As those of you have been reading The Job Stalker over the past year and a half will know, I've plowed through a LOT of job-search books, and discussed them in here. I was not particularly enthused when "yet another" Parachute book showed up in my mail, but figured I'd not had any books to feature for a while, and pushed it to the top of my "to be read" pile.
Given that I've been writing about the ways that I've been using the Internet in my job search, you would think I'd have encountered this previously (being that it is the 6th Edition), but this is the most amazing resource I've seen for using the web in one's job hunt. What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Job-Hunting Online, Sixth Edition: Blogging, Career Sites, Gateways, Getting Interviews, Job Boards, Job Search Engines, Personal Websites, Posting Resumes, Research Sites, Social Networking is by Mark Emery Bolles (son of the "Parachute" publishing empire's Richard Nelson Bolles, who is credited as a co-author), and is nearly encyclopedic in its scope. Frankly, I wish I'd had this handy for those weeks when I didn't have much to write in here, as I could have cribbed ideas from it every time!
As noted, I've spent a lot of time on the web, and way too much time in job searches over the past 10 years ... and yet a substantial chunk of the info in here I'd never heard of. As one might guess from that rather extensive list in the sub-title, this takes a look at various aspects of what's out there and how to interface with them, without too much of that "Parachute" approach which has never much worked for me.
One of the best features of this book is that it's completely fresh ... it's been officially out only a couple of weeks at this point, so most of the links go to where they're supposed to, and the assumptions of what sites are and do are all still on the mark. The only stuff that's sort of "dated" are government figures which primarily only go to 2007 (and so they predate the worst of the current recession by a couple of years). Obviously, this means that passages like:
What is going on here? It's not like there aren't any jobs available. People are always quitting, being terminated, retiring, moving to another town ... the turnover is endless. Even in the brutal economic times we have been going through, this country has shown a net job growth every year since 2001. I don't want to keep bombarding you with numbers, but in 2007 alone, although there were 54.6 million "separations" - that's government-speak for quits, layoffs, discharges, and retirements - employers hired 57.8 million people, for a net jobs gain of 3.2 million. Meaning that every month, over 1 million people were finding jobs - 158,000 people every day. But, on average, it took them each over six months to find that job.
... are probably a bit "Polyanna-ish", although I'm assuming that, in general, Bolles is talking about current realities (even though looking through the filter of 2009 and 2010, 2007 looks like a paradise of easy hiring!). One thing he notes (which is fascinating) is that back in 2007 there were only three job-hunting blogs on the net, while now there are thousands (this one included, I suppose). Times change, and what we need to do to find work changes too, and Job-Hunting Online is a really awesome guide to this.
As usual, I have more details (and additional wry observations) over in my review, but I highly recommend this book to everybody who's looking for a job. Heck, the on-line guys have for under ten bucks, so it's not even going hurt your wallet much.