Most PSW jobs require the submission of a carefully crafted PSW cover letter and résumé for consideration.
While that might sound easy enough, producing a PSW cover letter appropriate for the specific position that you are applying for can be difficult and confusing.
You see, when you write a cover letter, you’re supposed to write sentences that hang together in several paragraphs in a meaningful sequence.
And to write sentences and paragraphs is to enter a minefield of all the potential errors and stylistic weaknesses.
Having such errors on your cover letter can ruin your chances for an interview.
Cover letter is an essential component of your job hunt. It is a hook and a means for getting the reader to read your résumé.
WHY PSW COVER LETTER NEED TO BE PROFESSIONALLY WRITTEN
One mistake we all tend to make is assuming that “one cover letter style fits all.”
In reality, your past experiences and next job target should determine the type, design, and content of each resume and its related cover letter.
You must only include the information that will best represent you for the job being sought.
As you can see, shaping and improving your job search documents is part art and part science.
You can create your résumé and PSW cover letter yourself, or I can help you put these documents together for you.
MYTHS ABOUT PSW COVER LETTER
Résumés and cover letters are two separate documents
Both these documents are “hand in glove” and work together in presenting you effectively.
The cover letter should draw attention to the most critical information in the résumé, the information you want the reader to see.
PSW COVER LETTER SERVES NO PURPOSE
Your résumé will show that you can do the work required.
PSW cover letter is used to convince your would-be employer that you are the right person for the job.
The primary purpose of cover letters is to express that you want to do the work required.
The bulk of it is about your past work experiences, especially those that pertain to the position you are currently applying.
By going in-depth about your career interests, personal strengths, and past experiences, you reveal your passion and eagerness for the job while showing that you are qualified.
In addition to being a piece about how you would add unique value to the organization, the cover letter also shows off your written communication abilities–skills that are essential for success as a PSW and come in handy during paper and computer documentation.
YOU CAN USE THE SAME COVER LETTER FOR ALL THE JOBS
It is always prudent to modify your cover letter such that it relates to the job you’re planning to apply.
It should sound and mean for one employer rather than sound canned.
YOU SHOULD MENTION YOUR CAREER SHORTFALLS
As a Personal Support Worker, you should use the cover letter to mitigate any challenges associated with your career.
Such as lack of experience, gaps in employment or transition from another career.
You must still present anything that can be a drawback, in a positive way, perhaps by articulating and relating your other experiences to the PSW work.
A RESUME IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE COVER LETTER
PSW résumé is very important; however, in a way, the PSW cover letter is equally important.
A cover letter is usually the first document a prospective employer sees.
The first impression is often the most important.
If your cover letter sounds generic and does not portray you in the best possible manner, the chances are good that your résumé will not be read or looked into with less interest.
IT DOES NOT TAKE LONG TO WRITE A COVER LETTER
In order for a cover letter to makes, it’s impact in the most positive way possible, it must be written after a thorough research and using carefully chosen vocabulary.
PSW cover letter writing is 90% research and 10% execution.
Here are some quality pointers for how to create an effective cover letter for Personal Support Worker position.
HOW TO WRITE A PERSONAL SUPPORT WORKER COVER LETTER
While every cover letter will vary according to personal style, there is somewhat of a consensus on how they should be formatted and which significant pieces of information need to be included.
As far as cover letters for Personal Support Workers go, they need to include the following essential elements:
- Applicant name and contact info,
- Employer contact info,
- Three body paragraphs, and
- Your signature (by hand or digital) at the end.
Your info and the employer’s info should be in blocks at the top left of the cover letter. Include your full name, address, email, and phone number.
Keep the header of your résumé and the cover letter the same.
ADDRESSING TO A SPECIFIC PERSON
For the first paragraph, start off with “Dear Employer’s Name” if you know it.
Avoid using the following terms while addressing your cover letter:
- Dear Sir or Madam,
- To Whom It May Concern
- Dear Administrator
- Dear Prospective Employer
Note that it is not always possible to know the name of the hiring manager at the nursing home, hospital or the agency where you’re applying.
In this kind of situation, at least do everything possible to find out the name of the person who will read your cover letter and résumé and then address the letter to that person.
For example, if you’re applying for a PSW position on a palliative floor at a Hospital, go to that hospital floor and try to find out the name of the manager from someone working there.
Same goes for a nursing home and long-term care homes.
If there is absolutely no way of finding out the person’s name responsible for hiring, consider omitting the salutation and varying the subject line.
For example, use the term “Letter of Introduction” and completely omit the organization’s details.
Then go into your intro paragraph stating your objective and your belief that you are a great candidate for the job.
Don’t give the reader a chance to think “No” and stop right there!
“I’m hoping that you’re looking for a Personal Support Worker.”
The reader can take this statement as “I’m not looking for anyone” and stop reading.
The correct way of writing:
“The position of Personal Support Worker posted in the careers section of the City of Toronto website drew my attention. With more than a decade-long combined PSW experience, I’m seeking to leverage my experience as a Personal Support Worker with the City of Toronto.”
Beginning of your cover letter must incite interest and draw in the reader.
Ensure that you answer a very important question that your employer is asking:
“Why should we hire you instead of other PSWs?”
Convince the reader that you understand what the employer is looking for and can deliver.
RESEARCH YOUR FUTURE EMPLOYER
Who doesn’t like to hear good things about oneself?
Nothing else can quite substitute for a few well-chosen, well-timed, sincere words of praise. They’re absolutely free and worth a fortune …Sam Walton
It is always a good idea to do some research on your prospective employer and showing in the cover letter that you know the vital information about the organization.
The second paragraph should cover all of your related work experiences, and for a PSW cover letter, all of your patient care experiences whether paid or volunteer.
The third paragraph is commonly used to talk about your personal strengths and job-related skills.
Here you should mention your friendliness, compassion, kindness, patience and more.
You can also use this area to mitigate any challenges related to the PSW job you’re applying.
If you lack direct PSW experience, you can mention how your real-world experience in an unrelated field has helped you qualify for this job.
Include valuable information in your Personal Support Worker Cover Letter for which there is no room in the resume.
Finally, finish off with a statement about how you would look forward to meeting the recruiter in person and how you can be most easily contacted.
Your name in print and accompanying signature will close off the cover letter.
IDEAL STYLE OF THE PSW COVER LETTER
TRY NOT TO SOUND DESPERATE
Not even a little bit!
Avoid using such statements:
“I’ll take anything you have to offer.”
“When’s the first paycheck.” [Yes I’ve seen this statement on cover letters]
Also, ensure that your cover letter is not only informative but also persuasive.
FONT AND TEXT
Try using the same header as you used in your résumé.
It maintains a good visual connection between your résumé and the cover letter.
Also, consider using bullets such that they are similar in style to your résumé.
Save copies of your cover letter as .doc and pdf files.
WHAT NOT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR PSW COVER LETTER?
Always be direct and concise.
Don’t brag, flaunt, or go into too much detail.
Never speak about past experiences that are entirely unrelated to the position in question.
Try not to be too generic as you should strive to show off your personality through your writing.
Also take care not to conflict with your résumé.
Your PSW cover letter should be written using your best language and grammar skills.
Technical errors will be immediately off-putting to the recruiter and may ruin your chances of getting hired.
Here is a sample cover letter that you can use.
Click here to download a copy.
August 29, 2018
Director of Care
The Best Long-Term Care
1234 Seniors Road
Sometown, Ontario, A1B 2C3
Dear Mrs. May,
The recent news about the Best Long-Term Care opening a new unit captivated me. With more than three years of professional experience as a Personal Support Worker and a Volunteer, I am seeking to leverage my experience in an organization where my skills can best be utilized. Enclosed is my resume outlining my extensive experience.
While working as a personal support worker at Grant Retirement Centre and with Daily Care Health Services, I have consistently demonstrated the ability to work independently and as a contributing member of the healthcare team. I have rendered important contributions including but not exclusive to working with fellow personal support worker’s, nurses and physicians, all while providing the highest possible level of patient care. I have worked in a reporting environment and am familiar with paper and computer record keeping.
During my Volunteer work at The Divine Caregiving Centre and The Ultimate Retirement Centre, I have monitored and recorded behavioral changes to assist the healthcare team in determining appropriate treatment and medication. In collaboration with other volunteers and staff, I have created programs for individual and group activities.
I would appreciate the opportunity to be part of such a remarkable organization and would welcome the opportunity to participate in a personal interview to answer any of your questions and better present my qualifications. Thank you for your time and consideration, and I look forward to speaking with you soon.
The Awesome PSW
Enclosure – Resume
If you need help in writing a cover letter, contact me at [email protected].
You can also visit Pursuit Desk Career Solutions to see how I (Avtar) can help curate a professional résumé and cover letter for you.
Image credit: Used under a Creative Commons Attribution from niXerKG on Flickr