Imagine the anxiety levels of some one who is desperate to find work and required to sift through a database of a half million job offerings. The combination of tedious work and the desire to get something done is a standard part of the Job Hunter's Mindset. The Internet amplifies the intensity significantly.
Like cramming for a math final after skipping the class all semester, the active job hunter is faced with a sea of conflicting number one priorities, often without the resources required to effectively fill in all of the blanks. Clarity about the next step, self-confidence (in spite of whatever prompted the need to shift jobs), an orientation of accomplishment and a clear sense of "What Do I Want To Do" are the most basic components of this standard recipe for a nervous breakdown.
That's right, people who are actively looking for work tend to be scattered and faking it. Otherwise, the layers of embedded conflict would eat them alive.
When you write for this audience understand that you are dealing with explosive levels of conflicting value. What feels good is certainty and the ability to relieve the tension.
When job hunters are given the opportunity to examine endless opportunities, what do you think they do? Truth is that after about a dozen thorough readings of job ads, they revert to skimming. The web actively encourages this approach...it's a skimming medium. Following a skimming phase, the job hunter reverts to reviewing opportunities briefly and punching a resume button in response. It's extremely Pavlovian.
Under the right circumstances a job hunter can submit around 600 resumes in a 10 hour day of looking for work. Our research indicates that the pace can be sustained, unabated, for about 15 days (or 9,000 resume submittals). That's what they tend to do unless you can reach them early on (by getting the data right) with a compelling story (content) about why they should apply to you.
It's a difficult audience with an extremely high payoff.
The most important thing to remember when crafting advertisements for this group is that they are not "passive". Delivering ads to a "passive" audience requires an entirely different set of tactics.
- John Sumser