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Resume/Cover Letter Critique


Specializes in Labor & Deliery. Has 2 years experience.

I'm a BSN student in Texas (graduating this May!) who is growing increasingly more worried as I watch my classmates get interviews/job offers. My phone has been painfully, patiently, pitifully silent. I'd love to have someone take a look at my resume--if you feel like ripping into something, let me know, and I'll PM you!

The body of my cover letter is posted below. This one is for Parkland Hospital in Dallas, but each one I send out is customized to hospital/recruiter:

Dear {nurse recruiter}

I am writing to apply for a position as a Nurse Resident in the Labor and Delivery Department at Parkland Hospital. In May 2012, I will graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing. It is my hope that I can begin my career in an environment that supports the recently-graduated nurse--at a hospital that uses its valuable resources to ensure that the transition of their employees from "well-meaning student" to "knowledgeable professional" is a smooth one. With this in mind, Parkland is a system I would be honored and proud to represent.

It is my hope to use my skills as a baccalaureate-prepared nurse to benefit Parkland in a variety of ways-- I believe that I can use my experience, skills, and passion for patient education to improve patient satisfaction on my unit and to reduce pathology-related readmissions. I am interested in working to the best of my ability to contribute to the incredible care that Parkland is known for.

As my enclosed resume indicates, I have pursued excellence in my nursing studies, employment, and leadership roles. The communication and interpersonal skills I have gained as an education coordinator for a large nonprofit organization have been useful during my clinical experiences, and I look forward to continuing to emphasize patient education and professional cooperation in my practice. The time-management skills I have gained while working as a caregiver and medical assistant have prepared me for the stresses of multiple-patient management, and the variety of people I have encountered during my leadership and extra-curricular clinical experiences have assured me that I am prepared to satisfactorily treat all populations, regardless of age, race, income status, or physical abilities.

Ultimately, I'd like to think of my employer as a partner with whom I work to become progressively better at my job--and I would be honored to be given the opportunity to partner with Parkland Hospital in such an endeavor. I can be reached at my current address, by phone at{phone}or by email at{email}. I look forward to hearing from you.



Thanks guys! And if you'd be willing to check out my resume, please let me know (I'll be forever in your debt).


Specializes in Labor & Deliery. Has 2 years experience.


Be careful about applying to Parkland.

Parkland no longer has a "deemed status" for Medicare or Medicaid because they were officially and still are "terminated" for Medicare deemed status on Sept 9, 2011.

They are on a probationary Service Improvement Agreement (SIA), which usually only nursing homes are placed on when they get kicked out of Medicare. Parkland failed their last ditch, hospital wide, "make-or-break" inspections with Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Texas Dept. of State Health Services last summer.

You can read better coverage of what happened on the still ongoing, 2-year long, Dallas Morning News investigative series entitled, “First, do no harm.” (See Dallas Morning News Patient Safety Investigations and Special Reports - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News). It contains about 200 articles on Parkland and their medical school partner, UT Southwestern.

Because they no longer have a deemed status, Parkland can still be summarily kicked out at any time between now and next April and cut off from all federal funding, which basically means that they can be shut down for good at any time. (That’s not very assuring to know about a potential employer.) But make no mistake, Parkland has no deemed status for Medicare or Medicaid at this time.

Parkland also had to get a safety monitor to inspect their facilities, and after their inspections a few months ago, they failed miserably again in 17 areas hospital wide. Their monitors or external consultants, Alvarez & Marsal, issued a scathing gap analysis report which Parkland tried to conceal from the public. (See Parkland safety report says life-threatening problems persist | Dallas Morning News Patient Safety Investigations and Special Reports - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News).

On top of all this, UT Southwestern—Parkland’s medical school partner who provides all the medical staff at Parkland—had to settle a whistleblower lawsuit last summer for Medicare fraud with the US government for a “bait-and-switch” scam involving switching resident for licensed attending surgeon in the OR without their patients’ knowledge. (See Surgery Bait-and-Switch - Who Will Perform Your Surgery?).

If you really want to know what it’s like to work at Parkland, I can say for sure that patients, employees, and their revenues alike are all leaving the hospital in droves. (See Parkland Memorial Hospital struggles with low morale, employee exodus | Dallas Morning News Patient Safety Investigations and Special Reports - News for Dallas, Texas - The Dallas Morning News). They have lost all trust and confidence from the public, and many at Parkland are saying that the administration has been very malignant and retaliatory in blaming rank and file employees, like nurses, for all their problems.

Their bond credit rating also recently was downgraded as being “negative” by Standards and Poors. In short, Parkland and UTSW are both in a lot of hot water with their problems forecasted to go on for some time.

CarryThatWeight, BSN

Specializes in Oncology. Has 12 years experience.

I don't know anything about what helpful advisor said, but as an experienced nurse currently looking for a job (and having had several hits from my resume and cover letter my sister helped me with!), it seems to me that your cover letter is too much about you. Employers don't really care what you are looking for, or what you want. You are marketing yourself, so make sure you tell them what you can do for THEM. You are a new grad, but you have experience working on tele... or you've done lots of blood transfusions... or you have a 3.9 GPA and are top of your class... something that makes you stand out and makes them realize that you are really good for them. I hope that helps!

definately your cover letter is too long..I didnt even finish reading it, now imagine a recruiter who has alot of applications..I wish you all the best..


Specializes in Cardiac, Rehab. Has 2 years experience.

Way too long. You don't need to spell out Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing twice, just use BSN and do it once, they will remember. Use the cover letter to tie the job requirements to specifics in your background that match. Make the letter a max two paragraphs long and probably a 30 second read. You main goal is to get them to open up your resume and that had better be a fairly quick read too. Good Luck

The cover letter is way too long and wordy. If I read it I would think you had too high of an opinion of yourself. Also, HR usually read them first and yours is too technical.

Employers don't want a "partner" they want an employee. I would be afraid you would come in and try to dominate. It also gives the impression that you talk alot.

A cover letter should be brief. Tell them how you can benefit the company in just a few words. Like another poster said, your cover letter is too much about you. They want to know more in the line of...Do you work well with others? Are you reliable?

They know you have a degree so you don't have to explain your nursing skills in a cover letter. Save that for the interview.

Hope this helps

Nurse Kyles, BSN, RN

Specializes in Cath Lab & Interventional Radiology. Has 7 years experience.

Dear {nurse recruiter}

I am writing to apply for a position as a Nurse Resident in the Labor and Delivery Department at Parkland Hospital. In May 2012, I will graduate from the University of Texas at Austin with a Baccalaureate of Science in Nursing, and I would be excited and honored to start my career at Parkland Hospital.

As others have stated, your cover letter is all together too wordy. As I have quoted above, I would cut out at least half the fluff, and try to make it much more concise. Focus on how you will be an asset to the employer, essentially, what sets you apart from everyone else.

When I write a cover letter, I look at the job description for the position I am applying. I then illustrate in the cover letter how I specifically meet the criteria with examples. You are applying for a labor and delivery position, so tailor this letter to labor and delivery. Did you have an internship in labor and delivery? What makes you a strong candidate for L & D? Relate what you have done in your previous jobs to the duties of a labor and delivery nurse.

Do you have letters of recommendation? If not, I would seek out professors and also nurse preceptors to write you letters of rec. Include these letters with your online applications. Good Luck to you!!


Specializes in Labor & Deliery. Has 2 years experience.

Thank you to everyone who posted! I used these critiques to edit my cover letter for a different application--and was hired for the position! I'm lucky to have access to such a helpful online community. Best of luck to those who are still job-searching.