18 Job Hunting Skills From the Late Dick Bolles

by Dick Bolles

Dick Bowles Headshot

Richard Nelson Bolles passed away in March but his wisdom is still available in the 2017 Edition of What Color is Your Parachute? Here is an excerpt from that book:


If you learn new advanced job-hunting skills you cannot only survive. You can thrive. Here are the key ideas that can save you. There are 18 of them. After outlining them here, the rest of this book is devoted to showing you exactly how to do them step-by- step.




1. You are the Given: Once defined, you try to find the job that fits that You.

2. The importance of a Self-Inventory.

3. Creative job-hunting rests on your finding answers to three questions: What? Where? How?

4. Search for what you love, not just for what you can do

5. In creative job-hunting, you treat every job hunt as though it were a career change.

6. You must always prioritize.

7. Go after any organization that interests you, whether or not they are known to have a vacancy.

8. Go after small companies (with 25, 50, or 100 employees at most).

9. In approaching an organization, try to avoid the HR (Human Resources) Department if they have one.



10. Resumes are a lousy way to go about finding a job.

11. Use contacts or "bridge people" to get in for an interview.

12. Use three different kinds of interviews in your job search: practice interviewing, informational interviewing, and interviewing for hire.

13. Keep in mind that in an interview there are only five questions an employer is really concerned about: Why are you here? What can you do for us? What kind of person are you? What distinguishes you from, say, nineteen other people whom we are interviewing for this job? Can we afford you?



14. Notice Time in an interview. [Talk only half the time; limit length of your answers; is the interviewer referring to past, present, and future in her questions regarding you? HINT: If so, a great sign!]

15. At the end of all the interviews at that place, ask for the job.

16. Always send a thank you note the same day.

17. Remember, job hunting is by its very nature a long process of rejection.

18. Always have alternatives