please critic my cover letter

  1. I am a new grad; I feel that my resume is okay but I am not sure about my cover letter. I am never sure how personal or impersonal it should be. Any advice would be helpful; especially from anyone who has experience hiring nurses.

    Dear Nurse Recruiter,

    I am a young and extremely ambitious new graduate nurse, who is looking for a position working in acute care. I graduated XYZ with my ASN in May 2014. I am now currently enrolled in a RN-BSN program at ABC University, and my expected date of graduation is December 2015. While I understand that I may not appear to be the best candidate on paper, since I am an ASN new grad; I feel that I have a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. I am enthusiastic about my new career and cannot wait to start working; at the same time I am not nave and I know that I will have a little bit of a learning curve when transitioning into my first role. However I am prepared to handle and overcome that, and I feel confident in my ability to do so. Between clinical experience and nursing assistant jobs I have been working in the hospital environment for a little over two years. During that time I have worked with many different EMR systems, and I had no problem quickly learning how to use each one of them. I have also worked in an animal shelter clinic for 6 years; I have treated and managed medical conditions of extremely sick and abused animals, and have a strong pharmacology foundation. I adapt well to change, and can handle high stress environments. The reason that I want to work in a hospital environment is because I feel that I will learn the most being in acute care. This setting will push me to grow as an RN. You get to see different patients often and with each new patient comes a new learning opportunity. I want to expand on all of the clinical assessment tools I already have and grow my knowledge of different disease processes.

    I am a very hard worker, compassionate, and I take a lot of pride in what I do. I am a team player and look forward to being surrounded by co-workers who have varying backgrounds and skill sets. I have been told over and over that I will not find a place that will want me as a new grad, but I am not going to let that stop me. I am available for all shifts, all positions, and part time or full time. I know I have a lot potential, and if given the opportunity I would do everything possible to prove that not only am I capable of successfully working in this environment, but I am an asset to the team. I truly hope you consider me during this hiring process.
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  2. 9 Comments

  3. by   schnookimz
    I think it's way too long.

    I would eliminate any part about why you are NOT a good candidate. You're trying to sell yourself!

    Also, I would include more about what you can do for them and not so much about what they can do for you. For example, talk about how you want to involve yourself at that workplace, not about the perks of working in acute care for your nursing career.
  4. by   brittney1890
    Thanks you, I am going to take those parts out and take your advice.
  5. by   scaredsilly
    Quote from schnookimz
    I think it's way too long.

    I would eliminate any part about why you are NOT a good candidate. You're trying to sell yourself!

    Also, I would include more about what you can do for them and not so much about what they can do for you. For example, talk about how you want to involve yourself at that workplace, not about the perks of working in acute care for your nursing career.
    This is correct, but you need to also research the facility you are applying to and put something in that shows that you did your homework. Something like "Your core values of blah blah blah mirror my personal nursing philosophy".

    Take this out:
    While I understand that I may not appear to be the best candidate on paper, since I am an ASN new grad; I feel that I have a lot more to offer than what meets the eye. I am enthusiastic about my new career and cannot wait to start working; at the same time I am not nave and I know that I will have a little bit of a learning curve when transitioning into my first role. However I am prepared to handle and overcome that, and I feel confident in my ability to do so.
  6. by   llg
    Way too long. It needs to be much shorter -- way too many descriptions of yourself and your belief that "you can do it." That stuff doesn't add anything: everyone says they are wonderful and that they can succeed. The reader wants facts, not your opinion of yourself.

    You want the key facts about yourself to stand out and catch their eye. So, every other piece of fluff should be eliminated. Also, don't repeat information that is on your resume (such as schools, previous jobs, etc.) unless there is something so outstanding about it that it will get you the job. A cover letter should be very short and sweet, saying why you are a good fit for the job, and highlighting anything special about you that will put you ahead of other applicants.
  7. by   brittney1890
    Thanks for the advice everyone I got rid of the "fluff" and shortened it a lot.
  8. by   CT Pixie
    As the others said, way too long.

    What really stuck out with me was in the first sentence "I am a young and extremely ambitious new graduate nurse, who is looking for a position working in acute care". This is only my opinion so take it for what its worth, I'm not liking the 'young' description.
  9. by   kaylee.
    When you mention a strength, you have to back it up with an example or experience, some way to demonstrate it. You need to pick a few and elaborate. For example, how did working with the sick animals shape your experience? Use this example to demonstrate a "soft skill" ie compassion.

    If you cant elaborate on an experience or skill, cut it. Just listing your work with sick animals is not enough, and just listing that you have compassion is not enough. Find a way to tie skills and experiences together.

    Also, cut anything that is already said in the application: for ex, the part about the shifts you are available.

    As mentioned, cut ALL those parts that express doubts to have about you as a candidate. Start by cutting the doubt right after you list your BSN program.

    Try making some cuts from the advice posted from everyone so far and then repost a draft. Id like to see what you come up with.
  10. by   happynurse14
    The word "I" is way overused. I honestly couldn't even read the whole thing because all I could notice was how many "I"s were in the entire letter. Believe it or not, a cover letter is a lot more than just about you and your qualifications.
    How I learned to write a cover letter is to treat it like a 3 part love letter.

    1. Tell them why you love them: this is where you talk about how amazing they are, brag about them, and suck up as much as you can. Your first sentence should be a brief introduction of yourself, what you're applying for, and how you heard of the position (they want to hear how successful their marketing is). After that ONE sentence (make sure it's one), put this love section first because it will make them happy and want to keep reading.
    2. Tell them why they should love you: this is where you talk about your qualifications and what makes you the best candidate for the job
    3. Tell them why the two of you would be great together: this is where you tell them how you, as a nurse, will benefit them and how they, as a hospital, will benefit you all at the same time! You say what a great nurse that this specific hospital will make you and how this job will fulfill your career goals.

    This love letter tactic has worked for me. Employers have actually commented on how powerful and unique my cover letter was compared to other applicants. Good luck!
  11. by   13grad71
    Like what the previous poster said, research the facility. Find their mission statement and tie those to your skills and personal goals. Tell them how you can help maintain, improve their mission etc. Mention any recent positive significant thing that happened with the hospital. It shows you did your homework.

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