Critique my cover letter! (seriously, rip this baby apart)

  1. 0
    Here's my cover letter that I will be sending to a new grad program. Should I add in anything regarding experiences or use their vision statement or mission at all? It's a 200ish bed christian based not for profit facility so I don't know if there's anything i should add in.

    Also? Is it okay for other programs, just altering it a bit to tailor it.

    Thanks all!


    Dear Sir or Madam:


    Thank you for reviewing my application for the XXX Medical Center New Graduate program. As of May, I will have completed more than 150 hours of peceptorship and will be eligible to sit for the NCLEX. In addition to the required clinical experience and my preceptorship I always seek ways to increase my own knowledge for the benefit of my clients and the facility at which I pursue my career.

    My dedication to continuing education to better serve my clients and place of work led me to obtain my ACLS certification in December 2011 as an addition to my current BLS certification. In addition, I completed a 30 hour basic EKG course and recently finished the National Institute of Health Stroke Scale (NIHSS) training via the American Heart Association. I obtained Conflict Prevention and Intervention (CPI) non violent intervention and deescalation training in order to better intervene in potentially dangerous situations and resolve them safely and in the best interests of clients and staff. Being active within my community is important to me and I seek to bring that commitment to your facility and the community of XXXX. I participate on the Disaster Action Team with my local Red Cross chapter as well as being a medical reserve corp volunteer for my county and the state of XXXX. I look forward to bringing my commitment to education and service to XXX Medical Center and the clients you serve.

    Enclosed is my resume for your review.
    I look forward to hearing from you.
    woahmelly
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  3. 28 Comments so far...

  4. 1
    In second line you spelled preceptorship wrong Good Luck
    woahmelly likes this.
  5. 0
    Oh, man. Thanks!
  6. 4
    I would make a paragraph where it says "Being active within my community....". Shorter paragraphs are usually better at keeping the HR person's attention and are easier on the eyes. :-)
  7. 4
    Read it out loud to yourself, there are some really obvious errors that you probably missed since you have read it 100 times by now.

    things that stand out:

    "My dedication to continuing education to better serve my clients and place of work led me to obtain my ACLS certification in December 2011 as an addition to my current BLS certification."

    That's a really long sentence, how can you break this up and make it flow better?

    You do it again here.

    "I obtained Conflict Prevention and Intervention (CPI) non violent intervention and deescalation training in order to better intervene in potentially dangerous situations and resolve them safely and in the best interests of clients and staff."

    Sit down when you have plenty of time and read it out loud to yourself these obvious things will jump out at you.

    Honestly, it takes a long time to get the cover letter to perfection, I re-wrote mine at least 10 times to get it to where it is now. Keep working at it, getting others input and then go back to it again.

    Good Luck!
  8. 5
    Never write Dear Sir/Madam! Find out their name - that will show that you are really interested and that you took some time to find out their name (call H&R).

    Goooooood luck!
  9. 1
    MyLady,

    Getting a name out of HR is like pulling teeth from a lion. I'd love to address it personally, but sometimes, it's not possible.

    If I manage to get one though, whom am I addressing by name? HR or the UD/NM?

    Thank you though! I appreciate the critique.
    Last edit by woahmelly on Mar 28, '12 : Reason: brainfart
    chevyv likes this.
  10. 7
    woahmelly:

    from somebody who, in a previous life, was involved in corporate hiring:

    1) i agree that it is far better to address the hr manager by name. but what are the chances you will get a name from them? you have better odds winning the state lottery. so don't fret about it. hr managers understand that. dear sir or madam will do just fine.

    2) drop all bls, acls, ekg, clinical, education and related references. this information is already on your resume and/or online application right? no need to repeat it here. cover letters are not supposed to be a summary of your resume. why would you submitt two documents with essentially the same information? there is a reason why hr wants a cover letter in addition to resume, and that is to give you a chance to convey information not on your resume. don't waste this opportunity. talk about your career objectives, your passions, why you chose to be a nurse, and, most important of all, why you are interested in that particular hospital and in that position. incorporate the hospital's mission statement here. state that you believe and identify yourself with their mission statement. go further and state what their mission statement means to you and how would you apply it in your day to day work if you were selected. give specific examples. but keep in mind that this is a much harder cover letter to write. the temptation is just to summarize your resume, make your cover letter a mini-resume, and this is what 95% of the applicants will do. but once hr managers start reading about bls, acls, ekg on your cover letter, they will put it aside and go directly to your resume. they are ultra busy and will resent you making them read twice the same information. don't miss the chance to make your application stand out from the majority of other applicants. good luck!
  11. 1
    Quote from rcbr
    woahmelly:

    from somebody who, in a previous life, was involved in corporate hiring:

    1) i agree that it is far better to address the hr manager by name. but what are the chances you will get a name from them? you have better odds winning the state lottery. so don't fret about it. hr managers understand that. dear sir or madam will do just fine.

    2) drop all bls, acls, ekg, clinical, education and related references. this information is already on your resume and/or online application right? no need to repeat it here. cover letters are not supposed to be a summary of your resume. why would you submitt two documents with essentially the same information? there is a reason why hr wants a cover letter in addition to resume, and that is to give you a chance to convey information not on your resume. don't waste this opportunity. talk about your career objectives, your passions, why you chose to be a nurse, and, most important of all, why you are interested in that particular hospital and in that position. incorporate the hospital's mission statement here. state that you believe and identify yourself with their mission statement. go further and state what their mission statement means to you and how would you apply it in your day to day work if you were selected. give specific examples. but keep in mind that this is a much harder cover letter to write. the temptation is just to summarize your resume, make your cover letter a mini-resume, and this is what 95% of the applicants will do. but once hr managers start reading about bls, acls, ekg on your cover letter, they will put it aside and go directly to your resume. they are ultra busy and will resent you making them read twice the same information. don't miss the chance to make your application stand out from the majority of other applicants. good luck!
    i was wondering about including their mission/vision. i'll definitely add/recreate this to use them effectively.

    the reason i included the bls/other certs in the letter is because i was instructed by hr to include it there instead of on the application. otherwise, i would have just left it on my resume.


    thank you so much for your advice. i guess i'd better break out the red pen.
    chevyv likes this.
  12. 1
    Wow, I wish all the students on AN beginning a job hunt could read this post.
    (no bite marks either, see woahmelly, that wasn't so bad!)
    woahmelly likes this.


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