If you want to break through at an organization that doesn’t have any open nurse practitioner positions, sending a professionally written cover letter along with your CV is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways at getting yourself noticed. Not only is it common that job openings go unadvertised but there are certainly instances when a recruiter or hiring manager may consider creating a new position for the right NP candidate.
Even if neither of those scenarios happen, if and when a position does open up, an employer will already have your information on file. Suffice it to say that sending your cover letter and resume is a great way to get your foot in the door.
For many NPs, however, writing a cover letter can be tricky; and when you’re essentially soliciting an organization for employment, it can be even more of a challenge since you won’t be able to formulate your letter based on information from a job description as you ordinarily would. Referred to as a cold contact cover letter, in it, you need to make a strong pitch for who you are, what you have to offer and why you’re specifically interested in working for this organization. Your letter has to be downright compelling if you want your information to land at the top of the stack.
Here’s everything you need to know about writing a cold contact cover letter.
Only reach out if you’re serious about employment
First and foremost, writing a cold contact cover letter takes a lot of effort on your part and because yours and the prospective employers time is valuable, you should only reach out to facilities that you’re truly serious about working for. While you are entitled to change your mind, remember that once you’ve decided you’re no longer interested in employment at a facility, you run the risk of burning a bridge at that organization; especially if you end up turning down a job offer.
Address and send your letter to the appropriate person
It may take some digging, but spend some time researching to find out who the best person at the organization is to address and send your contact letter to, such as a department head for your specialty area or the founding physician at the practice; and if it’s a larger hospital system, be aware that there may be a third party employer who hires providers. This part of the research process may be tedious but it’ll be worth the effort in order to get the right person’s attention. It never hurts to call and find out who the appropriate person is if an internet search doesn’t turn up any results.
You should begin your letter by including the person’s name, title, company name and address in a header and then use a proper salutation for him or her at the beginning of the letter.
Research the employer
Because you need to articulate exactly why you’re interested in working for this employer, you need to familiarize yourself with as much as you can about their practice; what their culture is like, the types of patients they treat, their mission and values and accolades.
Talk yourself up
After you’ve spent some time researching the employer, consider how their organization aligns with your own goals as a nurse practitioner. What skills and abilities can you offer them and how will you be an asset to their team? Remember that you’re contacting a practice that hasn’t asked you to do so, so you need to summarize your greatest achievements and strengths as a provider and give strong examples as to why you’re worth their consideration for employment.
Give an actionable closing statement
Close your letter by being respectful but assertive, giving an actionable statement such as that you welcome the opportunity to discuss to discuss your qualifications further and any potential employment opportunities they may have. Now is also a good time to mention and plug your curriculum vitae.
Tips for emailing
If you’re emailing your cover letter and CV, you should send both as separate attachments in an easy to read format that won’t become distorted when it’s opened or printed by the addressee, such as a PDF. You’ll also want to use an informative subject line such as, “Nurse Practitioner Employment Interest at XYZ Hospital”.
Because you are prospecting, it may be beneficial to also copy your cover letter into the body of the email in addition to including it as an attachment. Otherwise, write a brief message such as:
Dear Dr. [Last Name],
I am writing to you today to express my interest in employment opportunities with XYZ Hospital. Please see my attached cover letter and CV.
I look forward to speaking with you at your convenience.
First Name, Last Name
Remember to spell check and ensure that your letter is grammatically correct and is easy to read; ideally, it should be kept to one page length. Don’t forget to convey confidence in your skills and abilities and have a positive tone.