Writing a cover letter can be tough. A good cover letter can help a candidate land an interview for a job; by the same token, a less-than-stellar cover letter can dash a candidate’s hopes. That’s a lot to expect from one document, but there are a few things that can help candidates write a cover letter that will deliver. When writing a cover letter, it’s important for the candidate to convey an ability to do the job well, likeability, and cultural fit.
Doing the Job Well
Many people use the cover letter as a way to repeat what’s on the resume. However, the cover letter is a unique opportunity to go beyond the resume. A cover letter gives the freedom to use full sentences – instead of bullet points – so candidates can use them to expand upon resume points and tell the story of why the candidate is perfect for the company.
The cover letter is a chance to get the hiring manager’s attention; the goal is to make that individual want to look at the resume and invite the candidate in for an interview. The hiring manager is more likely to do that if it seems like the candidate has the ability to do the job well. How can the candidate help? How can the candidate be a solution to a current problem or situation?
Cover letters are business documents, but that doesn’t mean that the candidate’s personality can’t come through a little bit. Conveying qualities like energy, enthusiasm, teamwork, and friendliness may make the candidate seem a lot more likable. If two candidates are equally qualified, the one who seems easier to work with may have an edge.
Beware becoming too syrupy in the letter, or it loses its objectivity and professionalism. Also, candidates should make cover letters personal. If an individual chose healthcare because of a personal experience with a family member, tell that story rather than making a blander claim about wanting to help people.
Just as telling a story may make a candidate more likable, a story may also show that the candidate understands the culture and would be a good fit. If an individual has a special connection with a company or has a dream about working there, it may work in the cover letter. Just make sure there’s a great segue. Random trivia can come across as weird.
How does one become familiar with the culture? Read, read, and read some more. Getting to know a company can be like getting to know a person. The company’s website is a great place to start, and social media pages may also provide valuable clues. This can be important even when the candidate assumes an understanding of the culture; it’s important to take the time to do the research, just to be sure.
We Want to Learn More About You
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’d like to work with you to help you find the perfect placement – and we can’t wait to read your cover letter! Give us a call at 310.436.3650 today.