A letter of intent is an introductory letter sent to supervisors or nursing directors in charge of filling nursing positions. When writing your letter, it's important to find out as much about the position as possible. This will enable you to compose a letter that's clear and engaging and that will prompt a face-to-face interview.
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Things you need
- Resume paper
Create an outline before writing your letter. A letter of intent clearly defines your nursing experience, medical training and career aspirations in the health care industry. It should serve as an introduction to potential employers. Outlines should include three or four main topics with subtopics that support them.
Make a list of potential employers, including their full names and addresses. Create your list using online or newspaper classifieds that showcase nursing positions available in your area; by attending health care job fairs; by gathering referrals from past employers, instructors or internships; or by contacting local hospitals, physicians' offices, clinics and other institutions that may be in need of nurses.
Compose your letter of intent on a computer or word processor. Include your full name and contact information (address, phone number and e-mail address) at the top of the page. On the next line type the date. Skip a line and type the name of the contact person and her address. Skip another line and open your letter by greeting the person.
Use each of the main points of your outline to create a separate paragraph. Start your letter by explaining why you're interested in the nursing position. If you're a recent nursing school graduate or looking for a new nursing position, explain why you're writing the letter. In the next paragraph, explain your training and one or two work experiences. List hands-on experience you've had. This can include internships in hospitals and nursing homes, EMT or emergency room experience, and other nursing positions you've held. The third paragraph may explain what you expect from the position. This can include job duties, experience you hope to gain and additional training you hope to receive. For example, if a potential employer offers additional training in patient care, medical technology, or medical documentation and administration, make sure to mention your interest in the letter. The fourth paragraph should include a reference to your resume and references and should reaffirm your interest in the nursing position. References can include instructors, former employers, supervisors if you completed volunteer nursing work, nursing staffing agencies, internship contacts and others who have worked closely with you and can vouch for your work.
Close your letter of intent with a simple closing. Go to the next line and type your full name. After printing out your letter, sign your name below the closing.
Make sure the address is correct before sending the letter. Include a resume and references and other any information required by those hiring.
If sending your letter of intent via e-mail, send it as an attachment unless otherwise instructed. Mention in your e-mail that you've attached your letter of intent, resume and references.
Tips and warnings
- Edit and proofread your letter before sending it.
- Have another person read your letter for clarity and proper grammar.
- Save a draft of your letter on your computer for future use.
- Don't try to "oversell" yourself by making statements that may not be true.
- Be as honest and straightforward as possible so you will get an interview.
- Use white resume paper. Don't use coloured or textured resume paper.
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