Cover letters can make or break hiring decisions. Here's how to make your cover letter the most competitive as a leader.
Cover letters are an integral component to landing a job, according to a recent blog post from GreatResumesFast. The majority (90%) of executives agree that cover letters are an important factor for them when making a hiring decision.
SEE: 14 tips for getting your resume through an applicant tracking system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
When submitting a cover letter for consideration, especially at the executive level, the candidate should want the letter to be memorable. To help candidates create the best cover letter possible, the blog post outlined the following three biggest mistakes one can make in their submission.
1. Failing to capture attention immediately
Candidates applying for a C-suite or executive-level position should know better than anyone how busy professionals can be, the post said, so a cover letter must quickly capture the reader's attention.
The blog post suggested diverting from these typical openers:
-I am writing to you today because…
-This letter is in response to…
-Thank you for considering the attached resume…
-The position of at is a good fit for me because…
-I have years of experience in…
Instead, try out one of these more attention-getting phrases, the blog post said:
-Would a sales executive who has a decade-long track record of double-digit growth be an asset to your company?
-Creative thinking and strategic planning: my strongest skills, with 30% revenue growth to prove it.
-Does your company need a proven leader to help guide your staff in increasing sales and expanding your market share?
-Dealing with tough clients is my specialty.
2. Trying to fit in all of your experiences
While a cover letter is about the candidate, it shouldn't just be a page bragging about their accomplishments, the blog post said. Executives, in particular, likely have many accomplishments they could showcase, but should let their resume do that instead.
Pick specific skills or features and tie them to why they would be most useful at that specific company, the blog post said. This strategy makes the cover letter more personal and relevant to the organization.
3. Repeating yourself
A cover letter should act in accordance with your resume, not as a carbon copy, the blog post said. Instead of a list of skills and strengths, candidates should make the cover letter more of a narrative, bringing out their voice and personality. Avoid repeating accomplishments already outlined on the resume, the blog post said, and create a story around the accomplishment that showcases the experience.
For more, check out How to write an executive resume: 3 mistakes to avoid on TechRepublic.
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