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How to Write a Teacher Cover Letter to Overcome Gaps and Obstacles

how to write a teacher cover letter to overcome gaps and obstacles

There are many possible situations where you will write a teacher cover letter to overcome obstacles. An obstacle is something in your background that may raise a red flag upon a hiring manager reviewing your job search documents.

These conditions can include layoffs, demotions, long-term unemployment, gaps in employment, a short time at a position, and medical leave. Many job seekers may feel these will create a challenging job search. Quite often, this is true if you don’t effectively communicate your past employment situation.

Writing this type of application letter for a teaching position will take more thought. It can be more complicated than a regular teacher cover letter.

Although these situations may seem to be potential hiring concerns, your cover letter is the ideal place to address these issues.

One thing to remember is to keep the explanation brief, don’t over-elaborate. The tone of the application letter needs to be upbeat and positive. After all, this is your job search marketing tool.

Writing Strategies to Overcome Obstacles Effectively

Address a Layoff

Explain the dismissal as briefly as possible, then communicate your excitement and enthusiasm about the opportunity to work immediately for the teaching or other educational position available.

How you describe the situation will determine how you are viewed as a candidate. Also, what position did you hold? Were other teachers or resource professionals layoff? Were you a substitute teacher, paraprofessional, assistant principal, librarian, etc., and what led to the layoff?

Faced Long-term Unemployment

Try to state briefly the education or other position you had and responsibilities you had in your previous employment. Do not emphasize your unemployment duration but instead focus on the new teaching or leadership skills attained during your hiatus. Mention any volunteer or professional development you took during this time. Focus on the positive aspects of your educational career in the letter.

Explain the Reasons for Your Medical Leave

Don’t disclose any medical information because this may jeopardize your chances of gaining employment. Briefly, state your leave of absence and try to notify your potential employer that you have regained your strength and are fit to work again. Deciding to disclose your medical information is a strictly personal choice.

Time off to Care for an Ill Family Member

Briefly state the situation. Communicate you have been able to upgrade your teaching or other relevant skills through self-study. Let them know you have resolved the family situation and now 100% focused on your career and qualified for the position available.

Time off to Raise Children

Show your potential employer that during your break, you have kept up-to-date in your profession. Letting the reader know you have acquired new technology skills and teaching ideas will give you an advantage. It shows you are a life-long learner. Mention any volunteer work you were involved in; it may be within your child’s classroom or at the library.

Embarking on a New Career Path

It’s important to state your reasons and passion for making the career change to teaching. Try to steer the employer to view you as a competent person in your new career. State the reasons why you think you can excel in this new position.

Transition to Teaching from a Corporate Job

Communicate to the potential employer the reasons for leaving that field. Ensure they understand it isn’t due to failure but rather to pursue your passion. The school or organization needs to realize you would be an asset to their team instead of a liability. Uncovering transferable skills and including them in your teaching application letter and resume is paramount for a career change.

Changing Jobs Frequently

Let the reader know you are searching for a job, and you are willing to make a substantial commitment. Communicate to the potential employer that you are willing to be loyal and dedicated to work with no intention of leaving shortly.

Experienced a Demotion in a Previous Job

What you include would depend on the circumstances of the demotion. You may or may not include information in the cover letter about taking a different job of a lower rank at a previous place of employment. Assure the employer you can do more and be beneficial in the position they are seeking to fill.

Writing the cover letter to overcome obstacles is a crucial component in your job search. Take time to make sure the wording paints a positive picture and communicates the value you will bring to the school or organization.

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Connect with me, Candace, via email or call toll-free at 1-877-738-8052.  I would enjoy writing the perfect, attention-grabbing teaching application letter for you to grab the reader’s attention. Take the time to review teacher application letter samples.