8 Career Advancing books every job seeker must read

The most dangerous mistake you will ever make in life is to stop learning. Where can you get infinite amount of wisdom and career advice? Reading books from experts who have walked the same road you’re trying to walk.

If you’ve never applied for a job or you’ve been out of it for a while, you’re going to need help navigating the job search process. The search is intense, frustrating and sometimes takes months to complete. You have to tweak your resume to fit the company, build your network, attend job interviews, negotiate salaries and move up in the career ladder. One mistake could destroy your efforts.

8 books to master the job application process

Richard N Bolles – What Colour is your Parachute

If you’re trying to find your place in the world or looking for the perfect job, Bolles covers every aspect of the job search process. In the first half of the book he proffers advise to help you tailor your resume for a specific employer (traditional search). You’ll learn how to network better, interview etiquette, creating a spectacular resume and tricks for negotiating a competitive salary.

The second part of the book focuses on a deeper search for the ultimate, fulfilling job that requires soul searching and thorough introspect in the search for the right job.

Jim Collins – Good to Great

In this book Collins has done all the hard work and research to highlight why some companies progress and others don’t. It provides insightful interview conversations to help you know what to avoid and things to say during an interview while shedding light on factors to look for when choosing a company to commit to.

Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha – The Start-Up of You

It’s’ getting harder to succeed or survive in an increasingly fierce economy. This is a book that holds lessons for success in all careers. It is a practical guide on how to seize control and build an impactful career for yourself. The authors draw example from some of the best Silicon Valley companies to help you accelerate your career.

Jeff Goins – The Art of Work

Passion is a great start to finding what you’re meant to do in life but it isn’t enough to get you there. According to Jeff Goins your interest must align with a need of the world if you want to make an impact. However rare it might seem, this life is possible for the brave who experience something enviable, exceptional and fulfilling. Learn how to achieve this goal when you read this book.

Robert Dickie – The Leap

Freelance careers are become increasingly popular and the growing market for contract workers provides a career option for job seekers. From independent freelance consultants, outsourcing agencies and part-time workers, the opportunities are open for all. Dickie provides insight to help you improve your self-branding skills and find ways to generate several streams of income with your talent.

Susan Britton Whitcomb – Resume Magic

The first part of the job application process is submitting your resume and it has to be outstanding if you want to pique the employer’s interest. Resume magic guides you on creating a spectacular, professional resume for any job application. Best of all, it includes tips, tricks and real-life implementations for your resume.

Meg Jay – The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter

Career-wise, your twenties are confusing. You graduate from the University and you’re faced with the big decision, to dive into the workforce or continue for an advanced degree, such as masters or PhD.

Jay helps readers make the right decision using advice and relatable stories that inspire you to take action and leave fear behind. Inexperience shouldn’t prevent you from applying from exciting jobs where you can apply your skillset.

Dale Carnegie – How to win friends and influence people

There are many books out there that’ll teach you how to craft a unique resume and negotiate salaries like a pro. Few will show you how to network and become likeable to future employers. In this book, Carnegie shows you how to optimize your social interactions by talking about yourself and finding common interest with people.

Originally published in 1937, this book has stood the test of time with timeless lessons every job seeker should know before starting the interview circuit.


With job hunting, there is always something new to learn and if you think you know it all, visit the classics. Master the basics of resume building, interviews, networking, salary negotiations and equipping yourself with leadership skills that guides you to career success. Boost your job search intelligence by reading at least four of the books we’ve mentioned in this article.

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