Writing a Cover Letter to Get a Teaching Position

By University Alliance

The possibility of a new teaching job can be an exciting time in a teaching career. You’ll want every advantage when applying for a new position, beginning with making a strong first impression with potential employers by crafting the perfect cover letter to accompany your résumé.

Keep in mind that the potential employers reading your cover letter and résumé will be evaluating your communication skills, as well as your enthusiasm for teaching. The following tips will help you present the qualities, skills and qualifications that will help you stand out from the competition for teaching jobs.

RELATED: Education Degrees For Career Advancement

The Business Letter Format is a Must For Your Teaching Position Cover Letter

Business letters generally follow a specific format, consisting of an introductory paragraph, a qualifications paragraph and a request for consideration for the position.

The Introductory Paragraph:

Introducing yourself on paper can be intimidating. But in a cover letter for a teaching job, it’s important to convey the basics in a compelling way. Clearly communicate the following information:

  • Why you are writing: The purpose of the letter is to introduce your qualifications to the hiring committee.
  • The position for which you are applying: Be specific and refer to the job title as it appears in the notice. Include the school and school district, as well. Rather than “the teaching position you advertised,” use language such as “the Roosevelt Middle School Language Arts Teacher position advertised by Duval County Public Schools.”
  • Where you learned of the position: Include the name of the online job board, publication or colleague who referred you.
  • Why you are a strong candidate for the job: Include a short sentence about your qualifications and how they meet the employer’s needs. For example, “I believe my extensive teaching experience with pre-K children makes me a strong candidate for this position.”

The Qualifications Paragraph:

Be specific, not generic. Read through the job notice carefully and include relevant information. You want the hiring committee to get the sense that you are prepared for and genuinely interested in the position. For example, when responding to a science teaching job listing that emphasizes botany, be sure to include a couple of sentences in your cover letter about any botany experience or studies.

[Learn how to grow your career as an educator]

Succinctly describe your strengths. Describe two or three ways you have demonstrated your effectiveness as a teacher. Include anecdotes about your unique experiences – but keep them short to respect the readers’ time. If your strengths and experiences relate to the school or district’s needs, find a way to communicate that in your letter.

The Request Paragraph:

Everyone’s heard the old adage, “If you want something, ask for it.” Before you close out your cover letter, be bold and ask for consideration of your qualifications for the position. State why you are interested in the position, the school and the district in which you are applying. Wrap up your letter by thanking the hiring director or committee for their consideration. Include a phone number and email address where they can reach you.

Dos and Don’ts for Teaching Job Cover letters

  • Do address your letter to the person listed in the job listing. If you are not sure to whom it should be addressed, phone the school or school district and ask.
  • Do be sure you correctly spell the addressee’s name.
  • Do keep good notes on all correspondence, such as the dates you mail letters, to whom they were sent, and any follow-up activities.
  • Do use a good-quality, white bond paper and black ink.
  • Do ask someone to proofread your letter before you send it.
  • Do make sure that your contact information is accurate and easy to find. For business letters, the return address generally appears at the top of the page.
  • Don’t rely on spell check. Carefully scrutinize your letter for spelling and grammar mistakes. If you are in doubt, look up the word or grammar rule in a dictionary or usage guide.
  • Don’t hesitate to include your email address and phone number in the closing paragraph.
  • Don’t say you’ll follow up in a week or two weeks, unless you intend to do so. Then do it.
  • Don’t write a letter that is too long. Three or four paragraphs should do it.
  • Don’t use pretentious, flowery, casual or complicated language. Simple is best.
  • Don’t forget to sign your letter.
  • Don’t ruin a good first impression with a garbled or annoying voice mail greeting. Before applying for teaching jobs, update your voice mail with a friendly, professional greeting that is easy to understand.

Remember These Tips For An Impressive Cover Letter For Any Teaching Position

When applying for a teaching position, remember that the ideal cover letter clearly and succinctly presents to a potential employer your strengths as a teacher and qualifications for their teaching job. It contains direct and simple language, and absolutely no spelling or grammatical errors. And finally, it states your interest in the job, offers concrete examples, and demonstrates your enthusiasm and appreciation for the opportunity. You will definitely stand out from the crowd of teaching job candidates by following these simple tips!

Category: Teacher Career Information