Book Review: Make the Right Career Move
Pragmatic Job-Finding Guidance for
Executives and Professionals

Publication: PsycCritiques

Section: APA Review of Books


Rodney L. Lowman

Review of Make the Right Career Move:
28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job,
by Rachelle J. Canter.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2007, 242 pp. ISBN 978-0-470-05236-5.

How can senior executives, professionals, and others who find themselves in the job market (often in difficult situations such as being "too old" for high-level jobs) obtain desired job search outcomes? Psychologist and experienced search and career consultant Rachelle J. Canter, who works with both individuals and corporate clients, addresses a number of very practical and generally psychologically well-grounded strategies in her book Make the Right Career Move: 28 Critical Insights and Strategies to Land Your Dream Job.

This all-in-one career guide shares secrets, tips, and branding and positioning tools taken from a leading career coach's two decades spent helping executives, attorneys, professionals, and other jobseekers find their dream jobs.

...I found much of [the guidance] to be fresh, insightful, and practically useful. For example, "Employers and search consultants are generally looking to put people into slots (or boxes) just like the ones they came from (or fled)" (p. 46). Similarly intriguing is the idea that preparing or revising a résumé is useful as a "confidence builder" and the idea that a résumé should not be "you in a rearview mirror" (p. 56). As for the pragmatic action steps outlined in the book, almost all of them are practical, and much of what is recommended is wise. I found the résumé chapters to be very helpful and easy to follow and to contain much useful information.

The advice to include a well-developed career summary describing work-related measurable achievements, to incorporate a chronological job history, and when to use the less-well-accepted accomplishments résumés (and when to combine that approach with others) is all good.

The idea of first assessing strengths and successes in past positions and then translating those skills into job-relevant traits is also quite reasonable. The advice to have one résumé rather than many but to customize cover letters will likely come as a relief to many job seekers.

Canter also helps debunk some myths or longings that job seekers may have. uses charting and worksheet techniques throughout the book to help job seekers challenge assumptions they may make about their reemployability and to focus their efforts on work-relevant strategies.

Books can be evaluated by many criteria, but one might be dubbed the "referral test": Would you recommend this book to others in need and feel good about the referral? An analogous question is whether I would refer this book to my daughter as she searches for her "right career move"? In fact, I would, and I did.

In short, Make the Right Career Move is a pragmatic, tough-minded job-finding book aimed primarily at executives and professionals seeking reemployment or to make a job change. It focuses the reader on discovering and properly presenting to a prospective employer job-related personal strengths. It appropriately asks the reader to demonstrate job relevance and competitive market strengths. Make the Right Career Move is succinctly organized in short, direct chapters with clearly outlined takeaways. ... it can usefully be read by a variety of job seekers.

This is a condensed version of a review in PsycCRITIQUES, giving the reference, and providing electronic subscription/access information about PsycCRITIQUES located at:

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