Tag: 6 figure resumes

Executive Cover Letters: 3 Secrets to Cover Letters that WIN Interviews!

Did you know that your cover letter (in the hands of a key decision maker) determines whether or not your resume gets read at all? Cover letters are so critically important to making the right first impression; you just can’t afford to go wrong here.

It can be tempting to want to skimp on really making sure your cover letter shines if you are applying for multiple jobs each week. But the good news is there are some really powerful tips I am going to share with you that will make this task efficient and highly effective! These are the same tips I apply to my clients’ cover letters – letters that secure them multiple interviews!

Here are several ways to easily get started crafting highly compelling cover letters that get great results:

Tip #1 Shorter is Better

I know a career consultant who writes cover letters for 500k+ executives who never uses more than 100 power-hitting words. I fell in love with this technique the moment I heard of it. It makes total sense! Here’s how to do it:

  • Write your letter, then come back in a couple of hours and take out all of the superfluous words and phrases you find.
  • Next, highlight all of your BEST words and phrases (you will probably have a few to add or reword at this point).
  • Finally, revisit your letter in an hour and edit any erroneous words just one more time.

Now you are left with a tight, crystal clear letter, brimming with power hitting terminology! You won’t have to do this with every cover letter you write. After you practice this technique a few times, you will quickly learn to get it right the first time!

Tip #2 Simplify Your Language

Want to know the mark of a really good cover letter? Give it to someone to read who is in another industry. If they are impressed by your accomplishments and can understand what you are communicating, this is a really good sign you have an effective letter! Specifically, your letter should be understandable by someone not directly linked to your position of interest. It should be simple and clearly outline your accomplishments.

A big mistake I often see in executive level cover letters is a string of hundred dollar words in a sentence. Check your letter and remove any strings of “eye-glazers” as I like to call them. You will be amazed how this will lighten and brighten up your letter instantly.

Tip #3 Be Focused and Clear

You must know why you are writing what you are writing. Either you are writing a general value proposition about your strengths and achievements in a particular role (CEO/COO/VP of Operations etc.) or you are responding to a job opening. In either case, you want to be completely focused on communicating your maximum value. If you shine in two key areas, write about them and remember to finish your statements with examples of results you have obtained. If you can add a % or $ to those results, that is preferable.

If you are responding to an actual job description, the most important thing you can do is highlight all of the key words and phrases in that job description that you match and parrot those key words and phrases back in your cover letter. If you have ever written a job description, you know just how maddening it is to read through a stack of cover letters that mention little, if anything that matches what you are looking for! A resume attached to a cover letter such as this rarely gets read.

Using these three simple, yet powerful tips will help increase companies’ interest in you as you confidently set the tone and pace for leadership and control – so you can secure more interviews!

 

 

 

Resume Tips: How to Quickly and Easily Create Jaw-Dropping Career Accomplishments

When I ask my clients to give me success stories of their various career achievements I often hear the following comments:

 

I can’t really quantify my successes

It’s just my job

I don’t think of myself in that way

I can’t recall accomplishments “like that”

It’s really hard for me to give you that information

 

Can you relate? Its Okay first of all – you see, you are not alone! But I will let you in on a secret: there is a simple trick to recalling and creating your accomplishments and once you master this little technique you too can create “jaw-dropping” accomplishments that will have potential employers really excited to talk with you!

 

So here are several tips to get you started:

 

Tip #1: Key Word Your Strengths

Start with a blank sheet of paper. Now begin to brainstorm on all the things you love to do the best. Just have fun with it. If you are feeling stuck take a break for a day (which gives your subconscious mind a chance to bring these thoughts to the surface). These are the things you love to do and they are usually connected to those skills and functions you are doing when you are really doing your best work.

 

Tip #2 How to Turn Your Strengths into Stories

Now look at your list and for each keyword ask yourself “why do I feel this way?” For example maybe you wrote “Motivating” as one of your strengths. Asking yourself “why do I feel I am motivating?” will trigger your memory of an event you are connecting that determined strength to. Maybe it was the time you motivated your boss to let you take on a project that generated a certain amount of revenue for your company or perhaps you motivated a national sales team with incentives that increased the companies client base.

 

Tip #3: Write a Simple Template for Each Story

Your template is really easy and it goes like this:

 

Problem:

What I Did:

The Result:

 

A key here is not to make this complicated at all! Keep your answers short (think of how products are marketed…less definitely increases your impact!)

 

Bonus Tip: Don’t be tempted to fall into the trap of thinking your successes aren’t important enough to write down or share! This is a common trap you definitely want to avoid. If it shows off your strengths is generally worthy of sharing.

 

It’s hard to be objective about our successes because of our internal rationale that “oh, that’s just what I do” or “anybody could do it really”. If you catch yourself thinking this way then know you are devaluing the unique, amazing and honorable skills and strengths you bring to the table. Give your skills and aptitudes their due and you will find as you grow confident in communicating them – it can and will result in more interest and bigger offers from potential employers!

 

 

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