What Color Is Your Parachute, Richard N. Bolles - Book Summary

What color is your parachute? will help you get a stable job and change your career. Since it was first published in 1970, the book has become very popular with those looking for a job, helping you hone your interviewing and salary negotiation skills. This latest edition contains invaluable advice to help you succeed in today's digital society.

Who should read this book:

  • Those who are unemployed, have difficulty finding work;
  • Human resource managers who want to better understand today's job market;
  • People who want a better job.

Who wrote this book:

Richard N.Bolles has been a respected leader in career development for the past 40 years. He is also a member of Mensa (Mensa is an organization for smart people in the world) and is a popular speaker.

What does this book have? Sharpen your job search.  

Finding a job is probably not the first race in your life. It's a process that hurts you, but it's also very enjoyable – something you've never experienced before. But perhaps a few things have changed since you were last as a candidate. Or maybe this is your first time. In either case, knowing how to leverage media coverage and the post-recession context will help you succeed in finding a job that's right for you.

After all, this is a war. It's not a game where you buy a lottery ticket and wait for luck. You, like any other potential candidate, have control over the information you share, the way you communicate, and your expectations. So take a deep breath and get everything ready for the interview.

Nowadays, getting a job takes more time than before, especially long-term and full-time jobs.

If you are having a hard time in your job search, don't despair. The job market can seem like an unfriendly place, so you need to have the skills and "tools" you need.

Today, the economic downturn makes the recruitment method of human resources people much different than before.

In this prosperous time of the economy, finding a perfect candidate is really a huge challenge, employers must meet the requirements of the right people. This is a time when resumes are scrutinized and company websites are constantly updating vacant positions.

But 2017 was not such a time. Since the 2008 economic crisis, this has really been a time for job hunters. Today, the new recruiters are the ones holding the handle. They really have too many choices in a pool of unemployed people, so they care less about their resumes and the needs of future employees.

As a result, finding a new job takes a lot longer than before.

Between 1994 and 2008 in the United States, it usually took about five weeks for unemployed people to find a place to stay. However, from 2008 on, that period of job searching has increased to an average of almost a year.

In addition, with the influence of the current difficult economy, owners always want to find different ways to minimize costs. So since then, there are more and more short-term or part-time jobs.

Those jobs are often project-based, which is more cost-effective for owners, because they don't have to pay for employee health care or vacations.

According to a 2015 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 69% of 18-24 year olds worked in a job for less than 1 year, and 93% worked for less than 5 years.

The same goes for people in their 40s to 48s. 32% quit after only 1 year and 69% worked less than 5 years.

In the age of Google, personal profiles are no longer as useful a tool as they once were.

With so much information at the click of a mouse, accessing everyone's personal information is pretty easy these days.

There was a time when people used to have to be in charge of how they present themselves, especially when applying for a job.

There are many ways to refine your career history and choose what works best to impress. Most employers will take a few days to select the information, unless they want to go faster they will hire private investigators.

Because it's not a practical choice, the resume becomes a powerful tool to showcase your abilities to recruiters.

But nowadays, you need to be a lot more careful because there is a lot of information online that can affect the personal image you are trying to build.

So take some time to do what recruiters do and try using Google to search your name up there. You'll see your Facebook profile, blog, and a few pictures on it.

The bottom line is, everything is easy to find thanks to Google, but that doesn't mean you can't use the Internet to your advantage.

First, you need to check to see if there is any information that contradicts what you put on your resume. For example, the year in which you graduated.

Now look to things like a photo of you getting drunk at a party or reactionary comments on Twitter. Please delete those immediately.

Many studies have shown that 91% of employers in the United States will check candidates' online information and up to 70% of recruiters cross out candidates' names because of what they find.

So control and delete things that affect your image on social networks.

Use keywords to optimize your online image so people can easily find it.

Much of the information on the Internet is based on keywords. After all, you have to type something to start a Google search, and the google algorithm will find the best and most relevant results.

Now, you can use the power of keywords to master and drive the results that appear when someone “google” your name or searches for someone with specific skills.

So think about the keywords you want to associate with your name and the employers you target.

You can also put yourself in the shoes of the recruiter and ask, “How would I position my title and description to find the best candidate?” Over time, these will become keywords to associate your name with by adding them to your online profile.

So make a list of the best words that come to mind like proactive, hardworking, friendly, honest, active, and efficient.

These words can be added to your LinkedIn account to describe your activities.

To make sure your account gets noticed, you need to take it one step at a time.

If you want to be seen as an expert in your field, start a blog about your expertise to showcase your insights and interests in the field.

If you are a photo designer, write a blog with featured articles or images. This will show that you are catching up with trends and leading them. You can then add critiques or examples that provide insight.

Increasing engagement in LinkedIn groups is another way to get noticed in your niche.

Look for different photo design groups on LinkedIn that you can join to learn and share.

You can also use Twitter to share posts or comments about your industry, remembering to use relevant hashtags so recruiters can pay more attention to you.

Job hunting doesn't really change that much, somewhere out there there are still plenty of opportunities for you.  

Dating and "hunting" are not much different. Both have key questions like: “Do you like me?” and vice versa.

Although there have been changes taking place in the job hunt over the past decade, it still remains the same as it once was.

The essence of the process is still bringing people together to work for the sake of profit.

For your part, it's about making yourself relevant and attractive to employers, by portraying your skills, experience and personality as a good fit for the company and a good fit. with the position you are applying for.

But don't forget, it's also about finding the right boss for you. So ask yourself, do they provide you with a good environment that can help you reach your full potential?

When making decisions, remember that even in today's market there are more job opportunities than you might realize.

The media has a habit of exaggerating the state of the job market and making you think there are no opportunities for you. As a result, many people feel depressed and hopeless. The truth is, you don't have to.

In fact, the situation is nothing out of your control. There are still plenty of ways you can maximize your luck. You can change the writing style to increase the appeal of your resume. You can research the job market and focus more on new areas that might appeal to you.

Remember that luck is made by you. According to surveys by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 10 million new jobs every month, and more than half of them require the very basics.

A good interview requires preparation, focus, and a good resume.

Just like going on a date, having a good resume and good social media presence is the first step to flirting. We all know that flirting is just a prelude to what comes next – and for the job hunt, it's the interview.

Again, there are many steps you can follow to increase your chances at this stage. The first step is to prepare yourself with the best knowledge of that company's culture.

Even if you're a potential candidate with the right skills, talent, and experience, you don't want to show up to a meeting wearing the wrong outfit, right? So find out where you are going to be best prepared.

You can do this by visiting their website or finding out what the media is saying about them. You can also check out business blogs like Gizmodo or TechCrunch – which will keep you informed of the latest developments.

Whatever you do, don't be arrogant or misbehave at an interview, which happens to a lot of people when they talk too much and don't prepare the best.

It is natural to feel pressure and nervousness. Take a deep breath and stay calm. Let the other person speak and listen carefully.

Successful interviewers are very meticulous. They pay attention to every detail in the answers they give. They also ask questions to the company, such as “What kind of people will I be working with?” This will show that you are aware of different personalities and are curious to see if yours would match.

Now, if you want to exceed your expectations, you can bring proof of your experience and skills.

This is very common with creative jobs such as photo designers or architects.

So think about a resume that you can bring with you to demonstrate your qualifications and experience. It could be an iPad containing the details of a successful project you've been involved in.

Successful negotiation also requires careful preparation and advanced knowledge.

A salary negotiation is like haggling over a purchase, and it's actually quite stressful.

Give yourself an advantage by letting the employer offer the salary first.

You can do this by waiting until the interview is about to end. When it feels like they're going to hire you, it's time to start asking salary questions. If the interview has many rounds, then when asking questions should go to the last round.

However, they know how to "counterattack" those salary offers and make you the first to offer the salary.

If this is the case, you can respond by saying something like, "Ever since you started hiring, you've had a number on your mind, haven't you?"

If not, you need to be well prepared by finding out how much people in similar positions earn.

This is something that you absolutely can do with Google, you can compare salaries in industries, positions, etc. with salary.com or jobstar.org.

With enough information, you can determine what the employer is willing to pay. You can then determine the lowest salary you can receive and the highest salary the company can pay you.

If there's an average swing between $34,000 and $42,000 you'll want to negotiate a number that falls somewhere between $40,000 and $50,000.

Now you can increase your chances of a successful negotiation by telling them that your skills and abilities will make them more money.

With the tips above, you can become a well-paid employee. So be brave and enter the job market with utmost confidence. The most perfect locations are waiting for you!


The gist of this book is this: To increase your chances of getting the job you want, always prepare yourself with the best gear. Remember that there are many vacancies that need to be filled by qualified people. So think of yourself as a good fit for employers and never lose confidence in yourself.