A good cover letter can help a resume rise to the top of the pile, and a shoddy cover letter can ensure that an applicant’s resume goes straight to the recycling bin. What makes a good cover letter?
Start with the Basics
There are a few fundamentals to keep in mind. A cover letter should be an expansion of your resume, not a carbon copy. Think of it as an extra opportunity to highlight your exceptional skills in relation to the job description. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that one cover letter will work for every application: make sure to modify your cover letter for each facility you apply to; there is no one size fits all thinking when it comes to cover letters.
Avoid misspelling, words crossed off, no cover letter, including personal information about family life. A cover letter can help fill the gaps: don’t send a resume if you have NONE of the job qualifications, unless your cover letter has an explanation, e.g., enrolled in education program, etc.
Focus on Professionalism
Tailor the cover letter to experience and the position. Showcase your experience in different areas if you don’t have a preference where you’re assigned to be a staff RN. The situation is different for someone with extensive experience or interest in a specialized area. If you’re a seasoned professional, emphasize your deep expertise in certain areas, such as telemetry nursing, postoperative care or emergency room nursing where many hospitals may require highly skilled nurses with several years of experience.
Again, it’s important to avoid simply restating the resume. Highlight the specific experience pertinent to this job…mention some additional experiences or special classes…that are pertinent to the job but not mentioned in your resume. Cover letters can be tricky for people who are hesitant to tout their own accomplishments, but this is not the time to be shy. Use an assertive confident tone throughout.
A good cover letter will do, but a great cover letter will do even better. Take it to the next level: make your first sentence stand out; too often, cover letters are sleep inducing. Put some thought into it, especially why this particular workplace and this particular job are appealing. Explain in a sentence or two why you want to work at that company. Do your best to specifically explain why you would be a good fit in the company.
Writing cover letters can be tough, so many people finish with a sigh of relief and rush to submit the letter. However, it’s always a good idea to check everything over. Is the cover letter addressed to a specific person? That always works better than “To Whom It May Concern.” People make mistakes, and it’s always more difficult to proof one’s own words, so ask someone whom you trust to read the final draft before it goes out.
Send it to us!
At 365 Healthcare Staffing Services, we specialize in the recruitment and placement of healthcare professionals in per diem, travel, and permanent assignments in healthcare facilities across the country. We’re interested in learning more about your experience, so if you’re looking for your next assignment, we’d love to read your cover letter and resume. Give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.