The right cover letter can get your resume read with serious attention. Here is a little-known type of cover letter, called an Executive Briefing that gets great results. The only restriction on its use is that you must have details about the job opening and it has greatest impact when sent to someone directly.
Like many great ideas, the Executive Briefing is beautiful in its simplicity. It works as as an e-mail or on your standard letterhead. The job’s requirements are listed on the left side, and your skills, matching the job’s requirements point by point, are on the right. It looks like this:
Dear Ms. Stein:
I have nine years of accounting experience and am responding to your recent posting for an Accounting Manager on CareerBuilder.com. Please allow me to highlight my skills as they relate to your stated requirements.
My resume, pasted below and attached in MSWord, will spell out my experience. I hope this executive briefing helps you use your time effectively today. I am ready to make a move, hope we can talk soon.
Here’s another example, this time in response to a recruitment ad for an Assessment Coordinator:
Subject: Assessment Coordinator
Date: February 28th, 2009 11:18:39 PM EST
Your advertisement in the New York Times, on February 27th, 2009, for an Assessment Coordinator seems to perfectly match my background and experience. As the International Brand Coordinator for Kahlúa, I coordinated meetings, prepared presentations and materials, organized a major off-site conference, and supervised an assistant. I believe that I am an excellent candidate for this position as I have illustrated below:
I’m interested in this position because it fits well with my new career focus in the human resources field. Currently, I am enrolled in NYU’s adult career planning and development certificate program and working at Lee Hecht Harrison.
My resume, pasted below and attached in MSWord, will provide more information on my strengths and career achievements. If after reviewing my material you believe that there is a match, please call me. Thank you for your consideration.
An Executive Briefing not only enables you to customize your resume quickly to any specific job, it is helpful in the screening process on the other side of the desk. It offers a comprehensive picture of a thorough professional, with a concise and easy-to-read synopsis that details exactly how you can help with current needs. It works, in short, because it makes life easier for the reader.
It helps in yet another way too, you may have noticed that when you have multiple interviews for a position that not all of your interviewers seem to know what job they are talking to you about. Now because an Executive Briefing so clearly matches requirements with your qualifications, it assures that every interviewer at the company will be interviewing you for the same job; this could be just the edge you need. Always take copies of your Executive Briefing with you to interviews along with your resume, it will insure those additional interviewers have the right focus.
An Executive Briefing (one of six types of cover letters you can see in Knock em Dead Cover Letters) will get your resume carefully read and sets the right tone for your candidacy.
In addition to the cover letter, there are a number of other ways you can use emails and letters to improve your odds in the job search and interview cycle: broadcast and networking letters, follow-up letters after telephone interviews and face-to-face meetings, negotiation, rejection and acceptance letters, along with resignation and thank you letters; there are 175 pages of examples in Knock ’em Dead Cover Letters.