Book Reviews

Book by Yana Parker and Beth Brown
Review by: Bobbi Kassel
Academic Advisor
Criminal Justice/Law Enforcement Department
Utah Valley University

The Damn good Resume Guide is a very short, concise book that outlines quick and easy strategies anyone would be able to use to create a great resume or to update and enhance their current resume.  The book allows the reader the opportunity to view sample resumes which is a great visual aid that illustrates the information reflected throughout the book.  The author also gives a brief introduction to social networking, cover letters and cover emails.  

Many individuals are able to develop a generic resume; however, a generic resume is not going to lead to a job interview.  This book provides readers with the necessary insight to develop a great resume, which will ultimately lead to a job interview.  This book offers simple tips and ideas that the reader can easily implement into their resume.  The author outlines the process of developing a resume in a simple ten-step process.  In my opinion, these ten steps are vital and if followed, the end product will result in a resume that stands out above all others.

Throughout the book, the author explains and presents different formats for resume writing: the typical chronological and functional resume formats and a format new to me entitled the hybrid or combination format.  A great deal of focus in the book is on the knowledge, skills, and abilities needed to do the target job and to be able to implement those knowledge, skills and abilities throughout the resume.  I must agree with the author on the importance of this – it is crucial that the knowledge, skills, and abilities are presented and expanded upon.  Within the book, the author also provided a list of action verbs for the readers to use in the development of their action statements.  As an advisor helping students with their resume development, I also have a list of action verbs that I generally hand out to students.  I was impressed with the author’s action verb list because she had them all categorized under skill headings.  This organizes and simplifies the list and allows the reader to easily find the action verb they would like to use.

If you are an advisor that assists your students with career counseling, this book would be a valuable resource to have.  I do provide career counseling to my students and in the past I have given them multiple handouts with much of the information that was presented in this book; however I was pleasantly surprised to find some new and innovative thinking regarding resume building.  What I appreciate about this book is that everything is all laid out in an easy-to-read format, along with sample resumes for students to view, and it includes insight into resume building that isn’t found in a resume-building template. 

If your students will follow the outlined steps to develop their resume and if they will pay close attention to the thoughts and ideas presented, they will be able to develop a professional, effective, and articulate resume that will stand out to employers.

Overall, there were many great ideas presented in this book and I would recommend it as a resource for advisors that assist their students in any type of career counseling.  Advisors work so diligently to get their students to graduation, why not start them off on the right foot in their career searching by helping them develop a “Damn good Resume”?


The Damn good Resume Guide: A crash course in resume writing (5th edition). (2012). Book by Yana Parker and Beth Brown. Review by Bobbi Kassel. Ten Speed Press (randomhouse). 77 pp., $11.99, (paperback), ISBN # 978-1-60774-265-4.

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