A cover letter’s purpose is to get your resume into the hands of the person who can interview you for the job you want. The letter itself may not even be read, but it will still serve its purpose. Here are ten tips to write a killer nursing informatics cover letter.
- Do your research. When you write a cover letter you need to know who it goes to and ask much as you can about that person. You also need to know as much as you can about the company. This is a sales letter, and you need to know your target.
- Address it to a specific person. Specifically, address it to the person who will interview you. Do not address your cover letter to a department, or to a department director, or (worst of all) to Dear Sir or Madam. Find out the name of the individual and address your cover letter to him or her.
- Get it right. Spell the manager’s name correctly and include all credentials and titles. Make sure the company address is correct, too. Write well and use correct grammar. Make sure your spelling and punctuation are perfect.
- Be concise. Three paragraphs is standard. A cover letter should never go to a second page, and there should be plenty of white space on the first page. Don’t waste the manager’s time with “fillers” and verbage.
- Tell them why you are writing in the 1st paragraph. You are writing to apply for a specific job. Say that.
- Tell them why they should hire you in the 2nd paragraph. Pull out the one or two skills or experiences that make you the person they should hire. Tell them about it and how it will benefit them to hire you. “In my current position I worked with IT and all department heads to develop a comprehensive training and tracking system. My expertise in computer science and training and my ability to work well with all departments to ensure a successful outcome will benefit XYZ Company in their efforts to restructure your training efforts.”
- Emphasize that you are a nursing informaticist, not a nurse with computer skills. Tell how you have used computer science to impact nursing practice, education or leadership.
- Tell them what the next step is. “You can contact me by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or phone (555-555-5555). I will check back with you in two weeks if I don’t hear from you in the meantime.” Tell them how they can contact you and what your follow-up plan is. (Don’t forget to actually follow-up when you said you would.)
- Be confident, assertive and professional. Heavy handed pushiness, arrogance and humor are out of place in a cover letter.
Use these tips to write a killer nursing informatics cover letter, and they will get your resume to the right person…the one who can give you an interview and a job.