Trying to attract employers is a difficult task in itself but a great method is to use a tried and tested strategy from the world of marketing – only in this case you aren’t marketing a product, you are marketing yourself.
AIDA is an acronym for the stages which occur when a potential consumer engages with a marketing or advertising technique. In this case the consumer will be the employer and the product being advertised is you. Here’s how you can use AIDA to get yourself recruited:
The first step is to grab the attention of the customer, or in this case employer. You need to make them aware that you exist and are the perfect candidate for their company. Ways to do this are having a fool proof CV, writing an amazing cover letter and submitting a marvellous application -in an ideal world. However, the chances are you are probably not the only candidate with all of the above so you need to do something more to get noticed. Find out who is in charge of the role you are applying for. You don’t want to be harassing whole departments and making a nuisance of yourself, so make sure you contact the right recruitment consultant or HR member. Getting their attention is most easily achieved personally; sometimes it’s possible to talk to them before submitting an application rather than risking getting lost in the sea of other applicants.
Once you have their attention you need to keep it. To do this you need them to develop an interest in you and your application. There is little point in successfully gaining their attention if they aren’t at all interested in what you have to offer. They might be aware you exist but all that effort is counterproductive if they aren’t intrigued by it. To keep them interested make sure you aren’t just the generic run of the mill applicant that they see hundreds of everyday. Stand out and offer something different. At this stage you just need them to want to know more about you. It might be the intriguing layout of your CV, or the paragraph on your year in industry or the fact that you took the initiative to be active in your job search, but by any means professionally possible you need to create an interest in getting to know more about you.
You’ve got their attention and successfully held it, now you need them to want you. Just because they are interested in you it doesn’t automatically mean that they are going to want you for their company. Think about it in the marketing world – you might be interested in the latest iPhone app but that doesn’t necessarily mean you want it yourself. This isn’t an option; they must desire you. Make yourself irresistible to them by emphasising your skills and experience and being lenient on offers to convince them that you are an asset they can’t live without. Suggest working part time, covering maternity leave or even volunteer interning. If you appear keen, willing and grateful for any opportunity no matter how trivial it will show you are serious about working for them and progressing with their company, a very attractive trait in employees.
The final step in AIDA is leading customers to purchase the product. So, equivalently, lead the employers to contact you and then recruit you. What the ‘action’ constitutes will vary depending on the situation and how far through the application/attention getting process you are; it might be getting an interview lined up or even better, an agreement made or best of all, a contract signed. If the first three steps of the strategy have gone according to plan, the last one shouldn’t be an issue and will hopefully follow with ease. If it doesn’t, revisit step three and make yourself even more desirable to them, until they just can’t say no anymore.
Author: Written by Anna Pitts, a Marketing Assistant and Online Researcher at the GraduateRecruitmentBureau. Her work involves PR and outreach and writing informative, interesting advice based articles for graduates and students.