By Tyler Faust, R.N.
Today, we're continuing the conversation about nursing cover letters because, yes, they are that important! Below we discuss how a great nursing cover letter sets you apart and also how it should relate to your resume.
This was mentioned briefly before but most candidates won’t put much thought into their cover letter. This leaves a strategic opportunity to create separation between you and these candidates. Additionally, if you can incorporate the other suggestions from last week's article into your cover letter, you will be the top candidate in one area of the pre-interview process.
Parallel Resume Information
This might seem like common sense but it isn’t practiced often. If you read a cover letter and then the associated resume you shouldn’t feel like you are reading about two different candidates. That wouldn’t give the hiring manager confidence to interview the candidate. Every candidate should pick out no more that four attributes or personal branding attributes that exemplify who they are as a candidate. More on personal branding in a future article. These attributes will need to stick out in your cover letter, resume, and interview and ultimately you should possess and apply these attributes in your future position.
Your cover letter should be preloading the hiring manager with your skills, experiences, and attributes that will carry through to your resume and into your interview. The consistency of the attributes you display throughout each element of the process will affirm your character (being genuine and truthful) and your attributes (i.e. I have the skills I say I do). The congruency between the cover letter and resume will be attractive to hiring managers as it gives them confidence that you possess the skills and attributes you say you do. Bringing attention to more than four attributes will only confuse the hiring manager and lessen their association between you and the attributes.
When you know what nursing job you want and the opportunity presents itself, you want to put all your effort into getting the job. A well-written cover letter will be essential to proving you are the top candidate for this position. A high-quality cover letter is one that is clearly written, identifies the intent of the candidate, describes the candidate well, stays true to the candidate, creates separation from other candidates, and parallels the resume. Incorporate these techniques into your cover letter and you will ensure you’re putting your best application forward for your perfect nursing job!
Tyler Faust is a full-time registered nurse and part-time freelance healthcare writer. He has his BSN and Master's degree and Winona State University and has worked at Mayo Clinic for over 7 years. Currently, he works as a nurse manager. Tyler is a creative thinker, strategist, and passionate about leadership.