Finding an opening in any company for an executive position these days is nearly impossible. With the economy at its lowest, many companies are letting their executives go due to downsizing, not hiring any. In the rare instance that there is an executive position that you feel you are qualified for, you want to make a great first impression with the company because there is a great deal of competition for the job. When you are writing your resume, you are using every technique at your disposal to make it really stand out from the crowd. What about your cover letter? You hardly spend any time on it when it is the first and in some cases only part of the resume that is read.
If you think that recruiters are going to spend more than sixty seconds on a resume when they have hundreds to go through you are wrong. They only scan the cover letter to decide whether or not they want to pursue you further. By all means, have a brilliantly drafted resume, but make sure to spend an equal amount of time on the cover letter too. If writing is not your forte, the following steps can help you to have a resume cover letter to go along with your resume:
1. Have a Continuity between the Resume and Cover Letter –
What this means is that you want them to have the same formatting. Copy and paste all of your personal details from your resume on to your cover letter document. This is also going to create continuity between the resume and cover letter fonts. You want the fonts to be the same and have the same point size too. Everything should match in case the two documents get separated so that they are easier to get back together again.
2. Know Who is Reading the Cover Letter –
If at all possible, you want to address the cover letter to the actual person who is reading it. You can make it generic if you have no other choice, but it looks more professional if it has their name on it. Look online or even call the company to get the name.
3. Do Not Waste Time –
There is no need to waste time on niceties. Remember, the recruiter is reading each document for less than sixty seconds. Get to the point and start by letting them know what you are offering the company from the first sentence. The first paragraph may be all they need to read the interview if it is well written.
4. Do Not Rehash Your Resume –
While you may want to use your resume as a guide, you do not want to copy and paste your qualifications or work history from it. Your cover letter should stand on its own. Come up with other creative ways to show you in the best light possible.
5. Writing in First Person –
While you want to highlight the assets you bring to the company, you also want to keep down the times you use the word ‘I’. The recruiter already knows you are talking about yourself. You do not need to continually use this word as it becomes redundant.