How to Write a High-ROI, Branded Cover Letter

Writing Cover LetterIn my work as an executive resume writer, I often have the opportunity to work with leadership candidates on thoughtful cover letters and resumes, so I enjoyed talking with Leslie Stevens-Huffman of Dice.com for her insightful article, 10 Ways to Screw Up Your Cover Letter.

As she notes, your job search can stall if your cover letter fails to show your value or if you obviously haven’t taken the time to learn about the employer’s business.

Unfortunately, the job market still abounds with cover letters that look like templates – or that only rehash the resume (even at an executive level!).

So… what SHOULD you do when putting together a compelling cover letter? Try these tips for a powerful, standout document that cuts to your ROI and exemplifies your personal brand: Continue reading

Do You Really Need a Cover Letter For Executive Jobs?

Invariably, when executives try to figure out how to stand out in the job search, the subject of cover letters comes up – followed by confusion. Do you really need a cover letter for each executive job application? How can you be sure that employers are actually reading the letter you’re so carefully crafting?

cover letter for executives

Do you really need a cover letter for executive jobs?

Is it a myth that a cover letter can distinguish you in the executive job search? Here are 3 key points to consider when it comes to the cover letter question:

1 – Yes, cover letters are read by (some) employers.

However, this varies among different companies and their hiring practices. This informal survey from About.com shows some hiring managers are emphatic that a great cover letter will boost your chances of being selected for a choice interview. Studies in the careers industry also consistently nearly two-thirds of hiring authorities read cover letters, and of that group, nearly 50% consider them crucial.  You’ll never know at the outset which third of hiring managers you’re dealing with, of course. Therefore, it’s better to be prepared with a strong personal brand message encapsulated in a cover letter, than to lose out on a great opportunity.  Continue reading

You Sent Out Your Resume – Now What?

Rather than taking a passive role in your job search, take proactive steps to influence your success

Sending out a resume is almost an emotional action. You’ve read the job description carefully to find a match with your skills, prepared your resume and cover letter, and then hit the Send button…

And now you’re hoping that the company will see you as a good fit and call you for an interview.

However, instead of hoping, waiting, and leaving yourself to feel dejected by a lack of response, it’s time to take action! 

These 3 post job-application steps will help you feel more in control of your search – with better results: Continue reading

Does Your Cover Letter Make These 5 Critical Mistakes?

Does your cover letter make these mistakes?

You’ve polished your resume to no end, especially after finding a job posting that precisely fits your skills.

But did your cover letter merit the same attention?

Many hiring managers use your cover letter to gauge your interest in the company, as well as your aptitude for the job.

Therefore, when you resort to “Dear Sir, I’m interested in your open job, here’s my resume,” you’re missing out on a critical chance to persuade employers to take you seriously.

Here are 5 of the most crucial mistakes made in cover letters—those that can quickly knock you out of the running for a leadership job: Continue reading