The other day I had a client ask for help creating a dental hygienist letter of introduction, which I was happy to do.
So what’s the difference between that and a cover letter?
A cover letter is sent with your resume for a specific job opening (learn more about cover letters here). But a letter of introduction is something you include with your resume when an office hasn’t advertised a job opening.
Are they the first tool I would use to land a dental hygiene job? No, I believe a postcard is more effective. But an introduction letter with a cover can be effective and people HAVE found dental hygiene jobs this way. So I am happy to share the elements of what I feel are an effective letter of introduction.
Begin with Traditional Header Information
Start your letter of introduction the same way you would a cover letter, which are basic standard practices for writing a business letter. Begin with the date at the top left, drop down two lines then put your return address information (unless you have your own letterhead stationery, which I recommend). Then two more lines down and put the sender’s name and address. Finally, drop down two more lines and add the salutation (“Dear Dr. Smiles,”).
Your first paragraph needs to be very simple and straight to the point. Lots of people write these letters and leave people guessing as to what the purpose of the letter is. Make it very clear you are actively seeking employment.
I am actively seeking temporary or permanent employment as a registered dental hygienist.
Acknowledge they are not necessarily looking for a hygienist and add that your desire is that they keep your information should there be an opening in the near future.
While I recognize you may not be seeking a dental hygienist presently, I hope you will keep my information in the event something becomes available in the near future (either permanent or temporary).
Now you need to tell them why they should keep your information. Refer them to your resume for all the technical skills and experience information, then drive them right into your personal brand – the soft skills that really matter in dental hygiene. Hint: These are often things that make you great with patients and co-workers.
Along with my experience and skills, which are detailed in my attached resume, I believe you will find that I have many other strengths and would be a good fit at your practice. These include:
• Ability to quickly relate to patients
• Detail oriented
• Professional and focused
You’ve just told them why you are great, now give them some value-add information. This could be that you live within a mile of the practice and personally know many of their patients. Or it could be that you have just recently completed some valuable training on customer service. Just point out something that makes you extra-irresistible.
As an added benefit, I am also good friends with Ashley Tanner, who has been a long-time assistant at your practice. She can share more about my character and abilities as a dental hygienist.
Always finish letters off with a call to action. Want to make it clear you would enjoy talking with them more and how to reach you.
I would love for an opportunity to share more about myself with you. You can reach me at 000-000-0000 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Then finish it off with your signature line. Beneath that, if you have an online presence (ie website or LinkedIn profile page), include that link. Those links are hard to ignore – curiosity often will lead the recipient into your online information and that can only help you even more. Read more about resume website’s here.
Aren’t you glad you read down this far? As an added bonus today – I want to give you a FREE template for a letter of Introduction. Click here to get the Letter of Introduction Template.