By Jack Mulcahy, ACRW
Jack Mulcahy Resume Services
Job seekers who gain interviews are those who tailor their presentations directly at the company advertising the opening. They show that the job seeker understands the needs of the company and that s/he offers the solution to those needs. Companies today are seeking people who can show they have a vision for the position and the issues created by the job opening, and can demonstrate their prior experience successfully implementing that vision.
The average cover letter usually goes something like this:
Dear Ms. Blank:
In response to your ad in Sunday’s Weekly Blab for a CEO, I wish to express my interest.
Throughout my career, I have participated in workflow analysis, performed ATM reconciliations, resolved customer inquiries and differences, and presided over meetings. I have traveled to South America and the Middle East, and discussed markets with customers there.
I look forward to hearing from you and setting a time to discuss my qualifications and how I can contribute to your magazine. Thank you for your consideration.
Janet Job Seeker
The only good thing about this letter is that it’s short. But it also came out of a book. Janet isn’t in there, nor is there any indication she knows anything about the position or responsibilities of a CEO. She certainly shows no vision for the job.
But what if she’d sent something like this:
If you are seeking a CEO who is interested in a position with an organization that values the status quo, then I am NOT the person for you. My goal is an executive-level assignment where entrepreneurial leadership, turnaround management, vision, continuous process improvement, and organizational development are keys to success. Be it a start-up, turnaround, international expansion, or accelerated growth company, I have the experience, ethics, and strength of character to build, lead, and win. Here are some examples:
- Transformed the vision, direction, and trajectory of division and increased annual revenues from $200 million in 2006 to a projected $500 million in 2011.
- Boosted revenue for International & Surgical division 17% in 2010, despite current global economy, while reducing operating expenses $3 million, improving gross margins 190 bps, and growing operating income 38%.
- Launched sales, marketing, and software operations arms of a start-up medical technology company and created $20 million in revenue.
- Increased X-Ray sales and marketing volume in US, Canada, and South America 15% in a declining market and improved contribution margin 11%.
The list of my career successes spans the Americas, Eastern Europe, MEA and Asia/Pacific markets. I thrive in high-profile, fast-paced, and diverse organizations where I am free to identify opportunities, build relationships, negotiate alliances, and rocket new ventures to unprecedented financial results.
If you are in need of a strong and decisive CEO, I would welcome the opportunity to speak with you to better understand your specific needs and more thoroughly detail my accomplishments. As my resume states, I am a “groundbreaking senior-level executive known for successful management by providing clear direction, ownership for key priorities, lofty goals, and firm commitment to those goals.” This is the value I bring to your organization.
Janet Job Seeker
Throw away the canned cover letter and show some vision for what you can do for that specific company. The results may surprise you.