Careers Column: Highway to Hell-O New Opportunity!

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Your career communication, CVs, cover letters and interview preparation, would benefit fromplugging into ACDC and powering up the structure of it.

The flow should be direct and strong.Simply follow the ACDC structure. It’s Attention, Clarification, Detail and Conclusion.Combine each of these elements flexibly… all or some of them, depending on the occasion.

For example, in a CV, the detail takes the lead whilst the other parts are covered in the covering letter!

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Get their Attention with a strong opening. Here you introduce yourself and set the tone for a positive and purposeful connection.

Nottinghamshire-based careers expert, Melissa Pearce.Nottinghamshire-based careers expert, Melissa Pearce.
Nottinghamshire-based careers expert, Melissa Pearce.

Then Clarify the purpose and outline the direction of your communication. State what is going to happen, show you are prepared and prove that you value their time.

Deliver the detail amazingly. Provide the information, data and evidence to manifest your message. Evidence your skills, knowledge and passion to show that you mean business.

Conclude and wrap it up perfectly. Sum up the main message(s) with a call to action, what needs to happen now or an invitation for your audience to accept the message, engage with and embrace the vision you have shared.

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Here’s an example of a speculative email, phone call or brief meeting in action.

AC/DC (Credit: Getty)AC/DC (Credit: Getty)
AC/DC (Credit: Getty)

Attention – Good morning/afternoon (their name), it's great to meet you/I hope you are well. My name is (your name), currently studying for my (qualification)/working as a (current role).

Clarify - I have seen the advertisement for (role) at your firm, and can't wait to apply.

Detail - I believe my experience and passion for (what) will ensure (what success looks like for them). For example (build on the opening point).

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Conclude - Thank you so much for your time/ It was great to speak with you/ I look forward to hearing from you soon.

You get the gist!

ACDC will ensure your communication has structure and momentum.

It will also prepare you for events such as bumping into your boss or potential employers or clients. It’s also a great networking tool to have in your arsenal. When people ask ‘So… what do you do?’ you’ll have impact and leave an impression.

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They say that everyone needs an ‘Elevator Pitch’, that’s a short description of an idea, business or product that explains it in a short period of time, i.e, the length of an elevator ride (or lift ride for some of us!). Use the elements of ACDC to form yours.

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Remember also that first impressions do count and the words we speak account for only seven per cent of our face-to-face communication. Body language and the presence you radiate as well as your voice quality are pivotal.

Create a confident, calm presence that exudes competence and enthusiasm. Eyes are relaxed but ready. A warm, interested expression on your face, that is responsive is what we want. You are aiming for positive, poised body language.

Never mumble, or clip sounds from words. Lips, teeth and tongue should be fully operational. No laziness in getting the sounds out! Speak clearly and steadily, inserting pauses where punctuation would go and to create short silences… don’t use empty filler words like ‘so’ and ‘erm’!

Don’t be thunderstruck, be calm and ready for anything!

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