When advertising for mental health nursing jobs, employers are particularly concerned about finding not just the right set of qualifications but the right person. This is a job where personality and experience mean a great deal.

The cover letter, still more than the CV, is the place where these assets can be expressed. It is the place to:

  • let personality come across, although not too quirkily! 
  • explain how the experience referenced to on your CV is suited to the particular mental health care nurse job on offer.

The most common mistake with cover letters is to make them generic. A cover letter should be rewritten for every application, addressed to the appropriate person at the organisation offering employment.

It needs to show that the candidate understands something of how the organisation works. This can be done by highlighting particular skills in the context of how the candidate perceives them applying to the job. Skills described need to be substantiated with examples of how they have been applied in the past.

Mental health nursing job cover letter tips.

The most important parts of a cover letter are the opening and closing paragraphs; the latter needs to sum up why the candidate is a great fit for the position on offer.

Make sure you carefully proofread your letter. Spelling and grammatical errors tend to be a major factor in causing applications to be rejected.

Top tips for applying to mental health nursing jobs.

Communication is so important in mental health care nurse jobs, so cover letters for positions of this kind need to illustrate those skills by being clear and well organised. They should demonstrate an awareness of the key practical skills required for the position and explain why the candidate is a good fit. Voluntary work, as well as paid work, can be referenced in this context. Sub-headings can be used to introduce each area, ensuring that even an employer who skims the letter will pick up on key points.

Precisely what the cover letter needs to address will depend on the specifics of the job in question, but in many mental health care nurse jobs there is a risk of violence. It is important to show awareness of this and a command of the de-escalation techniques important in handling it. It is also important to show the ability to feel warm and sympathetic toward patients even when they are behaving aggressively or refusing to cooperate with essential procedures.

Because of the wide variety of settings in which mental health nursing can take place, it is important to show relevant experience of the working environments relevant to the job. If the candidate lacks such experience, a good way to work around the problem is to show an understanding of what will be necessary to adapt.

An employer will not usually limit interviews to those candidates who match requirements perfectly. Others who demonstrate enthusiasm, awareness of the issues and ability to learn may also be considered. After that, it is all about building on the points in the letter at interview.