What Color Is Your Parachute

What Color Is Your Parachute

by Richard Nelson Bolles

If you’re looking for a job or thinking about making a career switch, this book is the one for you! It doesn’t matter if you’ve been out of the workforce for a while, or just about to start looking for your first job, this book has tons of helpful advice to help you identify and land the job you desire.

Summary Notes

It’s a Whole New World for Job-Hunters

The job-hunt is behaving differently now than it used to. Things have changed. Dramatically.

Getting a job is not as easy as it used to be - the length of the average job-hunt has increased dramatically over the last 10 years. This is due to several reasons: employers have changed the way they fill vacancies, new technologies are causing some jobs to be obsolete, etc.

Employers view the job-market as an elimination game, whereas job hunters view it as a hiring game. This means that employers try to eliminate all possible choices for a job until they are left with the “last person standing”. This is because they want to reduce the risk of hiring someone who doesn’t work out for them. Therefore, these are the ways a typical employer prefers to fill vacancies, in order of preference:

  1. Hire someone within the company. For example, an employer may promote a full-time employee to the vacant position, or hire a former temporary worker for full-time work.

  2. Hire someone who has proof of what they can do. For example, a photographer with a good portfolio.

  3. Hire someone based on word-of-mouth. For example, an employer may hire someone a trusted friend of his recommends.

  4. Hire someone through an agency.

  5. Hire someone who answers an advertisement for the job vacancy.

  6. Hire someone through a resume.

Actions to take

Google Is Your New Resume

There’s a new resume in town, and it’s called Google.

Before the Internet, the only way an interviewer could learn much about you was from your resume. But now, a simple Google search of your name will uncover everything you’ve posted on the Internet. Employers now hire or reject employees based on their social media profiles - anything from bad grammar to signs of racism or any sort of inappropriate content can automatically disqualify you from being considered for the position.

Similarly, demonstrating creativity and professionalism online, expressing yourself well, exhibiting a diverse range of interests, etc, can get you that job offer!

Actions to take

Sixteen Tips About Interviewing for a Job

In interviewing, the secret is to find out anything that is within your control, even if it’s only 2%, and change it!

The essence of the job-hunt can be shaken down to two simple questions: “Do you like me?” and “Do I like you?”. If the answer to both is yes, then you’ve got the job.

In the context of a job-hunt, the question “Do you like me?” translates to “Given that you are looking for someone who can do the thing you want to be done, and can get along with you and the other employees here, do you like me?”. The question “Do I like you?” translates to “Are you going to give me a work environment that helps me be at my most productive and effective level, where I feel useful and appreciated, and can make a difference?”.

Remember, your opinion matters too - if the answer to the question “Do I like you?” is a no for you, there’s a high chance you’ll end up quitting the job soon.

When it comes to the actual interview, there are five basic questions you should anticipate. They are:

  1. “Why are you here?”

This means, “Why are you applying to this organization, rather than another one?”

  1. “What can you do for us?”

This means, “What are your skills, what is the extent of your knowledge in the field this organization is in, and will you help when challenges arise?”

  1. “What kind of person are you?”

This means, “Will you fit in? Do you share the same values as this organization?”

  1. “What distinguishes you from the others who have applied for this job?”

This means, “Do you have better work habits than others, maintain higher standards, go the extra mile, etc?”

  1. “Can I afford you?”

This means, “If we decide we want you here, how much will it cost to get you, and will we be able to pay it?”

Actions to take

The Six Secrets of Salary Negotiation

Salary. It must be discussed before you finally agree to take the job. Once they’ve offered it to you.

Actions to take

What to Do When Your Job-Hunt Just Isn’t Working

Here are the three most important rules, discovered by discouraged job-hunters who were, in the end, successful: 1. Never give up. 2. Never give up. 3. Never give up.

If you feel like everything is out of control, figure out what small part you can control and work on that. Try different approaches and strategies to job-hunting and dedicate your time and energy to finding a solution to your problem. Here are some common strategies and their success rates:

  1. Looking for job postings on the Internet: works 4% of the time. Looking for IT, engineering, finance, or healthcare jobs increases the success rate to 10%.

  2. Mailing out your resume to employers: works 7% of the time.

  3. Answering local newspaper ads: works 5% - 24% of the time.

  4. Going to private employment agencies/search firms for help: works 5% - 28% of the time.

  5. Answering ads in field-appropriate trade/professional journals: works 7% of the time. A directory of these journals can be found at www.directoryofassociations.com

  6. Job Clubs works 84% of the time. This refers to a club where each job-hunter shares what kind of job they’re looking for, and if a member comes across a job for you, they’ll give you that information. Be sure to join a trustworthy, active job club though!

  7. Going to the state or federal employment office: works 14% of the time.

  8. Going to places where employers pick up workers, such as a union hiring hall: works 22% of the time.

  9. Asking friends, family members, etc for job-leads: works 33% of the time.

  10. Knocking on the door of the employer/office works 47% of the time - but this works best with small employers with 25 or fewer employees!


The best parts of this world were not fashioned by those who were realistic.

Creating a self-inventory will help you learn to describe yourself in multiple different ways, as well as help you identify your skills and talents more clearly. You will also be able to better describe the type of job you’re looking for.

Actions to take

You Get to Choose Where You Work

Don’t ever think to yourself: Well, I see what it is that I’d like to be able to do, but there is no job in the world like that.

Actions to take

How to Deal with Any Handicaps You Have

You may wonder how many people in the entire workforce are handicapped. The answer is: everyone.

Everyone has handicaps - maybe you have a physical or mental one, or maybe you’ve never graduated from high school or college, maybe you’re too fat or too thin, too young or too old, maybe you haven’t had a job in a long time, etc. Whatever it is, know that while it is possible to have a handicap that will keep some employers from hiring you, it is impossible to have one that will keep all employers from hiring you.

Instead of focusing on your handicap (ie. the things you can’t do) focus on the talents you have and all the things you can do.

Of course, employers do have prejudices. However, these prejudices are a reflection of the employer and not you - when you find the right employer, these prejudices won’t matter. Employers tend to be most prejudiced against those who have been out of work for too long, those of different races, religions, or sexualities, those who are too old, war veterans, ex-offenders, and those with a history of psychiatric illness/hospitalization.

Actions to take

The Five Ways to Choose/Change Careers

Good career choice or career planning postpones the ‘narrowing down’ until it has first ‘broadened your horizons’.

When making a career change, it’s important to make an informed decision - this means you will need to be informed about what you personally want, as well as what that career entails. Then, you will be in a job you love and are passionate about.

Actions to take

How to Start Your Own Business

It takes a lot of guts to start ANYTHING new.

Many people have considered starting a business - after all, you get to be your own boss! However, identifying what kind of business you want to have is difficult and requires careful research and planning.

Actions to take

Don’t just read. Act.
Read comprehensive summaries and discover carefully compiled action lists for active learning
Phone Phone