What's Your Job Search Style?

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Selena Dehne, JIST Publishing

When it comes to the job search, some people overanalyze every step they take. Others don't think at all, taking one risk after another and hoping for positive results. In short, everyone has a particular style when it comes to how they participate in the job search process. Knowing what that style is can help job seekers utilize their strengths and improve their weaknesses to find good jobs more quickly.

John Liptak, author of "Career Quizzes," divides job seekers into four categories: doers, preparers, energizers and thinkers. In his book, he points among these types of job seekers and emphasizes that none of the styles is any better than the other.

"The best job search strategy is the one that incorporates the best parts of your strongest style along with strategies you can learn to implement from weaker styles," Liptak says.

To discover which style best describes you and learn how to improve your performance in the job hunt, check out the descriptions and tips below, as outlined in Liptak's book.


The doer

Do you thrive on competition? Operate on a high-stress level? Continue pursuing something even though you've already been told "no?" If so, you may be a doer, Liptak says.

"People with a 'doer' job search style tend to be action oriented, assertive and stick with a task until it's finished."

Doers and the job hunt:

· Excel at selling themselves, following through on job search activities, building their network, and trumpeting their skills and experiences.

· Prefer aggressive job search strategies, such as directly calling an employer.

· Tend to lose patience with the job search.

· Sometimes come across as pushy or forget to listen during a job search interview.

How doers can improve their job search strategy:

· Learn to know when assertiveness is detrimental to job search efforts.

· Think before acting to avoid alienating employers.

· Strive to relax and be patient.

· Develop a portfolio of accomplishments to show employers.

· Create a great resume and cover letter to show prospective employers.


The preparer

Preparers are generally well-organized, adept planners who find comfort in routine and prefer to keep a low profile, Liptak says.

"They carry out their well-designed plans in a thorough and persistent manner, although often without any outward show of enthusiasm. Their fear of change can become debilitating, but in a stable and predictable environment, they are friendly and warm and have a tremendous desire to succeed."

Preparers and the job hunt

· Remain calm in the job search and take rejection in stride.

· Tend to be responsive listeners with an easygoing nature and affable personality that makes for a comfortable interview environment.

· Sometimes struggle to sell themselves because they lack assertiveness

· Inclined to rely too heavily on the visible job market, prompting them to underutilize more aggressive techniques like phoning employers or building a job search network.

How preparers can improve their job search strategy

· Become more assertive in self-marketing.

· Learn to never take "no" for an answer.

· Build a network of potential employers.

· Strive to enjoy talking with prospective employers.

· Take action after thorough preparations.


The energizer

Liptak describes Energizers as the "free spirits" of the job hunt, because they tend to be adventurous risk-takers"Unlike preparers, energizers have a high-energy level and a great deal of enthusiasm, although they often need help channeling their energy in constructive ways. Energizers get along well with almost anyone, enjoy a variety of tasks, and are open to change," Liptak says.

Energizers and the job hunt

· Generally willing to use all job search methods and will even discover their own innovative strategies.

· Often viewed as charismatic and enthusiastic during interviews, provided they aren't seen as hyper or chaotic.

· Have difficulty organizing job search campaigns, because they can sometimes be impulsive and careless.

· Excellent networkers, but tend to have difficulty translating their energy and enthusiasm to paper. Thus, they tend to excel in interviews, provided they haven't been screened out by a sloppy resume or lack of attention to detail.

How energizers can improve their job search strategy

· Learn to curb impulsiveness.

· Appreciate the value of tools such as resumes, cover letters, and employment applications (and working to make them professional).

· Learn not to be sensitive to criticism and rejections.

· Use creativity to find ways to impress employers.

· Mind the small details of an effective job search campaign (such as keeping track of resumes sent out, replies from prospective employers, interview dates, and follow-up activities).


The thinker

"Thinkers are logical in all that they do -- the Mr. Spocks of the job search style universe," Liptak says. He goes on to describe them as perfectionists who are generally willing to spend a great deal of energy to complete projects and get them right. Liptak adds that thinkers often get bogged down in details and fail to "see the forest for the trees."

Thinkers and the job hunt

· Tend to prefer traditional job search methods, such as mailing out a résumé rather than directly calling an employer.

· Highly skilled at résumé and cover letter writing and preparing for interviews.

· Tend to become overwhelmed by the insignificant aspects of the job search and lose sight of the big picture.

· Sometimes come off as reserved and unenthusiastic during job interviews.

How thinkers can improve their job search strategy

· Rely less on logic and more on gut feelings.

· Be less critical.

· Be more flexible.

· Be more aggressive with employers.

· Develop a network of prospective employers.

· Don't overanalyze the minor details of a job search campaign.

Next: 10 Reasons Your Job Search Isn't Working >>


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Selena Dehne is a career writer for JIST Publishing who shares the latest occupational, career and job search information available with job seekers and career changers. She is also the author of JIST's Job Search and Career Blog (http://jistjobsearchandcareer.blogspot.com/).

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