I need help...can someone please critique my cover letter

  1. 0
    Hello Everyone,
    I am a new graduate nurse, and have been applying for jobs feverishly now. I know it's hard out there for new graduates. I guess I just want some cover letter/resume help. I've had some people look over it but they are in different fields. If anyone can provide me with some good constructive criticism, I would greatly appreciate it. The resume below is tailored for Neuro positions, I change it just slightly for non-neuro positions. Thanks a bunch!!

    Cover letter


    So and So, BSN RN
    Address
    Address
    Phone
    E-mail

    March 5, 2013

    543 Hospital
    Address
    City State

    Dear Human Resource Recruitment and Staffing,

    Position: Registered Professional Nurse
    Position ID: 123

    I was excited to hear of your need for a Registered Nurse on your ----- Unit, as my career goals are in line with this opportunity. I completed a Bachelor of Science in Nursing this past December, and am currently a licensed Registered Nurse in the state of State. In addition to my nursing degree I have also earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2007.

    Neurology is an area of nursing that has always interested me and was what I requested for my final practicum. I completed my senior practicum for nursing school on a Neuroscience Unit at ZYX Hospital. While on the unit, I provided total nursing care, assessments, and medication administration for multiple patients with a variety of neurological conditions. As a result, my experience and exposure to patients on the neuroscience unit helped me develop nursing knowledge and skills to provide care for patients of varying degrees that are transferable to all types of care units. I have also provided necessary communication between Spanish-speaking patients and staff, which has proven to be invaluable for promoting patient comfort and optimal treatment.

    In addition to my nursing education, I have also provided care for children diagnosed with neurological disorders (autism, Asperger Syndrome, megalencephaly, seizure disorder, learning disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Furthermore, I worked with children who were diagnosed as emotionally disturbed which prepared me to work in high stress and crisis situations. Finally, during my undergraduate studies, I collected data and assisted with conducting research experiments pertaining to autism, memory, Fragile X syndrome, Asperger Syndrome through the University Psychology Department and University Institute.

    My experiences and education have provided me with knowledge of patient care, family and staff relations, and other pertinent skills required of an effective team member. I have taken on many roles all of which have exposed me to a wide variety of individuals, settings and concerns, both nursing and non-nursing. I believe my experiences have established a good foundation on which to build my nursing career.

    I welcome the opportunity to interview for the Registered Nurse position at ABC Hospital. Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to following up with you to discuss my application further.

    Sincerely,

    **** *****, BSN RN




    Resume

    So and So

    Address
    Address
    E-mail

    Objective
    To obtain a Registered Nurse position at Hospital and to expand upon my nursing knowledge

    Education
    123 School City State
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing December 2012

    234 School City State
    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology June 2007

    Clinical Experience
    Advanced Medical-Surgical City State
    123 Hospital – Neuroscience Unit Fall 2012

    Community Health City State
    234 Health Center Fall 2012

    Psychiatric Mental Health City State
    234 Hospital Summer 2012

    Maternity and Pediatric City State
    456 Hospital Summer 2012

    Medical-Surgical City State
    456 Hospital – Medical-Surgical Unit Spring 2012

    Nursing Skills
    • Performed thorough neurological assessments and care for patients on a Neuroscience Unit with ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, brain tumors, post-neurosurgical operation, ocular disorders and other neurological disorders
    • Preformed systematic head-to-toe and focused nursing assessments for patients of all age groups on various hospital units
    • Provide translation support for Spanish speaking patients
    • Demonstrate technical skill in the delivery of nursing care for patients (i.e. Extraventricular drain management, chest tube care, wound care, catheterization)
    • Experience with cardiac telemetry monitoring
    • Administered medication (PO, IM, SC, IV) in accordance with 6 right rights of Medication administration
    • Assisted with admission and discharge paperwork
    • Delegated to ancillary support staff in accordance with 5 rights of delegation
    • Documented on paper and electronically
    • Collaborated with other members of the healthcare team

    Work Experience

    School City State
    Instructional Aide July 2008 – September 2010

    • Assist a teacher in a non-public school classroom serving children diagnosed on the autism spectrum (ages 3-18)
    • Ensure a safe learning environment and play area
    • Collect data and maintain documentation on progress regarding academic, cognitive, social and behavioral skills
    • Follow and implement intervention plans or processes to provide service and support to students to meet IEP goals or intervention plan goals
    • Prepare lessons for activities, and gather necessary materials and supplies required; employ various teaching methods to promote learning and implement activities

    Residential Facility City State
    Residential Counselor October 2007 – June 2008

    • Provide a highly structured environment of care for emotionally disturbed children between the ages of 6 to12 years living in a diagnostic group home
    • Teach children basic living skills and domestic routines
    • Use a variety of therapeutic interventions to provide support for self-esteem, behavior management, social skills/relationships, and self-care skills
    • Maintain safety for both staff and clients during crisis and non-crisis situations
    • Prepare, plan and implement structured activities for individuals and/or groups
    • Chaperone residents on outings
    • Document medication, incidents, interventions, and behaviors of multiple clients daily

    University Institute City State
    Intern January 2007 – June 2007
    • Collected data for various ongoing research projects
    • Contacted potential research participants
    • Called patients to confirm clinical appointments
    • Provide care for children while parents are meeting with physicians


    Skills, Community Involvement, Leadership
    • BCLS Certified
    • NIH Stroke Scale Certified
    • Proficient in Spanish language
    • National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Current Member
    • Nursing Students Without Borders – Treasurer 2011-2012
    • Hospital – Research Day Presenter - May 2012
    • Volunteer for 987 Hospital Emergency Room and Psychiatric Ward – City State - 2004-2005
    • University - Greek Conduct Board member 2006-2007
    Last edit by Esme12 on Mar 9, '13 : Reason: remove name
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  3. 6 Comments so far...

  4. 0
    I didn't read all of the cover letter because................................it's too long. Employers don't want to be bothered with long cover letters. You got to put 3 p/p (not 5) of eye catching syntax that explains in as few words as possible the idea you're trying to get across. It's kind of like the idea of if it takes you that long to say something in a cover letter how will you be on your feet in real work situations. Remember, you are only introducing yourself and the position you're applying for.

    You speak Spanish...that belongs in the first p/p...Don't talk about how excited you are and be specific about what position it is; details (I realize there isn't but pretend). First p/p; my name is so an so. I graduated from blah in blah, now is the time to put if there are any honors. I speak Spanish and blah is my short and long term goals. Then include 3rd p/p. Then end it with a recap (short).

    Things like I completed.. I am a licensed...snore; you are going to put B.S.N.,R.N. after your name in the header (Don't repeat yourself). It's OK to be able to put it in as few words as possible...it shows how smart you are. I believe lots of the stuff you have in the cover letter you will put in the resume...don't repeat yourself (see how annoying that is).

    It might behoove you to hire someone or research about how to write a successful cover letter on the internet. I'm not trying to be cruel, it's good advice.
    Last edit by tyvin on Mar 9, '13
  5. 0
    MSN Careers - 5 things to leave off your résumé - Career Advice Article

    W
    ell, the universe is speaking...I saw this when I turned on my computer this am and thought about you.

    BTW; I liked your resume.
  6. 2
    I agree with Tyvin. Your cover letter needs to be 3 paragraphs max. Example:


    " I'm interested in x position, and my values/ skills fit because....(Tie in the company values/ mission somehow).

    Next, briefly highlight 1-2 professional accomplishments or an interesting factoid from your clinical time that relates to the position in one short paragraph.


    I look forward to hearing from you, or I will follow up...thank you."

    The end.
    tyvin and bebbercorn like this.
  7. 0
    I agree that it's long but I do like how you tie in your psych background. Perhaps cutting down a bit on the information you gave about the neuro unit, as they know what your position might entail, and save the space for your extracurricular work in the next paragraph, which I feel may make you stand out. Just my opinion, I hope you find a great position!
  8. 0
    Thank you so much everyone for the feedback. I worked on my cover letter and resume over the weekend. If you could kindly look over it again, that would be great! I cut most of the resume stuff out, like previous jobs, especially since they were not very nursing related. I also figured that they get that information when you have to fill out their job application.



    So and so, BSN RN
    address
    address
    Phone
    E-mail

    Date

    Hospital
    address
    address

    Dear Human Resource Recruitment and Staffing,

    Position:
    Position ID:

    I am interested in the Position at Hospital, as my value/skills/career goals fit because…

    I completed my senior practicum for nursing school on a Neuroscience Unit at Hospital where I provided nursing care for patients with a variety of neurological conditions. I also provided necessary communication between Spanish-speaking patients and staff, which has proven to be invaluable in the clinical setting.

    In addition to my nursing education, I have also provided care and teaching for children diagnosed with neurological disorders, namely autism spectrum disorders. Furthermore, I worked with children diagnosed as emotionally disturbed, which prepared me to work in high stress and crisis situations. Finally, during my undergraduate studies, I assisted with conducting research experiments pertaining to memory and autism spectrum disorders through the University Psychology Department and Univeristy Institute.

    I welcome the opportunity to interview for the Registered Nurse position at Hospital. Thank you for your time and consideration; I look forward to following up with you to discuss my application further.

    Sincerely,




    So and so



    Resume

    So and so, BSN RN
    Address
    Address
    Phone
    E-mail

    Education
    College City State
    Bachelor of Science in Nursing December 2012

    University City State
    Bachelor of Arts in Psychology June 2007

    Licenses, Certifications

    • RN – NY State licensed expires 01/31/2016
    • RN – CA State license pending
    • BLS certified expires 10/2013
    • NIH Stroke Scale certified expires 03/2015


    Clinical Experience
    Advanced Medical-Surgical, Fall 2012– Hospital, Neuroscience Unit – City State
    Community Health, Fall 2012 – Health Center – City State
    Psychiatric Mental Health, Summer 2012 – Hospital – City State
    Maternity, Summer 2012 – Hospital, Postpartum care unit – City State
    Pediatric, Summer 2012 – Hospital, Pediatric Inpatient unit – City State
    Medical-Surgical, Spring 2012 - Hospital, Medical-Surgical Unit – City State

    Nursing Skills
    - Performed thorough neurological assessments and care for patients on a Neuroscience Unit with ischemic stroke, hemorrhagic stroke, brain tumors, post-neurosurgical operation, ocular disorders and other neurological disorders
    - Preformed systematic head-to-toe and focused nursing assessments for patients of all age groups on various hospital units
    - Demonstrate technical skill in the delivery of nursing care for patients (i.e. Extraventricular drain management, chest tube care, wound care, catheterization)
    - Experience with cardiac telemetry monitoring
    - Administered medication (PO, IM, SC, IV) in accordance with 6 rights of Medication administration
    - Delegated to ancillary support staff in accordance with 5 rights of delegation
    - Assisted with admission and discharge paperwork
    - Documented on paper and electronically
    - Collaborated with other members of the healthcare team

    Skills, Community Involvement, Leadership
    - Proficient in Spanish
    - College – Nursing Students Without Borders – Treasurer 2011-2012
    - University – Greek Conduct Board Member – 2006-2007
    - Hospital – Research Day Presenter - May 2012
    - National Association of Hispanic Nurses – Current Member
    - Volunteer for Hospital Emergency Room and Psychiatric Ward – City State 2004-2005
    - Volunteer for Shelter – Summer 2012 – food server
  9. 0
    You really cleaned it up. Take the first p/p and leave out the "because" and anything that was going to follow. Follow it with a short sentence of what school you grad and the year.

    Then keep the first sentence of the second p/p and create another sentence that says you speak Spanish. Tell them you speak Spanish...you look like you're not fluent the way you have it phrased; IMO. Something like "With my fluent Spanish I have experience interpreting, teaching, and translating for patients, families, and staff in the medical setting" ... you could leave out medical setting or reinvent the sentence.

    They already know you were in clinical and what the practicum was. There you got the second p/p, now keep the third p/p (except the last sentence is rather assuming, but it's OK) and Voila!...that's my advice anyway...it's short, but it's good and that's what they like.



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