Effective cover letter writing for executives
As an executive, you’re probably used to being on the go! Whether you’re in meetings, in a boardroom, or catching up with clients, time is a finite resource, and it’s highly likely that you don’t have the time to fuss over cover letter formatting or figuring out how to create the perfect cover letter. That’s where we come in: at CVapp.ie, we’re focused on simplifying the cover letter writing process for professionals so they can worry about what really matters. In this guide, we’ll quickly explore each section of a successful cover letter, the purpose of each section, and how to create a cover letter that leaves a great first impression.
Generally speaking, every cover letter should contain the following elements:
- A professional cover letter header
- A great cover letter greeting
- An engaging introduction
- Compelling body paragraphs
- An effective, strong conclusion
Let’s begin with the cover letter header!
Cover letter header
The header, which is often the most striking visual element on the cover letter page, is usually positioned at the top of your cover letter and contains your important contact information so employers can get in touch with you. It’s essential that your header contains contact details that are up-to-date and accurate: nobody wants to miss out on a job opportunity because of a typo! In this section, you should include your full name, professional title if currently applicable (e.g., Chief Executive Officer, Vice President), phone number, email address and any links to professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.
Cover letter greeting
While greetings can seem like an unimportant detail, a good (or bad!) greeting has the power to make or break your cover letter. Greetings that are informal or impolite can completely ruin your chances of getting the job role you’re applying for, so we recommend choosing a greeting such as “Dear Mr. Wills,” or “Dear Company X.” Where possible, it’s always best to use the employer’s name if known – using a personalised greeting shows respect and a keen eye for detail.
Cover letter introduction
The goal of a great cover letter introduction is to engage potential employers and encourage them to read more about you. Nobody wants to read a boring, irrelevant or vague introduction! To effectively pique the interest and curiosity of employers, it’s essential to craft a well-written and tailored cover letter introduction, but to do this, you’ll need to know exactly what employers are looking for by thoroughly reading over the job description. What types of skills are employers looking for? What executive abilities would they like to see in a candidate? How can your passion, innovation and strategic leadership help businesses grow? Try to align the criteria in the job description with any existing skills or professional strengths you already possess. It’s important that your introduction functions as a teaser to your professional potential: don’t go overboard! Your body paragraphs are where you can expand upon the details, but for now, just focus on grabbing the attention of your potential employers.
Here’s our customisable example of a cover letter introduction below:
Dear Mr. Walsh,
In 2001, a gentleman that later went on to become one of my most influential mentors introduced me to the idea that your network is your net worth. Having graduated from Trinity College Dublin with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) and a Master of Business Administration (MBA) I thought I knew a thing or two about the workings of the business world. My mentor's wisdom, that your success in life can be directly correlated to y6ur ability to create strong, meaningful relationships would go on to redefine my career. After twenty successful years as a senior advisor, I am excited to apply for an executive role with Elmo & Ellis Consulting.
Cover letter body paragraphs
Executives play a vital role in driving value and making a significant impact within an organisation. When it comes to writing your cover letter, the body paragraphs present an excellent opportunity to expand on the specific value and impact you can bring to new organisations and businesses. In these paragraphs, you can highlight your educational background as well as any professional experience (e.g., previous executive roles, board memberships, or governance positions) that may assist you with fulfilling the requirements of the new job role. Detail your responsibilities, accomplishments, and any impact you made in each position. Remember: be sure to tailor your cover letter to the requirements listed in the job description. If you have any existing skills listed in the job description, don’t be afraid to expand upon these skills in your body paragraph section!
Where possible, it’s always best to provide tangible examples of your impact. For example, if you’re an excellent team leader or a pro at financial management, can you provide any statistics to back up these claims?
Here’s a great example of cover letter body paragraphs below:
My success is largely attributable to my keen ability to connect the dots, however I also believe I possess great communication, networking, and technical business skills. I have an analytical mind, a great capacity for problem-solving and an aptitude for making important decisions, which I believe will hold me in good stead for this executive role. I am excited to apply for this position and believe my previous employment roles will help me add significant value to the Elmo & Ellis Consulting team. To date, some of my key career achievements include:
- Developed budget strategies that highlighted unnecessary expenses and saved previous clients over $500,000
- Mentored over 250 new staff members throughout twenty year career
- Selected as the keynote speaker for over 50 conferences across Europe and North America
Cover letter conclusion
The conclusion of your cover letter is your final opportunity to leave a positive impression on employers. You can reiterate any key points you made in your cover letter and express your desire to connect with employers further. A strong call-to-action statement encourages employers to reach out in the near future e.g., “I’d love to connect with you as soon as possible. Would you be available in the next two weeks to discuss this opportunity?”
After your call-to-action statement, be sure to thank the recipient for their time and consideration and to close your letter with a professional closing, such as “warm wishes,” or “kind regards.” When you’ve finished writing and proofreading your cover letter, you're officially ready to apply for new jobs: congratulations!
I would love the opportunity to connect with you and discuss my professional profile further. I have established myself as an innovative, solution-oriented professional and I am confident that I can elevate Elmo & Ellis Consulting to the next level. I have attached my contact details and I hope to chat with you at your earliest convenience. Thank you for your time!
CVapp.ie is here to support your professional growth throughout all stages of your career. Be sure to check out the CVapp.ie website and blog for more career tools and resources. Good luck, we believe in your greatness!