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CNA Cover Letter Example

Use this CNA cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for CNA positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
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CNA Cover Letter Example
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Considering the wide range of abilities that a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) needs to perform myriad basic nursing duties, as well as compassionate personal qualities, the hiring process cannot be taken lightly. A job-winning CNA cover letter must reflect your exceptional dedication to providing the best patient care possible.  

While the CNA role is often the first step on a nursing career ladder that many will move on from, it is also a critical bedrock in many non-clinical settings such as nursing homes, assisted living centers and day care programs. CNAs are active in hospitals, but they are most valuable where physician coverage is light and there is a large volume of basic patient needs that don’t require in-depth medical training.

The CNA cover letter has to convey a sense of responsibility for each patient in your charge and an independence of thought and action. With the certification requirements for CNAs being relatively simple, high turnover rates are typical. That means personality and attitude are important hiring considerations.

A cover letter's free-form nature allows nursing professionals to describe why they love their work. The “I want to be here” attitude is easily sensed by patients, and is key for any hiring manager to understand. The cover letter should cover why nursing is your vocation as well as your career.

For expert advice and support with every cover letter preparation step, Resume.io is here to help. Our job-winning resources include a wide selection of occupation-specific writing guides and free cover letter examples . In addition, we offer formatting advice, plus field-tested templates and builder tools to help you create both resumes and cover letters.

This cover letter writing guide, along with a CNA cover letter example, will:

  • Showcase the best format for  a CNA cover letter
  • Explain how to write each cover letter part to optimal advantage: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
  • Writing psychology to persuade hiring managers
  • Common mistakes to avoid in your CNA cover letter.

Best format for a CNA cover letter example

The format for your CNA cover letter is as important as the writing and content. It should contain the following elements, each serving its own important purpose.

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter introduction
  • The middle section (body)
  • The closing paragraph (conclusion and sign-off)

This CNA cover letter example offers a clear picture of how this format should be implemented in actual writing:

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Ms. Broadbent,

I am applying to join my childhood friend Joni Mathers at the Lilith Home as a CNA because I have heard about your outstanding resident care provision. Now that a rare vacancy has become available, I would be foolish to pass up the opportunity.

After passing the Florida State certification, my first two years of residential care as a CNA were spent learning the fundamentals of the profession. I was responsible for the care duties of up to 30 patients a day, on five occasions having made life-saving interventions. When there are patients whose mental faculties are not always sharp, you have to be extra attentive. Feeding, grooming and bathing residents is a particular pleasure when you know that they are so reliant on your assistance.

Your innovative focus on dementia care is an additional reason for my application.  Having had two relatives suffer this debilitating disease, it is an area that I am keen to specialize in. I hope that some past achievements may indicate my suitability:

  • Lead CNA for a home of 85 dementia and Alzheimer’s patients with a 20% turnover.
  • Coached 30+ CNAs from 9 other residential facilities on elderly mental healthcare.
  • Implemented a care strategy to ensure that those who needed help most got it first.

Your track record of developing 85% of your CNAs into PCTs or RNs after a period of four years is a great fit with my future nursing ambitions and I am currently studying for my CMA. You can only be a fantastic provider of healthcare if you understand the basics inside and out. My test scores of 94% from previous training courses attest to my yearning for self-development.

I would welcome the opportunity for an interview to understand how my dementia care expertise can make a difference to the quality of life of your residents.

Sincerely,

Eduardo Perez

Copied!

Below, we’ll take a deeper dive into each part of the CNA cover letter.

Cover letter header

The header of your CNA cover letter contains essential contact information that could facilitate your invitation for an interview. Don’t assume that someone will have your resume handy for that purpose. The same contact details belong on your cover letter too. If your cover letter is compelling enough, recruiters will want to contact you, so make it easy for them.

Also, it’s likely that applicant tracking systems (ATS) software will be scanning your cover letter for contact details that the employer retains for easy retrieval in the future. You might not be a fit for this job, but you never know when that might change. Most larger employers and publicly-administered health organizations will use ATS to screen all cover letters and resumes, so be sure your contact information is easily found in the header section of both documents.

The aim of the cover letter header: Make it is as simple as possible to get in touch with you.

Cover letter greeting

With bedside manner being a vital nursing professional skill, your CNA cover letter should make a caring first impression. Getting the greeting right might seem a small concern, oneself with, but doing it incorrectly can cast a shadow on your letter’s overall impact. Err on the side of professionalism and formality.

You can’t go wrong with the traditional “Dear Mr./Mrs./Ms.” and the recipient’s a surname or job title if known. If you are not sure, do not assume but rather ask to find out. It’s an opportunity to demonstrate your attention to detail, which is critical for CNAs.

Failing efforts to identify your cover letter recipient by name for the greeting, something like “Dear Nursing Team”may be your next-best option. “To whom it may concern” reeks of indifference, so avoid this greeting wherever possible. If you care about people, you will care about finding out to whom the cover letter should be addressed. People like being called by their name and even this tiny detail might make a difference.

The aim of the cover letter greeting: Start off the letter formally and professionally.

Adaptable cover letter greeting example

Dear Ms. Broadbent,

Copied!

Cover letter introduction

Now for the first several lines of your CNA cover letter — how do you capture the hiring manager's imagination?

Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. Don’t write anything that hundreds of other candidates could be writing. Don’t parrot a list of common CNA skills or tell recruiters how much you want the job. Don’t deploy a barrage of colorful adjectives without any objective substance. And definitely don’t waste the first line to say, “I am applying to the role of CNA that I found advertised on Monster.” 

The key to a powerful cover letter introduction is a memorable and personal story that shows how well you fit the role. Be sure to demonstrate your understanding of the job demands and offer a glimpse of your potential, based on past achievements.

By all means, talk about your observation skills, medical acumen or CPR experience. But surround the skill with a human story of improving health outcomes. Be specific and make sure your story is the best you have to tell.

The aim of the cover letter introduction: Get to the crux of the CNA role and why you are a perfect candidate. Failure to impress here makes it unlikely that people will read on.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

I am applying to join my childhood friend Joni Mathers at the Lilith Home as a CNA because I have heard about your outstanding resident care provision. Now that a rare vacancy has become available, I would be foolish to pass up the opportunity.

Copied!

Cover letter body

The middle part of your CNA cover letter (the body of our cover letter example) is where your experiences, skills, education and personal traits blend into a compelling story. As long as the target CNA role is at the center of your writing, you have great freedom to tell this story however you wish. 

Pick examples that show how you cope with the job “extremes," demonstrating sound judgement and ability to deal with the role's emotional intensity. And put patients front and center of your career tales — they are the reason you go to work, after all.

For CNAs, the variety of tasks is significant, so listing certain major achievements in bullet points is an effective way to optimize your page space. Say what you did, offer a sense of the workload and share the impact on your patients.

Try to sprinkle in some relevant medical terms and equipment to give the reader a sense of “Whoa, this CNA has done that!”  Share something slightly out of the ordinary to make the reader curious to find out what else you have done. 

Lastly, show you are a team player. Working closely with other healthcare professionals is a key CNA requirement, so don’t miss this one out.

The aim of the cover letter body: Share your blend of experience, with memorable patient-centric examples showing how you make a difference to your healthcare team.

Adaptable cover letter body example

After passing the Florida State certification, my first two years of residential care as a CNA were spent learning the fundamentals of the profession. I was responsible for the care duties of up to 30 patients a day, on five occasions having made life-saving interventions. When there are patients whose mental faculties are not always sharp, you have to be extra attentive. Feeding, grooming and bathing residents is a particular pleasure when you know that they are so reliant on your assistance.

Your innovative focus on dementia care is an additional reason for my application.  Having had two relatives suffer this debilitating disease, it is an area that I am keen to specialize in. I hope that some past achievements may indicate my suitability:

  • Lead CNA for a home of 85 dementia and Alzheimer’s patients with a 20% turnover.
  • Coached 30+ CNAs from 9 other residential facilities on elderly mental healthcare.
  • Implemented a care strategy to ensure that those who needed help most got it first.

Your track record of developing 85% of your CNAs into PCTs or RNs after a period of four years is a great fit with my future nursing ambitions and I am currently studying for my CMA. You can only be a fantastic provider of healthcare if you understand the basics inside and out. My test scores of 94% from previous training courses attest to my yearning for self-development.

Copied!

Closing your CNA cover letter (conclusion, sign-off)

The ending of your CNA cover letter offers a chance to tell one last story or repeat one of your strongest suits. The reader will still be fully engaged, so make the most of it. Convey a sense that you will be a safe pair of hands in every healthcare situation, with a kind and dedicated approach to patient care and helpful team spirit. 

Share a little more about your personality, leaving readers with and leave a warm and positive impression.

Finally, prompt the recruiter to invite you for an interview. You can sound confident without being arrogant or demanding. You believe in the strength of your application and look forward to the possibility of discussing it during a face-to-face meeting.
Now close, simply with “Best regards,” “Best,” or “Sincerely” above your name.

The aim of the cover letter conclusion: Make one last case for being a great CNA and don’t be shy —– ask for the interview you want so much.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion example

I would welcome the opportunity for an interview to understand how my dementia care expertise can make a difference to the quality of life of your residents.

Sincerely,

Eduardo Perez

Copied!

Writing psychology: match your nursing experience to the employer's needs 

A CNA in a small assisted living facility will have a different mix of responsibilities than a CNA in a busy day care center. Understand the hiring organization’s work environment and tailor your cover letter to this prospective employer's needs.

The same goes for specific job requirements. Be aware of the routine medical or nursing activities, procedures and equipment that come with territory. In particular, determine if the physical demands are in line with what you are accustomed to.

Dissect the job description carefully to make these assessments. Then trawl through your past experiences and zero in on those that best fit the bill. For writing ideas, go back to our copyable cover letter example above. 

Expert tip

To the extent possible, quantify your work experience examples with numbers. Specify how much experience you have operating a hoyer lift or monitoring a drip, rather than merely stating you've performed these duties.  Practice makes perfect for any procedure, so indicate how many times you've done something or how many patients you assist on a daily or weekly basis.

Describing your job experience in measurable terms also reflects a love of hard work and pride in your ability to multitask and thrive in an intense, stressful environment. While the CNA employment turnover is high, job competition is also keen because the entry requirements are relatively straightforward. So your cover letter should recall your first years as a CNA being filled with intensive learning and practice to master the essential nursing skills.

Don’t shy away from talking about your nursing ambitions

An ambitious CNA is a certified nursing assistant who works hard and cares deeply about patients. Talking about this ambition in your cover letter shows that you are serious about the profession and immensely dedicated to giving your best every day. 

All employers of CNAs understand that 90% of them will move on to become Patient Care Technicians (PCTs) or Registered Nurses (RNs). They don’t expect blind loyalty for decades to come, but they do expect CNAs to be keen on learning and willing to devote 100% of their energy and effort to patient care.

While all employers want to invest in their staff and build a stable, efficient team, the truth is that a significant volume of CNA tasks are mundane, largely supporting the work of other medical and nursing practitioners. Therefore, employers are looking for CNAs seeking to perfect their skills and get as much practice as possible. 

Of course, you may be among the many CNAs who love your job and would not change it for the world. If so, that absolutely should be conveyed in your cover letter. It should also demonstrate a thirst for learning on the job, since education is integral to the early nursing career stages. Healthcare providers have a duty of organizing at least 48 hours of ongoing training for recertification every two years, so ensure your cover letter makes mention of this activity.

Common mistakes to avoid in a CNA cover letter

While you might be focusing on getting the right mix of stories in your CNA cover letter, don't forget that readers can only see what's in front of them on the screen. Make sure that those 300 or so words are immaculately presented. Avoid these three cover letter mistakes at all costs.

  • Get the spelling and grammar right. You cannot afford to make a mistake when you are reading a prescription or noting down a patient’s vital signs. Any careless writing mistakes can be interpreted as lack of serious interest in this CNA job, so make sure that your cover letter is carefully checked. There are plenty of online programs to help with this.
     
  • Focus on patients, not just on yourself. When your cover letter is focused on patient outcomes, it automatically shows the type of CNA that you are. Of course, highlighting your skills is important, but try not to make your cover letter “all about you.” A specific patient anecdote is more impressive than reeling off a long skills list.
     
  • Don’t neglect your training and education. Since CNA requirements vary by jurisdiction, it's vital to mention that you are properly qualified for the job in question. If you have undertaken extra training or qualifications, mention them to strengthen your case. Your professional development initiative will come across as a potential asset to the hiring healthcare provider.

Key takeaways for a CNA cover letter

  1. Make sure that your nursing experience matches the role requirements.
  2. If you demonstrate ambition to grow, you will be a valuable asset along the way.
  3. Use the tried-and-true cover letter format highlighted in this writing guide and CNA cover letter example.
  4. Use work history and achievement examples that convey a compassionate approach, with attentive listening skills.

With Resume.io, writing your cover letter is as easy. Click on one of our ready-made and carefully market-researched cover letter templates and simply start writing. Our cover letter builder tool can make the process even faster. We hope the ideas shared here will start you on your way to writing job-winning cover letter.

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