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Mastering The Job Search


Other than Ask the Headhunter, none of these books are about job hunting or hiring. They're all about making you a better person, a more valuable worker, a more formidable competitor, and a smarter risk-taker. Knock these challenges out and you'll take control of the interview, regardless of which side of the desk you're sitting on.

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Ask the Headhunter: Reinventing The Interview to Win The Job
(Penguin/Plume, 1997)
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From the Introduction: "When you shoot one thousand resumes through the mail or across the Internet, you have no control over who will read them or who will respond to you (if anyone). Could there even be one thousand jobs you would actually want? Start your job search the same way you start your work day: with an assessment of exactly what work the employer needs done... Then, when you meet the employer, don't wait for anyone to prod you: do the job, right there in the interview. Because if you don't, the candidate I coached will." Read more about the book or order this book.

 

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How to Get Your Point Across in 30 Seconds Or Less, by Milo O. Frank (Washington Square Press, 1991)

Once you've read Ask The Headhunter and learned how to answer The Four Questions, let Milo Frank, a leading actor's agent and communication expert, teach you how to develop your own style for getting your point across to an employer. This little book is the most powerful guide to making a presentation I've ever read. Order this book.

 

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How to Persuade People Who Don't Want to Be Persuaded, by Joel Bauer & Mark Levy
(Wiley, 2004)

Every now and then a new book comes along that I like so much, I give it my endorsement. I was so engaged by the ideas in How to Persuade People that I had lunch with author Mark Levy to learn more. Here's my plug, which appears inside the cover: "Joel Bauer and Mark Levy draw back the curtain and let you see, hear, touch, and use the most mysterious mechanisms of success -- influence and persuasion. If you're thinking lightweight cunning or heavyweight sociology, forget it. We're talking about an ancient craft our ancestors knew that our generation forgot. This book will teach you how to wield your best ideas to influence others with the mystical dexterity of a caveman who strikes a flint just so -- and creates fire." Don't miss this book. Order now.

 

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Influence: Science and Practice, by Robert Cialdini
(Allyn & Bacon, 2000)

In the world of psychology, the phenomenon is called "compliance". The rest of us refer to it as "influence" and "persuasion". How and why people agree to things affects us all every day, every hour. Especially in a job interview. Learn from an expert how to use your influence. Cialdini is a psychologist who's been studying this subject for years, and this book is five notches above any self-help tome. Order this book.

 

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Power Networking, by Marc Kramer
(VGM Career Horizons, 1997)

If you're tired of the rude, in-the-other-person's-face "networking" techniques so commonly promoted by "communications experts", you'll find this deceptively simple guide to be a great companion to Ask The Headhunter. Learn to meet new people and profit from the experience -- responsibly. (For a sample of Kramer's sound advice, read the article he wrote exclusively for ATH's Guest Voices, Getting Business From Strangers.) Marc Kramer's book is concise, clear and friendly -- just as his methods are. Order this book.

 

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Job Shift, by William Bridges
(Addison-Wesley, 1995)

As companies downsize, people don't just lose their jobs; the jobs themselves disappear. Bridges suggests this practice is leading to the end of the job as we know it. His solution? Learn how to turn your job skills into free-lance consulting skills. Learn how to manage your ability to deliver value, rather than "headcount". Sound familiar? Order this book.

 

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The Assertive Woman, by Nancy K. Austin & Stanlee Phelps
(Impact, 2002)

Aggressive tactics don't work well when you're trying to get ahead. But assertiveness is necessary to success both in the interview and on the job. Nancy Austin is a successful consultant, co-author of A Passion for Excellence, and a guest contributor to Ask The Headhunter's special collection, Women & Interviews. Guys take heed: this book isn't just for women. Order this book.

 

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Conceptual Blockbusting: A Guide to Better Ideas, by James Adams (Addison-Wesley, 1990)

On Ask The Headhunter I rant and rave about the importance of ignoring the "System" and taking fresh (and Foolish) approaches to job search and interviewing. So exercise your noggin. Adams is a renowned Stanford engineering professor whose exercises are fun and provocative. He'll teach you to open your mind to new approaches on the challenges you -- and your target employer -- face in the job interview. Order this book.

 

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The Pursuit of WOW, by Tom Peters (Vintage, 1994)

Five minutes at a time, Tom Peters will kick you in the batookus and make you think something new. Organized in digestible bite-sized morsels, the magic of this book is that it will leave you motivated to try whatever you're doing again, a different way. If you know what the B-School "In-Basket Exercise" is, you'll see why I call this Tom's "Out-Basket" approach to problem-solving.  Order this book.

 

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Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand
(Signet, 1992)

You probably haven't read this book or Rand's The Fountainhead because, like War & Peace, they seem long and intimidating. If you pick them up, you'll never want these books to end. If I had my way, they'd be part of the US Citizenship Test and required reading in every high school. There is no better working definition of capitalism, and no better way to motivate yourself to take responsibility for your work and your life. Yeah, yeah, that sounds like a tub-full. But it's true. Order this book.

 

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The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand
(Signet, 1996)

If you ever wondered how one person could really make a difference, or how it can be possible to succeed while remaining true to yourself, you're not alone. Ayn Rand tells the compelling story of how the individual is the fountainhead of all progress. Order this book.

 

Learned Optimism

Learned Optimism, by Martin Seligman (Pocket Books, 1992)

When you get depressed about your job or your prospects, you need to snap out of it fast or you'll interview like a limp fish. No pop psychology or dopey self-help here. Like Cialdini, Seligman is a research psychologist who explains how we can change our own attitudes for the better. Like pessimism, optimism is learned -- and this is how to do it. Very readable. Order this book.

 

 

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