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Best Career Books for Career Starters and Changers

Editor's Note: A person's career is like a painting. Their resume is the canvas and each job is a brush stroke. With every new experience, they fill in another section of the scene. Empower someone in your life with encouragement and guidance to create a masterpiece of a career. We've curated top selling career books for the career starters or changers in your life. These books make a perfect gift to support college students just starting out in their careers or to motivate seasoned employees re-entering the job search and taking on new career paths.

Building a Dream Career

Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You'll Love to Do

by Shoya Zichy and Ann Bidou

Are your career goals more similar to Donald Trump or Elon Musk? For your friend who swears by the Enneagram and Myers-Briggs, Career Match begins with a personality assessment for people who want to connect who they are to what they'll love to do. Through entertaining case studies of various leaders, the book illuminates the differences between four types of career personalities: Golds, Blues, Reds, and Greens. Based on the ten-minute Color Q personality typing assessment, the authors are able to deliver a suite of work options and career choices available to each reader. 

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I Got My Dream Job and So Can You: 7 Steps to Creating Your Ideal Career After College

by Pete Leibman

College students and young professionals are beginning to build their careers in very precarious times. They might be driven by security instead of passion in choosing jobs this early in their careers. It's a decision they can justify now, but they might regret later. Show them that it's possible to make a living and a difference, even now. Readers will find inspiration in the author Pete Leibman's story, which starts when he landed his dream job working for the NBA's Washington Wizards at just 21 years old. Filled with the inspiring success stories of other young professionals, creative strategies for leveraging social media, and the five secrets that will skyrocket your earning potential once you are hired, I Got My Dream Job and So Can You provides any lucky leader with the tools and confidence to overcome the discouraging job marketing and start climbing the ladder to success.  

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Job Interview Prep

Powerful Phrases for Successful Interviews: Over 400 Ready-to-Use Words and Phrases That Will Get You the Job You Want

by Tony Beshara

The cure for pre-interview jitters has been found! With more than 400 words and phrases designed to help candidates give the best response to any interview question, Powerful Phrases for Successful Interviews should be on every professional's bookshelf. Readers will discover how to:

  • Communicate their skills, strengths, and experience
  • Address inconsistencies in their work history, and
  • Negotiate the strongest possible job offer
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The Elements of Resume Style: Essential Rules for Writing Resumes and Cover Letters That Work

by Scott Bennett

What kind of résumé will catch the eye of a future employer? Which kind most often get passed over? How can we best explain those time gaps in between jobs? Are the rules different for online résumés? People on the job hunt for the first time ever or the first time in a long time have a lot of questions. In The Elements of Résumé Style, Bennett answers all of them while also showing readers how to craft clear, compelling, targeted résumés and cover letters that actually work. We love that this book comes with sample résumés, a response letter, reference tracker, and more! The workplace is only getting more competitive. This book gives job seekers an edge on the competition from the very beginning of the interview process.  

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Advanced Job Searching

The Job Search Checklist: Everything You Need to Know to Get Back to Work After a Layoff

by Damian Birkel

The emotional impact of job loss ranges from shock, rage, and humiliation to fogginess, depression, ongoing stress, and fear. Author Damian Birkel has suffered a job loss four times, so he knows first-hand how difficult it is to jump back into the job search after a layoff. His 7-Step Job Search Plan guides readers through the reemployment process from promoting themselves to potential employers to networking their way to a new job.

Features we love:

  • Downloadable templates specific to professionals who have recently experienced a layoff
  • Sample cover letters
  • A range of effective resume formats, and
  • Helpful checklists to monitor your job search progress

This invaluable resource gets readers on the right path toward their next career and keeps them there.  

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Switchers: How Smart Professionals Change Careers -- and Seize Success

by Dawn Graham

Celebrated career coach and psychologist Dr. Dawn Graham believes no one should have to settle for a less than satisfying career. If you or someone you know is hell bent on transitioning into a new niche, Switchers will reveal how to make your value visible to hiring managers. The same old job search techniques don't apply when you're making a complete career change, but that doesn't mean you should pursuit it. Dawn even leaves readers with tips to make their current job search their last by attracting recruiters to them.  

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Gabrielle Reed

HarperCollins Leadership Essentials editor

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