Summer Reads: 11 Great Books To Fuel Your Job Search

I know what you’re thinking.

The last thing you want to take to the beach or on vacation this summer is a dull book on how to find a job. Fortunately none of these career books are dull and most of them even qualify as great poolside reading!

Finding Your Passion

How to Find Fulfilling Work by Roman Krznaric

Full of profound insights on happiness and meaning, this book is for those who are “looking for a job that is big enough for their spirit, something more than a ‘day job’ whose main function is to pay the bills.” Krznaric argues that a vocation should not only be fulfilling, but also driven by “a definitive goal or a clear purpose…which motivates you to get up in the morning.”

What Color is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles

The career book that started it all. No list is complete without it. Still as relevant and influential as ever, the 2014 edition features up-to-the-minute statistics, job-field analyses, and advice on social media and search tactics. But the core message remains intact: What do you love to do? Where do you love to do it? How do you find a way to do it as a job?

Standing Out

Guerilla Marketing for Job Hunters by Jay Conrad Levinson and David E. Perry

From resumes and cover letters to interviewing and networking, this book is quite simply the bible of all job search guides. Along with the latest job-hunting strategies for the Information age, this new third edition highlights key techniques for creating a compelling personal brand that stands out to hiring managers.

Linchpin by Seth Godin

“The only way to get what you’re worth is to stand out, to exert emotional labor, to be seen as indispensable, and to produce interactions that organizations and people care deeply about.” Godin, founder and CEO of and business-marketing guru has penned another entertaining book about how the most powerful people in a company are not always its leaders, but those with the most unique ideas and energizing personalities.


Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi

Work, like life, is cooperative and social. The better you are at truly connecting with others, the more successful you’ll be. In his book, Ferrazzi outlines the timeless strategies shared by the world’s most connected individuals and demonstrates the difference between pure “networking” and genuine relationship building.

Motivation and Inspiration

Drive by Daniel S. Pink

Drawing on decades of scientific research on human motivation, this persuasive book reveals that the secret to being happy and effective in life is not with rewards like money. Instead, we are driven by an innate desire to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to make a positive difference in the world. Pink argues that true motivation can be broken down into three elements—autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

In this fascinating book, Gladwell challenges our cherished belief of the “self-made man,” by arguing that highly successful people don’t arise out of nowhere, propelled by talent. “They are invariably the beneficiaries of hidden advantages and extraordinary opportunities and cultural legacies that allow them to learn and work hard and make sense of the world in ways others cannot.” By examining the lives of outliers such as Mozart and Bill Gates, Gladwell reveals how to make the most of human potential.

The Job Search

The 2-Hour Job Search by Steve Dalton

This empowering book offers job seekers a systematic, tech-savvy way to quickly and effectively secure the essential first interview. Dalton explains how to use mainstream technology including Google, LinkedIn and alumni databases to create a list of target employers, contact them, and then secure an interview in two hours or less!

Freelancers Bible: Everything You Need to Know to Have the Career of Your Dreams – On Your Terms by Sara Horowitz

Written by a MacArthur “Genius” and founder of the national Freelancers Union, The Freelancer’s Bible is a one-stop, all-encompassing guide to being a successful, self-employed “solopreneur.” The book covers fee-setting strategies, tactics for making it through dry spells, contracts, negotiating, reputation building, deadbeat clients, health insurance, productivity, and record keeping and taxes.

New Graduates

Getting from College to Career by Lindsey Pollak

You’re done with school and ready for a job. The only problem is, you have no work experience. In this definitive guide, Pollak offers solutions for building the experience, skills, and confidence you need before starting your first major job search.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Seuss

“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…” Enough said.

Written by

Nicole Cavazos is a Los Angeles-based copywriter and blogger. As a former contributor to the ZipRecruiter blog, she covered the job market and wrote advice for job seekers.

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