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How to Be the Purple Squirrel

What is a Purple Squirrel?

Unless you are in the recruiting world, you probably haven’t heard of the purple squirrel.  So, what is it?  In the recruiting world, the purple squirrel represents the perfect candidate with all the exact experience, qualifications, skills, education, and anything else needed to fill an open job.  Because there is no such thing as a purple squirrel, it is a coined term meant to poke some humor at the unrealistic expectations companies can often have because it is nearly impossible to find a candidate who is an absolute perfect match.  So, if the purple squirrel doesn’t exist, how can you be the purple squirrel?

How to Be the Purple Squirrel

Here are five tips on how to be the purple squirrel:

1. Know that no one is perfect – Even if there were such thing as the perfect candidate, employers and recruiters are making educated guesses throughout the entire hiring process.  There is no such thing as a guarantee a person will even be a good fit let alone the perfect fit.  In recruiting, there are only educated guesses.

2.  Do your Homework – You can’t know how many people don’t do their homework on a company unless you are in recruiting or career professional.  If you want to show you are a fit for a company, you have to sound like you already work there!  Analyze what you’ve learned in your research so that you are insightful when talking about the company and you’ll impress the ba-gee-zeez (technical term) out of an employer or recruiter!

3. Focus on you – Knowing that no one is the perfect fit; the playing field is more level.  All you can do when presenting to a recruiter or employer is know yourself inside and out.  Have true insight on your own attributes and weaknesses.  In fact, do a SWOT analysis on yourself!

4. Articulate your Value – As a Career Center Director, when working with students, I always told students that the most qualified person doesn’t always get the job.  The person who sells their qualifications the best often gets the job.  Knowing yourself isn’t good enough.  You must be able to articulate the value you can offer and you must be able to clearly articulate how you can specifically be a solution to an employer or recruiter’s challenges.

5. Have Confidence – You may be well spoken but if you don’t have confidence, nothing you say will be believable.  Articulate your value but do so with conviction during the recruiting process.

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