Cover Letters - Make an Excellent First Impression
Writing an excellent cover letter is important in any profession! If you're about to apply for a teaching job and are struggling with your cover letter, here are some hints to help get you started:
The first thing someone will notice about your education cover letter before they even read the content is the visual appeal. Your cover letter should be typed, rather than hand written — ensure it is in a sensible font size and style. This may seem like stating the obvious, but in an effort to make your letter stand out, it is possible to get a little carried away. Print the cover letter off on resume bond paper that matches your resume. Make sure you have a matching envelope — attention to detail is important.
Spelling, grammar and punctuation
Submitting a letter which contains spelling or grammatical errors could be a disaster for your application. Even if you think you have a good standard of literacy, always have your letter proofread -- it's easy to miss your own mistakes. Don't use ambiguous words, make it so the letter is concise and reads smoothly.
Keep the Content Relevant
Make a list of the points you want to include in your cover letter and then work out the most logical sequence to introduce them. Don't be tempted to include a personal sketch or mention something that isn't important to them, you need to be concise and keep it relevant. It can be helpful to look at things from the perspective of the reader and ask yourself, "If I was hiring a individual for this position, what would I be looking for in a candidate?"
Your work history and qualifications will be contained in your application form, so the cover letter is a chance to let the selection committee find out more about you as a person and the passion for the type of work you have applied for. Some of the things you might want to include are:
- Why you want to work for the organization… what makes them interesting or unique. If you can show that you've gone to the trouble of finding out specific details about their mission, customer relationship values, products, key personnel, this will make a good impression.
- What you can contribute — what value will you bring to the organization. If you are outlining what you believe to be the things that make you an excellent fit for their company culture, explain why. What skills and attributes do you have that will make a difference the company short- and long-term goals?
- In what ways are you an innovative applicant? With so many people applying for positions, companies can afford to be choosy and pick those that can prove the benefit of hiring them. Having the minimum qualifications and experience is a given, but what makes you special... what is your unique selling point? Try to give concrete examples of innovative initiatives that you've been involved in and what were the results.