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Resume Magic is a giant compendium of advice and before-and-after resume transformations explains resume creation and illustrates professional techniques with actual examples that show why the techniques work.
Posted February 21, 2014
Synopsis: This book contains a lot of information about content and format of resumes. It starts by encouraging the reader to find his or her own personal brand, so that it can shine through on the resume. Then, Whitcomb discusses the differences between a chronological resume and a functional resume and provides suggestions about when each type of resume would be helpful. She helps the reader create an outline of the resume, later fleshing it out with helpful tips about content. She emphasizes the importance of listing accomplishments. Finally, she dwells on proof-reading. She provides a guide of the basic grammar and punctuation mistakes people make while writing resumes. The final few chapters outline her thought on job search through social media and on cover letters. These sections, of course, aren't as thorough as the chapters about resumes, but I think she's trying to whet our appetites for her other books..which I hear are just as thorough.
My thoughts: First. DON'T get the ebook! Get a hard-copy, because the figures and tables are really tiny in ebook format. Second, this book did not really have a lot of information that was relevant to writing a CV, for those of us who have a PhD. Although Whitcomb provided examples of resumes for a large variety of job types, she focused primarily on business, sales, and marketing. Sometimes I wondered if her tips applied to me or not. However, the book DID provide enough information for me to make my resume more presentable. Third, the title. Ouch. I almost didn't buy this book because the title was too pretentious. Fourth, Whitcomb was a bit heavy-handed with her self-marketing: Resume Magic often read like an advertisement for Whitcomb's webpage and other books.
And now I see that my thoughts are rather top-heavy in criticism. I hadn't intended my review to be negative. Resume Magic is loaded with information and tips, and I'm much happier with my CV now than I was before reading this book. Resumes and job hunting have changed dramatically in the last few years, and books like these are very helpful for catching up on what employers are expecting. Because, let's face it, first impressions are a LOT about presentation. And don't we all want to make a good first impression?
I haven't read any other resume books, and I don't have the time to do so right now, so I can't very easily compare this to other books on the market. I have been reading Joyce Lain Kennedy's Job Interviews for Dummies and Job Search Letters for Dummies, though, so I can make a guess at what her Resumes for Dummies is like. My guess is that Whitcomb's book is more heavy in specific tips, and Kennedy's books tend to be more general. They both provide a lot of good examples, and they both explain what makes those examples stand out. But Whitcomb's style is more self-aggrandizing and opinionated. Kennedy recommends books by authors other than herself (including Whitcomb!), which makes her advice seem more sincere and approachable. So I guess if you're trying to choose between the two - pick Whitcomb if you want a book heavy in information, and Kennedy if you want more general advice from someone who's willing to reference opinions other than her own (even when they do not exactly coincide with her own).
Posted December 29, 2011
This book is truly the Bible of resume writing. It's comprehensive and presents current best practices in writing resumes that land interviews. It will open your eyes to possibilities for resumes that you probably never imagined. Susan Britton Whitcomb is a leader in the career industry, and she left no stone unturned with this book. However, with 500+ pages (BIG pages - 9" x 12"), this is probably too much for most job seekers. Most people don't have the patience. However, this is a great choice for: - Professional resume writers (or freelance writers who sometimes write resumes), career coaches, headhunters who want to help clients with resumes, etc. - Serious job seekers who have more time than money and would like to learn how to create a professionally written resume themselves rather than paying hundreds of dollars for a top-notch professional resume writer. If you're going to attempt to write your own resume rather than hiring a professional, you still want it to be excellent, right? This book can help. Hopefully you'll have the patience for it. Otherwise, you're probably better off just hiring a well-qualified pro.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 11, 2010
This book covers all of the bases from concept through to cover letters and more. It provides structures from which you can base your thoughts, then even maps out sentence structure. There are questions for you to consider that provoke thought about your search. The samples are extremely helpful and represent job hunters in various phases of experiences. The information regarding cover letters emphasizes their importance, that they play as big a part as the resume. Also addressed are the various electronic versions of the resume that must be considered. I did wish they covered more on the thank-you letter to complete the process, but overall worth it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.