Demand for Licensed Practical Nurses, or LPNs, is high around the country. If anything, it is expected to increase even more over the next 10 years or so. Still, plentiful though they may be, LPN jobs vary widely in terms of duties, pay, and other factors. To be eligible for the best positions and compensation, it pays to take your time when applying for jobs. Writing an effective and unique cover letter is a huge part of that. Read on to learn more.
Always Include a Cover Letter
Before delving into tips for writing effective LPN cover letters, it helps to understand why a cover letter is needed in the first place. Any job posting that you apply for is likely to receive dozens of replies. Most people complete an application, supply a resume, and leave it at that. Those who include cover letters, however, are far less likely to get lost in the shuffle. However, not just any cover letter will do. It should be crafted in a way that demonstrates to prospective employers how serious you are about working for them.
Tips for Creating an Effective LPN Cover Letter
Like most people, you probably don't apply for jobs every day. In fact, it may have been a while since you've had to submit a resume. Perhaps you've never written a cover letter at all. Regardless of your past experience, remember that when it comes to cover letters, simpler is usually better. That's not to say that a few brief sentences will suffice. Your letter should be a bit more elaborate than that.
Some tips to keep in mind while putting together an LPN cover letter include:
- Expand Upon Your Resume - One of the biggest mistakes that LPNs make when crafting cover letters is simply rehashing everything that's already in their resumes. Contrary to what many people think, a cover letter is not meant to be a summary of your resume. Rather, it's an opportunity to explain to the prospective employer why you are applying in the first place. Rather than repeating whatever is in your resume, expand upon the points that you'd like to emphasize. In your letter, you have more wiggle room to play around with and aren't as constricted by formatting requirements.
- Highlight Key Points - Review your resume a few times. As you do, pinpoint things that you would like to explain further. On a standard resume, there's only so much space to explain various jobs, skills, and accomplishments. In your cover letter, you have the chance to highlight a handful of the things that you believe make you uniquely qualified for the job in question. As the employer proceeds to your resume, they will already be fairly up to speed about what makes you stand out from the crowd, and they will get more out of your resume as a result.
- Customize Each Letter - Tempting though it may be to simply copy and paste the same cover letter for each application, you should instead always write a fresh new letter for each position. For one thing, each letter should be customized to reflect the employer in question. You're going to want to show that you've done your homework about the company, so include a few small points in it to demonstrate this. Depending on the nature of the LPN job and on the employer, you might want to highlight certain skills in some letters and other skills in different letters. At any rate, employers can spot formulaic cover letters from a mile away, so don't bother writing one if you aren't willing to make it unique.
- Express Your Enthusiasm - In your LPN cover letter, you have the opportunity to let your personality shine through a little. This is the perfect place to share your enthusiasm for your new role as an LPN with the prospective employer. Don't stop with explaining why you are so passionate about working as an LPN, though. Expand on that more by explaining why you are so excited about working for that particular employer. A little bit of enthusiasm goes a really long way in these situations, so there's no need to lay it on too thick.
- Format Your Letter Properly - Go online to check out examples of effective LPN cover letters. You will see that such letters tend to follow the same pattern, or format. The header should include your name, address, phone number, and email address. In the first paragraph, immediately express your interest in the position, and explain why you believe that you would be a great fit. In the body, share your enthusiasm for the job. When applicable, reference your top qualifications, training, education, and other accomplishments. Finally, wrap up the cover letter with a quick thank you to the prospective employer.
- Say Thank You - Always conclude your cover letter with a brief paragraph thanking the prospective employer for their consideration. This is also a great place to again reiterate your excitement and to perhaps touch again upon a few of your top qualifications. Let them know that they are free to contact you at any time. If possible, note your availability for interviews and the like. You might also include your email address and other contact information again to ensure that the employer can reach you. A classy way to wrap up the letter is by wishing the employer good luck on their search.
You don't have to be a professional writer to come up with an effective LPN cover letter. Don't omit one just because you think that you don't write well enough. As long as you adhere to the formatting requirements mentioned above and keep the preceding tips in mind, you should be able to create a cover letter that works wonders for your LPN job search.