Book Review: What Color is Your Parachute? 2015 edition

Synopsis according to GoodReads:
"The world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2015 to tailor its long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today's job-hunters and career-changers. 

"What Color Is Your Parachute?" is the world's most popular job-hunting guide with more than ten million copies sold. Now, no matter what your circumstances, every job-hunter can find help with up-to-the-minute information on what has changed about the job-market, plus strategies for finding jobs even when everyone tells you there are none. And if you are a returning vet, there is a new twenty-page appendix this year, specifically addressing your unique needs. 

This 2015 edition includes up-to-date research and tips about writing impressive resumes and cover letters, doing effective networking and confident interviewing, and negotiating the best salary possible. But it goes beyond that, in helping you to better know who you are, with its classic self-inventory--called "The Flower Exercise"--because the best answer to "What shall I do? "flows from knowing "Who you are." 

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers is exactly what it purports to be: a tool for identifying your passions, transferrable skills, areas of interest, etc.

I read the 2007 edition right before moving to Seattle (and in fact, it was the impetus for that move and dramatic career shift). It was helpful in the self-reflection exercises, but of course the recession of 2008 changed the entire job marketplace, so "known things" quickly became outdated.

I was pleased to see that this 2015 edition addresses those changes, such as the majority of us employable adults going through several career and industry shifts in our lifetime, now. It was more than just "this is how you network". And although most of it is common sense, the logical layout of this book makes career changing seem less daunting.

I'd say it's got two major strengths: 
A) The written exercises. If you do nothing else with this book, fill out all the prompts, and do the organization/graphing exercises. It WILL help you identify your strengths and interests, speaking directly to what industry you want AND how to write your resume and cover letters
B) The advice on research. It's so tempting to skip this and be lazy, but the concept of reaching out and asking questions and taking the time to really research a company and/or position is invaluable. And easier than you'd think, with tools like LinkedIn letting us see how many connections we are from our dream jobs, at any given moment.

The only weakness is that it sometimes drags on a bit- but it's geared to be useful for first-time job seekers as well as veterans of the job market, so that's unsurprising. 

I highly recommend it for anyone job hunting (career change, or not). Even if you know yourself backward and forward, it will help you tighten your resume, cover letter, and interview language. And that can make all the difference in getting hired. 

*I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books for free, in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

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