One of three reasons, to be exact.
Their failure to find work is often because they fall into one of three job seeker personality types: the Ego, the Victim and the Stalker… each of which scare away hiring managers and recruiters – and drive them toward safer candidates that will fit better within their culture.
Thankfully, with a modest effort, these job seeker types can change:
The Ego personality is typically a person who writes checks his resume can’t cash.
The Ego may come from a very good school… but have no real experience. Maybe they’ve been so propped up by their helicopter parents that the idea of “entry-level” doesn’t work for them.
Perhaps they’re a workforce veteran that has been downsized after climbing the ranks of management and now just can’t deal with the thought of sliding backward. Maybe they obtained a certain status within their industry and developed an elitist attitude (along with high demands from employers).
For certain, the “Ego” doesn’t seem to realize their vision of themselves, and where they should be, was an economic lifetime ago – and they can’t let go.
If you are an Ego job seeker personality type:
Take a step back. Apply a more humanistic approach to your job search, and a certain degree of humility, by volunteering within your community. By working selflessly with others, you’ll regain a sense of balance – and will then be able to focus on what is important to you, including a sense of contribution (rather than letting your view of what you should be, define you).
Almost the polar opposite of the Ego, is the Victim. He can’t find a job, has little confidence – and tells the world that his situation is not his fault.
The typical Victim has built a fortress around himself. He’s submitted dozens, perhaps hundreds, of online applications and perhaps has been on several interviews. That effort hasn’t resulted in a single job offer, however. So, despite continuing to actively job search, he has no expectation of receiving an offer anytime soon.
The most telling sign of a Victim: he blames everyone and everything else for his current situation – the economy, his city, his old boss or company, maybe even his spouse or family.
If you are a Victim job seeker personality type:
Try something different! Take your job search in a different direction. Recognize that what you’ve been doing is not working. Also realize that no one wants to hire someone who constantly complains, makes excuses and blames others. Instead, they want someone who will fit their company culture and add to a pleasant, positive working environment.
Network more. Blog. Join the career-related chats on Twitter. Enlist the services of a professional career counselor or coach. And until you find some self-confidence… celebrate every little victory: a new lead, speaking to an influential contact, a new internship – anything to help you get out of victim mode.
The Stalker is one who is so eager (read: desperate) that she leaves all common sense behind.
She applies for the same job 16 times in three weeks. And/or after the interview… calls, emails and tweets so often she either scares, or annoys the hell out of, the recruiter. Through her actions, and perhaps despite the perfect resume and work experience, she comes off more like Glenn Close in ‘Fatal Attraction’ than she does the perfect team member. The Stalker rarely gets a first chance, and never gets a second.
No one wants to hire a stalker.
If you are a Stalker job seeker personality type:
Relax and resist. By “relax” I mean STOP letting your desperation show. And by “resist” I mean you must resist all temptation to turn into an overbearing, relentless candidate whom no one wants to hire. For a detailed “how-to” on effective (non-stalker) communication with a recruiter, see “Job Seekers: No One Ever Hires…a Stalker“.
With so many candidates competing with you for that dream job, be sure you don’t become a recruiter’s worst nightmare: the Ego, the Victim or the Stalker. If your job search is stalled, thoroughly review these three personality types and evaluate yourself honestly: do you fit into one of these categories?
For this post, Campus to Career thanks our friends at YouTern! Check out their blog, The Savvy Intern, for some really great career tips. (Psst! They’re also one of our 13 Super Experts to Follow on Twitter in 2013…just sayin’.)
About the author: A passionate supporter of Gen Y talent, YouTern CEO Mark Babbitt is a serial entrepreneur and mentor. Mark has been quoted in Forbes, Fortune, Mashable, ReadWriteWeb, and Under30CEO.com regarding internships, emerging talent and the current job market – and was recently honored to be named to GenJuice’s “Top 100 Most Desirable Mentors” list.