5 must-read career books for students and recent grads


Figuring out what you want to do with your life is a pretty daunting task, and not one for amateurs. Building a career requires not only education and job experience, but also a lot of self-reflection, research, and patience.

To aid in the process, many people – students and experienced professionals alike – turn to career counselling resources.

If you’ve ever taken the time to glance at the career section of your school or local bookstore, chances are you might have felt a little overwhelmed. Fortunately, there many titles out there that are directly targeted to university students and new graduates. Here are five titles you should consider picking up next time you wonder, “What am I doing my with my life?”

What Color is Your Parachute?

By Richard Nelson Bolles

First published in 1970 and updated every year, What Color Is Your Parachute? is one of the classic career advice books. Unlike some of the more specific books on this list, Bolles’ book is a general resource for job-hunters and career-changers.

It provides practical information on how to find a job, from applying to interviews, as well as a few exercises designed to figure out your strengths and interests. What Color Is Your Parachute? is a valuable resource for your career, and the book to read before beginning to actively look for a job.

You Majored in What?: Mapping Your Path from Chaos to Career

By Katharine Brooks

As the title might suggest, this book is for those who really have no idea what they’re going to do with their lives. It is filled with useful exercises and tools – my favourite is the “Wandering Map,” an activity which forces you to think about your past experiences and how they may connect to possible careers.

The later chapters do provide some practical advice on cover letters, resumés, and interviews, but the bulk of the book is designed to make you rethink your career options and forces you to explore what you could be doing.

You Majored In What? is aimed at college/university students and recent graduates, and written in a relaxed and accessible tone.