Monday, May 3, 2010

Captain Writes A Cover Letter

Write a short, personal cover letter when you apply to a job. You can do it in 1 to 5 sentences. I figured it'd be easier to show you than explain it. At the bottom of this post is a job ad I yoinked from craiglist. It's work that I can do, but not something I've done consistently for a number of years.

Step 1. Frame the problem I believe the employer wants to solve.
    This position was advertised in the sales section, not the HR section. I believe (but don't know!) Parker Lynch wants to hire someone who can build relationships with executives. They're likely only willing to hire someone who is experienced and doesn't require training on how to sell executive level recruiting services.

Step 2. Identify what I bring to the table.
  • Parker Lynch wants 10 years of recruiting sales experience, I've got 5. Good enough to apply.
  • I've placed 2 C-level executives this year, a COO and a CIO, and I've filled accounting and finance positions in the past.
  • I've got an MBA, and they're asking for one.
  • I've filled 15 jobs so far in 2010
  • Social media is hot right now, and I know some about sourcing candidates via social networks, so I'll throw that in.

Step 3. Write a cover letter, which is really just a short email. Any cover letter that needs to be in an separately attached file is way to long, and probably wouldn't be read. I prefer an informal style, which I think is appropriate for any job posted on craigslist...
    Hi Michael,

    I'm an executive recruiter with an MBA and 5+ years of sales experience. More about me:

    * My clients have been technology firms and CPA firms.
    * In 2010, I've filled two C-level positions so far, a CIO for a $300M Swiss company and a COO for a $30M technology startup, and 13 non-executive positions.
    * I've successfully sourced candidates via social media and understand how to leverage the social graph of my professional and personal contacts.

    If you'd like to talk, let me know!


    NOTE: I looked at Parker Lynch's website, and the same job is posted. Michael Laporte is listed as the contact, so I'm referring to him by name.


A job post yoinked from craigslist.

Parker & Lynch – Executive Search
Title: Executive Recruiter

Job Summary:
As an Executive Recruiter, you will manage the search process from initial client contact to execution of the completed search. Applicants should have the proven ability to develop strong relationships with business professionals and be effective at persuading and influencing executives. In this role, you will build key relationships with CFOs, CEOs, Vice Presidents, and Presidents with leading Fortune 500 Companies and consultant with them on their needs for top talent.

Skill Requirements:
•Candidates should have a strong track record of success working in an aggressive sales environment.
•Bachelor’s degree required. CPA or MBA preferred.
•Minimum of 10+ years of professional work experience ideally in one of the following disciplines: Recruiting, Sales, Finance, Business Operations, or Public Accounting. (Recruiting experience, while preferred, is not required.)
•Applicants must have a general understanding of corporate accounting and finance. Research skills are also critical.
•Excellent business acumen and strong written and oral communication skills are required.
•Proven negotiation skills, the ability to persuade and influence decision makers and executives.
•Effective at presenting to executive management, i.e. C-Level.
•Professionalism, personal integrity, a high internal commitment to achieve success, the ability to build and maintain a vast network of professional relationships over a long period of time, strong oral and written communication skills.
•Candidates must have a passion to achieve excellence in sales and be highly self-motivated.

What We Offer:
•State of the art technology & a robust CRM database.
•Ongoing training and development in sales, recruiting, and our technology.
•Fun and team driven work environment.
•Excellent compensation package and benefits.
•Challenging work and promotion opportunities for dedicated professionals.


  1. Thanks for writing an article. Highlighting one's strengths in cover letter is very important. An employer receives hundreds of CV but he will go for the one where he can find some matching strengths suitable to the job.

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