In finding out How To Write A Cover Letter, most individuals want an example or a set of steps of how do it exactly for their role or job application. As part of a series of more specific examples, I intend to pick up on Cover Letters for specific roles, the first of which is a CEO or Director position.
For each Cover Letter example, it is important to recognize that the same basic rules apply in every case:
- Read the advert/brief from the introducer
- Do your research on the company
- Include your name, address and contact details
- Write to a specific person, on one piece of paper
- Use a power opening line
- Three/four paragraphs maximum, the last of which includes a “call to action”
- Sign your letter
- Read your whole job application at least twice, and get at least two friends to read it through. If in doubt, read it again!
- Send it in the post at least three days before closure date
- Ensure you follow up
In the case of the CEO Cover Letter, there are a few additions/adjustments:
- Your focus at each point should be on strategic management issues in the situations/sectors you wish to focus/be considered for. So if you are a turn around specialist in the retail sector, focus on issues critical to that situation/sector
- Use a power opening line which flows from experience, through markets and organisations worked for, to a normal close
- Use bullet points for paragraph two. I normally use headings like: Delivery, Team Leadership, Fiscal Value, Strategy, Commercial Focus, Confident Communication. You can adjust the number/order, and note the use of pre/post additions to make your focus personal – eg: Focus, Confident, Creative, etc. There is also merit in including one style commentary such as detail orientated, or people focused etc.
- The CEO Cover Letter is the one version of a Cover Letter where a third paragraph that shows enthusiasm for the organisation and its challenges/achievements is essential
- As always, include a call to action in the last paragraph. Depending on how well you know the person/are possibly sending your CV/Resume in preparation for a soft interview, pose it in that format
For presentation, as long as its writing paper, you almost can’t go too heavy - laid paper is also appropriare. There is also merit in binding the communication, including: Cover Letter, CV/Resume, other documents (Note - if you choose to do this, use a clear top sheet so that the Cover Letter can be seen directly behind it). At some point a CEO/Director post application requires extensive referencing, so inclusion of a copied reference letter from a previous chairman would be appropriate - but no more than one at application stage, unless asked for
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