communicating your fit in a cover letter - staci collins and ivy exec

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Today you can get hired off a well-written email and your online profile. Social networking transparency is shortening hiring processes, and your corresponding collateral. Don’t go back more than 15 years on resume and don’t make your e-cover an entire page. So what information is right to include in such short format? This webinar is for job seekers who want to learn from an expert how to communicate their strengths in fewer words.Staci Collins, Ivy Exec’s Senior Resume Writer, has over 15 years of experience partnering with managers at all levels in High Technology, Management Consulting and Healthcare Management to build their careers via career strategy, career assessment and selection, brand identification, PAR development and mapping, and strategic resume and cover letter development. She’s collaborated with over 1000 managers to identify and achieve their career objectives. Staci has worked at top-tier companies such as Accenture and Ernst & Young in change management, human resources, and strategic planning. She received her MBA from the Haas School of Business, University of California, and Bachelor of Arts from Harvard.


Negotiating Executive Compensation

Communicating Your Fit in a Cover LetterStaci Collins, Senior Resume Specialist, Ivy Exec

Want more info? Go to more info? Go to or email us at About StaciSenior Resume Specialist at Ivy Exec15 years as Executive Career coach7 years in consulting with Accenture, Ernst & Young7 years Staff and Adjunct Career Adviser at Haas1,100 managers and professionals coachedMBA in organizational behavior from Haas; BA in anthropology from HarvardSpecialist in technical career changers, consulting, high tech, healthcare, and non-profit - and finding the career & fulfillment you want

#Want more info? Go to or email us at Hello everyone,

Let me start by thanking all of you for joining in. Were going to cover a lot of diverse items today so settle in and hold on. A bit of advice from me. One thing Ive learned in my career is how to get the most value out of a seminar, meeting or webinar and Id like to share that with all of you.

First, focus on the big picture for the next 45 minutes or so. This webinar will be available in a couple of days on the Ivy Exec website so dont try to remember everything we cover. Come away from here with a couple of nuggets of valuable information. Participate, take the polls and ask questions. We wont get to all questions but we will have look all of them over, group them and provide answers which well email out over the next few weeks to all of you.Whats the Purpose of a Cover Letter?Cover Letter TrendsAesthetics and FormattingContent Your FitRecent ExperienceRelevant AccomplishmentsDontsE-CoversQ & A

Outline#Want more info? Go to or email us at 3Poll Question: How many of you are actively looking for a new job?Whats different today vs. five to 10 years ago? Senior execs and retained recruiters are your audience nowExecutives are busier than ever, their share of mind for you is smallerOnline media has changed how people are vetted & how we take in informationThe bar is higher: you must deliver more information in less spaceMarkets can be flooded. You must make the case very quicklyTheres a greater demand for specificity, authenticity, credibility and transparency Times have changed. . . has your cover?

Poll Questions#Want more info? Go to or email us at To get them to read your resume To show how your background fits with their needsTo get them interested in your backgroundTo deliver a taste of your brand (what it would be like working with you)To highlight the overall areas youve worked in and results of what youve done; (you provide details in the resumes) NOT: go on and on about how you believe you can sing like the next American Idol

Note: A dose of humility is always helpful. Not really about you, about what youve done for others.Purpose of a cover letter:#Want more info? Go to or email us at Forms an opinion in 4 - 10 secondsHas no doubt looked at many cover letters before looking at yoursLooks for key information in expected placesWants to know what you do immediatelyWould like to be taken on an easy journey to understanding your fit for the position

When someone looks at your cover letter, he/she#Want more info? Go to or email us at In fashion now:Begin with paragraph about the company & your interest/fitUse key words from actual job description for fast or computer matching (narrative or list)2/3 of a pageLots of white space for notesLinkedIn URL/websiteBrief client quotesCharts linking your skills to their needs are very welcome

Out of fashion:Claim Idol statementsThick blocks of textMultiple fonts/sizes, graphics, colors, too much bold; UnderliningMore than one pageLarge blocks of text without numbersChatty or overly clever coversLots of personal information about your goals#Want more info? Go to or email us at 7Match the type to your resumeUse a serif type face (as opposed to a sans serif): Garamond: 10.5 or 11Palatino Linotype: 10 or 10.5Cambria: 10Times New Roman: 10.5+Same font and font size throughoutNot too small (makes your background seem small)Use bullet points and chart formatting where possibleUse bolding, italics, and ALL-CAPS with discretionAesthetics: Inviting to the Eye#Want more info? Go to or email us at Poll Question: What are you using your cover letter for?

Most letters should have 4 to 5 brief paragraphs or sections.

Paragraph 1: IntroductionState who you are and how you learned of the opportunity - from networking, from a colleague, friend, or job board. Then say what attracts you to the company and the specific position. Explain why your role / skills / experiences matches whatever youre applying forKeep this short - 2 to 3 sentences is best. Location of Information:#Want more info? Go to or email us at Paragraph 2: Your BackgroundThis is usually your longest paragraph. Start out by writing what youre currently doing, and your most recent accomplishments. Focus on keyword skills (e.g. customer data analysis) and whatever you did thats applicable to whatever youre applying for.A reverse chronological structure works well because most of the time, your most relevant experience will also be the most recent.Use no more than 5 sentences for this one.Location of Information:#Want more info? Go to or email us at Paragraph 3: Your Overall CareerFor most of you, you career is long enough that you must summarize your experience, e.g. 7 years as a engineer, 3 in product development..dont just list every job in reverse chronological orderHighlight your accomplishments most relevant to the job. Up to 5 overallParagraph 4: ConclusionIf you have any unique qualifiers (e.g. youre from India and looking to return there; or you successfully managed your familys funds), you want to mention it here as another selling point.Remind them that your resume is attached, and say that you look forward to hearing from them soon. Location of Information:#Want more info? Go to or email us at Requirement/Responsibilities Coordinate forecasting and budgeting activities

Oversee adherence to company financial policies and proceduresContent: ChartingMy ExperienceAt Barclays Global Investors, developed annual operating budgets, and periodic forecast updates thereon.At Federal Home Loan Bank, monitored interest-rate risk, capital adequacy, and investment limits, all subject to strict policies.#Want more info? Go to or email us at A discrete project that you managed: scope, scale, on-time, under budget, overcame obstaclesImprovements over time (e.g. annual % increases/decreases)Has a result/benefit (make money or save money; give #s whenever you can)Selected toFirst-everIn spite ofGrew revenues x% OR from $x to $YReplace: Did thus and such to improve something; withDid thus and such that improved something X%Accomplishments: a definition#Want more info? Go to or email us at Your recent posting on for Chief Financial Officer, Ref Code, captured my attention. I have a strong background in financial management. My qualifications are an excellent match for your key needs. The following summarizes my experience:Having grown TVM Group from $13MM to $85MM in Sales Revenue and overseeing the successful sale to XXX International for nearly $200MM, my position was eliminated, as expected. I am now seeking a CFO position with a high growth, pre IPO, high-tech corporation.My background includes extensive experience in Financial and Accounting Management with key accomplishments and strengths in:Sale of Corporation / Pre and Post IPORapid Growth ManagementInternational Experience

I look forward to meeting with you in person to discuss my background.Job Opening Cover Letter: Preferred ExampleSuccessful sale of company for close to $200MM

AR Collection Exceeding Industry Standards during explosive growth from 20 to 20,000 customers

Establishing International Operations on time, exceeding targets for 6 successive quarters

#Want more info? Go to or email us at As a Senior Manager with heavy public consulting experience, I am forwarding my resume for your review in the anticipation I will meet the needs of one of your clients.My background includes 15+ years of experience in Business Process Improvement for major American utilities in all regions. Highlights of my experience include:Conducted a decision analysis to recommend 20 actions to reduce $112M in implementation project overruns by $62MIdentified process and vendor improvement to streamline performance management tool production time by 80%Created resource management process to identify cost-to-serve initiatives resulting in 3% margin increase

Recruiter Cover: Consultant Example#Want more info? Go to or email us at Dear XXXXX,Its been too long since weve been in touch and I hope this letter finds things going well for you. [Even when we do get together, we seldom talk business, so] the enclosed resume will probably fill in some gaps for you on what Ive been doing since B-school.As you can see, I have been primarily involved in building new businesses in consumer electronics. If you used an iPhone recently, you used one of my products. It would be great to count on batting 500 forever!Recently, Ive made a career decision to look for a long-term position with a growing, but stable, small to medium-sized CE company. And I w