There is no such thing as a “purple squirrel”, making it a great term used by recruiters to describe what many employers want these days…a candidate that doesn’t exist. It is a term used to describe the unrealistic expectations of a company that wants the “perfect” candidate with exactly the right experience, education and qualifications. It is one way to explain why it’s getting so hard for people to get jobs. If your resume doesn’t “have it all”, you don’t get called for an interview; and if you don’t convince the employer you “have it all” during the interview, you don’t get the job. This Purple Squirrel phenomenon may also partly explain some of the skills gap headlines we’ve been seeing over the past few years.
To convince employers to hire you, first think like an employer. If you put yourself in the shoes of the person hiring, what do you think s/he might be thinking?
- I don’t want to hire the wrong person.
- I want someone with experience.
- I don’t like taking hiring risks.
- I’m busy and don’t have time to train anyone.
- I can wait until I find the right person (and existing staff can do the extra work).
If you think like an employer, and adjust both your resume and interview answers to be sure you are addressing these common concerns (as well as the specifics of the position), you have a better chance at convincing them you are, in fact, the candidate they are looking for.
We’ve reviewed some experts’ opinions and advice about how to convince employers to hire you and share them here with you.
Why Employers Look for Purple Squirrels: 5 ways to successfully transform yourself into a Purple Squirrel
By Phil Rosenberg, Ivy Exec
- Describe close accomplishments and experiences
- Describe even your minor accomplishments confidently
- Describe accomplishments over experiences
- Understand underlying problems
- Don’t stretch
5 Things Every Potential Boss Wants to Hear
By Jessica Holbrook Hernandez, HCareers
- You will never have to tell me what to do twice
- I will complete the job/assignment you give me with excellence
- I am an agreeable person
- I am easy to correct and instruct—I am teachable
- I am a loyal employee
3 Universal Rules for Convincing Employers to Hire You
By Career Tipster
- Relevance: All employers need to understand how what you can offer is relevant to their needs.
- Evidence: Offer specific, focused, clear examples that prove you are the best choice
- Differentiation: You must articulate what differentiates you from the competition.
Top 10 Reasons Employers Want to Hire You
By Rachel Zupek, CareerBuilder
- Long-term potential
- Ability to work well with others
- Ability to make money
- Impressive résumé
- Relevant work experience
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Strong online presence
- Multitaskers who thrive on variety of projects
- Enthusiasm and initiative
- Good cultural fit