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What Color Is Your Parachute? 2020: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters and Career-Changers

3.70  ·  Rating details ·  13,080 ratings  ·  932 reviews
With more than 10 million copies sold in 28 countries, the world's most popular job-search book is updated for 2020, tailoring Richard Bolles's long-trusted guidance with up-to-the-minute information and advice for today's job-hunters and career-changers.


What Color Is Your Parachute? is the world’s most popular
Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published August 13th 2019 by Ten Speed Press (first published January 1st 1970)
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jassira raxlly Hello! Goodreads is a database for indexing books; not reading.
I recommend going to your public library or bookstore to read a copy.…more
Hello! Goodreads is a database for indexing books; not reading.
I recommend going to your public library or bookstore to read a copy.(less)
Cavak Nowadays you have to buy it since even libraries will ditch it. Good luck with these online listings.
Nowadays you have to buy it since even libraries will ditch it. Good luck with these online listings.
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I had imagined this would be a simple guide helping people to gain employment, little did I realise that this was all to the greater glory of God and would have nothing to do with parachutes.

"God loves a Trinity", the particularly irritating little kid who used to regularly beat me at chess when I was a student in Russia (view spoiler) used to like saying, an
j e w e l s
Oct 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is THE handbook on what to do with the rest of your life! I read this many moons ago when I first graduated from high school and then a few years after that when I had a college degree in my hands. The book is a must-read guide to navigate the confusing job search we all encounter from time to time.

I was so curious as to whether the new edition would hold up in a cyber dependent world. The answer is YES! The book still offers invaluable advice as to resumes, interviews and prioritizing your
Rachel Smalter Hall
I picked up this book at a time in my life when I was like, "ok, Rachel, it's time to figure some stuff out." Along came Richard Bolles, like my own sweet little Grandpa giving me life advice. He actually had me doing all the cheesy exercises -- lists, graphs, venn-diagrams, even a flower chart for Pete's sake. And in the end, gosh darnit, I knew I was going to move back to the Midwest and become a librarian!

FYI, this book does have some serious Christian overtones, but Grandpa Bolles is pretty
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book never addresses the central question: what color is your parachute? In fact, parachutes (of any color) are never mentioned at all.
“Always define WHAT you want to do with your life and WHAT you have to offer to the world, in terms of your favorite talents/gifts/skills-not in terms of a job-title.”

What Color Is Your Parachute? 2015
by Richard Nelson Bolles

Does anyone EVER know what they want to do with their life?

If not, this book is certainly worth reading.

Actually scratch it even if you think you DO know. It's that good.

I have actually read many versions of this book. Bolles would update it regularly and I alwa
Begüm Saçak
If you are looking for a book which tries to teach you what you already know, this book is good for you. Other than a few useful websites and tips on finding jobs/your skills, this book was a waste of my time. At the end, the author surprises you by revealing his strong Christian faith; I just don't understand why on earth you would include a huge faith section on a job hunting book. He could have talked about faith in general. Well, this is my personal opinion, but I didn't like this book at al ...more
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
One of the important skills one should have in our modern society is the ability to look and be successful in getting a job. Unfortunately, many of us are not well-equipped nor skilled enough to navigate our way around the job market. Moreover some of us are intentionally or unintentionally misinformed by others on how we should go about the transition in between jobs. We are getting multitude of answers and finally get a job only to find out that we are not satisfied; then the cycle starts agai ...more
Patty Mora
Jul 17, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I've read this book and completed the exercises twice during my adult life, and it has helped me tremendously in answering the age-old question, "What is my mission in life."

For those of us who live to work, and not work to live, this is the book for you. I highly recommend completing the exercises, or "homework" as I call it, and you will uncover your talents and dreams that have been buried over the years.

It will take a little bit of your time, maybe an hour a night for a week or two, or over
Mar 15, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: current-events
Seriously, this book is one of the best selling career self-help guides? I find that hard to believe. My issues with this book:

1) Awkward, and at times incomprehensible, sentence syntax. Dick Bolles comes across as a doofus with too much time on his hands who just decided to sit down and write a book, and not as a job-market-savvy consultant.

2) Seriously stupid advice. "Try a search engine, like Google, or Yahoo, or your favorite one if you have one." Yeah, thanks for the advice, Dick. I never t
Susan Barton
I'm embarrassed to say this is the first version of What Color is Your Parachute that I've read. Of course I've heard of it, but just never got around to reading it. In an effort to remain current with career search trends, Richard N. Bolles has been updating this book since 1975. Now that I've finally had the opportunity to read the 2016 version, I'm absolutely astounded by the amount of information the author provides. Loaded with practical job-hunting advice, the author has compiled the book ...more
Dec 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I’m not currently looking for a new job. But the parachute book has been on my list for a long time. I’m glad I chose the most recent because it is chock full of practical advise.

This book starts with the premise that every human being is unique and has something to offer “employers”. Chapters 4-6 help you define who you are and what makes you perform at your highest level. Chapters 1-3 describe the job market and the playing field, so to speak. Chapters 7-9 are the mechanics of the game, how i
Kater Cheek
A friend of mine bought this for me on kindle, saying it was a great way to find out what job best suits you. This book has been around for years and years, but as with textbooks, the author is quick to assure you that you really need the latest edition, as it's constantly being revamped. While there certainly are new addresses and new urls in this book, the basic principal, I'm sure, hasn't changed much.

Most of the book consists of a guided self-assessment of what your likes and dislikes, skill
Jan 07, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Take advice from someone in the workforce development field: this book and some degree of common sense will take you pretty far. No, this man did not teach me how to write a resume or interview. No, he didn't show me a shining new path in life. What he does do though is illuminate those all-too-easy to overlook things known as "the employer's thoughts and needs."

Job seekers rarely have the opportunity or background knowledge to appreciate the employer as not only a representative of their compan
Christopher Lawson
This book is widely recognized as the top guide to finding a job. Various editions of this book have sold MILLIONS. It is easy to see why. The author has extensive experience in the field, and backs up his ideas with impressive evidence.


♦ Insight into the actual interviewing process--especially the suggested time min/max for your responses. Bolles provides "Conversation Tips" to prepare for. This section alone is worth the price of the book. They are also "Ten Commandm
Scott Dinsmore
Jul 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Why I Read this Book: I wanted to get a firm understanding of the career direction in which I wanted to head and how to go about it after finishing my university work. This book provided a wonderful road map.


This book, or I should say a version of this book has been on the best seller list for many years now. Bolles spends the majority of each year putting together the updated version for the year to come. This is not the type of book you buy once for one search and that is it. Every time
Jen Austin
This was an interesting book, but A) I shouldn't have read it at the same time as another career book and B) I liked the format of the other career book better. This is more about sitting down and writing while the other (I don't know what I want to do, but I know it's not this) had more quizzes. They both had their positives and negatives, but I felt this one gave a lot of examples, which could have been pared down a bit (I get it - 3 illustrative stories aren't necessary) and went into more de ...more
W. Whalin
Aug 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Valuable Insight -- Whether You are Searching for A Job or Not

No job lasts forever--whether we admit it to ourselves or not. This classic book (updated each year) is loaded with encouragement and insight for every reader. The step-by-step insights are valuable to any reader at any place in the job market.

I loved what Bolles said in the first chapter, "In today's world, he or she who gets hired is not necessarily the one who can do that job best; but, the one who knows the most about how to get h
This book has been immensly popular for a long time. Its popularity is not due to the the author's writing style. For something that has gone through so many revisions, one might expect a polished, well-written tome. This is not the case. The book is written like a very lengthy ad; full of hyperbole, simplistic statements, and grammer that may be acceptable in the world of advertisng, but not that of non-fiction prose.
It's hard to see why this book is so popular. Perhaps unemployment lowers peo
Lara Lee
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-blog-books
What Color is Your Parachute? by Richard N. Bolles is a classic for job hunters for the past zillion years, so I won't bore you with how great it is and how you need to go out and buy it. The fact is millions of people already have gone out and bought it. What I am going to talk about is what I have learned from it as a freelancer.

I have always heard from the time I was little about how I should get a job that I loved and how I should change the world. Like so many in college, I pursued a degree
Teena in Toronto
Since the so-called recession of 2008, things have changed. What used to work in job hunting doesn't work anymore. The length of the average job hunt has increased, the length of time the average job lasts has decreased, the way jobs are done is changing, and not surprising that job hunting has move more and more online.

The contents of this book include:

* It's a whole new world for job-hunters
* Google is your new résumé
* There are over ten million vacancies each month
* Sixteen tips about intervi
Clea M
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, 2013
(I read the 2013 version.) I mostly read this to make my mother happy. The cheesiness aside, it committed one of the mistakes of the self-help genre that most aggravates me: it convincingly and with great detail outlined the problem with the traditional approach to its subject, namely job hunting; its stated problem is that just emailing your resume out to job postings online won't work for a variety of reasons. It made a pretty convincing argument for this approach being pretty pointless. But t ...more
Sep 16, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
I find this book vastly over-rated.

I got it my Sr. year of college, at the recommendation of an academic advisor (the need for which I also found to be highly over-rated), and it did nothing for me. Yes, I ended up in an industry I LOVED, in a job that fit me well, but with no thanks to this book. It taught me nothing about myself I didn't already know and gave me little useful knowledge to go about my job hunt.

I suppose it could prove quite useful for someone who 1) lacks an intuitive introspe
Steve Moskowitz
This book will help you understand who you are and what matters to you. Lots of great exercises in this workbook that uncover the truth. It definitely takes time to complete them, but with anything you get out of the what you put into it.
Clare O'Beara
This book talks the reader through starting to look for work or a career change, especially when laid off with no immediate prospects. To begin, we are shown why just sending out hundreds of CVs doesn't work. Other methods of job hunting are described, and we are recommended to use more than one.

My lack of total enthusiasm comes from the facts that: it is all about America so a lot of the information given doesn't apply to me; it's dated from 2010, but a new edition is produced yearly; it's prov
Amy Armstrong
Richard N Bolles is like a god in the career counseling world, but I have to admit that I have never been much of a What Color is Your Parachute? person. Knowing that makes me a pariah in career counseling circles even if my colleagues don't know they should treat me like one. However, I know that many job seekers every year turn to Bolles, and given The Great Recession, this minister's words of comfort have been greatly needed. Actually, when I found myself going through my own career crisis wh ...more
Jennifer Tse
Apr 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the best job-hunting book I read so far! What makes it better is the author Richard Nelson Bolles is also a Christian. By reading this book, I understand more about the new job search techniques. I guess the hard part is really practicing it cause networking IS hard. I really appreciate the chapter about job interviewing, letting me know how it is like a "date," so I won't be as nervous. I think either way, you will still be nervous since our natural tendency is for the other person to l ...more
Scout Collins
What Colour is Your Parachute? looked like a promising read for "job hunters and career changers". But after reading the whole thing and doing most of the exercises, it's really not.

Also, what is this?
"Economists say that a decent middle-class job these days should be a stable, dependable job that pays between $40,000 and $80,000, annually." (5-6)
>> $80,000 yeah, but how the hell is $40,000 middle class?? That's basically living in poverty, ESPECIALLY if you're living in a big city. What econom
Jun 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't one I read cover-to-cover, however I did get through most of it. Bolles relates some good information on interviewing and the job market, yet the real selling point of the book is the 'flower exercise' Bolles designed as a method of helping readers figure out what kind of career they want to pursue, based on their experiences and personal interests.

I didn't discover anything revelatory about myself or my passions/interests in completing said exercise, however it was somewhat helpful
W. Whalin
Jan 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Anyone with a Job (or not) can learn Something In These Pages

Whether we want to acknowledge it or not, the world of work and career is filled with uncertainty. If you have a job, maybe you are thinking about a change. If you don’t have a job, and are looking for one, WHAT COLOR IS YOUR PARACHUTE? 2017 has been a keystone of for 45 years. Each year the information in this book is revised and updated.

Although I’m not currently looking for a new position, I read the new edition cover to cover and
May 05, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bir-2014, nonfiction
I think this is a great book for someone who isn't happy with their current job and wants to figure out exactly what they want to do that will be fulfilling, not just pay the bills.

I graduated from college a few years ago and back then I was just sending out resumes and I accepted the first offer I got. I didn't worry to much if I was going to like the job, just that I needed to find one. Now I have a few years of experience under my belt and I think I can afford to be a little choosier.

I liked
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Dick Bolles, more formally known as Richard Nelson Bolles, was a former Episcopal clergyman, a member of high-IQ society Mensa, and the author of the best-selling job-hunting book, What Color is Your Parachute? The book remained on The New York Times best-seller list for more than a decade and has sold over 10 million copies.

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  Kerine Wint is a software engineering graduate with more love for books than for computers. As an avid reader, writer, and fan of all things...
4 likes · 2 comments
“Always define WHAT you want to do with your life and WHAT you have to offer to the world, in terms of your favorite talents/gifts/skills-not in terms of a job-title.” 6 likes
“So many times you will see people wringing their hands and saying 'I want to know what my mission in life is,' all the while they are cutting people off on the highway, refusing to give time to people, punishing their mate for having hurt their feelings or lying about what they did.” 5 likes
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