Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Book Review: Guide to Rethinking Resumes by Richard Bolles

what color is your parachute book cover
If you need help writing a resume that gets noticed in this digital age, check out Guide to
Rethinking Resumes
by . Here is our book review.

From the 1950s until the 2000s, resumes followed a standard format with printed paragraphs of experience and ordered lists of employment dates. The Web changed all that with rich multimedia resumes, infographic resumes, and computer scanning software. These changes left many people unsure of the best way to present their resumes.

Write a Resume a Computer Can Read

Sometime around 2008, hiring departments got busy and employers had less time to look over the stacks of resumes they received for every job posting. So, they turned the job over to digital scanners.

How does a job seeker make a good first impression when dealing with a computer? That is where Richard Bolles' book, What Color Is Your Parachute? Guide to Rethinking Resumes comes in with some valuable advice.

This book will not give you a quick fix for your resume. This is not a book to casually read, gain a few tips, and find ready-made resume templates. What you will find are worksheets, questions, and a guide that will help you rethink your resume and help you get noticed in the job market.

Find an Easy Way to List Your Skills

This is a workbook to keep close at hand while you construct resumes that are customized for your job search. Inside the pages of this book, you will find a wealth of valuable information that will help get your resume to the top of the pile. Learn how to:
  • Format your resume to make it easily scanned by a person and easily read by computer scanning software.
  • Find key words that promote you as being the best candidate for the job.
  • Clean up your presence in Google's search results and delete those embarrassing moments.
  • Show potential employers that you will add value and profitability to their business.
  • Maximize your job search efforts and increase your chances of landing a job by targeting jobs and employers.
  • Avoid words that make hiring managers cringe and get resumes tossed in the trash.

The Starter Kit of 45+ Questions will have you answering questions about every aspect of your personal and professional life. This is a terrific way to search your soul, bring out your best, and find ideas to spark your resume creativity. Here is a sampling:
  • Volunteer, community, and unpaid work has value. Tell prospective employers about your experience with special needs children, feeding the homeless, or making baby blankets for low income families.
  • School achievements are important. Good grades, scholarships, and awards can win points if you are new to the job market.
  • If you've been in sales, get out your sales figures. Come in under budget? Talk about it. Beat any sales records? Show the numbers.
  • Computers are everywhere. List your experience whether it is in programming, social media, or word processing.
  • Are you a mechanic or an engineer? Talk about your projects and the machinery you operate. Tell prospective employers of your promotions to lead and supervisory positions.

Get the Guide to Rethinking Resumes

This is a small book with 100 pages packed full of useful tips and helpful hints. There is no fluff inside, just solid advice on how to find a job in a digital world. This is the resume workbook for the 21st century and an answer to the job seekers prayer.

Get your copy from
Available in paperback or Kindle format.

We received this book from in exchange for this review. Our opinions are our own.

Posted by Coletta Teske
Coletta Teske

About This Contributor

Coletta Teske writes reviews on books, business management, writing, crafting, cooking, and gardening. She is also an avid recycler and shares her tips on recycling. She delights in upcycling an old object, recycling or transforming discarded items into a new treasure.

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. It is truly unbelievable how much things have changed in the last 10 years or so. I used to be pretty good at slapping together a resume, but that was decades ago. It has become very clear to me that the presentation styles have changed as I have seen what my children have had to do. I know a lot of their resumes (cv's) have been filled out online with uploaded files to boot. It actually seems like a lot more work to me. We used to simply type of a professional resume and mail the same resume to a dozen or so companies that advertised in the newspaper. It truly seems much harder now and any help would certainly be beneficial, especially for those of us are are behind the times.

  2. It is true...times have changed since I was in the workplace. The last years of my career resumes started to be online and for an employer, it was in many ways simpler to review a lot of resumes, but the personal aspect seemed lacking and I have a feeling we skimmed right by some good prospects.

    It sounds like this book would be good to read for anyone looking to write a resume.

  3. Terrific tips here - it's a different world out there. With so many decisions made by a computer we almost have to be one, or at least think like one (I can see all the computers getting together in a bar laughing at us..'they think they can out smart us, what a bunch of maroooons <as per Bugs Bunny)

  4. I have been following Richard Bolles since he first published What Color is my Parachute? decades ago. His advice has always been good, and it's great to see he's now offering help in preparing digital resumes.


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