It’s time to take a fresh approach to your cover letter as you apply for your next healthcare job. The standard “Please accept my attached resume in response to …” opening is old school, and certainly is not guaranteed to grab a hiring manager’s attention.
Your cover letter should be a brief but effective introduction that clearly demonstrates your fit for a position and motivates the employer to read your resume.
Follow these tips to draw the reader in and keep them interested:
- Get to the point.
The best cover letters are direct and concise.
- Share the purpose of your letter in the top paragraph. Don’t waste time or space on small talk.
- You may want to open with a statement such as, “Your ad on your career page captured my attention and motivated me to learn more about this dynamic pediatric nursing opportunity.” Then, describe how your qualifications match the employer’s specific needs.
- Highlight your standout accomplishments.
Your cover letter shouldn’t just summarize your career or repeat the same information as your resume. Emphasize the top successes and achievements that are most relevant to the position for which you are applying.
- As noted by Bill Frank, author of 200 Letters for Job Hunters, you should mention career-related “triples and home runs” in your cover letter.
- Tailor your cover letter to the reader.
In your cover letter, focus on the current needs of the healthcare organization, not on your own requirements as a job seeker. Make it all about them.
- Use keywords. Just like you do in your resume, tailor your cover letter to the job by using relevant keywords from the job description.
- Maintain the right tone.
Your cover letter should be businesslike, friendly and enthusiastic. Reveal your passion without becoming too syrupy or losing your professionalism.
- Make it memorable. Personalize your story. For instance, if you’ve modeled your career after a professional who played a pivotal role in helping a family member, share this information.
- Showcase your soft skills. Emphasize traits like teamwork, communication, organizational and interpersonal strengths.
- Follow up.
Indicate in your cover letter that you will follow up with an employer on a specific date. Then, do it. Not following up is an unforgivable faux pas.
For additional help and resources as you carry out your successful healthcare job search, partner with the CPS Recruitment team. Find more career tips in our Resource Center or contact us today to learn more.