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Purple, Schmerple

Or, you can’t there from here

➔ As if job seeking wasn’t hard enough. Job seeking over age 50 can be that much more trying again. And narrow-minded, finicky HR types and hiring managers don’t help matters much.

And that’s assuming that there is no age discrimination involved.

They say they know what they want

It’s what’s known in HR circles as the “purple squirrel.” It’s really not all that rare. According to the Harvard Business Review, “Employers are often looking to hire what recruiters call “purple squirrels,” or a candidate with the perfect — and nearly impossible — combination of skills for a given job.”

Some employers want a particular set of qualifications – and only that – or they dismiss the candidate all together. The problem is that no one meets those qualifications. No one. There are no purple squirrels. The inability to find this “purple squirrel” leads to pure frustration and more.

It doesn’t do much for the job seeker either.

So what’s a body to do? The aforementioned Harvard Business Review article does offer some possible suggestions. Whether or not those ideas are sufficient to convince a purple-squirrel-seeker remain to be seen. But nonetheless, their recommendations will make you a stronger candidate for more jobs – purple squirrel or not.

It all goes to making yourself a stronger candidate by learning new skills, being flexible in your approach to jobs and demonstrating that you’re always willing to go the extra mile. Open-minded employers like that.

At the end of the day, do you think that you’d be happy working someone so inflexible as the purple squirrel hunter? We think not.


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