Writing Teacher Application Letters: A Targeted Letter Will Nudge the Reader to Call You
Start your job search by writing an application letter that is unique to you by communicating authenticity and the value you can offer a school district.
When job-hunting, you will likely apply to more than one school and position before being hired. If you are looking to send out your resume more than once, it may be a good idea to develop a more general cover letter, but at the same time very specific to the skills and accomplishments you have.
Ultimately, it saves time when writing teacher application letters and allows you to perform minor tweaking to tailor each cover letter to the targeted job position. A generic letter is also beneficial if you are applying to a wide array of positions that do not relate to one another.
Be forewarned! The more general your cover letter is the fewer responses it will receive. I encourage you to think of this letter as a teacher resume cover letter template.
Whenever possible, it should be thoughtfully adapted to meet the specific requirements of each teaching job. It is important to understand the difference between general cover letters and specific cover letters and their role in your teacher job search.
When to Use a General, Generic, Targeted, or Focused Application / Cover Letter
Situations in which a more generic cover letter may make sense include when you are:
- Targeting a very specific teacher job
- Focusing on one industry or organization
- Updating your resume with a new accomplishment/job position
- Sending out a teacher resume with no experience
You may, for example, be writing an instructional coach cover letter or program specialist cover letter and have very specific skills and experience to communicate.
What Skills and Experience to Highlight
When crafting a non-specific cover letter, highlight your education, qualifications, broad base of knowledge, and versatile skill sets. Since you are unable to draw on specific philosophies or goals of the school district, you cannot play on their unique needs. However, all employers are looking for these same key traits:
- Ability to work well with others, as well as independently and unsupervised
- Strong written and verbal communication skills
- Talent for staying organized, focused, and on-track
- Solid problem solving and critical or higher-level thinking skills
In your generic cover letter, highlight these traits and communicate how they will make you an asset to the hiring school district. You may decide to list your key traits and then change the practical examples each time to suit the teaching position.
If you do not possess any of these qualities/skills, do not include them in your letter. Make sure that you are always able to back up what you put down on paper. Widely used personality assessments and the face-to-face interview will help the employer determine whether or not you actually have these qualities. Moreover, he can always check with your references.
A propensity to exaggerate may be more tempting in a new teacher resume. Always remain honest in your job-seeking documents. In addition to the traits listed above, list the various positions you have held in the past, and draw on skills, experiences, and achievements you can bring to future positions.
Customize the Letter for a Position, School or District
Those who take the time to customize writing teacher application letters will be rewarded with a higher response rate. If you are writing a cover letter for a specific position and district, make sure that you take a close look at their job posting, and demonstrate how you meet their particular requirements and are able to carry out the listed responsibilities.
If the school district's philosophy is not stated on their advertisement, do some research and find out what it is. Explain how you are able to help the district meet set goals and standards. In addition, demonstrate your commitment to the district and enthusiasm for obtaining that position and working with them.
If you are applying for a non-traditional education position, explain what it is, your job duties and responsibilities and how you will contribute to the school in this capacity.
- Many schools, for example, recognize the need for an online educations specialist but may not yet have fully defined the job position.
- Explain your daily activities in an educational leadership internship proposal. What exactly will you do?
- Describe your career objective for lecturer positions. Do you plan on only showing up for scheduled events, or do you covet a long-term teaching position with the school?
List Top Relevant Education Career Accomplishments
Also include any relevant accomplishments that a potential employer might see as beneficial for their school. If you say you increased reading scores through innovative teaching approaches, gain credibility by naming those methods. All teachers say this. The school may use the same programs. If you state you have increased math scores, state how much by. Hard numbers are the most influential information you can bring to a teacher application.
Bulleting items are a quick, attention-grabbing method for conveying key information:
- Recommended and assisted in implementing new programs including Saxon Math, Math Their Way, and Restitution into the School and trained other teachers in the use of these programs (Impressive breadth and knowledge of programs!)
- Designed a school emergency response plan template that was adopted by ABC School District
- Increased class participation by 10 percent, and punctuality and attendance by 15 percent
- Increased regional writing scores by a full grade for students performing in the lower half of the class
To polish your skills at writing teacher application letters that land interviews, read 101 Teacher Resume and Cover Letter Writing Tips.
For ideas on how to personalize your cover letter, review our teacher resume and cover letter examples.
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