You know you need to write a great resume to land your next travel nursing gig. The cover letter is also an important introduction to you and why you are an awesome traveler. Here’s how to write a stellar travel nursing cover letter.
Address it to the right person.
“To Whom It May Concern” makes your cover letter immediately generic. Find the full name, proper title, and contact information for the hiring manager or recruiter for each position.
- If you are applying to a hospital directly, research who manages the hiring.
- Check the job posting carefully to see if the hiring manager is listed.
- If not, see if the position is listed elsewhere, such as on the organization’s website.
- If calls are permitted and you cannot find the information elsewhere, make a quick phone call to get the hirer’s information.
- If you are applying to a staffing agency, address your cover letter to your recruiter.
- Double-check this information for each letter you send. It’s easy to accidentally copy over information from a previous job.
- Write your letter directly to your audience. You will speak to the Director of Nursing differently than a recruiter.
Tailor it for a specific job.
You already know how to customize your resume for every job you apply to. You also want to customize your cover letter. You want the hiring manager or recruiter to feel as though you are writing directly to them, with their open position in mind.
Define the employer’s challenges
- Read the job posting carefully. Note the duties and qualifications — they tell you what problems the organization faces.
- Visit the organization’s website. These pages can give you an idea of the organization’s top priorities:
- Mission statement
- About section
- Annual letter from the President
- Website of the specific department you are applying to
- Visit the organization’s social media presence.
- Interact with employees and get a feel for what challenges they’re facing and achievements they’re celebrating.
- Check to see if you are connected to anyone at the organization.
- If possible, visit the organization and department in person. Pay special attention to any public indicators that give insight into what matters most:
- Community boards
- Staff demeanor
- Research mentions of the organization in the news.
Describe how you can provide solutions
Once you understand the organization’s values and challenges, you’re ready to sell them on how you can provide solutions.
- Match your talents to their challenges.
- Say a hospital wants to improve their patient satisfaction scores. And you have proven experience boosting the patient satisfaction scores for your department. This is a perfect match!
- Be specific. Whenever possible, use quantitative data about your achievements.
- You might write in your cover letter: “Andromeda Healthcare is committed to increasing patient satisfaction scores in the ER department. I’m confident I can help with this initiative. In my three years in Kaiser’s ER department, I chaired the Patient Happiness Committee. Using a combination of expert training, patient surveys, and ‘happiness’ volunteers, we raised our patient satisfaction scores by 63%.”
- Be realistic. If you discover in your research that a medical center is facing some financial troubles, don’t suggest you’re the solution unless you have proven financial expertise.
Keep it fresh.
Don’t rehash information on your resume. It already conveys the specific details of your work experience and skills. Instead of restating this information, use your cover letter to tell a more natural story.
Don’t let a simple typo or careless error detract from your achievements.
- Read your cover letter multiple times.
- Check your spelling and grammar.
- Ask someone else to read it over for you.
Looking for more tips on how to make your travel nursing job application great? Check out our blog on writing the perfect travel nurse resume.