You’re not really looking for a job, but you stumble across something too good to pass up, but your resume is a mess. Ideally you’d re-write your resume or have it re-written for you, but what if there is a deadline on applications for the job? What can you do in this impossible circumstance?
The solution is to use an Executive Briefing that instantly updates your resume without having to re-write it. The Executive Briefing is a special type of cover letter that quickly matches your skills to the target job, helping the employer focus on what you have to offer. The only requirement is that you know some of the job requirements.
Keep it Simple
Like many great ideas, the Executive Briefing is beautiful in its simplicity. It is a cover letter/email, with the company’s requirements for the job listed on the left side, and your skills – matching point-by-point the company’s needs, on the right side of the page. You can use tabs to make the two columns.
In the following example, notice
- The email address Topaccountant@gmail.com.
With a little thought you can make an email address speak to your skills. While the above example is almost certainly in use, you can use identifiers like your Zip Code: Accountant32202@gmail.com or area code: email@example.com, both tell a recruiter or hiring manager that you are competent, local, and looking.
- The Subject line identifies the employer’s job title and job identifier.
This information, when available (as in the example below) is a must. Now also notice that this subject line adds primary information about relevant skills. Most emails will show 35 characters before opening the email and upwards of 60 when once open; so this is good promotional space and can capture your most relevant skills, making your email address and the subject line a very abbreviated and very focused resume in itself.
Notice how you can use an Executive Briefing to tie current skills to existing needs, before an employer even sees your resume.
It works for hiring managers and for overworked recruiters who may not recall that specific job.
This cover letter format helps any harried recruiter pick you out of the slush pile by showing:
- Here’s the name of the job we need to fill.
- Here are our requirements.
- Here are the candidate’s qualifying skills.
An Executive Briefing works, because it’s a fast easy-to-read snapshot that details exactly how you can help with current needs — everyone appreciates that, plus your ability to match needs with skills will act as an effective introduction to your resume and help overcome its shortcomings.
How Executive Briefing Cover Letters work:
Date: November 14th, 2015 10:05:44 PM EST
Re: Accounting Manager #4356: 8 Yrs exp, A/R, A/P, P&L’s, Audits
Dear Ms. Yate:
I am an experienced accountant responding to your recent posting for a Senior Accountant (Job #4356) on Indeed.com. Please allow me to highlight my skills as they relate to your stated requirements:
Your Requirements My Experience
Accounting Degree, 7 Years experience B.S. Accounting, 8 years’ experience
A/R, A/P, P&L, Internal audits Experience with A/R, A/P, P/L Internal audits ranges from 5/8 years
Strong Excel experience Manage 2,000 clients on Excel database
Good communication skills Reduced 30 day+ A/R by 27% with excellent client retention
I’m excited by this opportunity, and you’ll find the attached resume will flesh out my general background. I hope this executive briefing helps you use your time effectively today. I am ready, able, and eager to talk soon.
The Bottom Line
An Executive Briefing can enhance a great resume and can save the day when you have not had time to update your resume. But having said that, I don’t ever recommend that you let your resume get out of date. It is your primary marketing tool and the most financially important document you will ever own. You need to keep your resume current because you never know exactly when you’ll suddenly need to go into job search mode. Can I help you write your new resume?