How to write an executive cover letter
Executives are held to a different standard than middle managers or entry-level employees. As such, the interviewer expects a certain type of sophistication when reading an executive cover letter. The difficult part of writing such a letter is capturing the delicate balance between the leader and “the person.”
A letter that is too rigid makes the candidate look like an old fool, and one that is too nice can seem hackneyed. And there probably won’t be a chance for a second impression, so write your letter right the first time.
Let’s take a look at some ideas for making your letter stand out positively from a pile of other candidates vying for your position.
An obvious, yet overlooked fact is that your resume and cover letter need to work as a team. From font to letterhead (if you’re sending it via regular mail), tone, and style, you want the interviewer to be impressed with every document you submit for consideration.
Also, the letter should be addressed to a specific person, the one who has the most influence to get you into the interview room. While no job applicant should ever use “To Whom It May Concern,” it seems incredibly silly when an executive takes that approach. So, please do your due diligence on him and make sure you send the letter to the right person.
A great way to spice up your cover letter is to include hits or other relevant information, something that isn’t repetitive. Interviewers receive a lot of letters and don’t bother to read one that seems generic. Take the time to include accomplishments that will complement your resume and are relevant to the requirements of the open position.
Also, take the time to include information about the hiring organization and how it sees itself contributing to the success of the business. That doesn’t mean you should submit a proposal and give away your intellectual property, but you should offer enough provocation that the interviewer will bother to pick up the phone and invite you in for an interview.
Lastly, a decision maker makes a value judgment about the way you express yourself in writing. They take note of the words you use and how you combine the phrases to make your point. Subconsciously, or perhaps consciously, they ask themselves: “How will this candidate represent our company?” If the answer is “Not very well,” then you missed an opportunity. Since the letter is the first introduction to your qualifications, make it count.