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A Great Nursing Resume and Cover Letter Takes You Places
The field of health care, and nursing is one of the hottest places to be right now and a first rate nursing resume and cover letter could be just what you need to land your dream job. If you are a graduate of a nursing program or have experience in this field, congratulations. You are in a great place to be right now.
Unlike most fields, in which there are always a few more people that want the jobs than people that can actually perform the job, the nursing field is characterized by a strong demand for your skills. Newspaper want ads contain rows and rows of positions open for skilled and experienced nurses, recruiters make a great living placing nurses in new positions and placement services are always in need of great nursing talent to send to desperate clients.
The reason is simple: demographics. As the baby boomers age, the number of people requiring medical attention and care is increasing every day. Naturally, each one of those people will require the attention s of a skilled nurse and there just arenít enough of them to go around. In many cities and states the crunch for nursing talent is so intense that they actively recruit from foreign countries to get the people they need.
Not All Nursing Jobs Are Equal
In this kind of market, you might be asking why a nursing resume and cover letter is even all that important. Clearly it isnít necessary to get a nursing job. The answer is that just like everything else on earth, not all nursing jobs are created equal. Some jobs are simply better than other nursing jobs, and the competition for the best jobs is just as intense as in any other field.
Whether its flexibility, responsibility, opportunities for advancement or just plain old cash that you want, your dream nursing job is out there. Itís for this great job that writing a competition-crushing nursing resume and cover letter pays off. Luckily, wring a world-beating nursing resume and cover letter is easy, especially compared to the rigors of attending nursing school and the training that youíve already accomplished. All you need to do is spend a few minutes mastering some simple concepts and applying them and you can put together a nursing resume and cover letter that will make you dream jobs yours to keep in reality.
One of the principles that you need to keep in mind is that your nursing resume and cover letter work together to act as a high-pressure agent for you, sort of like a super salesman with you as the product. Once theyíve been put into the mail or sent off in an email, these two documents go to the office of the hiring manager that youíve targeted and say all the things that then have to say to get you the dream job.
A Great Nursing Cover Letter Works Hard for You
Like any good sales agent, they arenít just going to sneak into their prospectís office and sit down onto the chair and wait to be noticed. Instead, they are going to make a grand entrance, create some excitement about you and what you have to offer and get the target interested and practically salivating to hear more. Once theyíve got the targetís attention, they will try to establish a rapport with the prospect and gain his or her trust. The principle that the sales agent uses to accomplish this task is one that can be summarized in the following way: "Identify the problem."
By accurately and completely describing the problem that the prospect faces, the sales agent accomplishes a couple of important tasks on the way to making the sale. The first task is that the agent solidifies the attention of the prospect effectively. Managers donít read or listen to sales agents to solve those agentís problems or even the problems of the agentís clients. Managers pay attention to sales agents so they can solve their OWN problems. Second, communicating the targetís problem shows that target that the agent is also thinking of the targetís problems, not his or her own, and establishes trust with the target.
Once the agent has effectively communicated that he or she understands the targets problem, he offers his or her solution. In this hypothetical case, where the sales agent is your nursing resume and cover letter, the solution is YOU. To back up this statement that you are the best solution, the sales agent refers back to the problem as he or she described it to the target and describes how you, and you alone, are equipped to solve that problem. This is accomplished by explaining how your attributes are perfectly suited to solving the problem as efficiently and effectively and cheaply as is possible.
Now Close the Prospect and Make the Sale
Once this point is sufficiently established, the next job of the super sales agent is to get the prospect to take the action that makes him or her a bona fide, verified sale. To get them to sign on the dotted line, to fork over the cash, in other words to close the deal.
Now, letís see how to apply these principles to the nursing resume and cover letter. First, just as your super sales agent comes into the targeted prospectís office and gets them all excited, your letter should start with a real bang. In a single sentence, like a newspaper headline, it should summarize all that the rest of the cover letter is going to offer in the most interesting and intriguing manner possible. One great way to do that is to start your letter with a headline like "EXPERIENCED NURSE SEEKS NEW CHALLENGES."
With attention effectively grabbed, the cover letter needs to start describing the problem that the target faces. So the nursing resume and cover letter writer needs to know what this problem is. In other words, to do some research. Using the internet, trade publications and whatever other sources of information are available, the cover letter writer needs to have a good idea about exactly who they are sending the letter to and whatís the most pressing problem that they are facing.
After describing it, the next step is to prove that you are the solution to that problem and to do that, you will need to list your attributes in the most convincing manner possible. Always bearing in mind the problem that you just defined, explain why you are the best solution to that problem. List your training, your educational background, your work history, interests, whatever you feel like you can convince the target is relevant.
Experience is the Key
Bear in mind, however, that as far as the target is concerned, the most important and relevant piece of information is whether you have solved that particular problem before. If you have, you need to make this experience the most front and center piece of information in your argument. Above all, you need to show how this experience makes you capable of coming in and solving the targetís problem as quickly and effectively as is humanly possible.
Afterwards, put the cherry on top by explaining how much you will enjoy doing it. Nursing and healthcare jobs in general are positions which require substantial interactions with people who are sick, under stress or otherwise in less than the best of moods. For that reason, anytime a hiring manager can find someone who not only can perform the job but actually enjoys it and has a good attitude, he or she will do whatever he or she can to hire that person. So after your cover letter section which lays out your capabilities, explain your passion for the job in a sentence or two.
Now Ask for the Action You Want
Last but not least comes the part where you inspire the target to take the action that will close the deal and make you one step closer to getting hired. After all, a great nursing resume and cover letter hasnít done itís job at all if the target reads it, thinks "wow, that is a great candidate" then sets the letter down to do something else. There is always the chance that he or she will get distracted, forget, or Ė even worse Ė find someone else that he or she likes even better. What you want is for that hiring manager to finish reading your letter and pick up the phone right away.
Without really being able to bribe or threaten the target to pick up the phone and dial your number immediately, you are left with simply asking him or her to pick up the phone and call you. So do that! Saying something like "I look forward to speaking to you and sharing my enthusiasm for this opportunity in person. Please call me at 555-999-8888 to set up an appointment" should do the trick.
Before you send it off, give it a thorough reading and editing and revision. Read it out loud a couple of times and make changes where the letter sounds awkward or unnatural. Remember that the tone is that of a competent, intelligent, natural communicator who is enthusiastically laying out his or her ability to solve a problem. Good luck!
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