How to Write a General Surgeon Cover Letter (With Example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published November 21, 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

General surgeons undergo years of intensive and specialized training to become professionals who can attend to patients' surgical needs. They use cover letters to outline their relevant training, education, skills, and licences when applying for a role. Understanding the purpose of writing these letters can help you determine the best approach to writing an impressive cover letter for an available opportunity. In this article, we discuss the importance of a general surgeon cover letter, outline steps to take when writing one, highlight tips to improve your writing, and provide a template and example to guide your writing.

Why is it important to write a general surgeon cover letter?

A compelling general surgeon cover letter offers you the following benefits:

Expresses your interests and goals

A cover letter is an excellent opportunity to express your interests and goals to a prospective employer. It allows you to include details that help them resonate with you and identify your connection with a prospective role. Highlighting your goals in a cover letter can also lead to higher chances of retention. Many employers prefer candidates whose long-term goals align with their long-term organizational objectives.

Related: 53 Long-Term Goal Examples (With Definition and Tips)

Personalizes your application

It's natural to expect competition when applying for a general surgeon role. The cover letter is an effective way to personalize your application and distinguish you from the other candidates. You can introduce elements typically absent in your resume, such as your attraction to the field of surgery. These personal touches in your cover letter can help you appear unique to your prospective employer.

Related: CV vs. Cover Letter: The Differences (With Examples)

Complements your application

The cover letter is an important document that allows you to emphasize the content of your other application documents, increasing your chances of employment. For instance, you can relate the experience of gathering and applying a skill you listed on your resume. A cover letter also provides you with an opportunity to express your motivation and objectives for specializing in the field of surgery or explain any gaps in your resume and your interests within such periods.

Related: 12 Personal Qualities to Include in Your Resume

How to write a general surgeon cover letter

Follow these steps when writing your cover letter for the role of a general surgeon:

1. Format your header and headline

The first step to writing your cover letter is to format your header and headline. This helps you structure your cover letter and make it visually appealing. While it's helpful for this section to be distinct, remain professional. Some essential elements in your header include your name, title, honorific, professional contact information, and address. Next, create a headline to follow your header, which includes a relevant keyword, a trigger phrase, a verb, and a professional promise relevant to the opportunity.

Read more: How to Format a Cover Letter

2. Adapt your letter to match the opportunity

Writing a cover letter that aligns with the interests and demands of the relevant organization is one of the ways to appear unique from the competition. Adapting your letter involves conducting extensive research into the relevant organization and role. This research helps you determine the keywords a role requires, the relevant skills, the organization's mission, and the appropriate personalized greeting. Introducing these elements to your cover letter expresses your interest and enthusiasm for the role.

3. Write your introductory section

The introductory section of your cover letter expresses your reasons for applying for the available position. It's important to include an overview of your professional experiences, specialization, and academic qualifications. If possible, a recommendation from a shared acquaintance can help you establish credibility and rapport with the potential employer.

Related: 7 Key Cover Letter Parts to Include in Your Letter

4. Highlight your skills and accomplishments

The paragraphs that highlight your skills and accomplishments form the body of your cover letter. Consider using these paragraphs to set the context for your experiences and achievements. For instance, you can describe how you applied your skills to achieve successful results. Some hospitals require general surgeon candidates to have published research. When applying to such hospitals, you can include references to your publications within the body of your cover letter.

Related: Personal Accomplishment Examples (With Definition)

5. Write your conclusion

After completing the body of your cover letter, it's important to write a distinctive closing statement. This typically comprises an expression of interest in the role, your contact information, a call to action, and a formal closing remark, such as yours truly or yours sincerely.

Tips to improve your cover letter

The following are some tips that can help you enhance the quality of your cover letter for the role of a general surgeon:

Highlight your technical skills

As the nature of this role is highly technical, it's essential to showcase your technical skills and knowledge in your cover letter. Highlighting relevant surgical skills and experiences that reflect your application of these skills can improve your chances of securing an interview. Another effective way to highlight your skills is to identify any awards and accolades that you've won because of your skills.

Related: Technical Skills: Definitions and Examples

Quantify your experiences

Experience is an essential part of displaying your competence in the medical field. You can enhance your cover letter by discussing your experiences through the results you achieved in the role. Quantifying these results helps to emphasize the skills you applied within specific scenarios and provide context for your awards and accomplishments.

Proofread and edit

Writing a concise and error-free cover letter is a great way to show your communication skills and attention to detail. You can employ editing software to ensure grammatical accuracy or send the document to your friends and colleagues for a professional review. When reading or editing your cover letter, ensure all the content aligns with the requirements of the opportunity you want.

Cover letter template for general surgeons

The following is a template that can guide you when writing your cover letter for the role of a general surgeon:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification]
[Phone number] | [E-mail address] | [City], [Province/Territory]


[Recipient Health Institution], [Department]

Dear [Hiring manager's first name] [Hiring manager's last name],

[Express excitement for the position, including the role title and the organization name.] [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the health care institution.]

[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your resume.] [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible.] [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the organization.] [Optional - address employment gap or career transition.]

[Express gratitude.] [Summarize qualification.] [Restate interest in role.] [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method.]

[Complimentary close],


Cover letter example for general surgeons

Here's a sample cover letter that can guide you in writing one for the role of a general surgeon:

Dr. Elizabeth Miles, M.D.
444-5467-2938 | | Hamilton, Ontario

August 20, 2022

Snowcrest Hospital
Surgery and Specialists Departments

Dear Dr. Levi,

I'm a general surgeon with an M.D from Cornerheights University. My 12 years of experience in general surgery and pediatrics demonstrates my ability to fulfill the responsibilities of the available role to the standard of your practice. My friend and university colleague, Dr. Annabel Rivers, is a leading physician in your pediatrics practice and recommended I apply for this opportunity.

As a surgeon at Redwood Hospital, I conducted an average of 27 surgeries per annum across pediatric and general departments. I also oversaw the care plan for patients and recommended medication. 72% of my patients recorded a significant improvement in their recovery compared to earlier procedures and patients with similar needs at other facilities.

I'm deeply passionate about pediatrics, and I'm certain I can introduce my level of expertise to your practice. I'm available to discuss the role at 444-5467-2938 from 8 am to 4 pm on weekdays. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Elizabeth Miles, M.D.

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