Crack open a book and crack on with your job search.
Job searching can be a tough gig. Spending all day long trawling the internet for new roles and applying over and over is a slog. Then, you may find that there are not enough new job adverts to fill your time.
Rather than staring blankly at the computer screen and pressing refresh every 10 seconds, why not take this opportunity to do some career development and sharpen your job-seeking skills?
There's an entire library's-worth of books out there focussing on careers and the job search. Setting aside time to read some of these choice guides will mean you're more prepared than ever to land a role that fits your goals.
If you're feeling ready to invoke your inner bookworm, get comfortable, make yourself a cuppa and take a look at six of the best career-centric books.
1. Do What You Are
Does your job role fit your personality type? When you chose your career path, did you consider whether it suits your character? 'Do What You Are: Discover the Perfect Career for You Through the Secrets of Personality Type' is a book that will help you reassess your choices. The book uses the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator ‒ one of the best-known personality tests ‒ to identify what could work best for your character.
Before you get started, you will need to take the test online. Your results will appear as a four-letter acronym, such as ENFJ or INTP. Next, flip to that section in the book and learn about the specific careers that suit your personality type.
In this book, writers Paul Tieger, Kelly Tieger and Barbara Barron include a list of jobs that suitable for each kind of character and an explanation for why they align. Plus, gives individual tips and advice based on your personality type, all of which will help you succeed in any given workplace.
2. Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success
Most of us don't love networking, and the idea of entering a room full of complete strangers is enough to send shivers down our spines. However, there's more to networking than attending stuffy sessions and conferences.
That's what 'Never Eat Alone: And Other Secrets to Success' is all about. Author Keith Ferrazzi is a pro networker, and he shares tips on how to make meaningful connections with other professionals in and out of your field.
Throughout the course of the book, Ferrazzi lays out the basic rules for meeting people, making connections and building long-term professional relationships. His tips include such nuggets as reaching out to your contacts regularly (not only when you need something) and becoming a content creator online. By the end of the book, networking throughout the day will be a cinch.
3. How to Find Fulfilling Work
Want more from your job than the standard nine-to-five? If you're looking for a role that will bring you deeper meaning and purpose, reading this next book can help. Between the pages of 'How to Find Fulfilling Work', Roman Krznaric explores how you can seek out a role in which you will thrive. Drawing on theories from psychology and sociology, the writer looks at the tightrope we all walk when it comes to finding a job that gives us money, satisfaction and status.
The guide starts with an interesting historical look at the world of work and how jobs have changed over the years. Krznaric also slides in a few anecdotes about professionals who were once unhappy in their roles and decided to take a different path.
This book will give you a unique insight into what it means to find the right job for you and why taking a leap of faith may be a smart move.
4. The Art of the Interview
Do you get those familiar pre-interview nerves? If you have butterflies in your stomach before you enter the room, 'The Art of the Interview: The Perfect Answers to Every Interview Question' is worth a read. To make sure that you're prepared for even the trickiest of interview questions, including "Tell me about yourself," this book covers a variety of topics that are likely to come up in most interviews. There's a broad variety of questions from 'How well do you manage your time?' all the way to more obscure questions about specific roles.
With each example, author James Storey explains what the recruiter or interviewer is looking for and how they will evaluate your answer. You will also learn about core strategies you can use to formulate your response. That means that you can make your answers unique to your experiences and skill set whilst also ensuring that they 'wow' interviewers.
For personalised interview help, you can also work with a professional interview coach.
5. The Squiggly Career
Throwback to 30 years ago: You'd get a degree, land a job, stay in that field and steadily climb the career ladder. But things are changing, and the average career trajectory is no longer a straight line to the top. Thanks to the ever-evolving landscape of the working world and the boom of the gig economy, many of us will have a career path that bends and changes as we do.
That's where 'The Squiggly Career' slides into the picture. In this No. 1 Sunday Times Best-Seller, Helen Tupper and Sarah Ellis take a look at how we navigate the maze that is the new professional world.
The guide touches on a variety of important topics for the modern worker, including how to start a side hustle, building your own personal brand and finding a mentor. It also delves into how you can build up your professional support network so that you can face anything that comes your way. If you're looking for a practical guide to help you as you choose your next job path, give this one a quick read.
6. The 7-Second CV
You might have heard that it takes between six and seven seconds for a recruiter to evaluate your CV. That's not a long time to make the right impression on a potential employer. That's why you need to make sure that your CV shows off all your best assets from even the quickest glance. 'The 7-Second CV' is written by James Reed, chairman of REED and looks at what you should and shouldn't be writing here.
The book includes a wealth of information from REED surveys and one-to-one interviews that will give you unique insight into how to craft a winning CV. Plus, there are layout examples to give you some inspiration and some handy quotes. If it's time your CV had a much-needed makeover, this guide can help. To guarantee a high-quality CV, you can take it a step further and work with an expert CV writer.
Read your way to your next job
Finding a new role that suits you doesn't have to be impossible. By doing your homework and reading some of these insightful career-advice books, you can position yourself perfectly to land your next job. Whether you need to figure out the right path for you or simply want tips to ace an interview, there's a guide out there that holds all the answers you've been looking for.
Another tool that can advance your job search is TopCV's free CV critique. Submit your CV to get expert feedback.