Friday, 16 September 2011

Is the Left or Right Brain Best At Making Quick Decisions?

Common sense suggests that people who have a preference for making decisions in a logical, pragmatic and evidence based way (known in pop psychology as being "left brained") would be better at making quick decisions than those who tend to act based on their emotions and feelings ("right brained").

Psyblog reporting on research by Mikels et al. (2011) suggests that:
...trying to work out the details, using the emotions led to much better outcomes. In one of the studies the number of participants getting the right answer went up from only 26% in the detail-focused condition to 68% in the feeling-focused condition.
This is fascinating from an HR perspective.  For example, what does it mean for talent managers and does it suggest that competency models should be changed for decision maker positions to seek out and develope right brained leaders? As ever with human interactions this is likely to be more compex in reality than it is in theory.

Whilst the evidence seems to be compelling, can you imagine trusting a right brained fighter pilot to make the right decisions in the heat of the moment or would you be happy with an emotion based trader dealing with your investments in a complex market?  My gut reaction says NO - and this research seems to suggest that I'd be right!

Monday, 5 September 2011

How To Get Into Creative Advertising Jobs

The question, how do I find creative advertising jobs, is the wrong one. Instead, you should be asking yourself, do I have the passion for advertising? Passion not only generates enthusiasm, it also drives ambition and determination. And you'll need plenty of both just to get your foot in the door, let alone to succeed. For the world of advertising is a rough, tough business where only the best make any meaningful mark.

The route into advertising is pretty much sign posted. You'll almost certainly need a good degree, although this can be in just about any area. That's because diversity of thinking is key, as far as the advertising industry is concerned. There are also a number of universities now offering postgraduate degrees in creative advertising. Well worth checking out.

Do you find it easy to get on with people? Great interpersonal skills are a must, and being able to work as part of a team is also vital. You must also be able to communicate ideas in a clear and concise manner. A high level of literacy and numeracy is extremely important, as is strong IT skills.

Can you handle pressure? What about working to tight deadlines? You'll need to be able to plan and prioritise not only advertising campaigns, but also your day-to-day time. It's the sort of working environment some people really love. Often they are able to produce their best ideas under such pressure. Others simply crumble. Would you be able to cope?

Let's assume you've taken a hard look at yourself, considered carefully all the positives and negatives, and you're still determined to go for a career in creative advertising. Good for you! Now comes the next step, a professional-looking CV.

You'll need one just to give yourself even half a chance of getting a foot in the door. And when you send it off, you can be sure your CV will be one of many to land in the in-tray of the prospective employer, so it's got to stand out. The CV will also require a great covering letter, too. Here are a few CV dos and don’ts. Pay close attention!

The point of a CV is to sell... you! It's got to convince an employer to at least give you a face-to-face interview, then hopefully a job. Therefore, attention to detail is extremely important. Check the CV for spelling mistakes and typos. Then check it a second time. If necessary, give the CV to someone else to check.

Keep the CV to a couple of pages, no more, and don't fill it with unnecessary information. Make sure there's plenty of white space and use a standard font of a reasonable size. Keep everything short, sharp and to the point. Less really is more. And don't use jargon because employers really hate that.

The CV should have as a minimum your contact details at the top of each page, information about current/previous jobs, and of course your qualifications.

It's much the same for the covering letter. The opening paragraph should state the job you're applying for. Following paragraphs should list your main qualifications and point out how useful you might be to the employer.