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The Job Hunter's Crystal Ball
by Stanley Wynett

Adams Media Corporation, 208 pages, $10.36

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Kicking off your job search in the new year with a measured dose of magic may be just the thing to mesmerize and astound the decision makers capable of granting your career wishes. The Job Hunter’s Crystal Ball is a specialized book that penetrates the minds of hiring managers. Combining this psychological component with fundamental career search tools can give job seekers and undeniable edge in the increasingly competitive market.

In Chapter 1, Wynett lets readers in on a simple secret: bosses hate the hiring process. If they hire you, you become a walking reflection of how good they are at picking people. What does this reveal to job seekers? They have to grow the right attitude. This means resisting the urge to let it all hang out when the interviewer asks you what you disliked about your last boss. It means that it’s best to delay salary talk until you are meeting face to face with your potential employer.

The book includes valuable insights from the other side of the desk. One is that Microsoft and other big organizations keep a shadow workforce in their files. These are backup resumes for key positions in case they should open up. It’s good for job seekers to realize that when an interviewer says “We would like to keep your resume on file,” they may just mean it. It can be encouraging in the midst of the discouragement you are bound to face. Another insight comes from a hiring manager who reads resumes with well-worn phrases like “team player” and “detail-oriented.” It’s noted that these descriptions are useless unless they are backed up by specifics. “Your prospective employer is interested in mechanics, wires, wheels, cogs, and springs, not just a factory picture of a car,” writes Wynett.

The section on interviewing is especially effective. Interviewees are encouraged to:

  • Show Enthusiasm and Your Love for the Work
  • Postpone Money Talk
  • Always Pause Before Answering so as Not to Sound Rehearsed
  • Discuss Salary Terms in Relation to the Marketplace – Not What You Need or Want

The Job Hunter’s Crystal Ball includes samples questions and good responses, sample resumes, and how to handle being over or under-qualified. It’s a great book that branches beyond the basics to bring a powerful psychological approach to getting hired.

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