In today’s highly competitive job market it’s extremely important to learn how to write a good cover letter. This is usually the first thing any employer will see from a prospective employee, and it makes all the difference to whether or not an interview will be scheduled.
How to write a cover letter.
Cover letters for care home jobs need to show not only the right qualifications and experience but also the right attitude. This guide is designed to make writing them easier for first timers or for those who have faced rejection in the past.
General cover letter tips.
The first thing a cover letter needs to do is let an employer know that the writer is genuinely interested in them and in the specific position they have to offer. This means that it has to be tailored to that individual employer and the same letter cannot be used for multiple applications. Where possible, candidates should identify hiring managers and address them by name. Though keeping it subtle, they should show that they have some knowledge of the hiring organisation and how it operates.
Good cover letters follow precisely any instructions given. They show a thorough understanding of the role and the skills needed for it, and they showcase the applicant’s skills by highlighting relevant examples, not simply by listing qualities. Strong opening and closing paragraphs are the most important parts, with the latter summing up the candidate’s suitability for the post. Naturally, cover letters need to be very carefully proof read.
Careers in care.
When applying for care jobs, you need to illustrate a broad knowledge of the industry. If you have worked in other care roles in the past you can show how the skills developed there can be related to nursing home jobs, and should show an understanding of how residential care fits into the wider care landscape. In this context, voluntary work can be as important as paid work—what the employer is looking for is proof of ability and commitment.
Structuring a letter.
Where there are a large volume of applications for a position, hiring managers will, have a great deal of reading to do, so it’s best to make it easy for them. Letters should be kept relatively short (it’s usually a bad idea to run over two pages), but can be split up with sub headings to highlight particular points.
For instance, past experience in a nursing home environment might be highlighted as previous nursing home work, immediately grabbing an employer’s attention, but in the absence of such direct experience, a header like elderly care could get attention without being as specific. The candidate will then have room to provide examples of how relevant skills have been learned elsewhere.
Care home work can be very varied and it’s important to target not only the right skill set but also the ethos of the particular employer. In this context, giving examples of other community-based work or social activity can be useful if it’s expanded to show how, for instance, the skills involved might help in connecting with patients.