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‘What Color Is Your Parachute?’ Author Shares Job Search Advice

In the June issue of Forbes, the author of the 1970 best-seller, What Color Is Your Parachute?, doles out job search advice. Lucky for us, we got a sneak peek of the Dick Bolles interview on their site.

He tells the publication, “I never dreamed the job hunting problem was so widely faced. The book would have sold 10 copies if you got the help you needed at school.”

He truly tapped into something in the ’70s and beyond. Bolles’ book has gone through 42 annual editions and sold 10 million copies in 20 languages. In 1994, the Library of Congress named his tome one of the 25 books that “have shaped readers lives.”

And he hasn’t given up his mission. The 86 year-old spends approximately four hours every day responding to the 6,000 e-mails and letters he receives each year. 

As for his advice? Remove the money factor. Per the piece, he reveals, “Don’t make money the most important thing about finding a job.” Salary should be viewed in contact as he recommended comparing it to the job responsibilities, location, working conditions and growth opportunities.

“You might be willing to take a pay cut to get one of those other factors. Those who aren’t at least considering this are going through life fishing for the biggest salary while being miserable.”

Secondly, he advises against talking the salary talk in the beginning. Add vacation time and health benefits to the list of topics you should avoid until the employer is truly interested in your candidacy. “Once the potential employer gets to know you better, they might in fact decide that you’re worth more than the average person.”

Next, Bolles strongly encourages job seekers to keep a diary. Whether it’s online or offline, it matters not: Simply keep track of your accomplishments of your current job on a weekly basis. We think you may want to add your job search endeavors to keep track of who you need to follow up with, networking endeavors, interview dates and schedules and the like.

Lastly, go for it! He adds, “Somebody told me the best way to end an interview is to ask: ‘With all we’ve discussed, can you offer me this job?’ When I first heard that, I thought that’s kind of cheeky, putting the person right on the spot. Turned out it was exactly true.”

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