REVIEW: “Land the Tech Job You Love”, Andy Lester

BKLTTJYL.RVW   20091207

“Land the Tech Job You Love”, Andy Lester, 2009, 978-1-934356-26-5, U$23.95/C$29.95
%A   Andy Lester
%C   Raleigh, NC
%D   2009
%G   978-1-934356-26-5 1-934356-26-3
%I   Pragmatic Bookshelf
%O   U$23.95/C$29.95
%O   Audience n Tech 1 Writing 2 (see revfaq.htm for explanation)
%P   252 p.
%T   “Land the Tech Job You Love”

It’s a bit hard to keep faith in the instructions contained in a book that starts out, not just on the first page, but inside the print cover, with “Question everything, including this book.”

There is a section, in the introduction, entitled “How This Book Was Born.”  It seems that two guys who hired people started giving talks on how to apply for a job.  (It strikes me, anyway, that this might be rather akin to having a toddler write a book on what to feed children.)  Why this one wrote the book is unclear.

Part one is about the job search.  Chapter one says that you should be honest, in order not to get the wrong job by misrepresenting yourself, but spin yourself in the best possible light.  (How to balance these somewhat contradictory positions is not specified.)   Assessing your wants, needs, and motivation is dealt with in chapter two.  Creating the content of your resume in the most promotional way is covered in chapter three.  Style is substance, says chapter four, and, regardless of what is important to you, follow the tips on fonts and paper colour.  Unsurprisingly, chapter five notes that you should research the job and the company, and use contacts to search for jobs.  Target your resume and cover letter, is the advice in chapter six.

Part two deals with the interview, and subsequently.  Chapter seven says to prepare for the interview.  Eight covers interview basics.  Stock answers to stock “tough” interview questions are given in chapter nine.  Chapter ten notes topics that cannot be discussed in
job interviews in the US.  Post-interview follow-up, reference submission, and accepting or declining a job offer are examined in chapter eleven.  Chapter twelve discusses strategic (social or professional) networking, training, and long term preparation for all of the activities in part one, for the inevitable next time around.

Some appendices cover things you shouldn’t do: cliched phrases in A, resume and letter constructions in B, and interview presentations in C.

The content and advice in this book are quite standard.  If you are looking for a job in Web administration, page creation, or sales, and are new to the applications and interview process, it will probably be useful.  In terms of landing a job you love, probably the main thrust of chapter one is the most significant: be honest, and you’re less likely to become stuck in a job you don’t fancy.  (There is, of course, no guarantee that the job you love actually exists …)

copyright Robert M. Slade, 2009    BKLTTJYL.RVW   20091207