Courting Your Career: Match Yourself With the Perfect Job
by Shawn Graham
JIST Works, 194 pages, $10.36

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Comparing job searching to dating may seem like a stretch, but author Shawn Graham equates the two to make the process of job hunting more engaging. After all, you are getting to know potential employers, trying to make a winning first impression, and angling for the perfect match. College students and those just entering the workforce will identify with the metaphor, but those changing careers will also find sound advice and helpful sample scripts in Courting Your Career.

Similar to dating, the foundation of a career search is relationships. Courting Your Career uses anecdotes and funny incidents to illustrate how important the interpersonal elements of looking for a job are. According to Graham, "accepting any job that pays the bills is akin to settling for any date who has teeth." He reasons that you will be spending the greater part of your waking hours at your job and it's unacceptable to settle for something that gives you little or no satisfaction.

Because there are different stages of dating and job searching, what is appropriate varies with time and circumstances. Graham takes readers through each step of the process and dissects timely strategies that will move things forward. "The close of the interview is a lot like the end of a date," writes Graham. He believes that reaffirming your interest in a position to your interviewer is the dating equivalent of saying "Call me" at the end of the night. Asking about the next steps in the interview process is like saying "Will I see you again?" on a date.

The section on networking is especially insightful and manages to strip many of the intimidating aspects of it away. The playful tone of Courting Your Career becomes serious when it turns to critical matters like cover letters, resumes, and etiquette. One of the questions that job seekers as well as people in the dating game often ask is "What does this mean?" Graham illuminates what it means when hiring managers do or say certain things.

Because a career search can become tedious, Courting Your Career's novel approach is a must read for those just embarking on the process. Recent graduates and professionals trying to make a career change will love Graham's fresh, sincere insights into both of these complex worlds.

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