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Cover letters are and have always been one of the trickiest parts of the job hunting process. Your cover letter is a great way to show potential employers how your skills can benefit the company before they even look at your resume. Many experts wonder just how to approach writing a cover letter, and where the differences between resumes and cover letters really lie. In this blog, we’ll cover exactly how to format your cover letter and what’s worth including to boost your chances of success.

Conciseness

One of the most important things to remember when writing cover letters for resume is that the two shouldn’t be identical! Yes, your cover letter will contain some of the same information found in your resume, but you don’t need or have to include every single facet. Remember: hiring executives only have a few seconds to read your information. It’s best to keep your cover letter short and to the point, so you don’t waste the recruiter’s time and have a higher chance of getting called back.

Talk About the Company

Before you draft the first sentence of your cover letter, you should do ample research about the company you’re looking to work for. Just like your resume, your cover letter should be targeted to the employer. The best way to research the company is to network! Talk to other executives to see how you could contribute to their business and fit into their office culture. You’ll also want to be sure to look into their work within and contributions to the industry, as well as any other companies they compete with. Showing you know quite a bit about their company will prove you’re invested and worth hiring. You may just find something similar to your own work achievements, which you can tie into your cover letter.

Your Strengths

One of the primary functions of resumes and cover letters is to illustrate your strengths and what you have to offer to a company. Be sure to go into these qualities in your cover letter. Talk about your skills and accomplishments you’ve gained throughout your career, what these mean and how they’d make you a valuable member of the company.

cover letterYou should be trying to sell yourself as much as possible. Just don’t overdo it! You don’t want to come off as a braggart, though a bit of boasting is okay. Stick to as much factual information as possible by talking about how you’ve affected the industry, any similar or competitive companies you’ve worked for in the past and your experiences within your chosen field.

Referrals

Knowing someone who may have turned you onto the company will help you immediately catch a hiring executive’s eye. In fact, you may want to point out this fact right away. Networking is and has always been an important part of landing a job. Over your many years of career experience, you’ve undoubtedly amassed a large number of contacts and referrals. Now’s the time to really rely on them! A referral can vouch for you and your ability to be a great addition to the company. You never want to pass up on someone putting in a good word for you.

We understand writing cover letters isn’t easy with so much experience under your belt, so we hope this blog will start you off on the right foot. You can always turn to a cover letter writing service for any extra help you may need to get started or sort out any kinks. If you have any questions about your executive cover letter, feel free to get in touch with us!

By Erin Kennedy, MCD, CMRW, CPRW, BS/HR, a Certified Professional & Executive Resume Writer/Career Consultant, and the President of Professional Resume Services, Inc. She has achieved international recognition following nominations and wins of the prestigious T.O.R.I. (Toast of the Resume Industry) Award. Find Erin at http://exclusive-executive-resumes.com.