Books

Your HR Ally: Kickstart your human resources career (2021)

Your HR Ally is specifically written for those eager to prove their worth in the first few years of their HR career, or anyone looking to understand human resources practices. This book will provide you with a comprehensive insight into the important pillars of HR, starting from the very beginning of the employee life cycle—recruitment—to the cessation of employment and beyond. Addressing topics authors have traditionally avoided, such as corporate politics and internal tensions that can arise from being a HR practitioner, Your HR Ally will teach you how to become a proficient player in an organisation’s political arena and kick-start your HR career into success.

Chapter 1: Build your Personal Brand

Chapter 2: Recruitment

Chapter 3: Safety 

Chapter 4: Employee Entitlements

Chapter 5: Employee Relations

Chapter 6: Negotiating Enterprise Agreements

Chapter 7: Organisational Development

Chapter 8: Reward and Recognition

Chapter 9: Reporting and Systems

Chapter 10: Business Politics

Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Your HR Ally: Kickstart Your Human Resources Career by Melissa Hume is a non-fiction self-help guide encompassing all things HR. More than that, though, it is the multifaceted lens through which anyone may look as it will provide those on the other side of the table, who are on the hunt for employment, with an insider's manual on how human resources actually works. Hume covers a massive number of topics and provides practical, streamlined advice over the course of ten chapters. These include but are certainly not limited to areas such as recruiting, safety, and a comprehensive look at different forms of leave, payroll matters, negotiating factors, employee relations, and reporting, among many other elements of the role.

My crash course in human resources came as I prepared to hire staff for a brick-and-mortar shop. I had completely overlooked that I was, first and foremost, an HR manager. My gosh, how I wish Melissa Hume had written Your HR Ally in 2007. But for the rest of you who are in the here and now, what a great fortune it is to have a wealth of information right at your fingertips. The most interesting topic was workplace culture, matching what a company embodies and, the part I most enjoyed, its commitment to diversity. The assumption that everyone is on the same page is a naïve point of view and building the framework with clear boundaries that leave no room for interpretation is key. This is a fantastic book with so much to offer and am sure others who pick it up will feel the same.

 Career Guidance for Now and for the Future (2014)

If you’re looking for a good job, you’ve probably found out that they’re hard to find and even harder to get. Melissa Hume shares real-life experiences to help you understand how companies recruit and select candidates. She provides the guidance you need to:

• find the type of jobs you want;

• capture attention with your resume and cover letter;

• navigate the interview process;

• prepare for common interview questions;

• master the proper etiquette.

You’ll also learn how to boost your self-esteem by demonstrating your skills and knowledge to yourself. An assortment of useful exercises helps you truly understand and apply what you’ve learned. There’s even a section for employers on how to evaluate and select the best candidates. Whether you’re just entering the work force, returning after an extended break or simply seeking a change in direction, you’ll get the insights you need to find and get the job you want with Career Guidance for Now and for the Future.

Official Book review by Tanaya

Career Guidance for Now and for the Future is an advice book by Melissa Hume. The author started RCI Success, an Australia-based business that helps people write resumes, sharpen their interview skills and more.

The book starts off with a lot of practical advice about looking for a job. Some of the tips are standard fare, like what to wear on an interview. However, even with these more common notions, the author goes into appropriate depth. The focus isn’t solely on landing the job. The book also covers how to negotiate a pay raise, starting one’s own business, psychology in the workplace and so much more. She shares her relevant, career-related experiences for the reader’s benefit in addition to her behind-the-scenes knowledge. Ultimately, the author provides a full view of the job selection process from all perspectives: the job seeker, the hiring company, the recruiting office, interviewers, and even the receptionist.

Each chapter is fittingly divided into subsections that relate to the overall topic of the chapter. There are also bullet point lists, checklists, and numbered lists. The book is highly organized and easy to follow. The dos and don’ts for each topic are well explained. There are exercises for the reader to complete and several sample emails, resumes, and cover letters. The book is written in a comprehensible manner, particularly when it comes to certain things that aren’t common knowledge. The author also notes that many of the rules concerning the job selection process aren’t set in stone. It is up to the reader in many cases to make a decision, such as whether to include references on one’s CV. She provides sufficient guidelines and explanations so that readers can make informed decisions on how to present themselves to potential employers.

I’ll say now that I was really impressed by this book. I wrote down a lot of the tips in my notes, some for my own benefit and others just because they were things that people really should consider. An example of the latter is not using terms one doesn’t understand. It’s better to be oneself rather than try too hard to be falsely impressive. There’s a certain balance to strike. One of my favorite pieces of advice was a line of questioning job seekers should ask themselves: “Is this really an achievement? Would a potential employer read it and think, Who cares?” Putting a lot of stuff on a resume just to make it seem longer and fuller isn’t very beneficial. It’s the quality and relevancy of the content that matters.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. It was very thorough and seemed to cover everything, certainly more than I was expecting. The author points out a lot of things that I’ve been at fault of doing and provided practical advice that I will be sure to use in the future. When I initially picked this book out, I figured that it would reiterate things that can easily be found online. However, I learned a lot of new information or at least considered things to a greater degree than I ever had before. Some parts of the book are tailored to Australians. For the most part, the advice seemed to be universal. I’d highly recommend this guidebook to anyone on the hunt for a new job or just starting out in the workforce.