Many executives think they don’t need a cover letter – their resume should speak for itself. While a professionally written resume will do wonders for your job search, an impressive cover letter is an excellent way to gain a competitive edge over other applicants.
More than 50% of hiring managers still read cover letters, so it’s important to include one in your documents package. No doubt it’s going to take some time and effort on your part, but undervaluing the importance of creating a killer cover letter can mean going unnoticed, or worse — losing the chance at your dream job.
Here are 5 expert tips that will help you create your striking executive cover letter:
Avoid Using a Template & Open Strong
There are many cover letter templates to be found online, however, as an executive, your career hasn’t been cookie cutter, and neither should your career documents. Your executive cover letter (much like yourself) needs to impress the recruiter at the very first glance. At the most, you have just a minute to grab the reader’s attention.
With that being said, your cover letter should include a greeting, an introduction that captures the reader’s attention, a sales pitch that showcases your accomplishments, concluding remarks including a call to action, and then a sign-off
Opening with a quote or a question is an impactful way to catch the reader’s attention. From there you can tie in how your experience makes you a great fit for the role you’re applying for.
Tip: Instead of using a generic template, ensure that your cover letter has your own unique personal touch that makes you stand out.
Talk From Experience & Connect To The Job Description
It is important to connect the dots between the requirements of the position and the skill set you have to offer. With the job description open in front of you as your write your cover letter, you can keenly match how your experience is the right fit for the role by specifically connecting what they’re looking for with your accomplishments.
Are they looking for a project manager with Lean Six Sigma training? Showcase how you’ve transformed the project methodologies of your current employer to make their processes more streamlined. Are they seeking a SaaS sales leader who’s worked to help startups grow? Write about how you specifically did that in the cover letter.
The cover letter is an excellent opportunity to show how your past contributions make you a great fit for the future of the company.
Tip: Use bullet points to list your key skill sets and how they relate to the job opening.
Create A Powerful Close With A Call To Action
Keep the close short and to the point. Don’t be shy to ask for an interview. Reiterate how you’re a great fit for the job. Say you’ll follow up with them next week and also include your contact information. Each of these will once again show how you’re eager for next steps and ready to get started.
Tip: Include a P.S. at the end to act as an eye-catcher that gets you a call.
With these tips, it’s most important to make sure the reader actually reads it. If you are emailing your resume, copy and paste a text/email friendly version of your cover letter into the actual email box. What works even better is an eNote. E-Notes are a cut and refined version of the traditional cover letter, perfectly suited to today’s digital age. The E-Note gets straight to the point; it’s just a third to a half a page and appears in the body of your email to the hiring authority, guaranteeing it will be seen and you’re effectively selling yourself before any attachments are even opened.
If you’re struggling to create a strong executive letter, reach out to the team at Total Resumes. We’d love to help you to highlight your unique skills and why you are the best person for the position.