Applying for teaching jobs: Cover letter tips
A great cover letter is how you relate all the skills and experience in your CV to the job you are applying for. When it comes to finding a teaching job, it could be this letter that sets you apart from a lot of other candidates. Here are some tips for really wowing a potential employer with your skills and achievements.
One cover letter per job
Don’t create a generic cover letter and send it out en masse to all the schools you’ve found on www.edustaff.co.uk. You’d be better off applying for only two or three jobs with cover letters crafted for each one. You can keep the basics the same in each letter but tailor the majority of it to the school and job in question.
Talk about achievements
Instead of listing your responsibilities, talk about your achievements. What did you do on your last placement or in a previous school that you could emulate in a new job? Did you improve exam scores, or help bring a school up from ‘requires improvement’ to ‘satisfactory’? If the answer is yes, sing about it!
Keep it short
You don’t need to talk about everything you’ve done in your career to this date, your CV will do that for you. Instead, talk about your previous role, the highlights of your career and anything else you’re particularly proud of. One ‘side’ of A4 should be enough to keep the reader’s attention while giving you enough space to really sell yourself and your experience.
Talk about the school
The person reading your cover letter will want to know you’ve done your research so take a line or two to talk about the school you’re applying to. For example, if the school has won a number of awards, you could state this as one of your reasons for wanting to work there.
Make a link between the school and yourself. Relate your experience and achievements to the school and its students.
Your other skills are relevant
Even if some of your skills aren’t directly relevant to the post you’re applying for, they could move you to the head of the queue. For example, if you play the piano, this could be useful for assemblies and school concerts. You might not get hired on your ancillary skills alone but they could make a big difference when it comes to making a decision between you and a similar candidate.
It’s so important to proofread all your correspondence. If you struggle to check your own work, get a friend or family member to look over your finished letter. This is your first chance to make an impression on a potential employer and you want it to be a good one.
Read your cover letter back to yourself out loud. It might sound silly but this is the best way to pick up on any little mistakes, issues with syntax, or places where you might need to expand on a point.