A well-written cover letter, accompanying your resume, is the first step towards that an interview with a potential employer. Your cover letter needs to get noticed. You need to stand out from the other candidates. Hiring managers say, again and again, it’s the cover letter that determines if a candidate gets invited to the party.
Your cover letter is not a mere summary of your resume. Big no-no. Instead, the cover letter is your chance (in a single page, two at most) to elaborate on your specific skills and experience as it relates to the potential employer and job. Remember this point: As it relates to the employer and job.
The changing healthcare environment calls for new skills
In today’s healthcare environment, medical centers, physician offices and supporting networks face challenges, due to societal changes and how the Affordable Care Act mandates delivery of quality care and electronic medical records. Show you’re smart and on top of the issues healthcare providers face, by making these key points in your cover letter:
1. Your cultural competency. In today’s diverse society, you’ve undoubtedly treated patients with ethnic, social, religious and language differences from your own. If the potential employer treats large numbers of minority patients, let them know you’ve provided culturally competent care to diverse patients in your former jobs. And definitely mention if you are bilingual, or currently taking classes to improve your linguistic skills and patient relationships. Haven’t started taking Spanish classes yet? Maybe now’s the time.
2. Your computer skills. The Affordable Care Act mandates electronic medical records, and if you have any specific IT skills an employer will be attracted to that. Nurses especially are being recognized as the key leaders in developing the infrastructure of effective health information technology. If you’ve recently advanced your knowledge of electronic health records through continuing education — or even at a class taught through your current employer — this is worth mentioning. Also point out how that training improved your job performance.
3. Your certifications that relate to today’s biggest health issues. Obesity, heart disease and diabetes are three of the most serious health challenges in America. If you’ve gained advanced training in treating any of these conditions, your potential employer will recognize the value of those skills. Give an example of how you provided quality care to a patient with diabetes or heart disease, and what the outcome was.
4. Your knowledge of the employer. Make it clear you’ve researched the company, and identify how your skills can help them maintain or exceed their patient satisfaction scores. Is the hospital recognized as a community leader in diabetes prevention? Suggest how you might further their mission in your hometown. You don’t need to go on-and-on about the company — just a sentence or two will show you’ve done your homework and how you can be a prized piece in their big puzzle.
It’s OK to drop a name or two — someone who already works for the employer and recommended you apply for the job. Just make sure that person’s reputation is impeccable.
What’s your letter say?
It’s possible not every cover letter will include all of these key points…that’s because each letter is customized for the specific position. But by providing contemporary examples of your experience that fit into the new healthcare realities, you’ll look like a sharp go-to person who brings the necessary skills to perform the job, and one who can easily adapt to change.
© HealthCallings.com, Dice Holdings Inc., 2011