Use These Cover Letters That CEOs Read

Recently I wrote about “5 Ridiculous Cover Letter Mistakes.” It is difficult to get past the gatekeepers at an organization and even harder to reach time-challenged CEOs. But as the CEO of a rapidly growing software company like Aha!, which receives hundreds of resumes a month, there are some intro emails that do catch my eye. 

So, what kind of cover letters do CEOs actually read?

A 2014 study by SHRM says that cover letters are still important to many companies in this modern age, even if they are read in under a minute. So, even if you are just typing your cover letter into the body of your email, please carefully consider your approach.

Take the time to concisely share your credentials and quantify your accomplishments. If you do, you will see more responses to your notes.

The key is to:

  • Do your research
  • Send a custom email
  • Focus on past achievements
  • Provide the link to your LinkedIn profile
  • Provide a PDF of your resume (remember that if we are not connected I cannot see your entire LinkedIn profile)
  • Keep it short

And stop wasting time applying for jobs that you know nothing about or have no credentials for. The following are some cover letter templates that work. I have used these myself and have included two scenarios.


I. When you have relevant experience for an open role

For example, let’s imagine I was writing this a few years ago.

Email subject:
SaaS marketing expert interested in your Product Marketing role

Email body:
I have 8 years of experience in SaaS Marketing and would like to speak with the right person about your open role. I believe I am a good fit because I have:

– Led over 12 product launches for leading SaaS companies
– Worked for leading technology companies: Concentric Network and XO Communications
– Increased leads for the sales team at my current company by 50%
– Established social media marketing programs and have generated over 5,000 followers

Please find my LinkedIn profile here: www.linkedin.com/in/bdehaaff/
[Note: also include links to your work (e.g. Dribble, GitHub, etc.) if they are relevant for the role.]

I have also attached a PDF version of my resume.

I graduated from Northwestern with a master’s in marketing and I have a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in philosophy. I currently run product marketing for Netli. I am looking to join a high-growth company like Aha!

Could we set up a 15-minute intro call?

Best,
Brian


II. When you have relevant experience and are interested in a company but do not see the perfect role

For example, let’s imagine Keith was writing this a few years ago.

Email subject:
Content specialist for top 50 web property interested in joining Aha!

Email body:
I have 5 years of experience in SEO, social, and content generation in B2B SaaS. I would like to know if you may have a relevant role that is just not listed on your site yet.

Please find my LinkedIn profile here: www.linkedin.com/in/keithandbrown

I have also attached a PDF version of my resume.

I graduated from Texas and currently run content and SEO for YP. I am looking to join a high-growth company like Aha!

Please let me know.

Best,
Keith


CEOs are busy people, but we always welcome the right people showing the right interest. We are looking for the best of the best to join our teams. The wisest leaders are committed to surrounding themselves with people who are smarter than they are.

One important key to success is confidence. An important key to confidence is being prepared.

So prepare your cover letter carefully, catch our eye quickly, and you should hear back from us. Just do not copy and paste these templates without making them yours. If I find a B.A. from U.C. Berkeley in there somewhere, I will smile.

What intro emails or cover letters have worked best for you?

About Brian and Aha!

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product roadmap software — and the author of Lovability. His two previous startups were acquired by well-known public companies. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the adventure of living a meaningful life.

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