Writing an impressive cover letter takes time, and there is always the question of whether it’s read on the other end of the application process. It was different when we sent actual letters with actual envelopes; the cover letter was a requirement as much as a stamp. Now, decades later, you are likely applying through a sophisticated digital applicant tracking system. That ATS uses keywords to flag resumes. What happens to a cover letter in this environment?
Why Cover Letters Still Matter in Healthcare
Believe it or not, healthcare is the one place where a cover letter still matters. It’s a field where education is typically paramount so an intelligent, well-written cover letter is typically not only read, it is a document that could set you apart from other candidates.
A cover letter is particularly important in the community healthcare field. These teams are typically smaller than a larger hospital. A cover letter and a resume together create a more comprehensive picture of who you are as a candidate. Since culture fit is a huge component of the FQHC world, a well-written, tailored cover letter can even give the hiring team a sense of who you are and how you would fit within the team.
So, cover letters do matter in community healthcare. Here are a few tips for writing a better cover letter the next time you submit one to an FQHC.
Cover Letter Tips
1. Make your cover letter short. Include a brief introduction and summary of who you are, career-wise, and your current situation. What position are you seeking? Why are you on the job market? What are your credentials and key experiences? Each cover letter should sound as authentic as possible and less like a form document.
- Consider writing the letter from the employer’s perspective. Use the cover letter as a bit of a selling tool that will make the hiring manager want to open and read your resume. Lead with a line that gets their attention and matches your skills with their needs. Review the job spec again and make sure you’ve tailored the letter to the specific opportunity. Try to apply your experiences to the primary requirements of the job, but again, keep it short.
- Organize the cover letter into three paragraphs: Opening, middle, and conclusion. There are plenty of suggestions online to help get you started. Ideally, once you’ve completed one or two cover letters, you’ll be able to mix and match between these documents so that your next application is faster and easier to complete.
One Last Tip—Send Your Cover Letter to a Recruiter
UHC Solutions works with top healthcare job seekers to help match them to FQHC and other community healthcare organizations. We are open to working with new candidates, so please don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re considering a career change. The more you share on what you are looking for, the better the result! Call on us. We’re here to help.