ISO:Purple Squirrel – Resume Breadth & Depth

Does your resume broadcast breadth or depth of your skills and and experience.  Your years of work experience – do you highlight doing the same thing for a long time (stamina and perseverance) or illustrate being able to use your skills and knowledge in a variety of situations and settings?  Employers read your work history to see your progression of responsibilities, often by promotions. They are looking for your depth of knowledge and experience in a particular area or competency. Yet, you may have spent years in one role, but had many opportunities to broaden your capabilities by working across functional areas of your company, working on projects, taking on additional responsibilities, solving problems and accomplishing things beyond what is usually considered part of your job title.  Does your resume easily show that?

HR specialists say employers who increasingly need multi-skilled employees aren’t willing to settle for less. They’d rather wait and hold jobs vacant. They even have a nickname for the highly sought but elusive job candidate whose skills and experiences precisely match an employer’s needs: the “purple squirrel.” “There are lots of requests for purple squirrels nowadays,” said Joe Yesulaitis, chief executive of Aavalar Consulting, an IT staffing firm.

Many companies have combined roles and responsibilities during the recession.  They have streamlined processes and are now looking for people to be able to do a variety of tasks and handle a wider assortment of responsibilities.  These include both managing your own work tasks and often supporting or managing people or processes.  Here are some examples:

+Everyone is a customer service specialist – whether for paying customers, or those within your company that require your work products/service.

+We must have a minimum level of computer and information processing capabilities.

+You must be able to be both an entrepreneur (finding cost savings or revenue opportunities even within your own area) and a team player (collaborating, not being the hero).

Having a combination of deep knowledge of a process or field of expertise and the ability to augment and distribute it along with effective communication and relationships building abilities helps you be the elusive “purple squirrel.”

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One Response to “ISO:Purple Squirrel – Resume Breadth & Depth”

  1. It’s great to have a knowledgeable career and OD professional like Anne, who stays up on latest trends and shares them with us–in such a readable style!
    Barbara Herzog