A nursing cover letter is typically an important component of a targeted job search. In a targeted search, candidates take the time to research those facilities that will provide the best match in terms of job goal, location, benefits, and work culture.

An effective cover letter is one which is tailor, not only to the job opening but to specific information regarding the company itself. An easy way to research a facility is to review its Web site, paying special attention to the About Us page.

Each nursing cover letter should be addressed to a specific person. If you goal is to work in pediatric oncology, call the facility and find out the name of the hiring manager in this department. While obtaining the name of the hiring manager may present a challenge in many occupations, this may not be the case for nurse candidates due to the shortage of such staff at every functional level.

A nursing cover letter should emphasize how your background and experience can add value to the role (and facility). Tailor the letter so that you speak to the specific needs of the position as listed in the job description. As with most marketing campaigns, a job search needs to emphasize benefits and be able to articulate your unique value proposition (UVP).

A basic outline for a nursing cover letter is as follows:

• Standard business letter address formatting: Hiring manager name, title, facility, and address.

• Salutation: addressed to specific person.

• First paragraph: Note position you are applying for and why you believe you meet the qualifications of the position.eds and benefits you can provide.

• Specific information related to your past accomplishment. Can be in bullet-point format. Where possible include quantifiable results. Discuss the benefits you bring to the role.

• Third paragraph: Thank the hiring manager for his or her consideration and close with a call to action; eg provide the hiring manager with a specific action to take and back this up with what you will do if you do not receive a response.

It may be a good idea to create a basic template for your nursing cover letter and then tailor it towards the specific opportunities for which you are applying.