It seems impossible—in our industry at least—to go a day without seeing an article touting the need for effective leaders. This is in large part due to the rapidly changing and increasingly regulated healthcare environment. More than ever, healthcare leaders (e.g. chief executive officers, chief medical officers, medical directors, etc.) are being recruited in order to provide optimal patient-centered, value-based care. As such, if you are a healthcare professional, it is an excellent time to pursue a leadership position—which means you’re likely going to need a letter of interest.
While writing a letter of interest seems like a relatively easy task, it’s one that is often undervalued by job seekers in the healthcare realm. More than just a CV in paragraph form, your letter of interest is your chance to stand out among the competition. Most every applicant will meet the application qualifications, so it’s imperative that your letter acts as a differentiator for you—and explains to decision makers why you’re a good fit for the job, both professionally and personally.
If you want to make a lasting impression, here are six components you should include in your letter of interest:
- Introduction: Begin by explaining who you are and why you’re writing. The fewer words you can use to get your point across, the better. This is a great place to note any professional connections to the opportunity or organization.
- Career Objectives: Give a brief explanation of your professional goals as applicable to the position. However, be careful not to be too specific so that you don’t rule yourself out of consideration.
- Professional Strengths: This is where you can really set yourself apart. Share any unusual circumstances in which you’ve been involved, awards received, initiatives you have lead, and leadership positions you have held. Tell a story that shows your propensity for leadership or illustrates your problem-solving skills.
- Geographic Preference: Your geographic connection to the opportunity’s location is an important message you can include, whether it’s because you grew up there, have relatives in the region, or simply have always dreamed of living or working there. Healthcare organizations recruit for retention and this shows them that you’re in it for the long haul.
- Gaps in Your CV: Your potential employer understands that life happens and that gaps in work history are fairly common. However, your letter of interest is a great place to explain those gaps and what you accomplished personally during your time away from work.
- Extend Appreciation: Thank the recipient for their consideration and indicate that you look forward to hearing from them soon.
In addition to the aforementioned components, it’s crucial that you double proof—maybe even triple proof—your letter of interest before sending. There’s nothing worse than being disregarded due to a careless mistake. Keeping your letter brief, to the point, and positive in tone will also help to ensure that your application is not overlooked.
Sharing this professional and personal information that doesn’t quite fit in your CV offers a way to differentiate yourself from other candidates. Remember that some of the most intelligent and talented candidates in the country—and even world—apply for healthcare leadership positions every day. That’s why it’s so important to utilize every single advantage available. Fortunately, a great letter of intent will go a long way towards creating a lasting first impression that gets the interview and, ultimately, the job.