Tired of hoping to win the Resume Lottery in order to generate interviews?
There’s a long-proven formula used by direct mail marketers that you can adapt for use in generating interviews. Known as AIDA, it lets you get interviews based on factors that you can win on, rather than those that are commonly used to screen you out. Best of all, this formula makes it possible for you to answer the main question most hiring authorities want to know, namely: what can you do for me?
If all they have to go on is knowing your past employment history, that forces them to have to figure out the relevance of your prior job titles, etc., and what you might be able to do for them. They may or may not want to take the time to do that, and they may still get it wrong — and fall back on only considering applicants looking to make a lateral move.
AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action.
Rather than sending a resume, your initial contact should be a letter sent directly to the hiring authority.
To capture their attention, begin with a startling statement or a disturbing question.
I’ll use an experienced software sales rep seeking a position with a vertical markets software publisher to illustrate how to use AIDA.
Attention: “I know how to sell sophisticated software by selling value, not just price. So, I almost never have to cut the price to close a sale.”
“Could you use a sales rep on your team who’d kiss a rattlesnake to close a deal?”
Interest: To maintain their interest, tell them some of the reasons why you have been successful in the past and that you can now bring to their table.
“Can quickly understand your overall business objectives, goals, priorities, and strategies."
“Know how to dig deeper and ask good questions to uncover problems that your company can solve.”
“Know how to anticipate and pre-handle the most likely concerns of customers."
“Ability to communicate in plain English, free of jargon."
“Higher-than-average energy level to make more sales calls.”
“Reliable, loyal team player, free of pettiness."
Desire: You know what it takes to be successful on your team, and be a workhorse, not a show horse.
"I’ll do the job exactly the way you want it done. You won’t have to worry that I’ll go around questioning everything or complaining that this or that isn’t how we did it at my other company."
Action: “If it sounds like I might be of service, I’ll be glad to come by one day soon to tell you more about my qualifications and how I can help you."
P.S. Put me on your team, and the result? RESULTS!
Tom Kellum is a job hunting consultant, helping people's dreams come true since 1987. He specializes in providing a personal job-landing service based on proven marketing strategies and methods. For more information, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.