10 Best Books & Blogs for Job Seekers

Sometimes the job search can make you feel like a needle in a haystack. There are so many people out there competing for the same positions you are, and it’s hard to know how to stand out. When you’re looking for direction and strategy, it’s often helpful to go to the experts to evaluate if you can use some of their pointers and adapt their advice for your own use. Here are the 10 best books and blogs/websites I’ve found to be most helpful for job seekers:

Books:
1. I Got My Dream Job and So Can You, by Pete Leibman

I was so impressed with his insight after I read it, that I emailed him immediately after finishing it to let him know how much I loved it. He replied to my email the next day, blowing me away even more! Great read with lots of useful advice.

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2. How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie

This is the classic book on human relations skills. A must-read for everyone, everywhere, every career, because of it’s useful application of how to communicate better. There’s a reason why this is still a hot seller and still relevant over 50 years later!

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3. 48 Days to the Work You Love, by Dan Miller

This view had a very unique twist on the job hunt – it looked at the whole person, and finding fulfillment in what you do, not just paying the bills (though that’s important too!) A very uplifting read, so if you’ve been struggling with pessimism, be sure to pick this one up!

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4. Job Searching with Social Media for Dummies, by Josh Waldman

Great tips for using your current media outlets to connect and aide your job search. Because that’s where the employers are looking!

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5. I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This: Success Secrets Every Gutsy Career Girl Should Know, by Kate White

I couldn’t put this book down! Kate White, former Editor-in-Chief of Cosmo Magazine, shares her career experiences and motivation for professional development. Though this book doesn’t stick exclusively to the job hunt process, it’s very motivational and will get you thinking about your career path, not just the next job offer.

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Blogs & Websites:
1. Classy Career Girl – Anna Runyan shares great tips for developing a job search strategy. She has posts and webinars on resumes, cover letters, networking, etc. She also has some great interviews with writers and successful professionals that are worth checking into.

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2. Levo League – Tons of articles with insightful advice about careers, skills, lifestyle, fashion, etc. Also, they have articles about successful professional women that motivate and inspire.

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3. The Undercover Recruiter – Brought to us by our friends in the UK, the Undercover Recruiter has a great collection of articles about career management, the job search, interviewing, personal branding (my favorite), resume tips, and salary.

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4. The Daily Muse – Ok, like everyone else on this list, they also have an outstanding ensemble of articles about anything you can dream of involving careers and the job search. I especially their new feature of Muse University, which allows you to pick a topic that you’re interested in learning more about, and take a “class” on it, and you will get a daily email for 5 consecutive days with a recommended article and homework assignment to help you learn that skill. Don’t worry, you’re not graded, it’s for your own personal development! Topics include Kick Start Your Job Search, Becoming a Networking Master, and Ace Any Job Interview.

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5. Life After College – this blog talks about exactly what it suggests – life after college, and figuring out how to function in the real world, in regards to Life, Career, Money, Goals and Relationships. If you feel like you’re a fish out of water after your undergrad years, this blog will comfort you that you aren’t alone – and give you useful advice along the way!

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New Month, New Me!

Happy October lovelies! October is one of my favorite months, mainly because of the beautiful changing leaves and the crisp autumn air! I like to re-evaluate where I’m at with my personal goals at the beginning of every month, and I realize that over the summer months, I’ve been concentrating a lot in some areas (like my career search, which I’ll go into more later) and have been neglecting, or have been stuck in a rut, in other areas. So I’ve decided to take a step back today and make some goals about areas that are important to me – Career, Exercise, Nutrition, Prayer, and Life. These are my more specific areas of Mind, Body and Soul.

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Career: I’ll go into more details about this in an upcoming post, but for just a brief preview of what’s going on, I’m currently looking for new job opportunities. This summer I spent a lot of time figuring exactly what I want in a career, so now I am on the road to making that a reality. Like a lot of twenty-somethings, it’s been so easy to feel lost after college with no clear direction, and I am in the process of finding that direction. My goal is to find a new job by the end of the year (3 months to go!) and here are some of my actions for the month of October:

  • Create a list of target companies and apply to specific jobs online. Follow these companies on LinkedIn and Twitter.
  • Reach out to 2 people per day on LinkedIn and request informational interviews.
  • Apply to 2 jobs online per week.
  • (Re)write my cover letter and have a friend edit it.

If some of these things don’t make a whole lot of sense, look forward to an upcoming post where I’ll go deeper into my job searching journey.

Exercise: I love to exercise. Motivation to go for a run honestly isn’t a problem, I’ll gladly run 10 miles! However, I confess that this last summer I was in a bit of an exercising rut. I haven’t been challenging myself. I was busy, so I just stuck to basically the same routine almost every day. Usually, I have one big race scheduled each year, and I keep to a training schedule that keeps me challenged and has variation, but this year, I didn’t sign up for a race because I wasn’t sure where I was going to be! Unfortunately, I’ve been keeping some aspects of my life on hold due to the uncertainty of my career, and this has been something that’s suffered. So, I decided that even though I may not be signed up for a race, that doesn’t mean I can’t be training for one! Here are some exercise regimens I’m going to start keeping in place this month:

  • Follow Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Program – Intermediate. I need to look at this a little more closely, because the program starts at a place that seems a little too easy for me, so I may need to adjust my starting point. I’ve used Hal’s training programs for previous races I’ve done, and I’ve enjoyed the workout routines.
  • AM workouts – Jillian Michaels DVDS. Ok, so I’m a little compulsive. If I don’t do at least a short workout of some sort in the morning, I feel “gross” the rest of the day. I’ll have to look at my training schedule to decide if I will run before or after work, but if I decide to run after, I’ll probably do a quick 20 minute DVD workout in the morning just to get my blood pumping. And hey, a little extra strength training won’t hurt!
  • Power Vinyasa Yoga – As I talked a little about in this previous post, I really enjoy this core/strength building type of yoga. I will go to a yoga class 2 times/week this month, on the days I have strength training scheduled in my training program. Perfect cross training!

Nutrition: Ok, I have a confession. My relationship with food has not always been the healthiest. I developed anorexia in my early high school days, and my recovery led to having occasional – ok, let’s be honest, frequent – bouts of binge eating. I also developed some not-so-great habits in college, and need to make some changes. Right now, I need to do some research about a healthy food schedule that I know I will keep to. I usually opt for healthy foods, but it’s when I get in binging bouts I throw moderation and nutritious choices out the window. This has been my downfall, and I need to do some research about how to make some lasting changes. Any suggestions would be appreciated!

Prayer: Spiritually, I have been lacking this past summer. I am a Christian and a Catholic, and Christ is the center of my life…at least, he should be, and I need to focus on making him a top priority in my life. Here are some commitments I am making for the month of October:

  • October is a month of Mary and the Holy Rosary, so I will commit to praying the rosary every day this month. I have a nice long drive to work in the morning, so it will be the perfect time to turn off the radio and pray – no excuses! The rosary is great for meditating on the life of Christ. Lately my prayers have been a grocery list of things I want, so meditating keep me centered on what is important and give me an opportunity to listen.
  • I’ve found it very therapeutic to journal when I pray – I’ve done this since I was in junior high. I feel like this way I’m having an easy flow of conversation with God, telling him my thoughts, my worries, my dreams. However, I haven’t been very good about consistency. This month, I will journal once a week.

Life: This category is more about miscellaneous things. Something I need to work on more is budgeting. Last month, I kept all of my receipts and categorized them by the type of purchases I made. This month I will do the same, and start tracking them in an excel spreadsheet. This way I can be totally honest with myself about how much I’m spending and where I need to make some cuts (yes, I try not to look at clothes and makeup…but they’re such good investments! So I justify myself…) This is something that I acknowledge I need to work on as part of becoming a functioning adult.

These are some of my October goals, or goals in progress, and I’m exciting to get started! Do you make monthly goals to re-evaluate and “start over?” What are your goals? In lieu of a New Year’s Resolution, it’s a monthly resolution!