Lesson 3, Session 3
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How Can AIDA Help You

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Now that we are clear about the style – you can download a template that we think works best – you need to start to think about what you should include.  Again, think about your CV/ Resume as your sales brochure. There is a proven marketing approach that is equally relevant here – AIDA;

A= Attention – you need to grab the attention of the reader

I = Interest – once you have their attention, you need to build interest quickly

D = Desire – now that you’ve got them interested, you need to get them to think – “wow, I really need to see this person”

A – Action – you have got to get them to take action so make it easy for them

Let’s have a look at the CV below and consider where/ how you can integrate AIDA into your marketing materials…


Which elements of this resume grab your attention?

The Image – we are all attracted to a smiling face

Executive Summary – this would be a version of your ‘Elevator Pitch’

Relevant Achievements – these will be tailored to the specific role/ organisation


Which elements are aimed at building the interest of the reader?

Relevant Achievements – if relevant to their needs, these will build interest quickly

Experience – notice that we lead with the company name – again people are attracted to those people that have worked with similar or well known companies 


You build desire within your reader via;

Executive Summary – your elevator pitch needs to speak direct to them.

Experience – 3/4 bullet points against each role, all focused on the value that you delivered, not the activity itself.


Every part of your CV/ Resume should direct the reader to take action – to want to get in touch with you for a deeper discussion about your experience and the specific role that they are looking to fill.  Making it easy for them to contact you with multiple contact points is critical but often forgotten element.

Your CV/ Resume shouldn’t be any longer than one to two pages, ideally one.  With your cover letter, you can indicate that you can provide additional information on each of the roles if required.   Equally, some recruitment agents will want to receive a CV in a more standard format, so that they can easily ‘cut and paste’ onto their in-house style prior to shortlisting. As such, it may be worth having a more detailed version available upon request.


Utilise the template provided or develop something similar yourself and restructure your CV/ resume as discussed above.  Whenever you start questioning whether to include something or not, put yourself in the shoes of the recipient and ask the question – will this help me to stand out from the crowd in respect to the specific role/ organisation that I’m targeting?  If the answer is Yes – include it as discussed above. If the answer is No or Not Sure, leave it out!

You need to leave sufficient space on the sheet of paper to allow the eyes to focus on the important aspects – the things that you want the recipient to read and embrace – this is definitely the place where ‘less is more’.

Remember that we are not looking for a ‘one size fits all’ approach, rather we are looking for a CV that is tailored to the identified needs of the role/ organisation. As such, a pick ‘n’ mix approach is more relevant where you choose the most relevant areas to focus on dependent upon the role/ organisation.

Remember, the best CVs/ resumes ‘speak’ to prospective clients/ employers!

The Importance of a Cover Letter

A cover letter is a personal sales letter and like all good sales letters, the focus has to be on the reader.  It has to tap into their hopes (moving towards pleasure) and fears (moving away from pain).  Your CV/ resume will by definition focus on your past achievements and will provide some indication of the future value that you could deliver.  The Cover Letter provides you with an opportunity to inject some rocket fuel.

Lots of people either don’t send a cover letter or when they do, it’s so generic that in reality it is a waste of the paper that it’s written on or the ‘bytes’ that it utilises if electronic!  Used correctly though and it will propel you to the top of the list of those people the hiring manager wants to see.  

Your cover letter should;

  • tell the reader why you are interested in their company
  • demonstrate that you can write succinctly and express yourself – this cannot be underestimated
  • whet the appetite of the reader, by providing a snapshot of the value that you feel you can deliver to them by answering their biggest question – can you fix their problem?

The AIDA principle applied here as well – see the example within the Downloads sesction above.

Let’s analyse what a great cover letter consists of;

  • Addressed to the hiring manager by name – do you research and find out who is authorised to hire you!
  • An attention grabber – something about the organisation or ideally their division/ area of influence that you can appreciate, along with an initial ‘pitch’ as to why it makes sense to meet and discuss things further
  • Three/ five bullet points highlighting how you have helped other organisations to overcome similar challenges to that being faced by the organisation or maximised the benefits in other projects similar to those being planned – remember to focus on the value delivered not the activity! Imply that these are just a small sample of similar experiences that you can offer them
  • Offer to call at a designated date and time to discuss things further, if you haven’t heard from them before Your contact information
  • Consider having a P.S. – all sales letters have a P.S. – why?  Because they get read!  So if you are intending to include a P.S., make sure its the one statement that you want the hiring manager to read!

Online profiles

All of the material that you have developed for your cover letter and CV/ resume – i.e. your sales materials can now be repurposed within your online profiles, especially those on #TLH and Linkedin.  

Your headline should be your elevator pitch.

Your key achievements should be at the very top of your profile description

The 2/3 bullet points outlining the value that you have delivered within each of your roles should be included (and nothing else)

A more focused session on Linkedin is available – #TLH Linkedin Essentials Programme