The Association of Registered Nurses of BC

Career Assistance: Cover Letters

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a tool that can be used to build a short and succinct case as to why you are well suited for a position, by highlighting your skills, knowledge, experience and knowledge about the position and organization. Cover letters are used not only to introduce yourself to an employer, they are often used to assess your ability to communicate.

General Tips

  • Cover letters should be short and succinct, and approximately 3-4 paragraphs on a single page.
  • While you may have a generic cover letter at hand, remember to personalize and tailor your letter to match the qualifications needed by the job posting accordingly.
  • A cover letter is not a replication of your resume. Use this as an opportunity to stand out to an employer, and highlight specific skills and knowledge you possess for the position you are applying for.
  • Find out who the letter will be addressed to in order to avoid using "to whom it may concern".
  • Bring a human element into it, show your passion.
  • Avoid simply highlighting what you can do. Focus on what your skills, knowledge and experience can bring to the unit, the patient population, work culture and organization.
  • Include:
    • An Opening Paragraph:  Include why you are writing, who you are, the position you are applying for, how and where you heard about the job.
    • Middle Paragraphs (The "Meat"):  Highlight specific skills, knowledge and experience that make you qualify for the job at hand. Talk about why you want to work for the particular unit, hospital, health authority etc.
    • Closing Paragraph:  Thank the recruiter/employer/manager for reviewing your resume and cover letter, and request for an interview.

Helpful Resources