This is a great book
I met David Perry in November 2005 and, at that time, he asked me to write a review of his book. I wasn't happy about that. I liked him but what if I didn't like the book? I told my friend's sons about my predicament and they taunted me, predicting that I would sell out and say something I didn't believe.
After that, I resolved not to write anything if I didn't like what I saw. But, I didn't have to worry. This book is terrific. I recommend it to anyone and, in fact, if you buy it on my say-so and don't like it, I'll buy it back. Okay, I won't take more than twenty copies but, even if everyone took me seriously, I doubt that there would be more than one or two returned -- and those from born contrarians.
I'm a quibbler and proud of it so I could find plenty to argue about in David's book but, really, that would be missing the point. The overwhelming fact is that there is so much good information here, up-to-date and well-organized, that you don't have to accept every detail to learn a lot. In fact, you'd have to be out of work a long time in order to put much of it to good use.
Now, if that's what I think, why did it take me so long to deliver the review? Well, I haven't written one for a long time and there's so much information here I didn't know where to begin or, rather, end. Then, early one morning on the way to Starbucks, I saw a nice, clean copy of The Skeptical Inquirer sitting on top of somebody's garbage. I read the entire magazine including the book reviews and decided to follow a formula I found there. Make a few general statements, give a bit of evidence and leave it at that.
The review is below. If you want to disgree with something I've said or critique the review itself, I'd be happy to hear what you have to say.
Guerrilla Marketing For Job-Hunters is, obviously, a guide for job-hunters but it would serve equally well as an inexpensive training manual for for recruiters. And here's why. It covers the entire job search process very well but the most outstanding feature is the guide to researching companies and people, especially online. For this reason alone, no job-hunter (or recruiter) should be without it.
Perry shows you, in detail, how to use the internet to identify the companies you want to work for and the people in them. I can't stress enough how important this is. It's the guts of recruiting and it should be the heart of any pro-active job search.
Here are some of the topics covered.
1. How to do a advanced search on Google.
2. Online personnel databases, like ZoomInfo
3. Amazing social networking services, like LinkedIn.
4. How to use discussion groups to find jobs.
5. How to research an industry on America's Career Infonet.
6. How to analyze a company using Hoovers.com and many other sites.
He also tips you off to research gurus who write blogs. And he tells you how to create your own web site and make your resume search engine-friendly so that it can be easily found.
And, equally important, he tells you how to use the phone to follow through.
The tone is open and relaxed and the writing style is very readable. I loved the fact that he didn't hestitate to reference fuckedcompany.com at least a half a dozen times. You get the feeling that he's truly your buddy and a good one, too. And, I've met him and that's what he's really like.
In fact, let me tell you right now, David Perry isn't your average guy. He's smarter, bolder, friendlier, more energetic and a lot more persistent. He told me that he called someone eighty times until he reached him -- on the autobahn in Germany. And then he placed him!
Inotherwords, this guy's a genius of job-hunting and you probably aren't. So, there's no way that this book is going to turn you into him any more than reading a book by Arnold Schwartzenegger is going to turn you into Mr Universe or the governor of California. But, if you study his advice, you might gain some ground. I read it six months ago and, now, after scanning it to write this review, I want to read it again.
So, after that over-the-top plug, you might wonder if there are any negatives? Of course there are.
Perry offers some far-out advice on resumes. Almost every recruiter I know likes a straight-forward chronological resume on Microsoft Word. But, Perry says resumes are like lingerie. You don't want them to show everything, you just want them to lead people on.
So, he recommends tricks like sending half a resume so they call you to see the rest. And, although he qualifies his more radical methods as being appropriate for certain situations only, I don't always agree with him. Still, I wouldn't dismiss these antics entirely because he's a very successful recruiter and way too smart for me to say he's out to lunch or even simply wrong without feeling nervous about doing so.
He also took a lot of flack on the blogs for telling people to fax their resumes into companies. But, I guess that can't hurt -- as long as you email them, as well.
And, here's something that bugged me. The book is full of success stories about job-hunters but some of them are so odd as to be barely relevant. Like the guy who just showed up on a job site and continued to work for free even after he'd been asked not to come back. That might suit Kramer or the odd hero but it's not for you and me (though reading it might encourage you to stretch a bit more than you'd planned).
Negative number three. Perry advises you to identify people who have worked in your target company and approach them for an insider's view. He supplies a long list of questions but I doubt that an ordinary person could pull this off. Again, it doesn't mean she shouldn't try. You don't have to get everything to get something worthwhile. Still, just the thought of calling strangers and asking a lot of detailed questions is too much for the average josette.
I get calls for job-hunting advice and always recommend a pro-active approach. But I don't think anyone has ever done what I've said. Now, I just tell them to read Perry's book. I even bought a few copies for my friends. Will it have an effect? I don't know. Most people just want to answer ads. In fact, at one point Perry asks: "Guerrilla, how many people do you seriously think would risk making that call? Not many." I agree.
And that's why this book might be wasted on job-hunters. They aren't likely to develop the skills necessary to be good at job-hunting. But, for recruiters, job-hunting is a way of life and their day-to-day activities require that, over time, they develop the very skills Perry describes.