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Outwitting the Job Market: Everything You Need to Locate and Land a Great Position    by Chandra Prasad order for
Outwitting the Job Market
by Chandra Prasad
Order:  USA  Can
Lyons Press, 2004 (2004)

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Having been on both sides of the hiring/jobseeking divide, and with high school kids who have the job market looming over their futures like the sword of Damocles, I was curious to find out what it takes to find a good position in the 21st century. In Outwitting the Job Market, Chandra Prasad provides a comprehensive handbook with up-to-date content, including information on the use of the Internet for research and jobsites, and protocols for email job applications. At the end of each chapter is a summary of key points. Though some details are US specific, most of the information is general, and applies to a range of jobseekers, from new graduates to established professionals.

The book starts with the need for discipline in job search and suggests 'Taking Inventory' of your own skills and objectives, with specific examples. Sound advice for those unsure of career plans suggests using tools like informational interviews, temporary positions, and research (with specific suggestions of how to research companies on the Internet). The author calls 'Networking' a 'win-win' approach, suggests nine ways to network, and recommends how to keep in regular touch with contacts. There are tips for resumé and cover letter writing - including a list of 'action verbs', do's and don'ts, common mistakes, and 'Before' and 'After' examples. Methods discussed for job applications include using postal mail, online forms and email. Unspoken rules are covered for online job communication, along with appropriate follow-up, and management of references.

Next, Prasad explains how to prepare for the 'Almighty Interview' - research the company, know your selling points, plan the route, practice a dress rehearsal (possibly videotape it, which helps to highlight problems in body language and bad habits in general), and think about questions and answers in advance. The author discusses traditional and behavioral questions (listing the 40 most common) and covers different interview formats. She suggests what the interviewee should ask, how to deal with tough questions, responses to avoid, and goes over different reasons for callbacks. Prasad talks about how to 'ride out the dry spell' in a job search, how to deal with negotiations ('it's all in the attitude') once an offer is on the table, and how to write an acceptance letter.

She finishes with seven strategies for long-term success in meeting career goals - including 'never stop networking' - and suggests what to do when your career path hits blocks and detours, such as via downsizing and layoffs. In times that get steadily tougher when 'Even the safest jobs aren't so safe', I recommend Outwitting the Job Market as an invaluable resource.

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