Job Hunting for Dummies

By Kohn, Myriam-Rose | Career Planning and Adult Development Journal, Spring 2008 | Go to article overview

Job Hunting for Dummies


Kohn, Myriam-Rose, Career Planning and Adult Development Journal


Job Hunting for Dummies, by Max Messmer 1999. New York, NY: Wiley Publishing 350 pages, $16.99, Softcover

Intended Audience: A, K

Major Headings from the Table of Contents

Part I: Getting a Handle on the Process; Getting Off on the Right Foot; Getting Organized

Part II: Setting Your Targets; What Are You Looking For, Anyway?; Scoping Out the Market

Part III: The Writes (and Wrongs) of Resume Writing; Resume Basics; Deciding Which Resume Style Is For You; Writing Your Resume; Getting Your Resume Into Print; Making Your Cover Letter Count

Part IV: Drumming Up Job Leads; Going Online: The Basics; Digging Up Information: The Basics of Effective Research; Networking 101; Getting the Most Out of Networking; Creative Reading: Scouring Want Ads; Jobs By Mail: Conducting a Targeted Direct-Mail Campaign; The Recruiting Game: Getting Outside Help; Temporary Work As a Way to Get Discovered

Part V: Answering the Call: Keys to Successful Interviewing; Getting Ready for Show Time; Winning Ways: How to Handle Yourself during the Interview; Staying in Control: When Bad Things Happen to Good Interviewees; End Game: Closing the Interview on a Winning Note

Part VI: The Part of Tens; Ten Ways to Get Started on the Right Foot in Your New Job; Ten Ways to Keep Up Your Morale; Ten Bold Interviewing Tactics to Make You Stand Out From the Crowd; The Ten Most Valuable Resources in Your Job Search; Ten Questions Frequently Asked by Job Hunters

Appendix: Resources

How Is the Book Most Useful for Its Intended Audience?

This is a very basic book. The writer assumes the reader knows nothing and from that standpoint, this is an extremely thorough book. Resources are listed, as well as hypothetical situations, and examples are given for what type of questions to expect and what to ask; how to acquire an e-mail address; what search engines are; some of the no-nos interviewers have heard; and even some cartoons are sprinkled throughout to liven up the mood.

The Top Five Things You Learned from Reading this Book

As this is a pretty basic book, I did not learn very much. However, the section on search engines, abbreviations, and interview euphemisms revealed a few things I did not know. I finally learned what leading is when it comes to font sizes. There are some nuggets here and there for the more experienced job seeker, but overall the book is tremendously useful for a novice job seeker. It is very comprehensive even for today's job search. Since the book was published in 1999, some outdated advice is included. A few of the companies mentioned have either merged with other companies or are no longer in business.

Multiple examples of resumes and cover letters are incorporated in this book. However, I was disappointed in the lack of mentioning certified professional resume writers and certified career management coaches as helpful resources. Neither PARW/CC (Professional Association of Resume Writers/Career Coaches) nor ICF (International Coaching Federation) are mentioned and they certainly were already in existence in 1999.

The author takes a somewhat different view on the cover letter: in his opinion it is not common knowledge that the cover letter in many situations is as important as the resume itself, if not more so. He proceeds to give a few reasons for his statement among which a cover letter is usually the first thing the person who screens the resume looks at; a well researched cover letter enables a candidate to demonstrate, in ways that are impossible in a resume, his knowledge about the company to which he is writing and its industry.

I liked the fact that he emphasized a few times that it was not about the candidate, but about what the candidate could offer the employer. …

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