The timing for this book could not be better, the unemployment rate is approaching record levels, yet there are jobs out there, if you know where and how to look. I do wish I could have had access to this book a few years ago. I could have made excellent use of it in a previous position I held. I ran a Computer Learning Center out of a large homeless shelter, I wore many hats, course developer, teacher, career councilor, resume preparer, and shoulder to cry on ere just a few.

My clients were diverse to say the least. Most were what we euphemistically refer to as the working poor. People way below the poverty line. Some were homeless, most were not, but they all wanted to climb out of the pit that they found themselves in. The problem though, was none had a plan, none had a vision, and very few had the drive to make the commitment to attain the next level.

I would have loved to have had access to Any Tom, Dick, or Harry Can Get a Job

to use as the basis for a series of classes. Although Kelly Wibbenmeyer is involved in the high tech world, the first half of the book is very general and contains information that is applicable to anyone who is actively seeking employment.

Much of what Kelly says is common sense, however common sense is a commodity in amazingly short supply in todays world. Aim for jobs that you are qualified to do Kelly tells us. This brought a smile to my face. I reminisced about some of my all time memorable clients. A gentleman came into my area one afternoon and asked if I could help him write a resume as he did not possess any computer skills. “Of course”, was my reply. Satisfied he then asked when could he pick it up, and with that made for the door! I explained that I had no idea what his name was, nor what his experience was, he would have to sit with me as we created it. Clearly this was not what he was expecting!  Another client decided that he wanted to be an NHL coach, one of the major league teams needed one. When I asked what experience he had in the field he replied that he watched a lot of games in the local bar!

My examples may sound extreme, but in reality only a very small percentage of job seekers actually take the steps needed to land that ‘great opportunity’, most make huge mistakes.

I think this is a valuable and well thought out reference work that any job hunter should read, in fact even if you are currently employed you will pick up some valuable tips that may be of use if you are hoping to advance in your company.

There are many factors involved in the hunt for a job, all are important, and all need careful thought and preparation. What works with a large corporation may not work with a small company is an obvious one. But understanding a corporate culture may not be quite so obvious. But, if you compare, lets say IBM, Apple, and Google, that corporate culture becomes obvious. They are all involved in High Tech, but operate in very different ways. Before you send off that resume, understand the animal that you are dealing with.

Kelly also explores the always wonderful world of the interview. She points out that there is no silver bullet to pass an interview, but there are many things that you can do to make it the best that you can. Patrick Swayze in Road House has the great line ‘Expect the unexpected’. An interview should be just like that, and if you have prepared correctly there will be no ‘unexpected’.

I guess that Kelly and I share a rather strange trait, we both enjoy interviews. And we have both played both sides of the fence. An interview is a game of chess. A good interviewer can find out a great deal in just a short period of time. Likewise a well prepared interviewee can score large points through correct preparation and presentation.

At under 150 pages  Any Tom, Dick, or Harry Can Get a Job is hardly a lengthy read, but within those pages are some very important skills.

One aspect that caught my attention was rather late in the book, you have the basic job offer, what wriggle room do you have? Actually you have a great deal, but, once again this is a serious game that needs to be played with care. Many people look at the $ amount, and not at the ‘soft perks’, health coverage, vacations, flex time, etc. Negotiating after you sign up will be too late.

There was something else that I found notable in this book by its omission. At no point does she make reference to putting your resume online. There are many sites that specialize in this service, the most well known being I personally feel that these services dilute your worth. A resume should be a personal document between you and the employer. Each version being geared to the employer involved.

You can order your copy of this very useful book by clicking on the Amazon link above.

Simon Barrett

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