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8 Tips for Writing a Cover Letter that Shines

Sample Medical Assistant Cover Letter Included!

It can be discouraging to look at a blank page and wonder where to start. Everyone knows that a cover letter is important to finding a job, but where should you begin? What should you include? How many paragraphs should you write?

This article is intended to help you tackle this task. We want to take away the fear of writing a cover letter and replace it with a feeling of confidence and pride in what you write.

Before you start writing, consider these 8 cover letter writing tips.

Tip 1. A simple outline. Use a simple formula to organize the cover letter in your head. Try this for starters:

  • Paragraph 1: Intro and a summary of why you are a good candidate
  • Paragraph 2: Your experience or education
  • Paragraph 3: A personalized note and reiteration of your most important qualities

Tip 2. Write first, edit later. If you suffer from writer’s block, the best remedy is to simply start writing. Write anything! It may not be your best writing, but at least it gives you something to work with. Let the words flow, and then take a break from it. When you come back to it, you can re-write, edit, and tinker with the words until you like what you’ve written.

Tip 3. Do not re-hash your resume. A cover letter is meant to enhance and further support your resume. In your cover letter, you should expand on one or two key experiences that make you a good choice for the job. Get creative and include a personal reason why you are interested in the field. Or describe why you want to work for the employer, which will demonstrate that you have researched the employer. This is the kind of thing that will stand out in a cover letter.

Tip 4. Tailor your letter to the specific job application. Yes, this means that you need to submit a different cover letter for every application. However, it gives you a chance to make sure your application is speaking to the qualities that the employer is looking for. It also helps you to structure your cover letter. Be sure to use the same language (keywords) that the job ad contains, so that a computer is more likely to catch your cover letter/resume when scanning.

Tip 5. Take the time to find out the name of the person who is hiring. Call the receptionist or do some research online to see if you can find out the person’s name, so that you can use it in your greeting line. If all else fails, you can say “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Tip 6. Be concise. Your letter should be about three or four paragraphs long, with each paragraph having about two or three sentences. Remember, the hiring manager could be looking at dozens of other cover letters too, so you don’t want your letter to be too wordy.

Tip 7. Make your opening and closing paragraphs the strongest. Make sure these paragraphs make the case that you are a good candidate for the job. If a hiring manager is skimming through many competing cover letters, he or she is probably most likely to read the opening or closing paragraph.

Tip 8. Check for errors—not once but many times! Spell checker can help, but in addition, you should do your own proofreading. Also, ask a friend or teacher to review the cover letter to look for spelling mistakes, problems with grammar, or other areas that need to be improved. You don’t want to lose the opportunity for an interview because of a spelling mistake!

Bonus! Sample Medical Assistant Cover Letter

If all of these tips still aren’t helping, sometimes it helps to see a sample cover letter. Below is a letter for an entry-level medical assistant job, in which the candidate is freshly out of a career-focused training program.

Dear Ms. White,

Please accept my application for the Medical Assistant-Cardiology position advertised on HealthCareerWeb. This fall I graduated with a 3.8 GPA from the Professional Medical Assistant training program at the Branford Hall Career Institute. With my recent training, I am up-to-date on the latest procedures and protocols being used in the field.

At Branford Hall, I was a strong student, and particularly enjoyed the clinical tasks such as administering EKGs and performing phlebotomies. I am looking forward to putting these skills to use. At the end of my training program, I completed an internship at Albany Medical Center, where I shadowed a medical assistant, participated in measuring patients’ vital signs, and learned how to record patient information in an Electronic Health Records system. My supervisor at the internship would be happy to provide a letter of recommendation. 

I would love to have the opportunity to work in your office. Cardiology is a special interest of mine, since heart disease has affected several members of my family. The chance to help patients address their cardiac issues would be rewarding. I would be a strong addition to your staff, because I am a good team worker, have strong clinical and administrative skills, and enjoy being a “people” person. 

I look forward to hearing from you, and hope that we can meet for an interview. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,

Trina Johnson

We hope this article has helped to take the mystery out of writing cover letters. Best of luck in your job search!

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The Branford Hall Career Institute offers a series of blog articles on job readiness and career focused training. With campuses in 11 locations in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York, and New Jersey, Branford Hall aims to prepare our students with the relevant skills they need to enter today’s job market. To learn more about our programs, contact us at any time.