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How to write a cover letter for an executive job

You may have prepared a cover letter before, but an executive cover letter requires to be different. It cannot be “a standard cover letter” that just tells a prospective employer you want an interview because these jobs are very high profile, because they have lots of competitors, and you’re going to have to stand out from the crowd. This means your executive resume cover letter should be absolutely perfect.

Don’t simply send a cover letter that’s not grammatically correct, boring, or just “average” to standards. Would you go to an interview in faded jeans, a ratty T-shirt, and tennis shoes? Why not? Answer that question, and you know why your cover letter needs to 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 for the interviews. This means that several people in the company, from HR to the VP or maybe even the big boss is going to read your cover letter (and your resume), as well.

Because higher caliber people in the company are going to be reading your executive resume and cover letter, it has to stand out and be much better than the standard cover letter. Your cover letter has to be much more refined than the average cover letter.

However, it doesn’t mean using overblown, tortuous, extravagant, “show off” language that will just make you look unconfident and downright foolish. Instead, easy, brief language that gets to the point and then finishes quickly and cleanly is best. Remember that this is going to be the first impression you make, so you want it to show the best of you.

You need to show that you are willing to take charge, that you are efficient, bright, that you work well with people, and that you’re easy to get along with. Also, you want to show that you are a problem solver, because that’s why companies hire executives. You have to solve some kind of business issue that the company is facing, and you have to prove them that you can fix it. You do this by showing how you fixed other similar situations.

Lastly, be sure the employers 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 spend a lot of time on the job, so you have to show that you’re up to it.

One last thing. End your cover letter telling the reader what he or she should do to facilitate the hiring process. Something like “I look forward to hearing from you so that we can discuss this position further. Please call me at [number] at your convenience, to set up a time to do so.” Then, sign off with “Sincerely,” and your name. Voila. That’s a cover letter that should certainly get you interviews, and show that you’re ready for the job.

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