Thursday, December 18, 2008

Job seekers fall into three categories. Which one are you?

Article Title: Job seekers fall into three categories. Which one are you?
Author Byline: Tim Tyrell-Smith @ Spin Strategy™ - Tools for Intelligent Job Search
Author Website:

Excuse me, (job seeker), but in which category do you fall?

My experience as a hiring manager, networker and fellow job seeker tells me that there are three categories of job seekers.

So beyond the pure enjoyment of dropping people into neat little boxes, what's the value of this?

First of all, if you are a job seeker, you should know what category you are in so that you can be aware and act accordingly.

Second, others are either already aware of your designation or are getting hints from you that send key signals about your categorization. These signals can also affect your ability to get interviews, and ultimately, get offers.


Here are the three categories:

1. THE KNOW IT ALL This is a good thing. If you are in this group, you have a very clear idea of what you want to do in your career. You may have always known you were built for accounting in a large corporation or for customer service in a non-profit. It's also possible that you figured this out along the way but have no reservations that you found a true calling. If this is you, consider yourself fortunate. You get to pass GO and collect $200. Your challenge in job search is finding the correct fits, networking your way in and proving your case. Simple. Not without challenges, especially in this economy, but simple.

2. THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER This is also a good thing. Mostly. If you are in this group, you are highly aware that your current career is not a perfect fit for you. You have struggled a bit (perhaps for a while) because you are acutely aware of this gap between what you love and what you are doing to make money. The smart members of this group are not only aware. They are also proactive in looking for help and guidance. A great place to look? Your friendly neighborhood career coach. As I've said before, I am a big fan of career coaches. But, as I've also said: If you are going to spend money on any career resource (coach, web service, etc), do it early in your search to get off to a great (eyes open) start.

3. THE QUIET QUESTIONER This is not a good thing. If you are in this group you have many of the characteristics of THE KNOWLEDGE SEEKER but are missing the most important one - the seeker part. You are unsure about your career choices and, unfortunately, it shows. It's obvious. When someone asks you at a networking event "what are you looking for?" your answers are vague and unsure. If your answer is "something stable" or "I like sales but could also do marketing" then you are in this category. Let me be clear. You are not making yourself open to a wider variety of jobs by being flexible with your job objective. You are telling people that you don't know. And there are three people who do know standing right behind you. If this is you, all is not lost, but plan on a longer, more windy road to your next job. Unless you are a great actor. And that's a whole different story for another day.

So ...

For the job seeker, as always, I hope this is helpful and drives some additional thinking on your part. Let me know if you have questions!

For the recruiter, which category of job seeker would you most like to recommend for a job with one of your clients?

For the career coach, what's your advice for THE QUIET QUESTIONER?

Article courtesy of the Recruiting Blogswap, a content exchange service sponsored by, a leading site for college students looking for internships and recent graduates searching for entry level jobs and other career opportunities.

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