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Cover Letter Guidelines for New Teachers

The cover letter is your first chance to make a great impression. It introduces you to the employer, highlights your skills and experience as they relate to a specific position, and helps facilitate a personal interview.

The cover letter should be personalized to the organization. A personalized cover letter lets the employer know why you want to work specifically for their organization. Showing your knowledge of the organization and/or its policies or programs is evidence that you are serious about your job search. A "cookie cutter" cover letter makes you blend in with all the other candidates.

Purpose of the cover letter

  • Entice the employer to consider you among hundreds of other applicants.
  • Answer the employer’s question: Why should I hire this person?

Format of the cover letter

  • a polite, concise, formal, business document
  • 1 page, 4 or 5 paragraphs in length
  • Application (in response to a specific advertised position)
  • Inquiry (to advise of your availability when no specific job has been advertised)

Cover letter presentation tips

Do 

Do not 

Use active voice (I presented…)

Overuse "I"

Use action verbs

Use contractions

Keep it short and simple

Use correction fluid

Be persuasive

Handwrite corrections

Ensure letter is neat, clean and error free

Misrepresent yourself

Employ a polite, formal style

Overstate your skills and experience

Be positive and business-like

Provide negative information

Be honest

Fax your cover letter and résumé unless requested to do so by the employer

If sending by mail, print the cover letter and résumé on good quality paper

Email your cover letter and résumé unless requested not to do so by the employer.

Contents of the cover letter

Application (advertised position) 

Inquiry (no advertised position) 

Address the cover letter to a specific individual.

Address the cover letter to a specific individual.

Who are you and what do you want? 

Opening paragraph: 2-3 sentences

  • Indicate the position that is of interest to you (include reference information provided in the advertisement).
  • State why you are interested in working for this employer (personalization).
 

Who are you and what do you want? 

Opening paragraph: 2-3 sentences

  • Indicate the kind of employment you are seeking.
  • State why you are interested in working for this employer (personalization).
 

What makes you different? 

Body paragraph(s): 3-5 sentences

  • Emphasize the match between your skills and experience and those required by the employer (as stated in the advertisement).
  • Tell the employer how you meet their needs.
 

What makes you different? 

Body paragraph(s): 3-5 sentences

  • Provide a general overview of your background.
  • Show a match between your skills and experience and those required for the type of position that interests you.
 

How will you proceed? 

Closing paragraph: 2-3 sentences

  • Request a personal interview.
  • Provide home, work, e-mail and/or cell phone number where you can be reached.
  • Advise when you will follow-up by phone and then do it!
  • Thank the employer for considering your application.
 

How will you proceed? 

Closing paragraph: 2-3 sentences

  • State that you look forward to discussing employment opportunities with the employer.
  • Advise date and time when the employer can call you.
  • Provide home, work, e-mail and/or cell phone number where you can be reached.
  • Thank the employer for considering your application.
 

Use a standard closing such as Sincerely.

Use a standard closing such as Sincerely.

Signature: Do not forget to sign the letter.

Signature: Do not forget to sign the letter.

Sample cover letter


Your Name   
Apartment number
Street address
City, province postal code
Home: 604-123-4567
Fax: 604-890-1234
Office: 604-567-8900
Personal email address

Date


Name of personnel officer (spell the name correctly)
Title of personnel officer
School district
Street address
City, province, postal code

Dear Mr. or Ms. Last Name:

Opening paragraph:
  • Identify the job for which you are applying. Refer to the advertisement.
  • If a personal contact within the school district told you about the position, mention the person by name.
  • If you are inquiring about possible openings, state the type of position you are seeking.
  • Indicate why you are applying to this school district.
 
Body paragraph(s):
  • Emphasize the match between your skills and experience and those required by the employer. Refer to the advertisement if there is one.
  • Tell the employer why you should be called-in for a personal interview.
 
Closing paragraph:
  • Request an interview for the advertised position or state that you look forward to discussing possible openings.
  • Make it easy for the employer to contact you.
  • Thank the employer for considering your application.
 

Sincerely,


Your signature
Your name typed

Enclosure (attach your résumé)

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