Here are 5 tips for writing a great nursing cover letter. Remember, a good covering letter on its own will never get you the job, but a bad covering letter will ensure you don’t get the job. These tips will help you to get over the first hurdle.
1. Make sure your covering letter is professionally presented.
• Follow a standard letter format with your name, address and contact details clearly visible at the top of the letter. And sign off your letter with ‘Yours faithfully’.
• Don’t use a strange font. Stick to one of the common fonts like Arial, Calibri, or Garamond. And ensure it’s not too big or too small: the font size for the body text of your letter should be no larger than font size 12, and no smaller than font size 10.
• Include the job reference details so the person is very clear which job you are applying for. This would typically be listed in bold immediately below the ‘To whom it may concern’ or ‘Dear …..’. If you are applying to a job in a hospital network, it may also be appropriate to include the hospital name in the reference line.
2. Keep it concise
• A covering letter should never be more than 1 page. Healthcare Recruiters and HR professionals don’t have time to read waffle. So each sentence and paragraph you write should have a purpose and ultimately the objective of your covering letter is to convince the reader that it is worth their while reading your CV.
3. Make sure the grammar is correct and there are no spelling mistakes
• Modern word processors such as Microsoft Word all automatically identify spelling mistakes, so there is no excuse to have any in typos in your covering letter. Make sure, if you’re applying for a nursing job in Australia that you use an Australian or UK dictionary as your spell checker setting (these settings in Microsoft Word are located under the ‘Review’ tab). A US dictionary is sometimes loaded by default by word processors, and some fussy recruiters don’t like to see words with US spelling.
• Good grammar is critical. Good communication skills are a requirement of just about every nursing job and in the world of covering letters, bad grammar equals bad communication. So after you’ve written, proof-read and proof-read your letter again, ask someone that you know has excellent english and grammar skills to proof read your covering letter for you. (If you’d like professional assistance visit HealthyResume by HealthTimes)
4. Address the key job requirements
•If the job advertisement provides a list of requirements for the position, you need to be sure that your covering letter addresses each of the essential requirements in some way. So after you’ve written the letter, re-read the job advertisement and verify that all of the essential requirements are addressed.
•If the requirements of the job advertisement are not clear, then for a nursing job advertisement, the following requirements are almost always a given:
i. You must have an appropriate nursing qualification and accreditation, for example specify that you are AHPRA registered (and include your registration number) and if the role is for a more advanced position include any pertinent post-graduate qualifications.
ii. Your VISA status. Are you an Australian citizen? If not, specify your VISA status.
iii. Unless it’s a graduate position, your experience will be an essential element of your covering letter. So provide at least one paragraph that explains your experience and how it relates to the job you are applying for. And if it is a graduate position, you will still need to provide the recruiter with some insight into your work experience while studying.
iv. Enthusiasm for the job. You must convince the reader that you’re keen to get the job. This can usually be achieved with an introductory paragraph that explains why you want the job.
5. Refer to your CV and any other attachments
• Toward the end of your covering letter, you should refer to your CV attachment (first to confirm that you have provided it, but also to reaffirm that you want the recruiter to read it) and any other attachment such as qualifications etc that may be relevant.
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A sample cover letter for a new grad RN
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Sample Cover Letter for a New Grad RN
Note that this candidate has not graduated yet. It’s important to start applying before you take the NCLEX. Waiting can delay your entry into a residency by up to six months.
This sample cover letter is one page long, using a basic 12 point font, formatted for easy reading. Keywords are in blue for you to see how the candidate bridges her/his strengths to the organization’s needs through the use of selected keywords.
Editorial notes are in red.
The creative use of a top centered headline at the beginning and a P.S. at the end help to make this sample cover letter stand out.
A cover letter for a new grad RN should have three to four paragraphs. The first paragraph is introductory, and states purpose of the letter.The next two paragraphs highlight your strengths by using examples. Avoid using clichés, as everyone uses them, and you want to stand out. Stories and examples are remembered and are more meaningful.
The last paragraph in this sample includes a “call to action”, meaning a request for the next step.
3000 Winning Way, Anytown, CO 95678
Home: (555) 123-9876 Cell: (555) 777-1212 firstname.lastname@example.org
February 22, 2015 use business letter format
2430 Prosperity Way
Anytown, Co 95678
Let me show you why I’m a perfect fit for your position!
Dear Ms. Woods, (avoid “to whom it may concern”)
I’m highly interested in the New Grad RN opening in Oncology now available at Happy Hospital. I will be graduating in May 2015, and taking the NCLEX June 2nd, 2015. The values of compassion and dignity in your mission statement and dedication to communityoutreach resonate with me. individualize to targeted employer
I am especially interested in Happy Hospital because of your expanding Oncology Program. My grandmother had cancer, and helping my mother care for her as a teenager made me decide to become a nurse. My grandma died with dignity. I have compassion for patients and families who are dealing with illness and understand how difficult it is. personalize by example Stories are remembered
My recent clinical rotations on 3 South at Happy Hospital gave me experience with a diverse patient population, and a respect for cultural differences. The emphasis on patient satisfaction impressed me. I was pleased that my preceptor, June S., RN, and my Clinical Instructor Sandra H., RN, both gave me high evaluations on my communicationskills with patients and co workers. It’s due to practicing the skills I learned while taking the module “How to Deal with Patient Complaints”. highlight your strengths Patient satisfaction is of high concern to all hospitals
In addition to my nursing skills, I’ve developed strong leadership skills. As president of the Denver Chapter of the National Student Nurses’ Association, I led a team that initiated a very successful Adopt a Familycommunity program at Christmas time. The program was featured in the Denver Times, and will be carried on by future nursing classes. give concrete example of skill rather than saying “I’m a strong leader”
A letter and resume can only tell you so much, and I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person. I will contact you within a few days to discuss the next step. I look forward to meeting you, and please do not hesitate to contact me at 444-777-1212. call to action in final paragraph (discuss next step) rather than passive ending such as “I hope to hear from you”
leave 4 spaces here for signature
Enclosure (1) Resume (or attachment)
P.S. If you would like to meet with me sooner, you may reach me immediately on my cell at 444-777-1212. Thank you kindly for your time and consideration, Ms.Woods.
P.S. adds another unique touch. People’s eyes are drawn to a P.S. Sometimes it’s read before the body of the letter! This one contains contact information
No need to add “References on request”. The employer will ask for them at a later date
CLICK TO SEE A SAMPLE NEW GRAD RESUME
Until next time friend,
Uncensored Thoughts of a Nurse Interviewer
How to Answer “Tell Me About Yourself”
I hope this helps you to compose your new grad RN cover letter. You have more skills than you realize. Let them shine through!
Until next time friend,
Come visit me atAsk Nurse Bethcareer column at allnurses.com for all kinds of entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question 🙂