6 of the Best Books for Graduate Job Seekers

6 of the Best Books for Graduate Job Seekers

Ella Patenall

Updated January 17, 2023 Updated January 17

If you’ve recently graduated, and are looking to take your first steps into the world of work, you’re probably looking for advice on how to get started. The same is true if you’re already working, but you want to make a change to get somewhere closer to your dream job.

And while there is a whole wealth of advice out there on the internet about the job search process, it all tends to be in blog format. You’re getting great advice, but it’s been trimmed down to a few thousand words at best, usually far less.

So, to really dig deep into the ideas behind advancing your career, the best place to look is on the shelves of your local book store. Here’s our recommendation for some of the best books for job seekers in the market today.

What Color is your Parachute? 2019 by Richard Bolles

When you find a title that has sold over 10 million copies and is updated on an annual basis, then you know that you’ve selected a winner. In this book, Bolles will give you sound and up to the minute advice on how to land your dream job, including using social media.

Described as ‘the bible of career advice’, the original version of this book was one of the first titles to deal with recruitment advice. By keeping it updated, Bolles has ensured it remains relevant. Working through it, including the infamous flower exercise, will help clarify the job-hunting process.

Resume Magic by Susan Britton Whitcomb

Even in this digital age, your CV or resume remains a vital component of any job hunt. This book, written by a professional resume writer, is packed full of hints and tips about how to turn your CV from a dry list of facts into an interesting and engaging document.

At almost 600 pages, this is a hefty volume but if you’re serious about whipping your CV into its most eye-catching shape, it’s worth the read. You’ll even see some before and after examples, to show the techniques in action. One reviewer on Amazon claims the techniques helped triple her husband’s salary!

The Ultimate Guide to Job Interview Answers by Peggy McKee

This is actually a set of four books which will thoroughly prepare you for even the toughest interview. Starting with two volumes of interview questions, this book explains what the interviewer is looking for in your answer, and then gives example answers. Alongside this are hints and tips on interview techniques.

Volume three turns the tables and gives you advice on which questions you should ask your interviewer. The final section is the telephone interview, something that is becoming increasingly common and translates well to voice chat or video interviews.

Never Eat Alone: and Other Secrets to Success by Keith Ferrazzi

Interpersonal relationships are vital to a vibrant career, whether it’s knowing how to socialize with your peers, or your superiors, or negotiating deals with clients. In this book, Ferrazzi explains strategies gleaned from influencers such as Bill Clinton and the Dalai Lama, so you can use them for yourself.

Particularly useful for any career where it’s necessary to build a network, or to gain influence, the advice given is down to earth and easy to follow. And if you’re an introvert who hates making social connections? This title will help you make the process far less painful, when it’s necessary to reach out.

The Confidence Code: The Science and Art of Self Assurance – What Women Should Know by Katty Kay & Claire Shipman

The authors of Womenonics move on to the subject of confidence. In this book they explain why it’s such a valuable commodity, and what you can do to get more of it. The writers have a theory; the only edge that allows men to dominate the corporate work is their confidence.

The authors have read up on genetics, gender, behavior and cognition before putting together their call to action. Confidence isn’t coded into your DNA, you can learn it and the authors will show you how.

Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen

Lifehack hailed this as ‘the Bible of business and personal productivity.’ That’s high praise indeed from a site that focuses on improving your effectiveness in all areas of your life. There’s no doubt that productivity is vital in this competitive working market.

Originally published over 15 years ago, Allen has completely rewritten this title to bring it bang up to date. If you lack personal organization skills, or feel overwhelmed in your personal or business life, then this book will show you how to get things under control.


There are so many great titles out there for job seekers and picking just this list was a tough job. Whether it’s old favorites like ‘Getting to Yes’ or new concepts such as ‘Remote: Office Not Required’ there’s plenty to help you get that dream job. Just don’t forget to put the books down occasionally, and put your new skills into action!

Sarah Dixon wrote this article from Inspiring Interns & Graduates.

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This article was originally published in November 2018 . It was last updated in January 2020

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