How To Write an Executive Cover Letter (Example Included)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 6 April 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Executive professionals occupy an influential role in organisations. They're responsible for making important strategic, leadership and managerial decisions that can influence a company's success. If you're applying for an executive position, a cover letter can help demonstrate your suitability for the open role and enhance your application. In this article, we show you how to write an executive cover letter, outline tips to improve its effectiveness and offer a comprehensive example you can follow.

Related: What Is a C-Suite Executive? (With Types and Salaries)

How to write an executive cover letter

Knowing how to write a cover letter can help you show an employer that you're a desirable candidate for an executive level position. You can submit one along with your resume, although some employers don't require one. Including a cover letter with your job application can show that you're eager to take on the job. It can also help you explain how you plan to contribute to the organisation. You can follow these steps to write your own:

1. Use a business letter format

A business letter format is professional and often used for formal communications to and from businesses. It can help draw attention to your cover letter and its contents. To write a cover letter using this format, you can use 2.5cm margins and left-align your text to keep it looking neat and uncluttered. Choosing a font like Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman or Helvetica can ensure your letter is simple and easy to read. A font size between 10 and 12 points and sufficient spacing between your letter's sections can maximise its space and readability.

2. Address the employer

Starting your cover letter with a formal language can help it appear more professional. If you know the individuals who are going to receive your resume, you can directly address them with their title, name and surname and an honorific such as 'Mr' or 'Ms' if you're aware of their preferred gender pronoun. Personalise your letter this way helps show the potential employer that you've written it specifically for their advertised position. If you're submitting your cover letter and don't know who will receive it, you can use a general salutation such as 'to whom it may concern' or 'to the hiring manager'.

3. Introduce yourself

Starting the main contents of your letter with an introduction helps the person reading it to determine who it's from, what its intentions are and the job post it concerns. You can mention your name, surname and the title you operate under or the job title of the advertised position. It can benefit you to mention where you heard about the job. This is important if someone inside the organisation referred you for the role or if you used the application path the organisation requested candidates follow in an advert.

Related: How To Introduce Yourself Professionally

3. Summarise your education and experience

Your cover letter is a good place to summarise your education and experience. It's best to avoid repeating information directly from your resume or including too much detail. You can highlight one or two notable career achievements and their outcomes, integrating how your qualifications and experience helped you achieve it. If you've completed leadership related qualifications like a Master of Business Administration Commerce, Management, International Business, Industrial Relations or Professional Accounting, you can mention this there. Aligning your summary with what the job advertisement lists as desirable in a candidate can show them what you could achieve for their business.

4. Outline your vision for the organisation

When you apply for a lower-level position, you can typically highlight your ability to work in a team, come to consensus when making decisions and follow the organisation's operating protocols. When hiring someone for an executive position, organisations are often more interested in their ability to manage and execute projects, make senior-level decisions and lead teams or departments. You can demonstrate this by outlining your ideas or vision for the role and business. Keeping this section brief can create intrigue. This can encourage the organisation to contact you through an invitation to interview or introductory call or email.

4. Conclude with a call to action

You can conclude your cover letter by thanking the reader for taking the time to look at your cover letter. If you'd like a specific action to take place, including a call to action can prompt this.

If you've submitted your cover letter for an advertised role, you can mention that you look forward to speaking to them soon and that they can contact you to arrange an in-person or video conference interview. If someone's referred you to the role as it's a new position or the business is planning on changing its executive team, you can include ways they can contact you and your availability to meet to informally or formally discuss the role.

Related: How To Become a Business Administrator: A Step-By-Step Guide

Tips for writing an executive cover letter

The following tips can help you improve your executive letter's quality:

  • Be concise: Keeping your cover letter to under 500 words can keep it easy to read and ensure it only contain the most relevant information. This can make it easier and quicker to read or skim through.

  • Use an active voice: When recounting your experience and achievements, using an active voice can make your cover letter more dynamic and direct. It also helps to put the focus on who performed the action instead of the action performed, reminding them that you were responsible for it.

  • Reference business details: When mentioning how you hope to benefit the organisation you're applying to work with, you can include a few references to the organisation or their recent activities. This shows that you're aware of what they do and how you could practically assist them.

  • Use appropriate terminology: Using terms with your specialisation can show your familiarity with it and the depth of your understanding of certain niche topics.

  • Include challenges: While your cover letter can highlight your career successes, you can also mention times when you faced challenges and successfully resolved them. This shows you can find solutions to problems and you're prepared to work to fix them.

  • Review your spelling and grammar: Taking the time to review your cover letter can help you detect and remove spelling issues and grammatical errors. Pay attention to how you spell the name of the company or the names of those who are going to receive it.

  • Be yourself: While using formal language and being factual is a good idea, you also want your personality to shine through in your cover letter. When others read it, this can give them an indicator of what your leadership and communication style is like.

Related: Q&A: What's the Ideal Cover Letter Length?

Executive cover letter example

Review the example executive cover letter below to help you construct your own:

Jackson Fink

Broadbeach Waters, Queensland

(07) 5608 9703

12 December 2021

Stephanie Toomey

Hiring Manager
AquaAus Swimming Supplies

Tugin Heights, Queensland

(07) 5634 9402

Dear Mrs. Toomey,

I recently spoke with Senior IT Executive of AquaAus Swimming Supplies Lucy Sable who mentioned that your company is looking for a Senior Marketing Executive. I am thrilled to apply for this position as I believe I have the skills, experience and qualifications required to perform the job beyond your expectations.

I have spent the last seven years acting as a marketing executive for Sporty Queensland, a business selling sports equipment. During this time I also completed an MBA specialising in Sports Retail from the University of Marketing, Queensland. The combined experience and qualification helped me hone my skills in several arenas, including entering new markets. I helped Sporty Queensland establish a presence in Singapore, where in our first year we established four retail stores earning thousands of dollars in profit. This is similar to what AquaAus Swimming Supplies would like to do, in accordance with their 10-year plan shared with the public in 2019, which aims to enter establish the brand's presence in the Asian market.

I have followed AquaAus Swimming Supplies for several years and have seen that besides entering the Asian market the business has yet to establish an online delivery service. If I'm hired as your Senior Marketing Executive, I plan to put in place a simple 10 step plan to help your brand establish an online presence and generate sufficient sales, making your financial investment in an online platform and delivery service viable.

I have included my resume with this cover letter so that you can review the details of my experience, education and skills for your benefit. I am available to discuss it at your convenience, so please email me to set up a time and date where we can discuss the role.

I look forward to hearing from you,

Jackson Fink

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