6. February 2012 21:13
In healthcare, it’s more important to have skills and experience than to have a great cover letter and resume – but it still doesn’t hurt, if only because your resume is the first thing a hiring manager sees when screening applicants. And, let’s face it – not all healthcare jobs are equal, with some jobs being much better than others. If you’re going to compete for the best jobs, you need to be at the top of your professional game in every area, and that includes your cover letter.
Somewhere out there is your perfect job – and a great cover letter is one of the tools you can use to get it. It’s for this great job that writing a competition-crushing nursing resume and cover letter pays off. Writing a great healthcare cover letter is actually pretty easy compared to the training you have gone through to get where you are – yet, cover letters can be daunting if you haven’t written one before. All that’s needed is a little bit of time devoted to mastering some simple concepts, and you’ll have a cover letter that’s sure to get you an interview.
Remember that your healthcare resume works with your resume to serve as a sales tool to make employers want to meet you. They’re like a goodwill ambassador sent ahead to meet the hiring manager and put in a good word for you, so that you can come in, nail the interview, and get that dream job.
- Do your research. Before you write a cover letter, learn about the company and the position you are applying for. Most importantly, learn the hiring manager’s name.
- Address your cover letter to a specific person; namely, the hiring manager. Do not use, "Dear Sir or Madam".
- Write specifically about the job you are applying for and how you are qualified for it.
- Expand on important points of your resume. Your resume lists your skills, experience and accomplishments. Expand on your qualifications in your cover letter. Tell how you have applied those skills in specific settings.
- Be concise. Your cover letter should not flow onto a second page. One simple, clean page with plenty of white space is what you are going for. That means you must pack your best information in as concisely as possible.
- Use action verbs and power phrases. Tell what you’ve done and how it has made a difference.
- Make it memorable. If you have done something exceptional, or won an award, or anything else that stands out, place that information strategically so that the manager sees it and remembers it.
- Proof, proof and re-proof. Typos and grammatical errors look unprofessional and they turn off managers. Make sure your cover letter is letter-perfect.
- Use good quality white or off-white paper and clear black font. Use a traditional, professional font such as Times New Roman. Use proper business letter formatting. Do not hand-write a cover letter unless the employer requires it. (Some employers perform handwriting analysis on prospective employees.)
- Close with a positive statement that makes it sound like you fully expect them to call you. Say why you are interested in working for this employer. Say that you will follow-up with a phone call or email in about two weeks…and then do it. With a strong cover letter and a good resume, you’re on your way to getting a great healthcare job. Once you get the interview, you can impress them with your charm – and the next thing you know, you’re hired!