5 Reasons Every HR Professional Needs Their Own Book…And How To Make It Happen Quickly!

by Alan Collins

When I finished my 9th book, The New HR Leader’s First 100 Days, I celebrated by going to dinner with a bunch of colleagues and friends at Ditka’s in Chicago.

Thick steaks.

Lots of mashed potatoes.

Chocolate cake.

Plenty of adult beverages.

Quite a few diets were abandoned that night.

There was also great conversation about the book.

But not what you’d expect.

Most of the comments were some variation of the following:

“Jeez, I’d like to write a book too, but…,”
“I have an idea for a book, however…,”
“I wish I had the time to write a book…”
“A book? I wouldn’t know where to start…”

I told the HR folks in the group that I understood. At one time, I felt the same way. But, based on what I knew about each of them, I strongly suggested that they, too, should get their OWN book going – now!

When they asked why, I was in no mental condition to answer them clearly…especially after a full meal and two vodka martinis. But I promised them I’d write out my rationale, post it on my blog…and provide them with some “help” on how to get their own book done fast.

So, guys, here you go. I’m delivering on my promise.

Here are 5 big reasons to author your own HR book…

Reason #1:  
Your own HR book gains
you instant respect and credibility.

If you’ve read my first book, Unwritten HR Rules, you know that I am a firm believer that if you truly want to enhance your influence, prominence, credibility, career and financial success in HR, you must learn how to promote yourself.

In fact, the most important sale you’ll ever make in your HR career is the decision to start selling yourself and your accomplishments even more.  However, it’s tough to do this without coming across like some complete, utter jerk.

So, if you’ve shied away from doing this, then your own book is an ideal marketing tool.  By using your book to “share your knowledge with others,” it allows you subtly “advertise” your HR brilliance to the marketplace — without appearing arrogant.

It sounds crazy, but our society immediately holds you in higher regard once you’ve written your own book…even if your book never sells one single, stinkin’ copy.

Your book documents that you know your stuff. And, people are more likely to take advice from you once they perceive you as an established expert and a credible source.

When you’ve written your book, you are now seen as a “go-to” authority and trusted advisor on that subject by others. And you are!

Also, if you’ve ever dreamed of someday building a national (or even global) reputation in your HR specialty…then your book is your vehicle for getting the ball rolling.

Reason #2:
Your own HR book differentiates you
from 99% of the HR pack and leapfrogs
you to the front of the line.

Having a finished book with your name on the front cover immediately makes you stand out as unique in HR from those without one.

If you’re looking to land a new job, impress a client or a capture a plumb consulting assignment, you have a HUGE competitive advantage over the glut of other potential HR professionals out there who have only their resume and maybe a decent LinkedIn profile working on their behalf.

After I released my first book, my contact network increased exponentially. My LinkedIn network increased by 700+ people in four months. My Twitter followers by 2500+ in three months. And my offline network of contacts increased significantly too. I attribute just about all of it to my book.

This is not unusual. Your book will attract new people that will want to affiliate with you, partner with you, build a relationship with you or simply add you to their network of contacts. This is includes recruiters, headhunters, potential hiring managers, consultants, consulting firms or others who are impressed with you – you, the published author.

Reason #3:
Your own HR book is the
most powerful business card
on the planet.

Almost everyone has a business card. And, on a busy day, for a busy person, a dozen or so business cards may change hands. However, business cards are easy to misplace, forget about and lose.

If you’re a savvy HR pro, why not use your book as your “calling card.” Handing your book to key people instead of a crappy little card creates a distinctive impression. Nothing quite has the impact of a copy of your book which contains your credentials, contact information, something about your HR philosophy, thoughts and insights.

A book which that contains all that becomes one of the most powerful calling cards there is. First, it marks you in the mind of the person who has received it as being someone different to everyone else they have met that day.

Also, unlike a business card a book is hard to misplace, difficult to lose and next to impossible to forget about.

Third, by its very presence your book invites closer examination and a leafing of pages, at the very least, making your message to the receiver much more powerful than just a business card.

Reason #4:
Your own HR book can
be your advocacy tool for
communicating your unique
message to the world.

One of the best ways of standing out in HR is to be an advocate. Those who change, influence or put their fingerprints on the HR profession tend to be advocates of some point of view.

You can be an advocate of HR leadership. Or an advocate of work/life balance. Or an advocate of talent development. Or an advocate of HR technology. Or you can be an advocate for HR managers in unionized manufacturing locations. You can slice up the HR field however you’d like and become a passionate advocate for your piece of the profession. The choice is yours.

And book is an outstanding vehicle for communicating your advocacy message and making a lasting impact on the profession.

Since everyone won’t own your book, you can also break it up and use chapters in your book to get your “message” out in small chunks – on the internet, as articles, on blogs, within newsletters and magazines to further promote your name, your reputation and your cause.

Reason #5:
Your own HR book provides you
with a sense of accomplishment
that will stay with you for
the rest of your life.

When you write a book, you will feel a great sense of achievement because you’ve done something that most people will never do.  And you’ve gained a title most will never have: “author.”

This is a title that will stay with you forever. It’s not an HR job title. It’s a permanent title. When you work for someone, you may have earned a certain job title within the company. But when you change jobs, you no longer have the right to refer to yourself using that old job title as your current title. But, as an author, you will carry that accomplishment with you to your grave.

There you have it.

Five benefits of writing your own HR book.

Here’s what you should consider doing next…

Writing a book isn’t for everyone. And, there are plenty of HR folks who do quite well in their careers without one. However, if you’d think you would like to do a book either now or sometime in the future, then let me tell you something should check out.

It’s called..

WRITE YOUR OWN HR BOOK FAST!  Take Your Career in Human Resources To The Next Level By Authoring Your Own Book — Faster Than You Ever Thought Possible & On The Side! 

It’s a quick-read, no fluff step-by-step guide  (plus a 20-minute downloadable step-by-step video and other bonuses).  And it’s geared for anyone in HR that would absolutely love to write their own book, fast — and on the side.

You can find out all you need to know and get all the details about it by CLICKING HERE.


Meanwhile, CLICK HERE to add your comments on this article.

About the author:
Alan Collins is Founder of Success in HR and the author of eight books designed to help HR professionals advance their careers including the best sellers:  UNWRITTEN HR RULES. and HR INTERVIEW SECRETS.  He was formerly Vice President – Human Resources at PepsiCo where he led HR initiatives for their Quaker Oats, Gatorade and Tropicana businesses.

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4 Responses to “5 Reasons Every HR Professional Needs Their Own Book…And How To Make It Happen Quickly!”

  1. Lana Says:

    Thank you for excellent ideas Alan. Every time you add value to our professional career path.

  2. Brock Says:

    Having read this I believed it was extremely informative. I appreciate you spending some time and effort to put this short article together. I once again find myself spending a significant amount of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  3. Bamike Fadipe Says:

    Alan, you’re such a large hearted mentor and professional. Your newsletter is like my regular pep, always motivating and inspiring. I appreciate your eagerness to replicate your results in others making it clear and real! It’s highly commendable and I must say it marks you out distinctively in this industry. God bless you.

  4. Jon P Says:

    This a great article.So many reasons and clarification of all the reasons.I is very helpful.