The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read

goat in a pen

You are probably familiar with the “elevator pitch.” You know, the one-minute speech every seasoned salesperson has memorized to deliver at a moment’s notice. It may be a cliche, but like all cliches, it is rooted in some truth. And it could help you get hired.

Let me explain. The next time you craft a cover letter or intro email to a hiring manager or a CEO ask yourself, “What is my elevator pitch? What would I say if I had one minute to land the job?”

You would not waste time talking about the weather. You would make the most of the opportunity, introducing yourself and sharing your top qualifications and accomplishments.

A short, well-crafted cover letter can be the difference between getting noticed or getting passed over for a job.

You may think cover letters are no longer necessary. But I can tell you that they still matter. We receive thousands of emails every month from job seekers applying for open positions at Aha! — the best intro emails follow a simple framework and inspire us to learn more about the candidate.

The following describes the best cover letters that this CEO loves to read:

Simple to read
We are all busy people — both applicants and hiring managers. Make it easy to quickly scan your email. Use bullet points and keep paragraphs to a few sentences.   

Researched
Share why you are interested in the position and drop in a few details to show that you did your homework. If you can personalize the email with the hiring manager’s name, all the better.

Relevant
Outline what qualifies you for the job. Mention your current position and the name of the company you work for. Briefly list relevant education or special training, especially if the employer is looking for candidates who have a particular degree or skill set.

Link to work
Be sure to link to your LinkedIn profile. Do you have an online portfolio with work samples as well? You will make the hiring manager’s job a whole lot easier by supplying the examples of your work that they need.

Resume attached
This is a big one. Choose the resume format that the company prefers. At Aha! we prefer PDFs — because we actually review each resume. (Remember that if we are not connected, I can not see your entire LinkedIn profile.)

Showing that you are considerate and researched how the company would like you to share your background is important.

We do our best to make it clear what we are looking for and that is why I have shared the cover letter format we prefer before. I suggest that it is a good overall format for any cover letter and that you should follow it when a company does not explain what they want. So, it is worth sharing again. (Let’s imagine I was writing this cover letter a few years ago.)

I have 8 years of experience in SaaS Marketing and would like to speak with the right person about your open Marketing 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 percent in the last year
  • Established social media marketing programs that generated over 5,000 followers

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

I have also attached a PDF version of my resume.

I graduated from Northwestern with a master’s degree in Marketing and I have a B.A. in Philosophy from U.C. Berkeley. 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

Cover letters and intro emails are a prime opportunity to quickly share who you are and why you deserve a second look.

This is your chance to grab that prospective employer’s attention with an unforgettable elevator pitch. Your effort will not be wasted, especially when you land the interview at a company you are interested in working with.

What details do you include when sending an intro email?

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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Comments

  1. Ashley

    Thank you so much for such an excellent article. The job market can be tough these days, and a little guidance can certainly make the difference!

    Reply
  2. Terri Villafana

    100% spot on about working remote. I especially appreciate the cover letter tips great advice.

    Reply
  3. Deidra Legreca

    Great article! I appreciate the true insight into the value of “work from home” employees.

    Reply
  4. Rob D.

    Thank you, this is an excellent overview and simple to read article on this much overlooked aspect of job hunting.

    Reply
  5. Piet Kruithof

    Hi Brian,

    Thanks for the great article! It’s always been tempting to add a lot of content, but recently I’ve been moving towards cover letters that are tighter with a few bullets. Good to know that employers are OK with this approach.

    Piet

    Reply
  6. JZ

    Judging from all of the young people who I see on your site and LinkedIn who work at Aha, my initial response is that you’re trying to help young, inexperienced applicants learn something that they should already know, in principle. If you really have that many people who apply and don’t know how to write a cover letter, perhaps a focus on people who actually have substantive experience would be a better approach? That way, you don’t have to write blog articles like this.

    Reply
    1. MITCHELL L. HIRSCH

      As a professional with 40 years of experience, I can appreciate your outlook. However, we ALL could use a little helpful advice from time to time to improve and keep up with the latest industry trends so that we are still relevant and desirable in the job market.

    2. Cy Caine

      As a user of Aha at my last company, my staff and I had plenty of opportunities to engage with the support staff at Aha. I can honestly say that it never occurred to us how old they were. We consistently impressed by the depth of their knowledge and the speed with which the responded to our inquiries.

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