New Book Debunks Myths in Job Hunting

Article excerpt

San Francisco Examiner

SAN FRANCISCO _ Resumes are useless: They've been supplanted by brilliant promotional letters. Interviewers are not sadists in business suits: They're human beings. Aggressive networking doesn't work: Subtlety and understatement does.

Those are some of the insights in "Resumes Don't Get Jobs: The Realities and Myths of Job Hunting," a new book for people looking for work.

Author Bob Weinstein says his goal is to debunk myths _ he dispenses with 14 in the book _ and replace them with tips and strategies geared toward today's job-hunting market. The book, published by McGraw-Hill Inc., costs $10.95.

Weinstein's book has a ready-made audience, with the nation's unemployment rate at nearly 7 percent.

Paul Shanahan, manager of Stacey's Bookstore in San Francisco, said the career section is very busy these days.

"Usually, people buy two or three books: one on how to conduct an interview; another on how to write a cover letter and another on how to write a resume," Shanahan said.

Weinstein, the author of eight books on careers, offers somewhat non-traditional advice. In the prologue to the 250-page book, he promises a "down-and-dirty-job-hunting guide," with lots of "hard information and solid advice" but no hand-holding.

Forget resumes, he says. "Like McDonald's hamburgers, Oreo cookies and Army uniforms, resumes are standardized," he says. "Take 200 people applying for the same job and remove the name, address and phone number from each resume. You'll have 200 resumes that could have been written by the same person. That tells you something."

Weinstein says job-hunters should write a brilliant promotional letter instead. He provides a step-by-step guide to producing just such a letter, from the "grabber" opening line, to the assertive close that tells the employer precisely when you'll be following up to discuss the job opening. …