How to BE a purple squirrel


For those of you who read last week's blog you will remember we were talking about the elusive purple squirrel.  We discussed the value of such a rare and significant hire. No prizes for guessing what question has been lingering on people's minds since that blog:

How do I become a purple squirrel?

There are so many things that job seekers can do to stand out, and make themselves an easy and obvious fit for that role they are seeking. Sadly, a good proportion of candidates neglect to do the most simple and crucial things.

Purple modified


Firstly, put yourself in the recruiter's shoes.

They are probably sifting through HUNDREDS of applications for each position. Your CV should be concise, and clearly highlight the fit between your skills and the job description. And please, PROOFREAD it!

Secondly, do your homework!

You need to understand exactly what the company is looking for. At interview, you need to be able to speak confidently, and articulate WHY you are the right person to hire. Think of the company as having a problem - sell yourself as the solution. Be professional but friendly; let your personality show through a little - but don't waffle!

Times are changing - understand the importance of social and professional networks.

Some people spend hours searching and applying for jobs on line. They may get a couple of interviews if they are lucky. Create or update your professional profile, such as LinkedIn - you only have to do it once and you could be approached for positions without even having to apply for them!

Remember, recruiting is still a people business; it's about the connections you make with other people.

Attitude is everything - you've heard it before. There's no point in having the right skills and qualifications, if you have a bad attitude. Smile, be human, and be willing to take advice and feedback.

Show your willingness to learn, and show respect for the recruiting process - and the people involved. This applies to everyone, from the receptionist to the CEO. Believe me; if you are rude or dismissive to the receptionist, it will get back to the people who make the decisions! They have more power than you might think.

At the end of the process, if you still haven't been successful, don't take it personally - and please don't criticise the recruiter's decision! Next week they might have another job you are interested in! Thank them for their time, and ask for feedback and advice.

Then USE IT. Move forward. Onward and upward. Practice makes perfect. And perfect makes a Purple Squirrel.

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