I’m often struck by how frequently I hear actors complain about being typecast in a specific role. Why, I think. Sometimes those are pretty awesome characters you’re playing, and its a working, paying job. The other day, however, I had the role reversed on me. I thought about how often job seekers are typecast in their non-Hollywood job searches. Many job seekers look outside their exact skill set in their job search to find a job they love. They want flexibility but often wind up only being typecast in a similar position from which they just left. So, in honor of the impending summer blockbusters, and television renewal season, here are the top five ways for job seekers to avoid being typecast in a specific position or industry in their job search.
1. Don’t apply to the same ‘ol job if you want to be seen as someone else.
It may seem self-explanatory but many job seekers keep applying to similar positions–even as they hope to break out of their old roles. Look for jobs where you can apply your skills, but are just a little
2. Be flexible.
In order to avoid being typecast, flexibility is vitally important. Show that you have a number of different skills and the flexibility to perform different jobs in your cover letter through a example.
3. Play a different part.
If you don’t want to be typecast find a resume booster that’s outside your norm. Find a volunteer opportunity, part-time job, or something else to boost your resume and show other interests and skills.
Want to break out of a role? Meet new people who can vouch for you outside of your previous position.
5. Embrace what you are.
It may seem counter intuitive but it’s important to own who you are. Few people get typecast without being good at it. Take it as a compliment that you do what you do very well. Let people know that you are great at this job, and feel it’s time to take on additional roles.
Being typecast isn’t just for Hollywood folks. Gain job flexibility and avoid being typecast in a role by following these tips and enjoy a more well-rounded career success.
Be sure to let us know if you have any other tips, or if you’re feeling typecast yourself. We love to hear from you!
IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Elwood Rose