Following is his basic guidance on the letter’s structure: Other sources agreed that cover letters should not exceed one page, unless special circumstances dictate an extra paragraph or two. It’s best to avoid going into extensive detail about personal interests or extracurricular pursuits.
That could give the recipient the impression that the physician is more concerned about lifestyle than medical practice.
Because of the letter’s potential importance, physicians should have several trusted individuals — on the professional and personal side — review the document, including a professional editor, if warranted. Levinson offers pointed advice regarding double-checking for errors.
“If writing isn’t your strong suit, or English isn’t your first language, do get professional advice before you finalize the letter,” Mr. “Are there any typos or mistakes that would make the new organization question your ability to keep accurate records? It’s worth noting that some recruiting firms offer assistance with cover letter writing, but it’s best not to count on that service.
“The cover letter really is a differentiator, and even though a recruiter will always look at your CV first, the letter is nice to have.
I often feel that it gives me a sense of the physician — a good letter can make the physician come to life,” Mr. He enjoys, for example, learning about the physician’s personal interests and family, in addition to what he seeks in a practice opportunity.If there are gaps in the CV that are not sensitive in nature, and therefore don’t require a phone conversation, that information should be included in the letter.“It’s important to briefly explain gaps because your application might be passed over if you don’t,” Mr. Jim Stone, co-founder and president of The Medicus Firm, a national physician search company, offers helpful guidance on incorporating a career objective in the cover letter.Striking the right tone in the cover letter can be somewhat challenging when the resident doesn’t have a good sense of the organization offering the opportunity.Some hospitals or groups are very formal, and therefore expect to receive formal communication.(See “Cover letters: What to do, what to avoid” section at the end of this article.) Dr.Tysinger, who counsels residents and practicing physicians on preparing CVs and cover letters, and frequently presents on the topic, recommends a single-page, three-paragraph format delivered in a professional, business letter layout, in simple language. Levison advised briefly summarizing education and training in the second paragraph, and if it’s the physician’s first opportunity search, stating briefly why he became a physician.Of course, word processing programs include spell-checkers and, usually, some grammar-checking functionality.That’s helpful, but it isn’t sufficient vetting to ensure the letter is in excellent shape.Craig Fowler, president of the National Association of Physician Recruiters (NAPR), and vice president of recruiting and training for Pinnacle Health Group in Atlanta, urges residents to include at least an introductory cover letter or note with their CV, even when it’s not requested.In his experience, 8 out of 10 physicians who express initial interest in a position don’t take the effort to write a letter unless asked.