5 Books That Will Help You Succeed In Your Job Hunt

When I want to figure something out, I read a book. I love the fact that someone with the same problem as me have written down how they solved that problem so that I can solve the problem faster. When I read a great book, I feel like standing on the shoulders of giants. In this post, I want to share five books that will help you find a job.

1. Designing Your Life

Read it: if you are not sure what you want to do with your life.

This book is based on the lectures from the most popular course at Stanford (see this article). In this book, the authors are talking about applying something called Design Thinking to your life. They talk about how you can design your life. One thing that I really liked about the book is the part of it where they talk about prototyping various lives. This sounds hard but it is quite easy.

The general idea is this, let’s say that you have some possible paths you are interested in doing. Like, maybe you can see yourself in a couple of different positions but you don’t know which one would be the best for you. In that case, you can do a prototype of each position and see which one you would enjoy the most.

An example of a prototype would be to simply just talk to one person working in every single position you are thinking about. Ask them about their days, what they like and what they don’t like about their job. Then when you have some more information, you will be able to make a better decision.

The great thing is this, we often make BIG life decisions with very little information or data. If you have studied at University for instance. A lot of people, myself included decided what to study at University even though I had never met someone that had the same job that I was studying for. Just having some more information will make the decision way better. So, if you are having trouble deciding right now, then I would definitely read this book.

2. The Power of Habit

Read it: if you want to achieve a challenging goal.

Did you know that 45 % of everything you do is habits? This means that changing habits is a segway to changing your whole life. In the job hunt, this can mean everything from networking with more people, learning new things or applying for more jobs.

In this book, Charles Duhigg talks about habits. What they are and how to create new ones. He says that habits have three phases: cue, routine and reward. All these three things are present in any kind of habit.

So, if you want to establish a new habit, you can think about these three cornerstones. One example might be if you are learning Swedish. Let’s say that you find it difficult learning Swedish. This could be an example of a habit:

Before I go to bed (cue), I will learn five new words (routine). When I am done, I get to watch an episode of my favorite TV Show (reward)

This can be done in tons of other ways.

3. To Sell is Human

Read it: if you find it hard to present yourself.

I often say that when you are unemployed, you are in sales. Because you are constantly trying to find a way to fit your profile with the needs of the employer. This book will help you get a really good understanding of how to present yourself.

Here is one example from the book. In the book, the author gives seven examples on how you can pitch yourself. One of them is the one-word pitch. If you can only present yourself with one word, what word would it be? Another one is the tweet pitch. If you only had 140 characters, how would you present yourself?

This is good because it forces us to think really hard about what we really are. If we need to condense all that we are into 140 characters, then we are forced to really hone in on our core essence and get rid of the complexity. This will help you greatly in the job hunt.

4. How to Win Friends and Influence People 

Read it: if you have a hard time connecting to other people.

I do not like the title of this book, but I love the content in it. This is a classic and it will benefit you in so many ways. In this book, Dale Carnegie talks about some basic principles for connecting with other human beings. Here are some rules and how they relate to the job hunt:

Be a good listener. Encourage others to talk about themselves.
In the job hunt, when you meet recruiters or people from companies, just try to understand them and their company in the start. Try to figure out what they are doing and what you can do to help them.

Talk in terms of the other person’s interest. Don’t talk about yourself. Talk about how you can help them reach their goals. If you are a great engineer, talk about the benefits of hiring you in the team. Talk about yourself in terms of what outcomes they will see because you are on their team.

5. How to Get a Meeting With Anyone 

Read it: if you want to avoid getting rejected when you reach out to employers.

The last book is one I read for just some months ago. In this book, Stu Heinecke talks about how you can land a meeting with anyone and it really works. He talks about the idea of having a 100 list. That is a list of 100 people you want to get in touch with and then think about ways to get in contact with them.

This is a good way to look at it in the job hunt. Who would your 100 people be? Maybe some recruiters in your industry? Maybe some CEOs of companies that you are interested in? Maybe some other professionals in your field? Write it down and read Stu Heinecke’s book to know how to connect with them.

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2 Responses to “5 Books That Will Help You Succeed In Your Job Hunt

  • yin lei
    2 years ago

    Amazing in a nutshell list, super interesting books, will definitely put them on my book list.

    • andreaswennberg
      2 years ago

      Thank you so much, Yin! What books would you recommend to someone that is job hunting or want to improve their career?

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