Cover letter....please help critique

  1. I have several people say different things. I went out of work in 2009 due to illness. I am now able to fully return to work. Although, prospective employers cannot ask why that can choose to not hire me, or fill in the blanks with their own assumptions. So, I did put it on my cover letter.
    The other thing I have been torn is I stopped working in 2009 but my separation date is 2010 officially with my last employer. What date do I list on resume? I don't wont to provide false info but the previous employer did tell me they release 2010 as stop date.
    Any help/advice greatly appreciated!

    My info here

    July 5, 2012

    Hospital info here

    Dear Hiring Manager:

    I am applying for a registered nurse II position on the XXX unit at Children's Hospital XX that I learned of while researching job postings online. I am enthusiastic about this position and would love to contribute to the vision of making Children's Hospital XX the nations best Children's Hospital.

    I embrace the family-centered care model that is essential to patients and their families while hospitalized. My experience has been in pediatrics as a Clinical Nurse II caring for patients from infants to adolescents where I have learned to care for many different childhood diagnoses from hematology/oncology to trauma patients. With a focus on oncology patients I have been chemotherapy certified at Children's Hospital since 2006, and obtained ONS Chemotherapy and Biotherapy certification in 2012. As a nurse at XX I have served as a super-user for Epic EMR, participated on the primary nursing committee and received the Friends of Nursing Award in 2009.

    As you may notice I have a break in service as a registered nurse, but I am now fully ready to take on new challenges as a pediatric registered nurse. I work hard to learn new information to grow as a nurse and better prepare to care for my patients. My strong work ethic and organization abilities will help me perform this position well. In addition to being a registered nurse, I have been a part of several volunteer organizations for many years where I have been able to grow as a leader and manage groups of members for various events. These skills are also beneficial in enhancing my daily work as a registered nurse.

    I welcome the opportunity to discuss this position in person and the possibility of employment. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to hearing from you.


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    About nurse4kdz

    Joined: Apr '12; Posts: 6; Likes: 2


  3. by   wooh
    Don't put the break in your cover letter. This is to get you in the door. If you have a female name, they'll probably assume you took a couple years off to have kids. If your separation date is 2010, put 2010.

    Your sentences are a bit wordy. Try going for a bit shorter and more concise, you could probably drop your word count by 25% and still get the important information in.
    My experience has been in pediatrics as a Clinical Nurse II caring for patients from infants to adolescents where I have learned to care for many different childhood diagnoses from hematology/oncology to trauma patients.
    I have experience caring for all ages with diagnoses ranging from hematoloy/oncology to trauma.

    You don't have to restate what's in your resume, just hit the high points. You don't want them tired of reading before they get to your resume.
  4. by   nurse4kdz
    Thanks for the help @wooh! Almost every position the HR "pre-screen" has asked what I have been doing from 2010 until now. One HR said the fewer unanswered questions the better and suggested I re-do it. After re-doing it for that position I did get an interview, so it worked in my favor at that hospital (did not get a job offer.)

    I can't lie so what is a response that I could give as to why I have not been working if asked?
    I was taking care of personal matters?
  5. by   wooh
    If ASKED, I would be honest, say you were ill, but that has resolved and you're ready to work. I don't know the nature of the illness, so I don't know how detailed I would be. Maybe even can spin it into something about being a patient taught you the importance of good customer service. (Of course, as good of a BSer as I am, I don't think I could pull off saying that with a straight face, but maybe something about your time on the other side has given you a new perspective.) I'm just not sure that I would put it in my cover letter. But perhaps some people with hiring authority will chime in differently.
  6. by   decembergrad2011
    I will just offer my experience: I originally spilled the beans about failing my last semester of nursing school and having to repeat. I felt that since my resume listed two preceptorships I needed to explain. It wasn't a real option to leave off a preceptorship because they both were different and made my resume better re: skills. I did not get interviews with that cover letter. I ended up revising it to say I had a unique opportunity to have 2 experiences and left it at that. I start July 16 and they didn't ask about my failure in the interview. I think sometimes it's not a good idea to bring attention to anything negative in the cover letter because it speaks for itself in limited words. It's much easier to dismiss a situation described on paper than a person who is explaining it.
  7. by   nurse4kdz
    Thanks for opinions! I think I will take it out of the Cover Letter BUT
    in the job applications what are suggestions for
    "reason for Leaving"??
    ONce I left it blank and that was the recruiter that told me more info is better....and I did get an interview.
  8. by   KelRN215
    I also think the less information you give about personal things the better. I entered a traditional BSN program directly out of college. Unfortunately, I had to withdraw my sophomore year for a medical LOA so my official transcript has a semester full of W's and there were 5 years between when I graduated high school and when I graduated college. Fortunately, no one needed to know this when I was applying for jobs because it was unnecessary to tell them when I graduated from high school and they didn't ask for my transcript until after I'd already accepted the job.

    Your situation is a little different because you had a break in your career. I wouldn't call attention to it in a cover letter though. For reason for leaving last job, I would say "resigned" and leave it at that. You could say you stayed home for two years to take care of personal/family obligations. It's not unheard of for people to do this... many women stay home after they have children for a few years or some people have to take time off to take care of ailing parents/grandparents/siblings, etc.

    IMO, though, your cover letter needs some editing beyond just that. I tend to think that it's not a good idea to say things like "I would love to contribute to your hospital blah blah blah" and prefer sentences like that explain why they should consider YOU. They know you want a job there, so do hundreds of other applications... that you want to work there doesn't set you apart from them, what does?