Eleven Must-Read Books for The Serious Job Searcher

Back in the days before I had a wife, two little girls, a growing business, and a honey-do list the size of Texas, I used to read a lot. I even got to read for pleasure. Now, I only get to read in those precious few minutes of solace before going to bed.

I do my best to keep up on the newest books in the personal branding and job search categories, and the following list represents what I think are the best books to help the ambitious professional excel in their job search.

HeadStrongBookHeadstrong: The Keys To A Confident And Positive Attitude During Job Search by Tim Tyrell-Smith A typical executive-level job search lasts an average of six to nine months, which means there will likely be some periods of disappointment and frustration. Tim Tyrell-Smith’s book lays out a nice blueprint to help you keep a positive frame of mind to endure the job search grind.

NeverEatAloneBookNever Eat Alone: And Other Secrets To Success, One Relationship At A Time by Keith Ferrazzi Even though this book has been out for nearly nine years, I still think that it is the cream of the crop when it comes to relationship building and creating a powerful network of friends, colleagues, and other connections who can help connect you with opportunities.

StartUpOfYouThe Start-Up of You by Ben Casnocha and Reid Hoffman Casnocha and Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn, deliver an excellent book to motivate and inspire you to take charge and accountability of your professional career. Given their statuses in the tech world, they provide a lot forward-thinking ideas into how our work world is changing and how we need to adapt.

100StartUpThe $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau This is probably my favorite of all the books on the list. A great read that gives lots of specifics for the average person to quickly and affordably launch a business. This is perfect for the job searcher who’s searching from something more entrepreneurial.

CareerDistinction2 Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson The authors provide a proven personal branding process to help you create and manage your brand with innovative tools that enable you to differentiate yourself and stand out from your peers. A great primer for those who are just starting to explore their personal brand.

PlatformBook Platform: Get Noticed In A Noisy World by Michael Hyatt While Arruda and Dixson do a great job explaining how to cultivate your personal brand, Michael Hyatt is the master of helping you build a platform to communicate your brand. I’m a huge fan of Michael’s and highly recommend building a platform for success before, during, and after your search.

WriteAKillerLinkedinProfile How To Write A KILLER LinkedIn Profile by Brenda Bernstein Brenda is a friend, colleague, and mentor of mine, but I truly believe that she has created the absolute best resource to creating a strong presence on LinkedIn. From big-picture concepts to the step-by-step instructions, her e-book covers it all.

FreeAgentNation Free Agent Nation by Dan Pink Another oldie, but goodie. Pink addresses the rapid growth of solopreneurs, freelancers, and independent contractors in the workplace. The book explores the benefits and challenges of transitioning into a non-traditional work environment.

GuerrillaMarketingJobHunters Guerrilla Marketing For Job Hunters 3.0 by Jay Conrad Levinson and David Perry For those looking for some unconventional ideas to stand out in your job search, this book offers tips on using the newest social networking sites and digital tools to aggressively pursue your targeted positions. They have some good stuff to help you get out the job search rut.

UnwrittenRulesOfTheJobSearch The Unwritten Rules Of The Highly Effective Job Search by Orville Pierson This book does a nice job of tying together many of the concepts from the other books on this list and lays out an organized plan to approach your job search. There is some great advice about how to research and reach out to decision makers at targeted companies before they have announced job openings.

HeadhunterHiringSecrets “Headhunter” Hiring Secrets: The Rules of the Hiring Game Have Changed . . . Forever! by Skip Freeman Most of us wish we could get into the head of a recruiter or headhunter and figure out exactly what they want out of a candidate. Freeman digs into his extensive executive search background and walks you through the steps to help you stand out in your search.

This obviously isn’t a comprehensive list of the best books for the job search, but with books that address the changing job market, social media, personal branding, and networking, it’s a great starting point.

Question: What one book would you add to this list? Please answer in the comments below.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.