Career Fitness: About Purple Squirrels and Unicorns

Career Fitness: About Purple Squirrels and Unicorns

Career Fitness: About Purple Squirrels and Unicorns

Recruiters have a name for those they consider the best candidates. They call them purple squirrels. Investors have a name for companies that rapidly become business success stories. They call them unicorns. Both creatures are rare and highly valued – and that’s exactly how you want to be seen, as well.

In today’s job market, being qualified isn’t enough to land a great job. There are just too many competitors who can meet the stated requirements for an opening, too many individuals who look-alike, at least from the imperfect perspective of a recruiter. The trick to being successful, therefore, is to stand out in the herd – to look like a rare and valuable creature.

How can you do that? Adopt three characteristics and emphasize them on your resume. But remember, that first verb in that statement is as important as the second. To be believable as a purple squirrel or a unicorn, you actually have to act like one.

Transforming Yourself into Something Rare & Valuable

While there are a range of characteristics ascribed to rare and valuable candidates, three are particularly important in today’s job market.

Be a work-in-progress.

Regardless of the academic degree you hold and the years of experience you’ve had, act as if you still have much to learn in your field. The pace of at which knowledge is now advancing is so rapid, the half life of your expertise is measured in months, not years. And employers know that. They know that workers become obsolete almost overnight. As a consequence, they value those rare candidates who take responsibility for keeping their skills and knowledge up-to-date. These individuals demonstrate that commitment by enrolling in an appropriate academic course or training program, even while they are looking for a job. They then promote their ongoing participation in personal development on their resume.

Be a thought leader.

Employers are facing unprecedented competition in both domestic and international markets. They believe the only way they can come out on top is to employ workers who bring innovation and creativity to work with them every day. They want people who can think outside the box or, even better, find a different box altogether for doing their job. For that reason, they search for candidates who remain active in their field, even while they are looking for a job. These rare individuals invest time online in actively participating in one or more forums devoted to exploring new ideas in their field and/or solving occupational challenges. They then promote that commitment to continuous improvement on their resume.

Be a person of talent

Your talent is not your field of work or even your area of expertise. It is your innate capacity for excellence. For example, it might be the ability to disaggregate complex tasks so they can be more effectively accomplished or the ability to communicate complex ideas so that they are clear to everyone. Employers are desperate for such talent, but have a very hard time finding it, largely because so few people actually know what their talent is or how to work with it. For that reason, they search for individuals who display their talent, even while they are looking for a job. These rare individuals find a way to keep their talent employed (e.g., in volunteer organizations or their professional society) and then detail that experience on their resume.

Today’s job market is a crowded place where it’s very difficult to stand out. You can, however, rise above the horde by acting and then positioning yourself as a rare and valuable candidate – a purple squirrel or unicorn.

Thanks for Reading,


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Career Fitness: The Book

Are you frustrated by the hundreds of job search and career building techniques you’ve read and heard about? For many of us, all those options can be totally overwhelming. How do you know which are the most effective? And what’s the best way to perform them? And how often should you use them to find a great new job or a better one?

Well, now you can get the answers to all of those questions in one inexpensive, easy-to read resource. The Career Fitness Workbook introduces an easy 7-step system of job search and career development activities that will help you successfully compete for and prosper in the job of your dreams.

The Career Fitness system presents the 7 most powerful job search and career development techniques, tells you how to perform them effectively AND how often so you achieve your goals both in a job search and your career. So, don’t delay. Get The Career Fitness Workbook today! It’ll increase the reach, endurance and strength of your job search and lift your career to heights you could only imagine before.

The book is available on Amazon. Click here to place your order.

The Unbiased Connection to Great Jobs

For over 15 years, WEDDLE’s has published the leading guidebook to job boards and career portals. WEDDLE’s Guide to Employment Sites on the Internet is considered the Gold Standard for job seekers and career activists. In fact, no less an authority than Dick Bolles, author of What Color is Your Parachute?, rated the Guide “Highly recommended!”

Now, you can sign up for WEDDLE’s Job Alert and get your very own, private and totally unbiased connection to some of the best career advancement opportunities on the Web.

This no-cost resource scours the job postings at leading job boards and career portals and connects you with those that match your capabilities and aspirations. It’s the easiest way possible to find your Dream Job!

Get it for yourself and tell your friends and family about it, as well.

What’s the Best Job Board?

If you’re tired of reading the pundits’ picks for the best employment sites on the Web, here’s the alternative you’ve been looking for.

Each year, WEDDLE’s hosts an online poll for job seekers and recruiters to vote for THEIR picks of the best sites. We call it the WEDDLE’s User’s Choice Awards.

To see the 2015 winners, click here.

To cast your vote for next year’s winners, click here.

Make Your Job Search Headquarters

Modeled after Pinterest, offers four channels of information and resources found nowhere else on the Web. And, one of those channels is specifically tailored for smart Job Seekers – those who want to find not just any job, but a great one!

What’s in the Job Seekers channel at There are:

  • One of a kind books & tools for job search and career success
  • An archive of outside-the-box, get-it-done-now Job Search Tips
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So, make the place where you start your job search day! And, encourage your friends to join you there, as well.