Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Book review: Job Hunting Ninja Master 2017 by Frank McClain

This book is very detailed and specific.  It has two major section one for finding work in the government sector, one for jobs in the private sector.  I have worked for a number of private companies so while I could be impressed by the amount of information in the government jobs section, I could only truly evaluate the relevance and completeness of the private jobs sector information. The information is right on point, very specific, and very thorough.

The government section has information on both civilian and military jobs, a discussion of pros and cons of working overseas, and included web sites where to start your job search in these areas.  There is information about medical and physical exams that each applicant needs to complete, pay ranges for different grades, as well as experiences expected to achieve each grade level.

The private section includes all the information you need to prepare the resume, what to say and not to say during interview process, and how to work with recruiters.

I found a section on resumes extremely useful.  The author describes not only the organization and content, but explains how resumes are processed on line using keywords to find the right candidate. He gives some very specific examples for hi tech.  Just as important was information on what would disqualify your resume from being picked. Some of the information was surprising to me, for example, including your photo is going to cause 13% of recruiters to discard your resume, using decorative paper will cause 22% of recruiters to consider your resume inappropriate.

The author provides a list of key strengths that employers are looking for when hiring.  I have been involved in hiring process in the companies where I worked and the list provided in the books matches up with my experience. We always look not only for specific technical skills but also for people who work well in teams, have initiative and good communication skills.

Another section I found very educational is how to work with recruiters.  The author identifies signs that you are being taking advantage of and has suggestion on what to do when you notice this.  I have seen some of the bad behavior mentioned in the book first hand and if I had read this book before it happened I could have avoided wasting my time, energy and frustration.  The signs were there during the first meeting!  But sometimes politeness prevented me from being more assertive. The author gives the reader specific tips on how handle these situations and goes even further by providing a draft agreement that the applicant should request a recruiter to sign.  This agreement limits the amount of exclusive rights you are willing to give an individual recruiter. It is a reasonable amount of time and a good recruiter should have no problems with it.  If a bad recruiter refuses to sign the agreement this lets you know to avoid dealing with this individual.

A very valuable part of the book addresses the interview process.  The part I liked most is the discussion of the typical open ended questions whether it is about your weaknesses or asking you to describe how you worked with someone you did not like.  The author helps you understand what the employer is looking for when they are asking these questions and how best to handle them with honesty and in a way that will make you attractive as a potential employee.

I was impressed by the amount of specific details in this book. This is not a book with a lot of generalities.  Each section has actionable items. I thought I had a fair amount of experience in job seeking process, but I learned a lot of useful things in this book. I wish I had this information earlier.

You can find it on Amazon by following this link.

Ali Julia review ★★★★★

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