According to James Reed’s best-selling book, ‘The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview,’ there are seven common types of jobseeker. Which one are you and how can you use this to secure your next role?

According to James Reed’s best-selling book, ‘The 7 Second CV: How to Land the Interview,’ there are seven common types of jobseeker. Which one are you and how can you use this to secure your next role?

The Spammer

Characteristics: You apply to every vacancy that’s remotely applicable to you. Spammers apply to lots of jobs and don’t tailor their CV accordingly.

Pros: In theory, the more jobs you apply to, the more likely you are to get lucky.

Cons: Because it’s unlikely you’re applying to jobs that are right for you, you’re unlikely to be successful.

How to impress employers: You may feel you’re being more productive when you’re applying to lots of jobs but unfortunately, this tactic is rarely successful. Focus on applying for fewer but better quality jobs. It’s also very important to tailor your CV to the role.

The Undercover Agent

Characteristics: You’re so embarrassed about promoting your achievements that you either don’t address them at all on your CV or they’re so well hidden, no employer can identify them.

Pros: You don’t have to worry about coming across as arrogant.

Cons: Most recruiters don’t have time to dissect a candidate’s CV so if they can’t identify your strengths immediately, it’s unlikely you’re ever going to get an interview.

How to impress employers: Don’t be afraid to value yourself and your achievements – this really is the time to shout about them. Highlight your most notable skills and achievements on your CV and practice talking about them before your interview so you feel more comfortable about it on the day.

The Job Hopper

Characteristics: You have countless jobs listed on your CV and you don’t tend to stay in a role for very long.

Pros: Your experience is diverse and you’re clearly skilled at applying for and being offered jobs.

Cons: Because you don’t stay in roles for very long, you’ll have very few substantial achievements. Employers will also worry that you won’t stay in the role for long so may be reluctant to hire you. Job hoppers can also appear unfocused or unable to commit.

How to impress employers: Take some time out to figure out what you really want with the aim of staying in your next role for a long time. In the meantime, consider creating a skills-based CV rather than one where you list your jobs individually.

It’s also very important for job hoppers to write a cover letter when applying for jobs – you may after all have a perfectly acceptable reason (contract work for example).


Characteristics: You embellish your skills and experience in order to fit the job spec criteria perfectly.

Pros: It may help you secure the job initially but lying on your CV or in an interview can land you in hot water very quickly.

Cons: If you’re caught, you can be instantly dismissed by your employer.

How to impress employers: Lying to a potential employer isn’t going to get your anywhere. Aside from living in constant fear that you’re going to get found out, you’re going to struggle in the role if you don’t have the skills or experience necessary.

If there’s a job you’re keen on but you don’t quite fit the criteria, sell your enthusiasm and willingness to learn. This can go a long way when it comes to impressing a potential employer.

The Newbie

Characteristics: You’re fresh out of school with no work history.

Pros: You’re young, energetic and keen to impress.

Cons: It can be hard to get a look-in when you don’t have any work experience. You have to rely on an employer taking a risk on you.

How to impress employers: Make the most of your qualifications and experience – no matter how small they are. Anything from extracurricular activities, part-time work and even hobbies can demonstrate transferable skills which could prove you’re a good fit for the job.

The Shape Shifter

Characteristics: You’re looking to move into a different industry or type of role, rather than the traditional upgrade from your current job.

Pros: Changing career isn’t easy and recruiters are likely to admire your dedication, passion and enthusiasm.

Cons: Because your experience won’t be directly linked to the job on offer, you’re likely to struggle to secure your first job in your new field.

How to impress employers: Using the same tips as the newbie can be very helpful because you’re trying to convince an employer to give you a chance. Make sure you mention in your cover letter why you’re looking to make the change because otherwise recruiters are likely to be confused why you’ve applied for the role.

The Emmental

Characteristics: You have long breaks between jobs.

Pros: It can show that you take time to consider your roles carefully before applying. There may also be a great reason for taking a career break – having children, going travelling, being a carer or studying for example.

Cons: If you’re repeatedly quitting jobs without another to go to, this can appear unreliable or even worse, suspicious.

How to impress employers: Make sure you explain the gaps in your CV. Don’t try to hide them because any experienced recruiter will sniff them out. Make sure you mention any skills you gained during unemployment so you can highlight the gaps as a positive thing.

If you need help finding your next role, please feel free to get in touch with Alpha and we’ll be more than happy to help.