Your cover letter is your first exposure to the hiring manager of a hospital or doctor's office. That's why it's very important to make sure it's polished, professional, and darn near perfect. When you're a nurse, you know how important it is to pay attention to detail--one wrong calculation or missed note can mean the difference between life and death for some of your patients. That may seem dramatic, but with your nursing experience, you know it's true. Here are some ways to make your registered nurse cover letter the best it can be.
Be sure off whom you’re talking to.
It can be difficult to know who to address your cover letter to. Does it go to the doctor you'll be working for, the Director of Nursing at the hospital, a hiring manager or human resources employee? The job description should be able to give you an idea of who you should address your letter to, and if there's a name attached, even better. If it's difficult to tell the gender of the person you're addressing, spend some time on search engines or LinkedIn to make sure you write “Ms.” instead of “Mr.” correctly. That small detail can mean a lot if the hiring manager has seen similar mistakes.
Spend some time outlining your experience.
Your resume will contain the bulk of your experience and education, but your registered nurse cover letter is a good place to add details about your favorite experiences. For example, if you have yourself listed on your resume as a Red Cross volunteer, spend a little time talking about why you volunteered with that organization and what you enjoyed about it. Try to tailor these experiences with the job description in mind.
Let your tone show through.
You want the hiring manager to know you're compassionate, skilled, and good with people. That means your registered nurse cover letter should be polite and friendly rather than dry and solely informative. You want to reach the reader on a more personal level so they'll know you'll put a good face on the office or hospital for the patients. Coming off as warm and amiable instead of cold and efficient can really help back up your skills with the people skills that nurses need.
Proofread. Then proofread again.
Nothing is worse than a registered nurse cover letter that is full of typos, strange sentences or phrasing, and grammatical errors. Sometimes, a sentence is grammatically correct but sounds unwieldy or awkward. First, scan the letter to make sure everything is spelled correctly. Don't rely on spell check; it won't catch things like using "their" when you mean "they're." Then read it to make sure there are no run-on sentence or grammatical errors. Read it out loud to make sure it flows coherently. Then get someone else to read it for you, so they can help point out things that could be phrased better and pay attention to things you might not have noticed in one of your passes through it.
Your registered nurse cover letter is the first impression the hiring manager will get of you. Make sure the impression is a good one by ensuring everything you need to say is in there, that it's well-written and has the correct tone, and that everything is spelled correctly. Attention to detail is crucial for nurses, and you want that to come through in your cover letter. You can also check out LiveCareer's Cover Letter Builder to help create a professional, job-winning cover letter.