't jump into the depths of despair if your ticket doesn't come up, enjoy the excitement of putting it on and, if it doesn't come up, think 'maybe next time - the right one will come up'. Enjoy casting your applications thick/fast and into challenging areas: stats are 'the more you cast the more likely you will hook something'. When you think 'no-one will want me, I'm too [insert here WHATEVER barrier you want -even 'just come out of prison'!] the book shows that isn't the case. It is a matter of selecting the bits of the book relevant to you and passing on parts which aren't. BUT ... it's not going to do it for you, and the important thing is if you do nothing, nothing will happen. Re the relevance of the book on `feeling lost' - you can only be lost if you want to be; even when lost, you are 'somewhere' and can only go 'somewhere else' - you can never be 'nowhere'. The book will show that you either know you don't like your current place and want to move on, or haven't found out whether you actually like where you are. Did it work for me? I decided on a complete career change to do the job I wanted: during the training and application process, my dream job suddenly came out of left field - just like Richard said: it wasn't on the internet, I wasn't actively looking for it, it was just in one of the places the book advised to keep checking. It combined my personal interests with the work I was skilled in (something else the book discusses), and I've done it ever since and loved every moment. The book will help you realise you CAN control change even when you think you can't, help make a new plan, think differently, avoid mistakes ... but it's not going to do it for you.
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on 11 November 2005
This book, as it states in the preface, is written in incredibly simple language. The basic idea of the book is to help people navigate through the difficult process of deciding how to make changes in their life, be they small (traditional job hunt) or potentially overwhelming (life changing job hunt).
Mr Bolles' idiosyncratic style is endearing, and it is very easy to relate to. His basic message is this: the better an idea you get in your head of where what and who you love, and how you love going about things, and therefore what you want... the greater, proportionately, is your chance of getting it.
The book is packed with interesting exercises to get you thinking about these things and a step by step easy to follow (and back up plan endowed, thank you very much) set of instructions for how to go about getting what you want. (Hard work is a prerequisite, unfortunately, but Bolles provides interesting statistics on where that hard work is best targetted, and how to keep yourself motivated in a life changing situation which so often has many of us chucking away our dreams and plumping for the easy option. DON'T DO IT!
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on 26 February 2012
Without doubt there are some very good features to this book. And I can see how radical it must have been when it was first published forty years ago. If you are considering a complete career change then it still has interesting things to say and some useful tools, the pink pages are a new feature that my old edition didn't have; and of course it has a pretty cool and memorable title.

The title though gives away the biggest shortcoming of this book. What "Color" is your parachute? As Shaw said "England and America, two countries separated by a common language"; but it's not just the language that has subtle but important differences. The way our employment markets work are markedly different too. Unfortunately I feel that these differences are not covered by this book. Much of the "getting a job" advice and nearly all of the references are wasted on a UK audience. For instance there are nearly as many recommended Job Councillors for Switzerland as there is for the UK, and the two countries combines do not match New York state.

So if you are new to this book and are looking to change careers, you will find much in this that will be useful. If you have a copy of this already, particularly if you are UK based, then there are more relevant books out there. May I recommend: Job Hunting 3.0: Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the modern age a much more useful book for finding a job in the UK.
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on 7 March 2008
I hoped this book would give me some insight into why I was drifting around feeling underchallenged and how I could finally find out what I wanted to do with my life. It didn't. It asked me the same questions I had been asking myself for years. If I knew the answers I wouldn't have bought the book.

Now, I'm not blaming the book for my predicament, but I am blaming the advertising bunkum and spiel for saying the book is what it isn't.

Also, very annoyingly, all the examples of "jobseekers" in the book were fabously high-flying supremos who wanted a life-change, not poor confused bozos like me who don't even know where to start!
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on 20 March 2013
Very helpful and practical guide to finding your perfect job. Takes a bit of time to work through all the examples - so don't leave it to the last minute- but worth the effort. Has good advice on keeping it all together whilst searching for that dream job.
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I came across this book about 15 years ago by chance. I had just had a job interview which went well, so I thought, and I found this book on sale at Waterstones. I didn't get the job but I did buy the book and I read it from cover to cover and did all the exercises. At the end of the book after completing the exercises I had a real idea of the area I should be looking for a job in. At that time it was working in property for a University. By coincidence (or was it fate) that following weekend my local University advertised a job for Head of Property. I got it and the rest is history.

Its funny that you tend to believe that you have to follow jobs which you an society indicate are right. This book helps you to think freely, chuck out the bull, and find the job thats right for you.

Over the past 10 years I have bought the book for 4 unemployed friends and all have benefitted.

What can you lose by buying the book? Nothing but the cover price in my view.
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