Basically, most of it sucks! Over the last two weeks I’ve read the top seven newest, most popular books on finding a job. The reason is I’m rewriting the online training program of the Job Search Solution. It is all going to video format and, of course, I’m updating just about everything. So, I bought these books to find out what information there was on the market about finding a job.
I want to be kind, empathetic, and respectful of anyone who goes to the trouble of writing a book. I read all seven of these and, although there is some decent information in all of them, like “you really need to have a good resume,” most of them aren’t much help. The major reason is, all but one of these people never found anyone a job…ONLY ONE. But other than that, everyone else who wrote one of these “bestsellers,” doesn’t seem to know their ass from first base.
One of the books talks about comedy and finding a job. The whole damn book is fiction and it is supposed to be funny. It isn’t funny. If you’ve been out of work for a year or even a week, there is nothing funny or amusing about needing to find a job. Fiction does not help you. Reality helps you. If you’re looking for a job you have better things to do than to read a fictional, humorous book that is supposed to be amusing.
A number of these books have the word “love” in the title. “Love your job… The job you love… Love the job search… Love, love, love!” Bull shit!!! A job you just “love!” Only 13% of the people in the world have a job they actually love. I happen to be one of them, but I guarantee you that most people, when they need a job, try to get what they reasonably can. The authors of these books are good writers but they’re so out of touch with reality, it’s a joke. Look, I’ve helped more than 11,000 people on a one-on-one basis find a job between 1973 and today. I personally interviewed face-to-face more than 100,000 candidates. I guarantee you if you walk into an interview and tell a prospective employer that you are looking for a job that you “just love” you will be eliminated immediately. These people that write these books about how to find a job you “love” act like there is one on every corner and all you have to do is go put your money in the slot machine and get one. Crazy! Do yourself a favor and stay away from any book about finding a job that has the word “love, joy, ecstasy, fun, excitement…” in the title. These people are smoking dope! They have no idea what you’re talking about. (That goes along with the word “secret.” There are no secrets to finding a job. Also avoid the words “adventure, brave, break the rules” and anything else that might seem a little unrealistic.)
A couple of these books are just plain odd. One of them is written by a fellow who subtitles it as, “What I wish every job candidate knew.” He explains in the book that basically people don’t do well in interviews because they don’t present themselves the way he wishes they would. So, I guess if the reader is going to interview with this guy they should buy his book and learn the way he wants to be sold. Big secret: not everybody interviews the same way or wants to see the same thing in interviewing. And as a job candidate you need to be ready for just about what anybody can throw at you even as insane as it might appear (like the question, “Why do they make manholes round?”)
Another rather odd one is titled Fired. It chronicles dozens of people who got fired and their relatively sad stories. While I admire the research that the author did to write this book, she really only interviewed 65 people and reported on many of their stories. There is a “poor, poor pitiful me!” tone to the whole book. I will admit that getting fired isn’t fun, but in today’s fast moving world of business it is part of reality. Hearing about the sad stories of a whole bunch of folks who got fired isn’t really going to help anybody find a new job. This book really doesn’t help anybody get over being canned which is the very first thing they should do as they start looking for a job. Quit dwelling on being fired, figure out how you’re going to explain it to a prospective employer and get on with finding a job.
One, supposedly a “career expert” implies that you can get hired in 60 seconds. Right! … Actually, most people probably really know better than this. Most of the book is pretty good and gives some pretty sound advice, It just really isn’t very deep or revolutionary.
The best of the group was written by the CEO of a large executive recruiting firm. The unfortunate thing about books, as I’ve mentioned before, is that they really are short and can only address the surface aspects of most job search issues. So, no one can expect a really deep analysis of many things simply because there’s not enough room. For instance, there are seven or eight different kinds of recruiters. One could write a whole book on just the differences with them and between them. But this guy does a really decent job of hitting the most important points of a job search.
What I especially liked about this particular book is that the author addresses the fact that people should have a good idea about what their aptitudes are. If you listen to my Ted talk, the first thing I recommend is that people take some kind of in-depth aptitude testing, preferably before they begin their career. This is one of the only authors that talks about that. Most workers, even professionals, aren’t very good at what they do simply because they don’t have an aptitude for it. Every professional should know what their aptitudes are…their strengths and their weaknesses, especially before they go look for a job. As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t tell you the number of people I’ve interviewed over the years that got into sales, for instance, because they “loved people.” They turned out to be really mediocre or lousy salespeople. They really had no aptitude for sales. They thought because they “loved people” they would make good salespeople. We all know that’s not true.
Look, if you’re gonna buy information about how to find a job, get it from someone who has actually been in the trenches, finding people jobs on a daily basis. Don’t buy the title. Read about who the author is and what they do for a living.