Writing a cover letter doesn’t have to be difficult!
Writing a cover letter is an important part of completing job applications, and often it’s one of the most dreaded parts. But there is no reason to dread it! Writing a cover letter can be made easier if you read the following tips and avoid the common cover letter mistakes.
Tip 1: All it takes is 4 simple paragraphs
If you look at a blank page and start to panic, don’t worry. A cover letter can be as short as 4 simple paragraphs.
- Paragraph 1: intro and where you saw the job ad
- Paragraph 2: your qualities that fit the job description
- Paragraph 3: your education and work experience, and
- Paragraph 4: thanks and follow up.
Sticking with this simple format will help to erase your writer’s block and start you writing.
Tip 2: Pick just 1-2 highlights from your resume
The cover letter should not re-tell your entire resume. You don’t have to try to write out every detail of your work history. Just pick one or two experiences or qualities that make you a strong choice for the job. Look at the job ad first, to make sure the experiences you are describing match up with what the employer wants.
Tip 3: It’s not about you—it’s about the employer finding the right person
Using your cover letter to ramble on about how impressive you are may not be the right approach. Of course you want to paint yourself in the best light, but remember, the employer is looking for someone to fulfill a need. They want to know not just how great you are, but how you can bring value to them. Make sure that you are tying your skills and accomplishments to the specific goals that the employer identifies in the job ad.
Tip 4: Don’t forget about the keywords
As you are writing your cover letter, always keep the job ad handy. You want to be sure that what you are writing is directly responding to what the employer wants. Use the same terminology that the employer uses. This will not only show that you are addressing the employer’s needs, but it will also help your cover letter be picked up by computerized resume tracking systems.
Tip 5: Get a second set of eyes
It’s very difficult to proofread your own cover letter. Your eye may not pick up mistakes. Ask a trusted friend, mentor, or Career Development specialist to read your cover letter before you submit it. They may be able to help you re-work sections that are not strong enough, and they may catch misspellings or grammatical mistakes.
Sample Professional Medical Assistant Cover Letter
Ms. Jacksyn Thomas
234 Pacific Street
Fall River, MA 02720
Linkedin profile URL here
April 4, 2016
Simpson Medical Associates
Fall River, MA 02720
Dear Ms. Marshall:
Please accept my application for the Professional Medical Assistant position advertised on CareerBuilder. I am enclosing my resume for your review.
My recent training at the Salter School has prepared me with strong clinical skills, front-office training, and computer skills, and I believe I would be a good fit for the position. I am confident in vital signs, administering injections, blood draws/venipuncture, EKG/ECG, first aid, CPR, electronic records (EHR) management, and billing software. With these skills, I would be an asset to the medical team at Simpson Medical Associates.
I gained experience as a medical assistant during my internship at Smithcare Pediatrics. At Smithcare, I helped to take patient histories and to measure patients’ weight and temperature. I also assisted my supervisor with other tasks at the office, such as checking inventory and preparing exam rooms. My performance evaluation was positive, and my supervisor commented on my strong work ethic and my positive interactions with patients.
I would be happy to meet for an interview to discuss the position further. Please let me know if you would like me to share my transcript from the Salter School. I will call your office on Thursday of next week to see if you need anything else from me. Thank you.