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100 Best Career Books of All Time

Whether you're just graduating from college or have been in the working world for a few years and need some guidance, there are plenty of books out there that can help you master your career and meet your personal goals. In these terrific career books, you'll find help, advice and inspiration to find a job, get a promotion or just enjoy doing what you do. No matter your field or your area of interest, you're bound to find some great information in these reads.

New Grads

These career books are some of the best reads for those preparing to graduate or who are new to the working world.

  1. Getting from College to Career: 90 Things to Do Before You Join the Real World by Lindsey Pollak: This book tackles what experiences and skills you'll need to learn in college to help you find a job.
  2. They Don't Teach Corporate In College by Alexandra Levit: College won't teach you everything you need to know about business. Learn some important lessons from this book.
  3. What They Don't Teach You In College by James M. Kramon: College may teach you the basics but it can't teach you everything. Discover some important truths and skills from this book.
  4. When Reality Hits: What Employers Want Recent College Graduates To Know by Nancy Barry: Read this book to learn how what employers expect from new grads, making it easier to land and keep a job.
  5. Grad to Great: Discover the Secrets to Success in Your First Career by Anne Brown and Beth Zefo: If you're making your first foray into the working world, learn some tips that could guide you to success in this read.
  6. The Complete Resume and Job Search Book for College Students by Bob Adams and Laura Morin: Read this book to get some helpful pointers on writing resumes and doing well in interviews, geared towards new grads.
  7. How to Get Any Job with Any Major: Career Launch and Re-Launch for Everyone Under 30 by Donald Asher: Worried about getting a job with your particular major? This book can help ease some of your fears.
  8. Majoring in the Rest of Your Life: Career Secrets for College Students by Carol Carter: Get some valuable information on navigating the years after college from this book.
  9. Navigating Newbie-ism: 12 Simple Ways to Thrive in Your First Job and Career, The College Student's Guide by Marcia J. Hall: This book will help you get through some of the first challenges you'll have as a new member of the working world.
  10. Graduating to the 9-5 World by Jerry Bouchard: Making the move into the working world from college can be rough for many young professionals, but this book helps offer advice and guidance that can make it easier.

Job Hunting

In the market for a new job? Get some help in the process from these books.

  1. What Color is Your Parachute: A Practical Manual for Job-Hunters & Career-Changers by Richard Nelson Bolles: This best-selling book offers some tips and tools for finding work and choosing a career that's right for you.
  2. Get The Job You Want, Even When No One's Hiring: Take Charge of Your Career, Find a Job You Love, and Earn What You Deserve by Ford Myers: Learn how to take charge of your job hunt and get the job you want with the help of this book.
  3. The Unwritten Rules of the Highly Effective Job Search: The Proven Program Used by the Worlds Leading Career Services Company by Orville Pierson: Get insights into the secrets you'll need to find a job you really want.
  4. Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success by Dan Schawbel: This book will teach you how personal branding can help you land a job and advance your career.
  5. Use Your Head to Get Your Foot in the Door by Harvey Mackay: Read this book to learn how to use your smarts, and what you know to get you the job you want.
  6. Get A Job In 30 Days Or Less: A Realistic Action Plan for Finding the Right Job Fast by Matthew J. DeLuca: If you really need to find work, this book can help you learn some tricks and set a plan for your job hunt.
  7. Secrets of the Hidden Job Market: Change Your Thinking to Get the Job of Your Dreams by Janet White: This book explains that you might not be getting a job because you might be going about the search all wrong. Learn how to change your methods and find success in its pages.
  8. Through the Brick Wall: How to Job Hunt in a Tight Market by Kate Wendleton: The job market isn't always flush with new jobs, so learn how to make the most of your skills and find a job during even the tightest markets from this book.
  9. Really Useful Job Search Tactics: A Handbook of Contemporary Job Hunting Techniques by Rick Gillis: This book is a great primer on the basics of a successful job hunt.
  10. The Five Secrets to Finding a Job: A Story of Success by Robert S. Siegel and Barbara L. Siegel: This book will lay out five things you need to know if you want to have a good, successful job search.

Interviews and Resumes

Once you've gotten your foot in the door, learn how to ace your interview and create a winning resume with the help of these books.

  1. Fearless Interviewing: How to Win the Job by Communicating with Confidence by Marky Stein: This book offers some great pointers on boosting your confidence– something that could make all the difference in your interview.
  2. How to Say It on Your Resume by Brad Karsh: Read this book to learn how to make sure your resume really represents you.
  3. Resume Magic: Trade Secrets of a Professional Resume Writer by Susan Whitcomb: Learn from the pros in this book which will guide you through the resume-writing process.
  4. The Resume Handbook: How to Write Outstanding Resumes and Cover Letters for Every Situation by Arthur Rosenberg: No matter what field you're entering, you'll find helpful advice on writing your resume in this book.
  5. Acing the Interview: How to Ask and Answer the Questions That Will Get You the Job by Tony Bershara: Nervous about your interview? This book will allow you to practice answering common interview questions.
  6. How Hard Are You Knocking? The Job Seeker's Guide to Opening Career Doors by Timothy Augustine and Rana Curcio: Learn how to increase your chances of finding a job and getting into the career you want through the help of this book.
  7. Naked at the Interview: Tips and Quizzes to Prepare You for Your First Real Job by Burton Jay Nadler: In this great read, you'll be able to actively prepare for your first job interview and help ensure its successful or at least not a painful experience.
  8. Boost Your Interview IQ by Carole Martin: Get to know more about the interviewing process and what you can expect from this book.
  9. How Would You Move Mount Fuji? How the World's Smartest Companies Select the Most Creative Thinkers by William Poundstone: If you're entering a creative field, learn how to show off your skills in interviews and resumes with this book.
  10. Resumes That Knock 'em Dead by Martin Yate: Make your resume a knock out success with help from the skills you'll learn in this book.


These great reads will help you learn to make the most of your personal and business connections.

  1. Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi: This book will show you how to make the most of your lunch hours, using them to make great connections you'll use in your career.
  2. Dig Your Well Before You're Thirsty: The Only Networking Book You'll Ever Need by Harvey Mackay: Don't wait until you're out of work or looking for a job to make connections. This book will show you how to network every day.
  3. Make Your Contacts Count: Networking Know-How for Business and Career Success by Anne Baber: Whether you're looking for a job or just new opportunities, this book will show you how to use networking to get ahead.
  4. Guerrilla Networking: A Proven Battle Plan to Attract the Very People You Want to Meet by Jay Conrad Levinson: Check out this great read for tips on meeting and connecting with people who share your interests and goals and can help you advance your career.
  5. Highly Effective Networking: Meet the Right People and Get a Great Job by Orville Pierson: This book helps you learn the essentials of being good at networking.
  6. Dynamite Networking for Dynamite Jobs by Caryl Rae Krannich and Ronald Krannich: Here, you'll be able to expand your knowledge of networking and use it to find work.
  7. A Foot in the Door: Networking Your Way into the Hidden Job Market by Katharine Hansen: Finding jobs right now can be hard, but this book will explain how networking can help.
  8. The Networking Survival Guide: Get the Success You Want By Tapping Into the People You Know by Diana Darling: Check out this book to learn how to make the most of who you know to do what you want.
  9. Nonstop Networking: How to Improve Your Life, Luck, and Career by Andrea Nierenberg: Learn how networking can improve not only your career but also your life from this book.
  10. Network Your Way to Your Next Job…Fast by Clyde C. Lowstuter and David P. Robertson: This book will teach you how to use networking to find another job or move up in your career.

Job Skills

Boost your existing skills and learn some new ones from these helpful tomes.

  1. A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Dan Pink: This book explains why being creative can help you career and some ways you can train your brain.
  2. Grammar Girl's Quick and Dirty Tips for Better Writing by Mignon Fogarty: Being a good writer is essential to developing a good resume and communicating well at work, so learn new skills from this book.
  3. Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton: Not sure just what it is that you're good at doing? This book can help you pinpoint your skills.
  4. Talent Is Never Enough: Discover the Choices That Will Take You Beyond Your Talent by John C. Maxwell: Read this book to learn how to capitalize on your talent through other skills and assets.
  5. Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino: Wanna do well in sales? This book offers some excellent tips that will help you get ahead.
  6. Writing At Work : Professional Writing Skills for People on the Job by Edward L. Smith and Stephen Bernhardt: Make sure you sound intelligent and professional in your business writing by taking to heart the lessons offered in this book.
  7. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience by Carmine Gallo: Wow your coworkers and bosses with your presentation skills by learning those of the biggest and best businesspeople out there.

Finding Your Passion

Check out one of these books to learn how to find a job you love.

  1. Finding Your Own North Star by Martha Beck: This book will help you follow your own path and find a job that you love.
  2. Roadtrip Nation: A Guide to Discovering Your Path In Life by Mike Marriner and Nathan Gebhard with Joanne Gordon: In this book, you'll be able to see what paths a variety of working professionals took to get the interesting and awesome jobs they have, hopefully inspiring you to follow suit.
  3. Career Match: Connecting Who You Are with What You'll Love to Do by Shoya Zichy: Not sure what career you should pursue? This book can help you pinpoint the direction you should go and what you'll best at doing.
  4. Now What?: The Young Person's Guide to Choosing the Perfect Career by Nicholas Lore: Graduating and starting work can be a tumultuous time, so learn to make a smart career choice with help from this book.
  5. 50 Best Jobs For Your Personality by J. Michael Farr and Laurence Shatkin, Ph.D: Use your personality type to find the perfect job for you, with a little help from this book.
  6. Finding Your Perfect Work: The New Career Guide to Making a Living, Creating a Life by Paul and Sarah Edwards:In this book, you'll get some guidance in choosing the career that's right for you.
  7. How to Find the Work You Love by Laurence G. Boldt: In this book, you'll get some of the essentials necessary to finding your true passion in life.
  8. The Naked Career: Your Journey to Emotional and Financial Fulfillment by Stephen Conway and Paul Meyer: Build a pathway to success by reading this book and finding out what you want in a career.
  9. Test-Drive Your Dream Job: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding and Creating the Work You Love by Brian Kurth with Robin Simons: Not sure what you want to do or if a particular career is really for you? This book offers a solution, encouraging professionals to find mentors and test-drive potential jobs.
  10. Career Adventure: Your Guide to Personal Assessment, Career Exploration, and Decision-Making by Susan M. Johnston: With the help of this book, you'll be able to take a look at yourself and make smart decisions about your career.

Motivation and Inspiration

These books will help push you forward in your career and get inspired to be your best.

  1. Nice Girls Don't Get the Corner Office by Lois Frankel: Women can get inspired by this book, offering advice on how not to get passed over for promotions.
  2. Your Best Year Yet by Jinny Ditzler: Get inspired to work towards your goals and make this year the best of your life with this book.
  3. The Success Principles: How to Get From Where You Are to Where You Want to Be by Jack Canfield: This book will help you to understand some of the fundamental principles required to find success in your career and life.
  4. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey: In this motivational classic, you'll find great advice on how to talk to people, make connections and get ahead.
  5. Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson: Learn how to better deal with change in any aspect of your life with the help of this book.
  6. Perpetual Motivation: How to Light Your Fire and Keep It Burning in Your Career and In Life by Dave Durand: In need of a little motivation? This book offers tips on getting motivated and staying motivated.
  7. Real World Careers: Why College is Not the Only Path to Becoming Rich by Betsy Cummings: Didn't make it to college? That doesn't mean you can make big bucks or have success, as this book demonstrates.
  8. Dare to Succeed: A Treasury of Inspiration and Wisdom for Life and Career by Van Crouch: Find inspirational quotes and stories in this great collection.


Learn some of the most important skills involved in being an entrepreneur from those who know the business world best in these books.

  1. Startup Guide to Guerrilla Marketing: A Simple Battle Plan for First-Time Marketers by Jay Conrad and Jeannie Levinson: Even if you don't know a lot about marketing, this book can help you learn the ropes.
  2. Think Better: An Innovator's Guide to Productive Thinking by Tim Hurson: Learn how to think more creatively– a necessary skill to help your business stand out in the market– from this book.
  3. Duct Tape Marketing: The World's Most Practical Small Business Marketing Guide by John Jantsch: This popular book is essential reading material for any small business owner or entrepreneur.
  4. Entrepreneurship: Successfully Launching New Ventures by Bruce Barringer and Duane Ireland: Read this book to get some pointers that will help you get your business off of the ground.
  5. Innovation and Entrepreneurship by Peter Drucker: If you'd like to learn more about what it takes to be a true innovator in your industry, give this book a read.
  6. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding by Al Ries and Laura Ries: Do you know how to brand your business? This book will help you develop a brand and market your company to success.
  7. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies by Jim Collins: Look to some of the best and most successful companies out there for inspiration in your own endeavors with this book.
  8. Entrepreneurship: A Process Perspective by Robert A. Baron and Scott Shane: Being an entrepreneur doesn't mean finding success overnight. Often, it requires years of hard work. This book will explain the process of going from start-up to successful business.
  9. The Game-Changer: How You Can Drive Revenue and Profit Growth with Innovation by A.G. Lafley and Ram Charan: Learn why innovation can really benefit your business from this book.
  10. Word of Mouth Marketing: How Smart Companies Get People Talking by Andy Sernovitz: If you want to build your business you have to think about marketing, and this book has loads of advice to offer.


Try out one of these books to improve your communication skills at the office.

  1. Secrets of Power Negotiating by Roger Dawson: Learn to negotiate like an old pro with the help of this book.
  2. The Only Negotiating Guide You'll Ever Need: 101 Ways to Win Every Time in Any Situation by Peter B. Stark and Jane Flaherty: This book will teach you how to get what you want in your career, without backing down.
  3. Fearless Negotiating: The Wish, Want, Walk Method to Reaching Agreements That Work by Michael Donaldson: No matter what you're negotiating for, or who you're negotiating with, the advice found in this book can come in handy.
  4. The Art and Science of Communication: Tools for Effective Communication in the Workplace by P. S. Perkins and Les Brown: This book will teach you how to more effectively communicate with coworkers, bosses and employees.
  5. Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High by Kerry Patterson: Make the most important conversations of your career go your way with a few tips from this book.
  6. Conversationally Speaking: Tested New Ways to Increase Your Personal and Social Effectiveness by Alan Garner: This book is full of ways you can work to improve your communication skills to help you network, make friends and get ahead at work.
  7. People Skills: How to Assert Yourself, Listen to Others, and Resolve Conflicts by Robert Bolton: Whether you're a manager or an entry-level employee, you can learn how to better communicate at work and keep things running smoothly with this book.
  8. Business Communication by Carol Lehman and Debbie DuFrene: If you'd like to learn the fundamentals of good, professional business communication, pick up this book.
  9. Getting Past No by William Ury: Sometimes getting ahead in your career means not taking no for an answer. Learn how with help from Ury.
  10. Negotiating With Giants: by Peter D. Johnston: Don't be intimidated by big companies or high level bosses. This book will show you how to negotiate with anyone.

Leadership and Management

If you're looking to break into management or just want to be a better leader, these books can push you forward in your career.

  1. First, Break All the Rules by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman: Learn why it can sometimes be a good idea to break all the rules when you're managing or leading people.
  2. The Halo Effect by Phil Rosenzweig: Find out about some common business delicious that can make you a less successful manager in this book.
  3. Growing Great Employees by Erika Andersen: This book is an excellent read if you're looking to motivate your employees or coworkers.
  4. The Unwritten Laws of Business by W.J. King: If you're new to management, learn the secrets you'll need to be successful in this book.
  5. Tribes by Seth Godin: Marketing expert and best-selling author Seth Godin offers up leadership techniques based on forming a tribe.
  6. Fish: A Remarkable Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results by Stephen Lundin: help your employees become motivated and work together with this management technique based on the Pike Fish Market in Seattle.
  7. The Essential Drucker by Peter F. Drucker: Learn the basics of management guru's ideas from this great read.
  8. Bridging the Generation Gap: How to Get Radio Babies, Boomers, Gen Xers, And Gen Yers to Work Together And Achieve More by Linda Gravett, Ph.D., and Robin Throckmorton: Many managers will find themselves working with people from different age groups. This book offers some help in getting them to all work together.


These books offer advice on everything from creativity to personal branding.

  1. Living the 80/20 Way: Work Less, Worry Less, Succeed More, Enjoy More by Richard Koch: Learn how to live your life so that it's in balance and you enjoy every minute of it from this popular book.
  2. The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss: In this best-selling book, you'll gain pointers on how to work smarter, not harder.
  3. The Artist's Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity by Julia Cameron: If you're in a creative field, this book is an essential read for boosting innovation and creativity.
  4. Become the CEO of You, Inc: A Pioneering Executive Shares Her Secrets for Career Success by Susan Bulkeley Butler: In this book, you can get advice from a successful businesswoman on how to create your own brand and work your way to the top.
  5. Zen and the Art of Making a Living: A Practical Guide to Creative Career Design by Laurence G. Boldt: Plan out your career and make it a long and happy one with a little help from this book.
  6. The Brand You 50: Fifty Ways to Transform Yourself From an 'Employee' into a Brand That Shouts Distinction, Commitment, and Passion! by Tom Peters: Read this book to learn how to better brand yourself.
  7. Career Distinction: Stand Out by Building Your Brand by William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson: If you want to stand out to potential employers, this book will show you how to build a brand and find success.

September 29th, 2010 written by Staff Writers

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