A guide that doesn’t cover much new ground but nicely lays out the basics of resume writing in simple language with valuable...

Confessions from a Recruiter

RESUME WRITING

A personnel consultant shares advice for resume writing in this short debut book.

The resume—often misunderstood and frequently maligned—is a basic tool for anyone seeking a job which virtually every employer uses to screen applicants. In this book, Janssen demonstrates what makes a resume good or bad, offering the perspectives of the more than 100 human resource professionals he surveyed. The author covers the obvious, offering tips on gathering the appropriate information, types of resumes, format, and content, but readers can easily learn about these elements elsewhere. Of greater interest are the chapters that delve into resume nuances, such as how to use bullet points, “the heart and soul of your resume and your opportunity to brag about yourself and your accomplishments.” Also useful is Janssen’s overview of personal branding, in which he describes how to write a “branding statement” and discusses how one can protect one’s own brand, particularly online: “Employers have reviewed social media accounts of current employees so be mindful of that. Your reputation takes a lifetime to develop and a moment to ruin.” Interestingly, he says that most HR professionals he surveyed didn’t think a cover letter “made a difference in their perception of the candidate.” Still, Janssen endorses its use so that one may list the attributes that one brings to a specific position; he also believes that the resume itself should be tailored to the job for which one is applying. But although such tips are useful, the chapters lack detail and are far too short (with some no more than a page and a half), suggesting that the topic might have been expanded to include other aspects of applying for a job, such as interviewing. The “Exhibits” at the end of the book, however, may be the book’s most useful portion; in them, the author provides five templates for specific cover letters and 10 detailed examples of resumes with different formats and content types.

A guide that doesn’t cover much new ground but nicely lays out the basics of resume writing in simple language with valuable examples.

Pub Date: March 11, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5238-5251-2

Page Count: 88

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2016

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Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

GOOD ECONOMICS FOR HARD TIMES

“Quality of life means more than just consumption”: Two MIT economists urge that a smarter, more politically aware economics be brought to bear on social issues.

It’s no secret, write Banerjee and Duflo (co-authors: Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way To Fight Global Poverty, 2011), that “we seem to have fallen on hard times.” Immigration, trade, inequality, and taxation problems present themselves daily, and they seem to be intractable. Economics can be put to use in figuring out these big-issue questions. Data can be adduced, for example, to answer the question of whether immigration tends to suppress wages. The answer: “There is no evidence low-skilled migration to rich countries drives wage and employment down for the natives.” In fact, it opens up opportunities for those natives by freeing them to look for better work. The problem becomes thornier when it comes to the matter of free trade; as the authors observe, “left-behind people live in left-behind places,” which explains why regional poverty descended on Appalachia when so many manufacturing jobs left for China in the age of globalism, leaving behind not just left-behind people but also people ripe for exploitation by nationalist politicians. The authors add, interestingly, that the same thing occurred in parts of Germany, Spain, and Norway that fell victim to the “China shock.” In what they call a “slightly technical aside,” they build a case for addressing trade issues not with trade wars but with consumption taxes: “It makes no sense to ask agricultural workers to lose their jobs just so steelworkers can keep theirs, which is what tariffs accomplish.” Policymakers might want to consider such counsel, especially when it is coupled with the observation that free trade benefits workers in poor countries but punishes workers in rich ones.

Occasionally wonky but overall a good case for how the dismal science can make the world less—well, dismal.

Pub Date: Nov. 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-61039-950-0

Page Count: 432

Publisher: PublicAffairs

Review Posted Online: Aug. 29, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2019

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A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

ECONOMIC DIGNITY

Noted number cruncher Sperling delivers an economist’s rejoinder to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Former director of the National Economic Council in the administrations of Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, the author has long taken a view of the dismal science that takes economic justice fully into account. Alongside all the metrics and estimates and reckonings of GDP, inflation, and the supply curve, he holds the great goal of economic policy to be the advancement of human dignity, a concept intangible enough to chase the econometricians away. Growth, the sacred mantra of most economic policy, “should never be considered an appropriate ultimate end goal” for it, he counsels. Though 4% is the magic number for annual growth to be considered healthy, it is healthy only if everyone is getting the benefits and not just the ultrawealthy who are making away with the spoils today. Defining dignity, admits Sperling, can be a kind of “I know it when I see it” problem, but it does not exist where people are a paycheck away from homelessness; the fact, however, that people widely share a view of indignity suggests the “intuitive universality” of its opposite. That said, the author identifies three qualifications, one of them the “ability to meaningfully participate in the economy with respect, not domination and humiliation.” Though these latter terms are also essentially unquantifiable, Sperling holds that this respect—lack of abuse, in another phrasing—can be obtained through a tight labor market and monetary and fiscal policy that pushes for full employment. In other words, where management needs to come looking for workers, workers are likely to be better treated than when the opposite holds. In still other words, writes the author, dignity is in part a function of “ ‘take this job and shove it’ power,” which is a power worth fighting for.

A declaration worth hearing out in a time of growing inequality—and indignity.

Pub Date: May 5, 2020

ISBN: 978-1-9848-7987-5

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Penguin Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15, 2020

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