I may be alone in saying this, but writing a cover letter is my favorite part of any job application. In the cover letter, you can describe exactly why you are so excited to have this job in precisely your own words. Your resume, transcript, and credentials may provide insight into why you are most qualified for the position to which you are applying, but the cover letter gives you the perfect opportunity to concisely convey your passion for and interest in the position and the institution.
Here’s a list of a couple quick tips I’ve acquired from professors, career center employees, workshops, internet samples, etc.
- Do your research before writing – understand the mission and values of the institution to which you are applying and also the qualifications for the specific position you want.
- Read the directions – some hiring managers or recruiters provide instructions of how and when to send a cover letter. Some want the cover letter in the same attachment as your resume; others prefer a hard-copy sent via post to their office. Pay close attention and follow these instructions.
- Format your cover letter properly – the way that I have been taught to format a cover letter is to keep the date and address in the top left corner, then the greeting again on the left, indent and have a space between the body paragraphs, right align the ending, leave a space for you to include your signature, and lastly include your title and contact information at the bottom, right-hand side.
- Keep it short, sweet, and to the point – I generally try to keep mine to about 3-4 small body paragraphs and the entire cover letter to no more than one page. Briefly explain who you are, what you do or have done as it pertains to this position including education and work experience, why you want to work in this position and at this organization, and how your qualifications and qualities make you a good candidate to fill this position. Also, again refer to any instructions you may have received, and be sure to address any specific content items that the hiring managers or recruiters require.
- Lastly, thank your readers – they most likely have to review many resumes, cover letters, and applications. Thank them for reading and considering yours.
- Proof-read many times! – correct spelling and grammar errors and ensure you have included the correct names of the recipients and institution.
Click here to see a few sample nursing cover letters that I found through allnurses.com.
If you have any other cover letter ideas that you think should be included or that you have been taught to include that I have neglected, please feel free to share it in the comments section. Good luck to everyone with the job search!
Nursing Love <3