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3 Quick Cover Letter Writing Tips

Before submitting a generic version, read these easy cover letter writing tips.

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Imagine you found a position on the ADVANCE job board, and you have your resume ready to go. Then during the application process, you come to a text box labeled "Cover Letter". Oh no! You realize that you haven't written one yet.

You frantically search the internet for a cover letter template. Change a few items -- company XYZ is now ABC hospital and you've replaced "applicant" with your name. Stop! Don't click on that submit button! Employers aren't looking for a generic cover letter, and sending them one is a waste of your time and theirs. Employers are more likely to read cover letters that indicate talents, goals, accomplishments and other key elements pertaining to their open position.

Cover Letter TipsBefore submitting that generic version, read these easy cover letter writing tips.

1) Customize Your Cover Letter

Never lead with "Dear Sir or Madam". Your cover letter would appear generic right off the bat and may not even be read. Instead, find the hiring manager's name. You can research this on the facility's website or through LinkedIn.

Your cover letter should also be unique to the position and company. Never write an all-purpose cover letter and send it to multiple employers. Instead, go a step further. Write a personalized introduction, say where you found the job posting and explain why you're applying for the position.

Let's say you're applying for a nurse manager job at your local hospital, and you found it on the ADVANCE Healthcare Jobs website. Here's an example of what that might look like:

Dear Mr. John Smith, CNO:

I am submitting my resume for the nurse manager position at Local County Hospital that was advertised on ADVANCE Healthcare Jobs. I have a proven track record among patients, supervisors and subordinates, which makes me an excellent candidate .

2) Discuss What Can You Do for the Facility

A cover letter complements your resume and highlights your previous achievements that you can bring to the position. Here's an example for a physical therapist job opportunity:

According to the job description, the physical therapist opening at your facility requires experience with head injury patients. Over the past few years, I implemented a head injury program that increased the healing rate by 10% ...

Remember to highlight your successes and talents that pertain specifically to the position you want. Never rewrite your entire resume in a cover letter format. You want to convince the employer to read your resume and contact you for an interview. So your cover letter should offer a compelling glimpse of who you are and make them hungry to learn more about you.

The best way to accomplish that is to keep your cover letter concise. It should be between three and four paragraphs. If you have too many ideas to squeeze into four paragraphs, pick the most important ones and save the rest to use as talking points during your interview.

3) Proofread for Errors

Finally, review your cover letter for grammatical and spelling mistakes. Sending a cover letter with errors could actually count against you during the application process. Strong writing skills are required for most positions and employers do take notice, so don't forget this important step. If you can, ask a friend or family member to critique your cover letter too. Having an extra set of eyes always helps!

By following these three cover letter writing tips, you'll stand out from every other person who applies. Employers will also be thrilled that you made it so easy for them to find such a qualified candidate for their open positions.

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