Parachuting Into a New Job

Published on 19 January 2010 by Jamie Mack in Job Search


There are many excellent online resources aimed toward helping you land your perfect job — this site included. However, I’d like to take a look at an excellent analog resource: What Color is Your Parachute, by author Richard Bolles. A perennial favorite and a go-to classic for job hunters of any age or skill level, the advice given by the author is well researched and presented in a friendly lighthearted manner, making it both easy to digest and an enjoyable read. You may even forget you’re reading a book about finding a job. The book is readily available from most well-stocked bookstores and, of course, Amazon. As a job hunter you would be doing yourself no small disservice by not including this book  in your job search library.

iStock 000009563728Small 250x300 Parachuting Into a New JobParachute is chock-full of information that you might not find anywhere else; there are several chapters devoted to indispensable information that, because they were never taught, most job hunters are completely unaware of.  We’ll be discussing some of these concepts in upcoming posts here.

For instance, did you know that if you employ more than four of the many methods of searching for employment, your chances of success actually begin to decrease? And how many methods are there exactly? According to Bolles, there are around 18 job hunting methods one can employ effectively, and many are not what we’ve come to think of as conventional. That’s the beauty of Parachute; it teaches you to think outside the job hunting box. In today’s economy, anything we can add to our bag of tools is a welcome addition.¹

Bolles goes on to characterize the several methods of landing a job by listing the five worst and five best methods of job hunting, listing percentage of success rates for each.

Here are the five worst methods:

  • Scouring the internet for job-postings
  • Mailing untargeted resumes
  • Answering ads in magazines or trades related to your field
  • Answering ads in newspapers
  • Utilizing private employment agencies

And the five best methods:

  • Researching job leads from your pool of contacts, friends, family, and/or career counseling service of your former school
  • Visiting prospective employers directly
  • Using the Yellow Pages or other reference to find companies involved in subjects of interest and contacting them
  • Job-clubs
  • A Life-Changing Job Hunt²

Some of these methods are employed exclusively by job hunters, in isolation of others, and when their singular methods  fail to produce results, they become discouraged. Notice the distinct lack of emphasis on the resume alone. Your resume is one tool among many in your bag of tricks for breaking out of unemployment. Bolles counsels to supplement your stellar resume’s solitary efforts by taking a more active role in the hunt.

In the next post or two (or three) we’ll continue to explore this gold mine of job-hunter advice, and maybe even explore his final eye-catching method:  ‘A Life Changing Job Hunt,’ something Bolles devotes the entire second half of his book to.


1.  Bolles, Richard N. What Color is Your Parachute (Berkeley: Ten Speed Press, 2010), p. 26-27.

2. Bolles,  28-34 .

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  3. [...] on 22 January 2010 by Jamie Mack in Job Search 1 In our last post we were introduced to the classic job hunting guide, What Color is Your Parachute, and discussed [...]