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10 Tips for Writing a School Principal Cover Letter to Impress the Reader

10 tips for writing a school principal cover letter to impress the reader

Writing a school principal cover letter, which is frequently called an application letter will be easier if you follow these writing strategies. Making an excellent impression to land an educational leadership job interview for this highly competitive position should be one of your top priorities.

The office of the school principal is the highest rank in a school and, as such, recruitment for this post demands the highest scrutiny by the school district.

District education recruitment officers and administrators take the necessary hiring steps to interview and hire a competent and hardworking person who possesses a drive to improve the standards of the school.

Communicating your value is critical to securing a job interview and ultimately a school administrator job offer. Showcasing your educational leadership skills will be critical to success. 

We’ve compiled top cover letter writing tips to target a school principal role. These strategies will help whether you are seeking a first-time leadership role or if you wish to apply for a lateral position at a new school district.

School Principal Cover Letter Writing Advice

1) Don’t Rehash Your School Principal Resume

This is perhaps the biggest mistake that principals and other education professionals make when writing a cover letter. Cover letters are supposed to serve as a complement to your resume, describing your core competencies and passion for the job, not a mini resume. Although, you may repeat a few things, such as your degree and relevant certifications.

Instead of repeating similar information across multiple documents, take a couple of relevant accomplishments in your most relevant role and describe them in a little more detail.

Add in specific facts if you can to quantify your achievements and make it easier for the reader to understand the full scope of your leadership accomplishments.

2)  Be Brief

Don’t bore your reader with too much information and clichés.  An experienced hiring manager can take one minute (or less!) to review a cover letter, so you have to put on your creative cap to summarize all the interviewer’s needs, in short, succinct sentences.

If you keep your school principal cover letter to three paragraphs in a one-page document, you’ll get your point across without going into too much detail for the occasion.

3)  Start Off the Right Way

Make sure you use the correct cover letter format that shows your professionalism. Stick to the format from the outset to keep it consistent to the end of the cover letter. Be sure to express your interest in the position, discuss some key educational leadership accomplishments in a manner that will entice the reader to want to learn more. Close the letter by showing your interest in learning more about the position by meeting inperson for a conversation.

4)  State Only the Relevant and Recent Facts

Since you have limited space, make a list of your best attributes that can help the school administration achieve their goal and use only 2-3 of those in your cover letter.

Pick your best points as a former principal, a vice principal or a teacher when describing your past in brief. Know the school, its students, and its community. The best, most relevant experiences from your career at one school may be different from those that would be most relevant at another.

5)  Avoid Using Jargon or Slang

Professional and readable cover letters will get noticed.  Use key phrases similar to that in the posting, but don’t copy word for work. Let the reader understand your story, rather than simply seeing a string of buzzwords.

Similarly, a professional cover letter calls for professional language. Double check to make sure that your writing is held to the same standards as your conversation in a professional setting. Incorporating the right keywords in your resume and cover letter is vital to get your application to the human eye. 

6) Be Specific and Write Authoritatively

In your cover letter, state exactly what you intend to do and how you plan to accomplish your goals. You know yourself the best which should allow you to write with conviction. Communicate your career accomplishments and the strong self-knowledge of the kind of educational leader who is ready to step into a principal’s chair.

7)  Close With Your Details

Express your interest in an interview at the institution’s convenience. Remind the reader you have attached your resume and other required documents, and sign your name with a blue pen. If you are submitting an application online, you can always print and sign your cover letter and scan the signed copy, or you can create a file with an image of your signature.

8)  Make It Marketable

Put in as much effort as possible; remember, your cover letter is supposed to speak for you in your absence. Write what you would have said if you were asked verbally. Above all, you want a cover letter to tell your story and will indicate how the principal position you are applying for is the next logical step in your career progression.

9) Read the Cover Letter Out Loud

Proofreading is crucial and can turn out to haunt you if you don’t spend a few minutes to check your spelling and grammar. Try to go over every single word, phrase, and sentence over and over to make sure they are perfect. If you can, be sure to read your letter out loud to a person you trust. They’ll be able to help you determine if the message flows in an understandable and a concise way. They might even be able to make some suggestions on ways to improve it.

10)  Get a Proofreader

Enlist the help of another pair of eyes is ideal for spotting those grammar and spelling mistakes you might have overlooked. They’ll be able to tell you if there are sentences that are hard to read, and if they know you well, they can make sure that you are selling yourself to the fullest possible extent.

By following these tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to crafting your school principal cover letter that communicates what makes you the best candidate for the educational leadership job.

If you’d like some inspiration, have a look at the resume and cover letter samples.