Four Cover Letter Writing Tips You Don't Want to Forget
A cover letter is a crucial document that can enhance a candidate's chances during their job search. If it is designed in the manner that meets the needs of the school district, then the letter will motivate the reader to read the resume pick up the phone to offer you an interview. If created correctly, your cover letter will provide an edge over other job-seekers and demonstrate your passion for your profession to add a personal touch. A well written cover letter will also announce to the potential employer your communication and organization skills in advance, and set the stage for a meeting between the hiring manager and you. At this point the reader/interviewer should already know you are the type of candidate who is willing to go the extra mile for the school community and its students.
The letter should be a unique document and convey your unique value proposition, i.e. it is your platform to showcase your specific skill-sets and other relevant accomplishments that uniquely qualify you for the job, in the eyes of the potential employer. Listed below are some of the guidelines one should keep in mind, while developing your cover letter.
- Customize your cover letter by understanding the requirements of potential school districts:
At the outset, it is very important that the potential candidate, understands the position requirements. This may include a certain educational background, years of experience in the field, technical knowledge, hard skills, and soft skills that are required for the job. It is very important you review the job criteria and incorporate these requirements into your cover letter. This demonstrates very clearly to the potential employer that you have the desired qualifications in a real and tangible way. For example, if you are applying for a special education teacher position, you may want to mention your exceptional understanding of IEP's and ability to use them effectively to meet the needs of all students. Maybe include your strength in coordinating and collaborating with other school community facility members, such as teachers, teacher's assistants, physical education instructor, speech therapist, and others.
- Compose the cover letter keeping school district's needs in mind.
The next vital step, after reviewing and customizing your cover letter to suit the requirements of the job, is to address the needs of the district and let them know why you are perfect for the position. It is important to create your cover letter in a manner that will tell them the value you can bring to the school community and its students, and not what you ‘need' from them. This will grab the reader's attention and entice them to continue reading. For example, if you know the school district has low reading scores, you would want to elaborate on your success in that area. Through research you may have discovered they have low parental involvement, so tell them the strategies you use to get parents involved.
- You are the product, and you need to sell ‘you' in the cover letter.
The cover letter should package and sell the product well — namely ‘you.' Without sounding over the top, the cover letter should assertively communicate to the potential district why you are right for the job, by highlighting your relevant strengths. This should be done subtly, and not with an egotistical description of yourself. One way to ensure this does not happen is to have someone you trust read the letter and provide you objective feedback. If not, you can read the letter loudly, to yourself, and check if the tone and content are appropriate. If it sounds stilted or stiff, or too formal, then it has to be modified for a smoother simple flow that will communicate effectively to the reader in simple, sincere language, why you are right for the job. A ‘rule of thumb' is to keep in mind that it is important to impress your potential employer with your skills and qualifications and not necessarily with lofty language.
- Keep the format simple and avoid clutter to enhance readability.
You want to address the letter to an individual, their title, name of district, and address. If you can't find a name, don't use Dear Sir/Madam or To Whom it May Concern. Try using, Dear Hiring Manager or Dear Recruitment Manager, etc. The recommended format would be the block format with left flush. This promotes easy readability. The letterhead should match the resume, creating a professional look. The length should be limited to one page. The content, substance, tone and language of the cover letter must show sincerity and that you want the position for all the right reasons.
Many people believe cover letter writing is an art, and I agree with them. For that reason, you can always count on A+ Resumes for Teachers to create the perfect cover letter.