If you're aiming for a job in teaching, a cover letter will help showcase your education and skills and let your prospective employer know that you are the best candidate for the position. This is especially important because the hiring season for teachers only comes once a year and you'll often find hundreds of applicants vying for a few dozen positions.
Here are some ways you can make yours shine and help you get to the head of the class:
Write as the professional that you are. When you're applying for a teaching position, you're up against some very high expectations. Not only should you show that you are qualified for the job through your training and experience, you should also show that you can write like a professional.
Get your facts straight when writing and make sure you get the right names and addresses of the schools you're applying to. Use a clear and concise manner of writing. Keep the business tone of the letter intact, but make sure it's not so heavy that you end up sounding bland and archaic. Let your personality shine through to let your prospective employer know that you're the right person for the job.
Watch your grammar (very important!) And spelling. As mentioned earlier, you should be aware of how high hiring standards are for teachers, so make sure you live up to it. Check your word usage and prevent typos from ruining your chances by using the Spellcheck function in your word processor and proofreading at least twice. Accuracy is key to getting you noticed and taken seriously as an educator.
Your body of work. Be sure to include most of the relevant information about your teaching experience. No need to enumerate them, but make sure you include those that particularly give you an advantage, such as a major study, specialized training, teaching modules and books you may have written and published and of course, your teaching experience.
There are plenty of resources you can turn to for help, including books and online sites. Some great sources for and samples include: The Complete Idiot's Guide to the Perfect Cover Letter by Susan Ireland and Dynamic Cover Letters by Katherine and Randall Hansen.
There are also websites you can turn to for help. Some good ones to check out:
This site offers cover letter writing services, although there are some samples that are great for teachers and school administrators to use. The samples are written in different styles to best reflect the applicant's qualification and personality. If you prefer, you can also contact the site and have yours written professionally for a fee.
This site contains a section devoted entirely to teacher cover letters for job applications, recommendations, follow-up and thank you letters. The site offers their samples for free so you can choose one that seems to have all the elements you want and you simply just have to add or delete some of your own information and use it. A wide range of teaching-related processes and activities are covered on this site, so you can be sure you'll never run out of ideas.