There are three instances when you need to write a cover letter. First, to apply for an advertised job. Second, to inquire about a job opening. And third, when you are applying after receiving a referral. Let's say that you have read a job advertisement and feel it suits your profile. I assume that you have clearly understood the skills required for the job as all job advertisements mention them.
Now as the reason for writing the cover letter is clear, it will be easy for you to start the introductory paragraph. This paragraph helps the employer in understanding your reason to contact, your interest for the applied job position, relevant experience, and benefits you can bring to the job. Consider this paragraph as an attention-grabber and try to sound as professional as you can. Remember, there is no standard rule in writing the introductory paragraph. It is accepted to be creative on your part. However, you should not compromise professionalism for creativity.
A simple and attractive beginning would read: “I have read the physical therapy aide job opening in the Medical Jobs Weekly. My interest in this position has forced to me to write this cover letter. I have five years of experience in assisting physical therapists and helping patients take physical therapy. I am currently employed by ABC Clinic and confident of meeting all your needs with my skills and knowledge required for the job.”
Sell your skills in the second paragraph:
This is the body of the cover letter where you need to add meat to the structure. Since there is a variety of range of motion involved in physical therapy, your skills to assist patients in performing exercises and using mobility aids are an essential ingredient of the body paragraph. Since the job requires physical skills, the employer will also be happy to read yours. Further, highlighting behavioral skills and training can improve the prospect of selection.
Read this example:
"As mentioned in the enclosed resume, I have completed a physical therapy program and have been certified by the state medical board . The on-job training I received has improved my skills in helping patients in taking physical therapy, and using mobility aids. My ability to apply manual resistance to the body parts of patients has helped in improving their daily functioning. I can set up equipment, lift a patient safely, monitor his progress, and handle clerical tasks. I have also received training from my employer for giving CPR."
Remind the reader about your interest and benefits of hiring you:
Not all readers have a strong memory. It is possible that they might forget what you have written in the previous paragraphs. Therefore, to wake up their memory, express your interest in the job position once again. Most importantly, provide your contact details, and let the reader know what step are you going to take to follow up.
The closing paragraph may be drafted like this: "My strong interest in the physical therapy aide position and customer-oriented attitude could make me an ideal member of your team of experts. I am available at (210) XXX-1245 if you need any clarification. I will call you this coming Monday at 11 a.m. to know the status of my application."
Close the letter with 'sincerely', and sign it. Also mention 'Resume' in the enclosure below your signature.
In case you don't receive any call from the employer, do call him or her on the day and time you mentioned in the letter. If you are still not sure how these tips can work in writing the cover letter, see some resume cover letter samples at BSR.