You may have prepared a cover letter before, but an executive cover letter needs something really special. It can’t be a standard cover letter that just tells a prospective employer you want a job interview because these types of jobs are very high profile, because there is a lot of competition, and because you’re going to have to really look like you know what you’re doing. This means your cover letter should be absolutely perfect.
Don’t just send a cover letter that’s not grammatically correct, boring, or otherwise simply average to substandard. Would you appear for an interview in old jeans, a dirty T-shirt, and tennis shoes? Why not? Answer that question, and you know why your cover letter should be flawless as it’s your first impression, the one you present to the prospective employer.
Why should your letter be different?
For one thing, you’re not just applying for any old job. Many more people will be reading your letter than usual They’re going to be screening out poor candidates before choosing the best ones to interview. That means that many people in the company, from human resources to the VP or maybe even the CEO is going to read your cover letter (and your resume), too.
Because higher caliber people in the company are going to be reading your cover letter, it has to be unique and be much better than your average cover letter. Your cover letter has to be much more sophisticated than the average cover letter.
However, it doesn’t mean using exaggerated, convoluted, extravagant, show off language that will simply make you look unconfident and downright foolish. Instead, straightforward, concise writing that gets to the point and then finishes rapidly and cleanly is best. Remember that this is going to be the first impression they have of you, so you want it to show your best.
You need to show that you are willing to take responsibility, that you are effective, intelligent, that you work well with people, and that you’re easy to get along with.
Most importantly, you want to show that you are a problem solver because that’s the reason companies hire executives. You have to solve some sort of business issue that the company is facing, and you have to show them that you can fix it. You do this by showing how you fixed other similar situations.
Lastly, be sure the recruiters who are going to be reading your letter understand that you have a can-do attitude and that you really like the type of work you are applying for. After all, executives put in a lot of time on the job, so you have to show that you’re up to it.
One last thing. Close your cover letter telling the reader what he or she should do to facilitate the hiring process. Something to the effect of, I look forward to hearing from you so that we can discuss this position further. Please call me at the number at your convenience, to set up a time to do so. Then, sign off with Sincerely, and your name. Voila. You got a cover letter that should certainly get you interviews, and show that you are a great candidate for the job.