Identified the right companies to target in your executive job search?
Then it’s time to pursue them with a well-written Cover Letter!
Here’s why it matters: even though your resume and LinkedIn Profile will get the most attention, your Cover Letter (also called a Value Proposition Letter) is a powerful tool that can point out how your leadership approach will create ROI and why you’re the best fit for the company.
Some CEOs, Boards, company owners, and investors will read your Cover Letter even MORE intently than your resume! It’s worth your time to craft a powerful one.
What’s the Biggest Mistake in Most Cover Letters?
Calling attention to your deficiencies as an applicant.
You MUST put your best foot forward immediately in a Cover Letter – enumerating the reasons an employer SHOULD call you.
Are you opening your Cover Letter with any of these lines?
“You might wonder why I’m reaching out to you…”
“Despite the fact that I don’t have the experience listed in your job posting…”
“Even with my experience in a field entirely different than yours…”
STOP! The employer doesn’t even know you yet, and you’ve just given them a reason to dismiss you out of hand.
Consider how quickly you’re ruling yourself out as a candidate when you launch into the negatives of your background.
By over-explaining, calling out your weaknesses, or unfavorably comparing yourself to other candidates, you could be relegating your Cover Letter to the (digital) trash bin.
Re-Think Your Cover Letter Strategy
Lead with your strengths! These could be your skills in a related industry, your career recognition for exceeding expectations, your steady promotions into the C-suite, or simply your affinity for the employer’s industry.
Rework your Cover Letter with a strategy that outlines your readiness for an executive role, including your history of business growth, related achievements, and grasp of their customer needs.
Ditch the negative opening line and start fresh with something like these introductions:
“As SVP at GHI Holdings, I’ve regularly stepped in as interim COO to manage our regional operations, providing me with the insight and experience to streamline operations at your company.”
“Long interested in the technology side of the life sciences business, I offer a strong perspective on digital transformation, AI, and modernization that could benefit your operation.”
“Your posting for a CFO piqued my interest. As the senior finance executive for ABC Company, I’ve created the same culture of stability, accountability, and accuracy as described in your requirements.”
Note that these statements all fit the bill for a candidate who is not quite at the level they’re pursuing, but they’re still conversation starters that can get you in the door.