Careers in Canada Job Seeker Resources

Cover Letter Guide for Internationally Trained Physiotherapists Who Obtained Canadian License to Practice

Congratulations! You are now licensed to practice your profession in Canada. Your hard work has paid off and now, an exciting career awaits you.

You and your colleagues are probably starting the job hunt. That’s the spirit! Find and save the job postings that interest you. 

Always remember that the more you send out an application, the higher chance you’ll get to the next step – and that’s the interview process.

As someone new in the country, you must research what an application looks like and what is the standard way of writing it. You might already be familiar with how to write a resume, but are you an experienced one in terms of writing the cover letter?

A nicely written cover letter can give you an edge in the highly competitive physiotherapist job market. When the hiring manager or recruiter reads your cover letter, it becomes your way of talking to them. It is your means of expressing yourself why you think you are the best person suited to fill in the vacant position. 

Looking for a guide on how to write your cover letter? You are in the right spot! Find out how to easily make one for yourself today. 

What is a cover letter?

A cover letter is a type of letter that you write to attach with your resume for a job application. It should be a single page only that serves the purpose of adding supportive comments about your capabilities.

Which cover letter format should I choose?

When you are writing a cover letter and planning to submit it in print or in a pdf file, I highly suggest formatting it in business letter style. But if the cover letter is to be placed in the email body and not as an attachment, then you can use the personal letter format.

For cover letters in print or in PDF format

You use the business letter format when writing a cover letter that you plan to have printed out or attached as a PDF copy. The sections in a business letter that you must apply to your cover letter are the following:

  • Header
  • Salutation
  • Opening paragraph
  • Middle paragraphs
  • Closing paragraph
  • Complimentary close
  • Signature

Header

Your header must include the following: 

Date

<space>

Your name

Address

Phone number

Email address

<space>

Hiring manager’s name

Company name

Company address

Salutation

Try your best to put a name in your cover letter. If necessary, call the institution and ask to whom you should write your letter. If it’s a hospital, you may need to connect with HR. If it’s a stand-alone physiotherapy clinic, you might need to connect with the business owner.

When you got the full name, you may write “Dear [first name] [last name]”. But if it’s just a last name, you may need to use ‘Mr.’ or ‘Ms.’ to replace the first name. If you are sure of the title, such as ‘Dr.’, then you may use it.

If you can’t get the name of the person who will be screening the applications, you may just write “Dear Hiring Manager” or “Dear [Business name] Team“. An example of the latter would be “Dear Toronto Physiotherapy Team“.

Opening Paragraph

Write something that will catch the hiring manager’s attention. Ask a question. Or introduce yourself together with an interesting thing that will make you stand out among the rest.

You may write, “Having over 3 years of work experience as a physiotherapist from [country], I am confident that I would make a reliable and competent physiotherapist in your rehabilitation specialists team.

Middle Paragraph

In this paragraph, you must briefly explain how the institution can benefit from you. And show your interest in them. Is there any recent news where they were mentioned that you want to talk about? Have you heard good words about their institution? Are their mission, vision, or values align with what you believe?

Here’s an example of how you may write this part:

I was excited to see one of the responsibilities involves performing functional ability evaluation and return to work planning as helping injured workers is one of my passions. As a Workwell FCE certificate holder, rest assured that I am skilled and knowledgeable in the protocols and administrative aspects.

Closing paragraph

This section will be your call-to-action for the reader. 

You may write, “I look forward to discussing further my qualifications. I am best reached between 3 pm to 5 pm, Monday through Friday, at [insert phone number].”

Complimentary close

There can be a few options to choose from: 

“Sincerely,”

“Best regards,”

“Respectfully yours,”

Then space down 4 times before you type your name to have enough space for your signature – handwritten or digitally.

The enclosure line

Since this letter is submitted together with your resume, you may write, “Enc. Resume” flush left at the bottom of the letter.

Additional things to remember

• Use standard letter size paper when printing

• White and ivory are the only accepted paper colors for a cover letter

• Use a high-quality paper instead of a standard, inexpensive paper to stand out among other applications

• You may use the following font style for easier reading: Times New Roman, Bookman, Garamond, or Century

• Use a standard, business-size envelope

For cover letters sent digitally

Many job application processes will require you to send your application via email. This time, you will use a personal letter format instead of the previous format we’ve discussed.

On your digital cover letter, the sections should be the following:

  • Greeting or salutation
  • Body of letter (opening, middle, and closing paragraphs)
  • Complimentary close
  • Signature

As you might have noticed, the header part was taken out then everything is the same compared to business letters. 

Here are the key ingredients to a successful electronic cover letter:

Check your email address

The very first thing that the employer or hiring manager will see from you is your email address. You want them to see you as professional as possible, so avoid cutesy names like “sweetkaren00 at Gmail dot com”. Your best bet will be your first and last name on your email address, e.g. “catherinegonzaga.pt at outlook dot com”.

Don’t leave the subject line blank

…or else your email won’t be opened! Hiring managers get A LOT of emails from applicants – hundreds or thousands!

One simple way of getting the attention to open the email is writing the reason for sending the email – and that is none other than applying for the job posting. As an example, you may write, “Application for Physiotherapist position in Bayshore Healthcare Rehabilitation Centre”

Sometimes, job postings include instructions on what to write on your subject line. You could even see a job posting code (i.e., RH0376) that you need to add to the subject line. It’s common in huge healthcare organizations to post multiple job vacancies at the same time. And that means it’s necessary to strictly follow the instruction!

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I write the cover letter on the email body?

Yes, when sending an application over email, it is best to write your cover letter on the email itself. The resume will then be included as an attachment.

Can I just write “To Whom It May Concern” in the salutation section?

You may look like you aren’t giving enough effort to put a name on it if you do that. Researching what name to write gives the employer an impression that you want to address the person with the hiring power. So, go ahead and use Google and LinkedIn in finding that name!

Can I copy-paste the cover letter that I’m sending to all the job postings I am interested in?

This could be the easiest path to sending many applications in one day – I totally understand you! But think about it this way, how about providing at least 4 hours for the chance of having a seat in a room with your prospective employer? And in turn, giving you the salary for the next, let’s say, 5 years. 4 to 5 hours is so small compared to the number of hours you’ll get paid once you get the job. So, it would be nice to dedicate a portion of your time and effort to get that physiotherapist position you are longing for.


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