Resumes, cover letters and personal statements
Your resume should focus on your health care-related experience including shadowing and volunteering. Be sure to include information about what you learned and observed, including technical information.
When applying for positions related to healthcare, tailoring your resume to is key. Highlight any research experience you have, both from inside and outside of class, as well as technical skills when crafting your resume. Consider including relevant coursework, especially if you have little experience in the field outside of class. This can demonstrate skills gained as well as interest and exposure to the industry.
Perhaps the most important tip for making your documents stand out is to use industry lingo. Review the position description, highlight key words or phrases, and reflect that same terminology in your resume or cover letter. This shows you have done your research and are familiar with the culture of the industry.
You can also use the resume creator in HireVCURams to start building a basic resume. Follow our HireVCURams Resume Creator [PDF] guide to accessing the feature in HireVCURams. Check out our Resume Guide [PDF] for general advice.
A cover letter is your chance to build a bridge between you and the position for which you are applying. Here is where you address how your relevant skills, experience, and personality can benefit them. This 1-page document should be personalized to the position/organization, as it will show you’re interested and will help you stand out from others in the applicant pool. Follow these general rules for writing a good cover letter or review our Cover Letter Guide [PDF].
- Address your letter to the hiring manager for the position for which you are applying
- Tell the organization why their mission connects with the work you hope to do
- Explain why you are the right person for the job and support it by discussing why you have some of the skills listed in the position description. How have you made a positive contribution to the field? What makes you an effective researcher? How are you different from your peers?
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the industry to which you are applying by researching any news or highlights
The job of the person reading your personal statement is to determine whether you are a good investment for their program. They will be investing time, energy and resources into you if they accept you. They want you to be successful. And, once you graduate and receive a diploma from their program, you will have their program’s name hanging on your wall, impacting how others see them. They really want to make sure you will be successful!
As you start to consider what to write in your personal statement, first ask yourself what they already know from your resume, cover letter, transcripts, letters of recommendation etc. Consider what the reader doesn’t know that will help them decide that you will be successful in their program and therefore are a good investment? For most people, this often revolves around themes of why you want to pursue this field and how your experiences have prepared you thus far to be successful in this next step. If you find difficulty getting started, use our Pre Health Personal Statements Worksheet as a guide for developing your thoughts.
Strong personal statements achieve three objectives
- State information about the applicant
- Illustrate the information through anecdotes or experiences
- Connect the information to the applicant’s candidacy for the program
Things to keep in mind
- Be yourself. Write honestly. Don’t use big words for the sake of using big words.
- Show. Don’t tell. Use stories to illustrate your main points.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of the field, without preaching. They are in the field. They already know.
- Be sure your conclusion makes an obvious connection to your next step in the field.
- Read it aloud. Have others read it. Make sure there are no typos or other errors.