Cover Letter Help Please

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by Oregon Teacher, May 21, 2013.

  1. Oregon Teacher

    Oregon Teacher Rookie

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    May 21, 2013

    I really need some feed back on my cover letter. I have been out of the workforce for a while and would really appreciate any input. Thank you very, very much!

    date

    ABC, Principal
    ABC Middle School
    Street address
    City, state

    Dear Mr. ABC:

    I am applying for the position of Language Arts and Social Studies Middle School Teacher at ABC Middle School. I am highly qualified to teach both Social Studies and Language Arts at the middle school level, and enjoy working with this energetic age group. I am impressed with the level of importance that ABC Middle School has placed on using technology in instruction; I have also had success in using technology to assist in the educational process.

    I am an experienced and creative teacher. As an ESL/Resource teacher I organized after school events to assist families in supporting their children’s academic success. As a classroom teacher I kept students engaged with creating stories, presentations, plays, and art work that helped them demonstrate their knowledge. I also organized opportunities for children to present newly gained science information to community members at a local retirement home. By using a variety of approaches to learning I have had students that were reluctant learners at the beginning of the year asking for more lessons Literature and Social Studies by the end of the year.

    One of my strengths is working with youth that have a difficult time focusing in the classroom. One of my students came to me at the beginning of the year and was in trouble every recess and every class period. I was able to develop a positive relationship with that child and his family which helped him to flourish academically and have fewer incidents of referrals. When I worked with inner city youth and their families I was able to create an oasis in my classroom so that students were able to have fun and learn in a safe environment, despite the difficulties they faced in their day to day lives.

    In 2002 I decided to become a stay at home mom in order to raise my family. During that time I kept active in the community by volunteering with Connections Academy, Girl Scouts of America, church youth groups, and various home schooling groups. I have also taken graduate classes in Special Education and added several endorsements to my teaching license that I believe will make me an even more effective classroom teacher. With my work experience regarding ESOL and my additional endorsements, I feel I could be a strong contributor to your teaching team.

    I look forward to meeting with you and discussing my qualifications in more detail.

    Sincerely,
    Oregon Teacher
     
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  3. LMichele

    LMichele Cohort

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    May 21, 2013

    It seems very wordy to me-after years of looking for a job I got the most success with basic cover letters. I would take out the "stories" in your cover letter-while nice to tell, save them for the interview.
     
  4. Oregon Teacher

    Oregon Teacher Rookie

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    May 21, 2013

    Good point, I'll save the stories, thank you.

    Would you leave the paragraph in about why I have an employment gap? I can't decide if it is helpful or not?
     
  5. Linguist92021

    Linguist92021 Phenom

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    May 21, 2013

    Actually it is often suggested to include one anecdote as an example. (just like the one you included)
     
  6. shoebottom

    shoebottom Companion

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    May 21, 2013

    I have two stories in mine and I have never had a problem with my cover letter, although sometimes it is simply where you live as to how you write your cover letter. Did you do something specific with Connection Academy or home schooling groups? If so describe it because it is more recent than when you were teaching.... just my two cents :)
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    May 21, 2013

    Stories can be very good. You've got the germ of a good "lightbulb moment" story in the account of the student who found it difficult to focus. Tell me more about this student and how you worked with him, please. Give him a fake name - on first reference, follow the relatively well known convention of using the name in quotation marks. The idea is to show you in action.

    The five clauses of the first paragraph are all "I" clauses, and the focus moves back and forth from you to the job to you to the middle schoolers to you to the school to you. The paragraph also implicitly promises a discussion of technology; you don't deliver, and I think you're right not to, but the coherence of the letter suffers. Try making the paragraph about the job, the middle schoolers, and the school, by moving the sentence about your qualifications elsewhere and by moving yourself out of subject position in the remaining sentences (that is, not "I am impressed by X" but "X is impressive"). This would also be the place to mention ABC's demographics, by way of underscoring the relevance of your experience with ESL.

    The connection between the second paragraph to the job you're seeking isn't clear to me. You might want to rethink it.

    An earlier poster noticed wordiness. Several sentences and paragraphs could be tightened and refocused. For instance,

    could be
    I'll agree with an earlier poster in suggesting more specificity about these things that you did: say more about your involvement with Connections Academy and - if you can do so without ruffling public-school feathers - the homeschooling groups, and if what you did with the Scouts and the youth groups can be characterized as teaching, for heaven's sake do so. If not, they should probably be omitted here.
     
  8. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 21, 2013

    That bit about how you made a difference is really what sells.
    You need MORE on paper stating RESULTS of what you've done and how you MADE A DIFFERENCE! That is what your future employers want to see; RESULTS IN %s or NUMBER INCREASE, OTHERWISE YOUR LETTER OR RESUME IS JUST A JOB LISTING!
    Good luck, and remember don't be too modest with telling them what you accomplished and how you made a difference in previous employments! The purpose of your resume and everything that goes with it is to get you that INTERVIEW!
    ...SO you just go on with your bad self!:D
    Rebel1
     
  9. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    May 21, 2013

    #7 response is my FAV, so I've got to go one more time! (-:
    Remember to also state what time and date you can be reached! You make sure you are available at that time, and near the phone you gave them to reach you at!
    May God bless you on your search for a new position.
    Ask Him for His help. He's the MAN with the PLAN!
    Rebel1
     
  10. Oregon Teacher

    Oregon Teacher Rookie

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    May 21, 2013

    Wow, thank you everyone for your help. I'm working on all of your editing ideas now. Thank you!!
     

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