The Most Powerful CxO Cover Letter: The Value Proposition Letter (VPL)

Career professionals such as CEO resume writers, career coaches, and executive job transition specialists have mixed opinions when it comes to the value a cover letter brings to job search marketing documents. Cover letters have traditionally been long, methodical, and impersonal letters that are full of insignificant words like “team player” and “synergistic.”

In an executive job search, you need an executive-level cover letter, or value proposition letter (VPL). VPLs are best used in executive job searches by directors, SVPs, and other c-suite job seekers. Value proposition letters are short, personal, and results-focused, and can be easily adapted for general introductions and responding to open opportunities.

The cover letter for a CEO, COO, CDO, CFO, CMO, CIO, CTO or other c-suite executive will have a specific style and character. We have curated a short list of things you might not know that will help you write your most powerful VPL based on what we know about what does and doesn’t work during an executive job transition.

Why Use a Value Proposition Letter?

Did you know that:

  • Brief VPLs gets read, long gets skimmed. The shorter your VPL is, the better. The challenge in writing a short VPL is that it still must convey a strong sense of value; every single word must count. There is no room for insignificant filler words as mentioned above.
  • The VPL is your informal introduction. Use the VPL to communicate directly as if you were speaking one-on-one with a business contact. You can still maintain a personal voice throughout your letter even if you are applying to an online posting or don’t have the name of someone at the organization.
  • Results speak louder than actions. Writing about your responsibilities and tasks will only get you so far. Your value proposition letter is a great place to describe big-picture impact and bottom-line results, demonstrating ways that you will contribute to your reader meeting their goals.
  • Less is more when it comes to strengths. Coming across as a jack-of-all trades is confusing for your reader and an ineffective way to approach a job transition. Instead, target your VPL and CXO resume to a specific role and categorize your strengths and accomplishments into 1–2 relevant themes. Provide concrete examples of results.
  • Engaging VPLs are friendly and conversational. Write in a person-to-person tone of voice using compelling and intriguing language that will keep your reader’s attention through the whole letter. Again, make every word count.

To find out how we can help you improve your job search marketing documents and kick your transition up a notch, book a complimentary and confidential call with us here.

Mary Elizabeth Bradford is the Founder and Executive Director of and and a past executive recruiter. A thought leader in the career services industry for over 20 years, she holds 5 distinct advanced certifications for senior-level resume writing, online branding and executive-level job search coaching (CERM, CMRW, CARW, MCD, NCOPE). She has been seen and heard in major media including Forbes, Time, WSJ, Newsweek and NBC affiliate stations. She holds 2 CDI TORI awards and is a top tier judge for the elite CDI TORI awards for four consecutive years. Mary Elizabeth Bradford’s elite team of award-winning, certified, top executive resume writers, former top executive recruiters, and global HR executives help many of the world’s premier C-suite, board members and thought leaders secure the transitions and compensation packages they want. She works with clients all over the globe.

If you are a Director, VP, CxO, or Board Member interested in an executive resume package or working directly with Mary Elizabeth, click to schedule a complimentary 15-minute call.