Nearly 87% of hiring managers read a cover letter. The presence of a strong, optimized letter to complement your resume can be an essential element in your job search branding strategy. 

A cover letter might even mean the difference between getting an interview or not. For example, if a hiring manager is faced with two candidates with similar career histories and impressive achievements, an exemplary letter might provide a boost in gaining that critical interview. 

Strategic customizations that speak to the job you are targeting create a strong first impression. The cover letter can serve as a unique introduction that allows you to stand out from the crowd and spotlight your enthusiasm for your dream role.

There are several ways to ensure your cover letter makes an impact. Consider these cover letter optimization tips: 

Personalize It 

A personalized cover letter addressed directly to the key decision-maker will make a stronger impact and impression on the reader. Personalization takes just a few minutes but can make all the difference in your job search. Do your research and survey your network to gain the name of the hiring manager or supervisor. If possible, address the letter directly to the person in charge of the position and send the letter along with your resume directly to them.

Target Based on Industry and Role 

While we suggest drafting one cover letter to serve as a foundation, this doesn’t mean a cover letter for a financial executive role would be appropriate for a technology executive application. If you are one of the many executives with a variety of skills, it’s essential to customize the cover letter for each specialty. 

This also applies to applicants searching in several industries. You want to ensure the cover letter is correctly targeting the role and industry you are searching in. This will show the hiring manager you are qualified to meet their needs, are serious about the job search, and are willing to put in the effort to make a strong impression. 

Highlight Top Achievements 

The cover letter should convey your excitement for the job opening and highlight why you are the ideal candidate for the position. Highlight three to four top achievements from your resume that align your skills with the job requirements. 

Your unique professional achievements are what make you stand out in a sea of candidates. In January 2024, there were 353,000 new jobs posted in the US. Competition is tough in the job market, so it’s critical to position yourself as the strongest candidate. 

Don’t Copy Your Resume 

It’s tempting to copy parts of your resume into the cover letter to create a stronger document. While you want to align key achievements from your resume in the letter, it’s also important to hook the reader through a creative and compelling narrative that spotlights your career success story. 

Align Branding 

Your documents should have consistent formatting and convey the same message to create your professional brand. This means the same font and heading should be used across documents. You want to guarantee that your value and successes shine through all career success documents. 

Your professional brand is an essential element of a successful job search. When reading your documents, the hiring manager should quickly get a sense of who you are as an executive. Achievements should be easy to find and showcase your strongest impact. 

Keep It to One Page 

Hiring managers are busy! A single job opening can have hundreds of applicants, meaning they must efficiently go through applicants. A cover letter that is longer than one page is much too long and will likely be passed over, leaving those candidates with a lower chance of being called for an interview. 

Keeping the cover letter to one page isn’t as hard as it may seem. When crafting the document, you want to introduce yourself, let them know the job you’re applying for, and briefly highlight your qualifications and a few achievements. 

Show Enthusiasm 

A boring cover letter won’t make much of an impression on the reader. Companies want enthusiastic professionals who want to work for their company. When crafting your cover letter, you want to show enthusiasm for the job opening. One way to do this is to use words like “I am eager” or “I am excited” to show you are ready to make the move and enthusiastic to do so. 

Tell a Narrative 

The cover letter should tell your career narrative. You should introduce yourself as an executive, highlight the role you are hoping to fill, and outline how your skills and past successes would benefit the company. 

You want your career success documents to represent your career story. The narrative should highlight your value, achievements, and impact from each role you’ve held. It should be concise and strongly written to make a lasting impact on the reader. 

Get Cover Letter Optimization Writing Assistance from a Professional! 

Optimizing your cover letter can feel daunting, especially when combined with the rules surrounding a resume. You can avoid any confusion or potential errors by working with a professional resume writing company, like Executive Resume Writers. 

Our team of experts has years of experience in crafting well-written, compelling cover letters that get clients noticed quickly. We would love to help write the narrative for your next career move. Fill out our consultation form today to get started, or call 929-201-0171.