Teacher Cover Letter
In many cases, the cover letter is your very first contact with a potential employer. Be sure to use that first impression to convince a school district of your competency and enthusiasm. A resume is a comprehensive list of your qualifications, but unlike a cover letter, it lacks the potential of expressing true personality.
Some Basic Layout Notes
The first piece of text in your letter should be your home address. This is placed in the top left corner. Directly below that you will write the name of the person you are addressing the letter to, along with his or her title and office address.
Your letter should be three or four paragraphs long. The first paragraph is a general statement of purpose formally expressing interest in the job opening. The next one or two paragraphs will tell the potential employer what qualifications make you stand out. The last paragraph thanks the reader and states what steps you’d like them to take after they finish reading. The content of these paragraphs will be covered in greater detail below.
To Whom it May Concern, Never Use the Words “To Whom it May Concern”
Always address your cover letter to an actual person. Take the time to figure out who the head of the human resources department is or who is the personnel manager. The internet will normally have this information available with next to no research. You can also call the human resources department directly to obtain this information. If all else fails, address the letter to the superintendent. This is perfectly acceptable, and worlds better than writing “To Whom it May Concern”.
Get to the Point in the First Sentence
The first sentence in your first paragraph should state the exact position you are applying for. Many personnel directors would also appreciate the particular job posting number if applicable. “I would like to formally express my interest in applying for the middle school science teacher opening posted on your district website.” Use the rest of the first paragraph to state what it is about the is particular school district that you like so much. Be specific…
Use Specific Details About the School
Make the letter as personal to the school district as possible. Once you have written one cover letter, you may be tempted to reuse the same one over again for different employers. This is fine, however, the more specific information directed to a specific employer, the better. Use the internet to do a little bit of research. Look at your specific teaching concentration and see if the school you are applying to offers any specialized programs. Comment on how these programs impressed you and drew you to their school. Let them know that you would love to be a part of these programs and that your previous experiences make you a great fit. Be specific. Create at least a little unique content for each school. It will go a long way.
Highlight the Skills Specific to YOU
Every cover letter is different, because no two applicants are same. However, it is important to really analyze your most attractive skills and experiences to someone hiring educators. Your second and potentially third paragraph should really bring out your special qualifications.
Your Closing Paragraph
Your last paragraph should thank the letter’s recipient for his or her consideration and reiterate what you want to happen next. Point them in the direction of your resume and tell them you want an interview. You might write something like this:
“Thank you for considering me for this particular position. I encourage you to look over all of my formal qualifications found on my attached resume. I look forward to hearing back from you and setting up a meeting with your district’s interview team.”
Written by Kevin Cauto