Cover Letters That Get You Noticed
Your resume is the central part of your job search; however, a strong cover letter will provide you with a chance to elaborate beyond your resume, and focus the district’s attention on your skills and experiences directly related to your desired teaching position. It will provide you a great opportunity to highlight your writing skills, along with a chance to summarize your specific educational qualifications and teaching experience.
It is important that one remember that your education cover letter is meant to complement your resume; it is not the venue to repeat what is already covered in your resume. A cover letter allows you to tell the district more information about you… which is why you must show your personality and passion for choosing education as a career. Your cover letter and resume should not foretell the same premise, but ensure new information is covered.
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The following are a few tips and tricks to assist you in writing a cover letter that will get you noticed:
1. How should I organize my cover letter document?
Format: You should use typical business formatting, beginning with the date, a return address, and the district address.
Salutation: Address your letter to a specific individual with hiring authority within the school district. If you cannot identify this person, give the Personnel Department a call; they will have the information you require. You will also need to verify the spelling of the individual’s name, and their correct title.
Opening Paragraph: This paragraph identifies the position for which you are applying. It indicates where you learned about the position and can also provide a bridge statement referring to your qualifications.
Second Paragraph: In this paragraph you will include a brief reason why you are qualified for this position, outline previous work experiences that you feel make you a perfect fit for the position. This should be an eye-catching paragraph.
Optional Paragraph: This is the time to list your other qualifications, which may not be specifically necessary to the teaching position. You can include such items as transferable skills, or professional association, volunteer work, etc. This may also be the time to exhibit your desire and enthusiasm for the job.
Closing Paragraph: This paragraph thanks the individual for taking time to review your document, and must have a clear and positive ending.
Closing: Close your letter with a “Sincerely”, or “Respectfully Yours”; and type your full name.
2. How long should my letter be?
Your education cover letter should be brief and to the point, and limited to one page. Use simple language and action words, removing all unnecessary words, and limit fancy phrases.
3. Is your cover letter error free?
You must triple check your document for misspelling, grammar errors, or improper punctuation. Do not rely on your computer spell checker! It is beneficial to have someone else review and critique your letter for anything you may have missed.
4. Have you signed your document?
Ensure that your cover letter has been signed; you don’t want your document to be misinterpreted as a form letter.