How to Write a Nursing Cover Letter That Can't Be IgnoredWednesday, July 26, 2017
The quality of your cover letter can dramatically influence your ability to get the nursing job that you want. As you have probably already learned, the internet is awash in cover letter writing tips. Unfortunately, however, so many nurses follow these tips that their cover letters often turn out generic and uninspiring. Make sure that you stand out from the sea of applicants by developing a nursing cover letter that is truly one of a kind.
Here are 10 tips for creating a highly impactful nursing cover letter:
- Proofread for Accuracy - Nothing can ruin a cover letter like including typos, grammatical errors, factual inaccuracies and other issues. With that in mind, go over your cover letter carefully. Run a spell check and grammar check, and print it out and have someone else look over it too. Make sure that all information that you've included about the employer is accurate and that the information in your cover letter coincides with the information in your resume. Finally, double- and triple-check your contact information.
- Come Up with an Angle - It helps to have an angle when writing a nursing cover letter. You can figure it out by considering what prompted you to send your resume in the first place. For example, if you'd just like to work there and want to let them know that you're interested, clearly point out which positions you're interested in. If you're replying to a job ad, include the job ID or other reference number along with the job title. If you're sending your resume after being referred by a professional contact, include their name, title and how you know them as well.
- Research the Employer - Learn everything that you can about the employer by searching the internet. With any luck, they will have an informative website. Search news articles for mentions of the employer too. As you do this, keep your eyes peeled for potential issues that the employer may be experiencing and that you may be able to assist them with.
- Offer Yourself as a Solution - If possible, point out something that the employer may need assistance with. For example, perhaps they are about to convert to electronic medical records. If you have worked for an employer who has been through that, mention it. Explain how you have personal experience in areas that will help the employer to achieve their goals. If you're unable to find something specific to mention, just paint yourself as a great solution for the employer.
- Grab Their Attention - It's crucial to pique the employer's interest right from the get-go. Therefore, the opening paragraph is incredibly important. You might want to wait and write it after you've completed the rest, as you can refer to subsequent information in the letter to make it more cohesive. More than anything, however, your opening paragraph needs to be unique. If it is too bland, it is sure to get lost in the shuffle.
- Use a Logical Format - Don't just write a freestyle type of cover letter. It will make you come across as rambling and uncertain about what to do. Instead, stick to a clear, logical format. The best one includes a strong opening paragraph, as mentioned above. It should also have a concise heading that briefly describes what you're trying to achieve. Include two to three supporting paragraphs that reinforce the opening one, and then wrap things up with a compelling conclusion that urges the employer to contact you. Keep the cover letter to a page in length at the absolute most.
- Use the Right Tone - Since you're applying for a professional job, it's natural to feel like you must come across as serious and businesslike in your nursing cover letter. However, this can also make you sound less than excited about the opportunity. Instead, adopt a tone that is upbeat, positive and enthusiastic. Make it clear that you would be honored to be considered for the position. It also helps to come across as helpful and eager to assist.
- Make it Personal - While you shouldn't spill your guts or ramble randomly in your cover letter, you should avoid being too formal too. That is often why people's cover letters come across as so generic. Instead, find small ways to inject your personality into the letter. This can largely be accomplished by adopting a unique tone. However, since you are going to paint yourself as a solution for the employer, consider providing real-life examples that demonstrate why you would be a great fit for the job.
- Highlight Your Key Qualifications - Yes, your resume will provide in-depth information regarding your work history and qualifications. No, your cover letter shouldn't rehash all of them. Instead, however, make a bulleted list with three to five key qualifications that you would like to highlight. This is a great way to reinforce the most positive aspects of your resume. By putting it in bullets, you're making it easy for the employer to assess your credentials at a glance, which will be very appreciated.
- Write a Great Conclusion - Finally, don't just abruptly end your cover letter. Write a nice conclusion that wraps up the points that you've made. Even more importantly, clearly define the next step that the employer should make to push this along. This can be something as simple as providing your email address or phone number and instructing them to contact you to discuss your ideas. By clearly directly the employer about how to proceed, they'll be far more likely to contact you.
Even though it's limited to a single page, coming up with a great nursing cover letter isn't easy. Take your time, and make sure to create completely new and unique cover letters for every job that you apply for.