Effective advertising works. That is why every year, billions is spent across the globe by companies big and small, advertising in popular magazines, newspapers, trade magazines, television and online.
On the other hand, ineffective advertising is like flushing money down the toilet and is a complete waste of money.
So what is the difference between advertising that works and advertising or sales pitches that don’t? The difference in the trade is known as the AIDA formula, which stands for:
- Get Attention
- Capture Interest
- Create Desire
- Call to Action
I’m sure by now you are asking what the heck has this got to do with creating a resume and finding a new job or promotion. Well everything!
You see, like the AIDA formula, as a job hunter, to secure that new job, or promotion, your resume needs to get attention, capture interest and create desire.
Get Attention and Capture Interest
To get attention, you need a strong resume with a core brand message that distinguishes you from the sometimes hundreds of other applicants. Within a resume, create the ‘essential message’ of what you are, where your value is, what skills and knowledge you offer and what differentiates you from others.
You need to grab the employer’s attention within the first 30 seconds. That means your profile and skills list needs to quickly communicate what you offer and all of this information needs to be on the first page of your resume.
One of the key strategies that you can use to gain attention and capture immediate interest is to use the prime real estate of your resume and ensure that your ‘essential message’ is located there. The prime real estate of your résumé is on the first page in the middle, about 1/3 down. This is the visual centre of the document that will get noticed first.
This prime real estate is where you want to pack your greatest punch in order to get the employer’s attention. This is where you outline your key skills, key accomplishments, or a summary of what you can offer the employer (namely your profile).
That is not to say that information further down the page, won’t get read carefully, what I’m saying is that when your reader initially scans the document, this is where you can ensure that your document generates sufficient interest, for it to be read thoroughly. Otherwise you risk have your resume put aside in the ‘not to interview pile’; in the same way, you chuck out your ‘junk advertising mail’.
The key to creating desire in a potential employer is two fold:
• You need to mirror the exact requirements of the employer within your resume.
• You need to start focussing on what you have achieved and contributed, not your duties and responsibilities.
Advertising gurus understand that to create desire, they need to tap into the exact needs of an audience and reflect this in the advertising material. That is why the most effective advertising understands their audience needs, desires and requirements. So if a potential employer requires a person with the ability to build relationships, then you need to make sure your resume reflects this requirement.
Likewise, desire is created in advertising if the product or service, is seen as a solution to someone’s perceived problem. That latest miracle moisturiser will reduce wrinkles and reverse the 7 signs of ageing. You don’t have to worry about flood insurance as you are covered no matter what.
As a job seeker your resume must become the solution to the employers problem. These problems can be (depending on the employer), the need to make money, save money, save time, make work easier, solve specific problems, ensure that they are more competitive, fulfil their statutory obligations, expand the business, or gain and retain more customers.
To be that solution, the core of your resume needs to be about your achievements, namely evidence that you solved these problems for another employer. For example: you reduced operational costs by 34%, you implemented an occupational health and safety strategy, that reduced workplace injuries by 40%, or you created a new filing system that eliminated wasted time in searching for misfiled documents.
As soon as you start developing a core message that talks about your achievements, rather than just talking about processes (duties and responsibilities), then you set the stage for creating desire, in that you have shown the employer how you can satisfy their needs and be the solution to their problem.
Madison avenue advertising tactics work – so why not start using these strategies in your own resume.