Congratulations! You know what positions you are looking for and are ready to start your job search. You have also just written a dynamite resume. Before you send out that first resume and hope for the best, develop a cover letter that introduces your resume to the employer and encourages a follow-up call.
Cover letters are concise, informative, and should pique the reader’s interest. Think of it as a snapshot of your resume.
From the job announcement for the position in which you are interested, identify one to three of your accomplishments that are most related to the requirements of this position. Describe them in such a way that the reader can link her needs to your skills. Show her that you have solved problems similar to hers. She does not have time to make the connection--your cover letter must do that for her.
Content: Cover letters should be no more than one page long (3 - 4 paragraphs). The first paragraph states why you are writing, the title or type of the position you are seeking, and where you heard about it. If possible, include the name of a networking contact--someone who knows both you and the employer.
The second and third paragraphs elaborate your experiences and interests. Be sure to focus on those that demonstrate your related skills.
The closing paragraph outlines the action you will take to follow up on your application. If the advertisement requests no phone calls, end your letter with a statement such as, “I look forward to hearing from you soon.”
Salary information: Since the salary range for recent nursing graduates is narrow, you won’t have much room to negotiate salary or benefits. As a result, it is recommended that you not include salary requirements in your cover letter-your request may eliminate you from consideration. Of course, you’ll want to be prepared to discuss an offer by researching salary ranges for new nurses in the geographic area in which you are interested.
The following are suggestions as you write a cover letter:
- Be clear. Have a specific purpose in mind before you begin writing.
- When possible, address the letter to a person and not to a position or title. Avoid using “Dear Sir” or “Dear Madam.” If you do not know the name, address the letter to "Dear Hiring Manager:"
- Make your letter brief.
- Make your letters warm and personal. Avoid jargon.
- Carefully proofread for grammatical, spelling, or typing errors. Use a spell checker!
- Use the same paper as your resume. If you are mailing the application, use a matching envelope.
- Keep copies of all correspondence for easier follow-up.
- Develop your own cover letters. You can easily adapt them to fit any position for which you are applying
Sample Cover Letter
View a presentation about Cover Letters
Résumé and Curriculum Vitae (CV)
Feb. 10, 2016 - Resume Writing for Public Health Students (duration: 32 minutes)
What is the purpose of a résumé/CV?
The purpose of a résumé/CV is to GET AN INTERVIEW! An employer will select applicants on the basis of how well their skills match up with the job requirements. Sometimes the difference between getting an interview and being placed in the “no” pile is a well put-together résumé/CV.
Top two things to remember about résumés/CVs:
1.RELEVANCY – how relevant is the information about yourself to the position you are applying for?
2.CLARITY – how clearly can you present this information to the audience reading your résumé/CV?
- Goal:Construct a professional identity
- Lean toward brevity
- Have more than one version
- Strong emphasis on content & action verbs
Sample Résumés from Career Planner
Hybrid Style Chronological Style Functional Style
Curriculum Vitae (CV)
- Goal: Construct a scholarly identity
- Lean toward completeness
- Exposé of work life; a “living document”
- Continuous catalog
- Less emphasis on content & action verbs
Sample CV from Career Planner
Sample CV - JHSPH Template