Your chosen career field in Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation is unique in that much of the MT/HDS population works from home in a virtual environment. For that reason, the cover letter and resume that you construct invariably create the impression, and it could be your only chance to engage a prospective employer! It is critical that you make an outstanding first impression that will urge an employer to take a closer look.
As a new graduate, you will want to take advantage of this first impression by creating a captivating cover letter and supporting resume.
Tips for writing your cover letter
Let’s begin with the cover letter. The primary purpose of your cover letter is to compliment, but not duplicate, your resume. Below are a few tips for writing a strong cover letter that will make your job application stand out:
Customize. Adding a personal touch can be as simple as customizing the cover letter to a specific employer. Always avoid using a template cover letter.
Actively sell your strengths. How will you meet the employer’s immediate needs?
Keep it simple. Remember that the cover letter is a gateway to the resume. If the hiring manager has to read a book before opening the resume, chances are you will not get a second look.
Avoid stuff and pretentious language. Some examples include:
- Confirm receipt
- Put forth
- If you deem it appropriate
- Per our conversation
- Pursuant to our discussion
- My qualifications brief is attached so that you may ascertain the appropriateness of my credentials.
The objective of the first paragraph is to get the reader’s attention.
Example: Your recent advertisement for acute care medical transcription/healthcare documentation specialist caught my eye on MT/HDS jobs since my experience in _____ and ____ is compatible with your requirements.
The second paragraph should outline qualifications for the position and focus on the most relevant aspects of your background. The best cover letters also include examples of accomplishments and quantifiable results.
Example: My background includes 15 years in sales management with accomplishments in staff development, training, and customer service. I am a skilled team builder and have consistently met or exceeded sales goals in each position held:
- Opened and developed territory for X company.
- Set up 10 accounts for Y company.
- Generated sales increases of 30%
- Request a meeting or personal interview.
- Mention that you will contact them to schedule a meeting.
- Explain how you can be reached.
- Thank them for taking the time to consider your application.
Example: Please examine my enclosed resume for further skills that I have to offer. I look forward to speaking with you further about my qualifications and how I can be a part of your company. Please contact me to schedule a meeting: ___ or ___. Thank you for your time.
Remember, a cover letter is useless if it…
- Is poorly written with poor grammar.
- Contains misspelled words or typographical errors.
- Is boring to read.
- Contains sexist or discriminatory statements.
- Fails to address the needs of the company.
Finally, if there is a reason why your employer should not be contacted, do not write that in a cover letter. This sends up a red flag. You will have the opportunity to discuss any concerns during an interview.
The resume, on the other hand, is a tool with one purpose: To win an interview! Think of your resume as an advertisement. The biggest mistake that one can make in resume writing is to think of the resume as a history of your past, a personal statement, or a tool for self-expression. We will cover how to properly build a resume in future blog posts.
Apply with confidence
The practicum portion of your Medical Transcription/Healthcare Documentation course will require you to build a professional cover letter and resume for your practicum employer, and your instructors will provide you with valuable feedback and input. With CanScribe’s lifetime Job Placement Assistance you can count on resume and cover letter feedback on any of your future MT/HDS endeavours.