Book Review: Two Pieces of Paper by Skyler W. King

The newly released Two Pieces of Paper by Skyler W. King is geared for college students. The concept behind the title is that the two important documents one should attain by the end of college are both the degree being conferred as well as a job offer. The book goes on to give practical advice about how to work on both those goals at the same time, so that they may come to fruition simultaneously upon graduation from college.

While the writing is a bit amateurish, King doesn’t claim to be anything other than a newly graduated college alumnus with some practical advice based on his own experiences from his job search process. In fact, if anything, he sells himself a bit short in the Preface of the book, emphasizing how he has very little experience. I would argue that the experience of someone who has recently been through the process is perhaps the most relevant.

Sadly though, today’s college student is finding themself in a much different environment than what King himself recently experienced. Many classes are not being held in person, which changes the nature of networking opportunities with professors and other students. In addition, extracurricular options are limited at best. With the pandemic changing the way business is done and unemployment skyrocketing amidst a sagging economy, the job search process continues to shift like quicksand in these uncertain times. However, there are certainly still some valuable tips to be gleaned. Using some of the strategies outlined in this book may benefit today’s college student in getting the most out of what college has to offer and in getting a leg up in the job search process.

Perhaps the book is best summed up by this line found in Chapter 5:

“Your academic and extracurricular endeavors, along with how you effectively communicate your experience, sell yourself in the hiring process, and performance in internships ultimately embodies what you’ll be doing if you want to get a job out of college, not your degree alone.”

The book goes on to describe specific tips for navigating each of these areas. It’s a quick read, and can easily be absorbed through its short chapters. I believe the ideal time to read it would be during the freshman year of college to help point students in the right direction for tailoring their college career to yield productive results in getting started in a future career.

Note: This book was sent to me by the author for the purpose of an impartial review.

2 comments

  1. And with the way colleges are treating students who paid for parking and building maintenance (for remote learning), and the lack of accountability for that second piece of paper, a lot of students I know are opting for trade schools. Is that your experience?

    • Jacqui, good question. I’ve heard some students talk about taking a gap year, although even that is tricky with such limited options for work opportunities, travel abroad, and other activities that would normally enhance the gap year experience. I imagine trade schools might be running into similar problems of finding it difficult to teach and train during a pandemic. I suspect community colleges and programs that specialize in online education at a more affordable price might do well this year and next. Even Google’s new career certificate program may have an impact on traditional college education. I feel for recent and upcoming high school graduates who had their hearts set on a traditional college campus experience, but (like all of us) must adjust to a very different environment from what they had expected.

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