5 types of job seekers, which one are you dealing with?

When evaluating different candidates for a vacancy, recruiters or hiring managers tend to make a distinction between different kinds of job seekers. Some will be easy to place or to hire because they have a clear goal which is in line with their skills, experience, and personalities. However, others might be more challenging. At some point in the hiring process you might get to deal with one of the following job seekers:

  1. The job seeker that applies to every vacancy

Some people are just desperate to get a job, whatever the job and just start applying to everything that has an application option. They go online to hunt for jobs and basically just start applying to whatever opportunity is available. As a recruiter or hiring manager, when seeing such an application, you might wonder whether the candidate actually read the job description because the application just seems such a bad fit. Well, probably they have not read it and just applied. This type of job seeker is just trying to find a job, and that can be any job. Probably not the kind of job seeker you would want to hire.

  1. The job seeker that wants to over-achieve

This type of job seekers is characterized by presenting themselves as over-achievers. These candidates will want to tell you every single achievement from their life to impress you. Just the question “tell me something about yourself” will get them off and probably you will have to make them stop talking about everything they did during studies, internships, job, volunteer work etc. etc. This type of job seeker will probably attach all kinds of documentation to their application already to make sure you have all the info you need to see what a great candidate they are. One thing you can say for this type of job-seeker is that they are sure committed to their job and willing to give it their all!

  1. The job seeker that is too generalist

This candidate has experience in various functions, across different industries and has done many different jobs. They may be knowledgably about a lot of fields but their knowledge is not very deep. Dependent on the role you are hiring for, you should probably be careful with hiring a jack of all trades.

  1. The job seekers that might not be completely honest about previous experience

This type of job seeker might just conveniently borrow the experience of his or her team members and sell it as their own. They may declare they did certain tasks or had specific responsibilities whereas in reality they never really did and were just exposed to these through working with their colleagues. As a recruiter or hiring manager, you need to be careful with these kinds of candidates and you will really have to dig deep into specific details and use behavioral questioning to make sure that what they are telling you is the truth.

  1. The job seeker that fits the opportunity perfectly

And then there is the type of job seekers that is every recruiter´s or hiring manager´s dream, the perfect fit for the job. This type of job seeker has exactly the right kind of experience and have the right personality for the hiring company. Obviously, this is the kind of job seeker you will want to come across in your selection process.


How have you dealt with any of the above job seeker types? Do you think there are other types we should be aware of as recruiters or hiring managers? We would love to read your input in the comments!


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