• 22 April 2020
  • 4 min read

How to write a nursing job cover letter

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse
"Just like a personal statement or supporting information, you should make each cover letter unique to the place you are applying to."

Cover letters can be difficult to get right. Adult Nurse, Claire Carmichael, outlines how to prepare a cover letter for a nursing role, and highlights a few things not to include.

Topics covered in this article

Introduction

What is a cover letter?

What to include in a cover letter

The structure of your cover letter

What not to add on a cover letter

Introduction

Yes, there are still trusts and companies out there who want a CV and covering letter.

If you are like me, and didn’t expect to be asked for this, you may panic a little bit.

So, I am here to give you my best tips to writing these and what to include and some things to avoid.

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I think I made every mistake going when I wrote my first CV and cover letter haha, so I hope I can help you perfect this first time round and bag that interview.

Firstly, let’s start with the covering letter.

What is a cover letter?

Your cover letter is to introduce yourself and compliment that CV.

Furthermore, you can add evidence of skills and experience that make you suitable for that particular role.

This will also be a great time to show the trust / company that you understand the role and the are you are applying to but also why they want to read your CV.

Just like a personal statement or supporting information, you should make each cover letter unique to the place you are applying to.

Adjust each one accordingly to show you have made the effort to do your research about them.

This shows you’re motivated and enthusiastic about them rather than lazy and just using ‘one fits all’ for everyone; you have to make the effort to bag that dream role you want!

What to include in a cover letter

Introduce yourself and why you are applying for the role

For example: ‘Dear sir / madam (if you have their name add this for a personal touch), my name is Claire Carmichael and I am a newly qualified nurse applying for your current position of general practice nurse.

I fell in love with general practice nursing during my placement at university…’ etc.

What knowledge you have about the trust / company

Pick out any key points / interesting facts you can find on their website or job application and add it here.

Show you have done your research and why you want to work for them in particular.

Use any selling points here to sell yourself to them

Any interesting facts about yourself, any volunteering you’ve done, any awards you have won etc.

Make yourself stand out from the crowd.

Explain anything from you CV that needs to be explained

Anything you feel needs more of an explanation or any additional things that won’t fit into your CV add here.

The structure of your cover letter

Your details at the top, as if you were writing a letter (name, address, email, phone number).

One piece of A4 and easy to read – good spacing and standard font (use the same for your CV).

Avoid writing the same things you have added to your CV – it’s wasted words.

Always get someone to proofread for you for spelling and grammar.

What not to add on a cover letter

Don’t waffle.

Don’t list your jobs.

Don’t list all your skills and experience.

Don’t add anything not relevant to the role.

Don’t repeat yourself.

There’s a lot to add, so try and keep it to a minimum or they will get bored before they even open that CV and switch off.

Now you’re ready to write a glowing CV, but what should you include and how to narrow it down?!

This is an issue I had.

When I first started my CV, it was almost 5 sides of A4 pages long; Ideally your CV should be no more than 2 sides of A4 pages.

Nonetheless because I had done so much through university and I wanted to include it all in there and really sell myself.

However, when I handed it to the careers team, they said I didn’t need to add it all and I had to narrow it down by only adding things that were relevant to nursing.

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.

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  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

About the author

  • Claire Carmichael
    Adult Nurse - General Practice Nurse

I am a qualified Adult Nurse, working as a General Practice Nurse. I believe that nursing gets a lot of bad press, so I create blogs and vlogs to help anyone considering their nursing career and to create positivity surrounding our profession as I'm so passionate about nursing.