By: E L
The world has changed in unimaginable ways in the past few decades. Industrialization, globalization, and outsourcing have paved the path for the evolution of the corporate world. And with it, the employment scene has also evolved.
The competition is rough and with the game being constantly updated every day, you have to deliver your best, each time. You have to stand out and show that you are not just another sheep in the flock. Or in the words of recruiters, “you have to be a Purple Squirrel.”
As odd as the term Purple Squirrel sounds, it is real, just not the way you might think.
Purple squirrel is a phrase often used by employment recruiters to report a possible hire as ‘the perfect person for the job.’ Being a perfect candidate entails having the exact qualities and personalities along with the right education and the experience that is required for the position.
It is a metaphor used that employers use to mean that the perfect hire, with all the requirements the post demands, is as hard to find as a purple squirrel.
The theory behind these magical purple squirrels is that they would help businesses reach their optimum productivity with fewer workers. Additionally, this also means that fewer resources are required to train and re-train recruits. This is because they would just know the how, what, when, of the job and would have already learnt the ropes. This implies that these special hires would be able to handle enormous responsibilities and would possess the proper skill-set required to run their assigned work-station.
Spending countless hours on the internet scouring for a decent interview prospect or applying to dozens and dozens of online entries for a job opening seems to be what most of the youth are doing these days.
The reality is there are too many qualified professionals available just for one job. Imagine being the same drop of water from a pond as the next. Your chances of landing that job are purely based on luck, just like picking a random name from a bowl of applications.
The only way to increase your chances is to stand out from the crowd. This is what is meant by being a purple squirrel. Companies do not need another drone. You have got to showcase what you can bring to the table apart from what everyone else has already shown to them. Rather than copying and pasting the same old resume, you have to understand what the employers are looking for and try to cater to these needs.
Now the question arises-
While there are many books you could read, to figure out the answer, a few general pointers enlisted below would be a good place to start.
Create Your Identity
With the internet, checking someone's profile is not as difficult anymore. It is important to make your online presence known, and this can easily be done using social platforms such as LinkedIn or even Facebook. They are great not just to declare your achievements and skills, but also to show others in the professional world where your interests lie, how informed you are and what is the ‘extra’ you may bring. Besides, expanding your connection and interacting with personalities from your field does not hurt either.
Know Your Skills
Knowing your skills and qualities or identifying your ‘value proposition’ are the best ways to put things into perspective. After all, if you are to sell yourself, you should know what you are all about. The main things to consider, to figure out what your values are should be what defines you and why you should be hired. What distinguishes you from the competitions? How will you deliver your promise? Who your target audience i.e. the recruiters are, and what is it they want?
The Right Attitude
The most important thing you must bring with you to any job interview or while sending in your application is the right attitude and passion. You have to like what you do, and you have to want the position you are applying for. This shows that you are genuinely interested and will perform your best.
Now that you know what you’ve got to do, it is time to become that rare Purple Squirrel everyone is looking for!