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Pharmacy Residency Cover Letters

A letter of intent is similar to a cover letter so many of the principles for writing them apply to this type of communication as well. They both include the purpose for writing, the reason for applying to that particular program, and the writer’s qualifications. However, the letter of intent also defines the writer’s career goals, her/his professional experience, and what s/he will bring to the program.

You letter should be brief (remember that yours will probably be one of hundreds that need to be read) and should run no more than one page. Organize it into three areas:

  • Introduce yourself. Include what school you currently attend and state your career goals, especially ones that this program offers. (This will help determine whether the program is a good fit to reach those goals.). Write how you learned about the program and why you are enthusiastic about it.
  • State your credentials. Tell the reader why you should be considered for this program. What unique and/or formative experiences have prepared your for advanced training? What sets you apart from other applicants?
  • What you will bring to the program. Be as specific as possible about what attributes, knowledge or abilities you can contribute to the institution and practice.

As with other types of cover letters, it is important not to use the same letter for each program. You should tailor your letter to meet the needs of the particular residency/program for which you are applying. For example, if you’ve attended the ASHP Mid-Year Clinical Meeting, you may highlight some things you learned during your discussions there. Make sure you sound like you really want to be part of their team and that you feel you have something to contribute while you’re there.

Professional Pearls for Writing a Pharmacy Residency Letter of Intent discusses how to prepare a letter and includes an example.

Here’s another example of a pharmacy residency letter of intent.

Writing a Letter of Intent for Pharmacy Residency programs from the University of California at San Francisco.

Some guidance on writing Letters of Intent from the University of California, Berkeley Career Center




Personal Statement/Letters of Intent add new entry screen:

Every application submitted through the PhORCAS service must include a personal statement or letter of intent. Each letter of intent should address the following areas:

  • Why do you want to do a pharmacy residency?
  • What are your career goals and major areas of interest?
  • Why you are interested in this specific residency?
  • How do you envision this residency meeting your training goals and interests?
  • Reasons why you believe you are a good fit for this program.
  • Check with the residency program’s application information to see if there are specific questions that should be included in the letter of intent.

You are to address residency site-specific issues and training opportunities; therefore, you should write a separate, site-specific letter of intent for each program to which you are applying. A typical letter of intent is 1-2 pages in length. Be succinct and yet cover the topic of fit between yourself and the residency program. If you are applying to a residency program with multiple sites or tracks, you may want to specify all of the sites/tracks you are interested in the residency program.

Your letter of intent should be in the format of a standard letter used for a typical job application process. A cover letter usually includes date, recipient’s address, salutation, body of letter, closing, and signature line. Please note that your signature is simply your typed name.

When you are ready to create a letter of intent, you may begin by searching in the “Browse” box for your desired file, under “Upload New File”.

We recommend your file having a filename that clearly describes the site to which this letter will be sent (e.g., “Residency program name and state”). This will help you accurately identify the proper letter when you are e-submitting your applications.

Once you have selected the file, select “submit”.

If the program has uploaded your document successfully, it will show up above the “Upload New File” area, with the date you uploaded the file, and a view or delete button, if you wish to enter a different document.

We recommend you not use symbols or unusual text.  Always view your document to ensure it is the correct document you have uploaded.


Can I enter more than one personal statement so that I can personalize it to a specific residency?

Yes. You are able to customize your personal statement for a specific residency. When you are creating your personal statement, make sure you enter a title that will help you identify it when you submit it to the program.

There are instances where the residencies may even have their own questions they want you to address in the personal statement. Be sure to research the specific program requirements for the personal statement before you submit your application to that program.

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