Book Summary and Application of Principles

What Color is Your Parachute is a book by Richard Bolles first published in 1970 that explores the job applications and career search among the unemployed. The book has been republished each year with the latest version issued in 2016. Moreover, What Color is Your Parachute, which in most cases has been referred to as the jobseekers’ bible serves as a perfect manual for individuals desiring for jobs or new businesses. Prior to the annual publishing, the author conducted an adequate research in order to ensure that the contents are up-to-date with the latest trends in the corporate world. Besides, with rapidly changing trends in the job-hunting systems, the book emphasizes on the alternative methods of finding the jobs apart from the traditional use of resumes and interviews.

From Bolles’s perspective, the alternative job hunting system always begins with the job seeker’s self- inventory. Such an approach involves determined individuals knowing their strengths and weaknesses before deciding what career they want to pursue. In addition, the aspect of self-appraisal also lays much emphasis on accepting the job that we love, hence, it can always contribute to our best performance. In order to enhance the relevance of his contents to the audience, the author takes into consideration the current trends in the job seeking market. In fact, the latest changes on incorporating the new technologies by the employers, starting one’s own business, and the nature of job seeking are the other major elements viewed before the re-publication.

In this compelling edition, the readers are introduced to the issues of job-hunting and starting one’s business through in-depth discussions. Furthermore, the author presents the other significant facts using 11 carefully structured chapters. Each of these parts contains valuable facts and principles which have been of great assistance to my job seeking attempts. Thus, this paper aims at explaining how I am applying these principles as well as providing real life examples.

Application of Principles from the Book

In the first chapter, Bolles introduces the job seekers to the new trends in the job hunting market. According to the author, the nature of the job seeking market keeps changing from time to time. In the past, people preferred the traditional resumes, adverts, and agencies (Bolles 9). While applying for my first job I actually presented a hand-written resume to the interviewing panel which was not acceptable by the board Chairman. Through Bolles’ publications, I have realized that the modern world offers more effective approaches which job seekers can absorb to attain their objectives. The constant changes in the employer trends occur concerning the kind of personnel wanted and the way the recruitment process should be conducted. As a result, there is an equal need for the job seekers to update themselves with more modern hunting antics. As an appropriate option, the author hints to the readers the emergence of technology as an effective arena for job opportunities and the ideas of starting an individual business.

The aspect of technology as an effective tool is adequately expounded in the second chapter. Here, Bolles focuses on Google as the new resume point for job seekers. As far as I am concerned, the online platform has offered me an unlimited flow of information on the work placements, business ideas, and trends in the job seeking market as well as the employers’ attitudes. Moreover, using the author’s guidelines I have managed to search and acquaint myself with the relevant information about a company or a business opportunity before making the next big step. In addition, the online community provides the job hunters with the chance to assess the latest resume formats in such a way satisfying the expectations of the employers. Undoubtedly, this enhances the job hunters with the right information which is a crucial step towards achieving the goal. In the result, the principal of using Google as a source of vital data has been effective in obtaining the information prior to the job interviews.

The author arouses the aggressiveness of individuals in the job seeking market through his arguments in chapter three. He achieves this by outlining the various possibilities that are available for the job hunters on a monthly basis. Moreover, Bolles notes that every day, an individual receives an opportunity in one way or the other. In fact, his chapter serves as a timely eye-opener for me, especially at this moment when people believe the jobs are rare and hardly accessible. One can reach the job offers via media, online platforms or simply within the environment around us. The author’s discussions in this chapter have significantly contributed to my motivation and self-appraisal which encourages individuals’ initiatives. Therefore, I do not have to wait for a vacancy to be advertised since with the technology advancements I am able to project the impending offers. In addition, some of the opportunities are never posted publicly; hence, the need for a job seeker to stay assertive during the search of these vacancies occurs. Consequently, this can be implemented with the help of any available platform deemed effective and relevant by the user.

The next Chapter is a perfect continuation of the preceding part (Bolles 45). While in the former chapter the reader is informed of the various vacancies available every month, chapter 4 helps an individual to learn the next steps after applying for a vacancy. The sixteen tips about interviewing for a job as highlighted by Bolles have offered me the appropriate guidelines to prepare for a successful job interview. Some of the key elements outlined here include proper etiquette, time management, and good communication skills. Additionally, Bolles’s principles in this chapter have encouraged me to always obtain as much information as possible about the future employer prior to the interview. As mentioned in the earlier chapters, the change in the trends of the job market has led to the change in employers’ requirements. Evidently, the employer remains specific to the company’s objectives and goals while seeking new workers. Therefore, it is important for the job seeker to have full specter of information about the company’s goals and objectives before attending the interview. Such high-level preparations provide the interviewee with an advantage and confidence during the process. As for me, I personally experienced the efficient assistance of the techniques mentioned above during my second interview.

In chapter 5, the author concentrates particularly on one core aspect of the interview process. While participating in the interview, the individual should be engaged in a discussion regarding the numeration terms. In addition to other achievements, one main driving aspect of the job hunter is the need for financial stability. From my point of view, the motivation to work and a successful presentation has a special link to the amount of salary paid for a given job. Prior to the interview, I have always noted the need to implement an extensive research on the determining salary and wages structure. Consequently, possessing such information, I am capable of reaching more constructive and less complicated negotiations for the best offer. Besides, the author summarizes the chapter by highlighting the salary discussion tips which are crucial since inadequate preparations for this phase of the interview can prove costly in the long run. Finally, a good understanding of the principles of salary negotiation was among the reasons I succeeded in the job interview. The offer I suggested the panel fitted well with their remuneration structures, hence, making this process less difficult.

While getting ready for the job hunt, there is never a 100% guarantee that one will get the work. Therefore, chapter six suggested me the alternative approaches in case the job hunting fails to work. In fact, various reasons lead to failures when it comes to seeking a job (Bolles 99). Some of them may be linked to the job hunters while in the other cases the failure comes as a result of external factors beyond the grip of the job hunters. A sudden change in the employer’s requirements or an unexpected swift variation in the job seeking market may act as a challenge to job hunting. Consequently, this information has enabled me to establish the main factors that result in failures during the job hunting. When the root cause is defined, the necessary adjustments can be applied. As a result, I have become more informed and, hence, prepared if such opportunities arise in the future. While one challenge to job seeking is the dynamics of the job market, the other factors are majorly personal and are caused by the individual oneself. For instance, the job hunting strategies may fail when one does not fully understand one’s objectives. Moreover, personal goals and preferences increases the job hunter’s chances of achieving great career heights. Bolles highlights the need to understand oneself as a core strategy for success in the job hunting which would help to make a wise choice when it comes to selecting the job to apply for.

In chapters 8 and 9, the author provides the readers with additional insights on the indispensable attributes for successful job hunting. According to him, there is an inevitable need for a job seeker to realize the environment they intend to work in. While others prefer the congested CBD, I personally would choose operating in a more tranquil surrounding away from congestion and noise. Undoubtedly, a good environment plays a crucial role in enhancing good working conditions. However, the idea of knowing one’s particular goals remains a special factor worth considering before implementing the job hunting mission. Additionally, the process of looking for a job can be challenged by several factors which can be both internal and external. This aspect has been revealed in the earlier chapters. For instance, the author has emphasized personal handicaps in chapter nine as the obstacles to successful job hunting. Therefore, it is essential for an individual to identify and work on their personal weaknesses as this offers the job seeker an added advantage.

Furthermore, Bolles presents the vital steps and strategies on choosing and changing a career. The principles discussed here have helped in shaping my personal expectations and individual goals. The discussion in this chapter has a special connection to the author’s stipulations on the need to know oneself and one’s desires. Moreover, the personal goals offer appropriate guidelines, hence, enabling one to achieve one’s desired career. It would be practically impossible to fit into a field that a worker has no passion for. Therefore, this serves as one of the core elements for changing the job. Bolles basically emphasizes the need to choose a career that coincides with the personal goals and individual projections. Finally, the last chapter offers the best alternatives to job hunting as well as motivates people not to forgo and create the more suitable and productive methods. Hence, the writer outlines the ideas and facts that are required to start their own business. As far as I am concerned, from his postulations in the final section of the book, I felt the urge to start my own business. In fact, the steps are simple and manageable and only demand self-belief and a visionary individual to achieve the aim.


In conclusion, the book What Color is Your Parachute is both educative and informative. It offers a multitude of invaluable ideas that can assist me in handling the dynamic nature of the job market and employers’ requirements. Moreover, the chapters are well arranged and have a smoothly flow into each other, hence, offering predictable steps towards successful job hunting. Lastly, the information discussed by the author in addition to the statistical evidence is vital for any serious job seeker. Perhaps, it is due to the value of its contents that the book has been referred to as the job seeker’s bible.

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