Cover Letter Help!!!!

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by deeceekids, Apr 28, 2010.

  1. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Apr 28, 2010

    I have never really had any problems finding a job until I moved to the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I have been job searching since last summer and subbing since the beginning of this school year with no luck finding a solid teaching job. I thought I would give this a try and see if anyone can give me any pointers on how I can improve my cover letter (am thinking it's my cover letter that I can't get a job). Please let me know what y'all think. Thanks!
     
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  3. erudite

    erudite Rookie

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    Apr 29, 2010

    In my opinion I think it is too wordy. When it becomes to wordy, principals are going to throw it out. I think you need to in the first paragraph let them know you are interested, par. 2 share a gist of your education and qualities, par. 3 thank them and assure that you are interested in their school. To be honest, I asked a few teachers and they don't even feel that a cover letter is needed. I think the best is to make a excellent resume. Hope this help.
     
  4. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Thanks erudite!
     
  5. arevelyne

    arevelyne Rookie

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    May 1, 2010

    I agree that it is too long and too much info. I heard that there were 950 applicants for a job listed in our area and the first person screening applications is not going to read something too wordy. I suggest you keep the first paragraph short stating your interest and then start paragraph two with your credentials in short order. You don't need to start the second paragraph with "attached in my resume", that is a given. I would start the second paragraph with "I have taught....". I think most people only glance at the first few sentences of each paragraph so those have to be the most catching, straight forward, and interested.

    Good luck. When you redo the letter you can post it again! :)
     
  6. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 1, 2010



    Okay, I'm not the greatest writer in the world, but these are the changes I'd start with. A cover letter is an advertisement. It's a tool to get somebody to read your resume, not a rehashing of it. You need to limit information to only what's pertinent to the position to which you're applying. Also, you should be confident in yourself. You don't feel and hope, you are, and you will. Any hint of self doubt will get your application passed over.

    ETA: Two more things....

    1) This is harsh, but it's true. Hiring committees are busy. Anything that doesn't grab their attention right away, or looks like too much work will be thrown out almost immediately. I've been on those committees. Had that letter hit my inbox, it would have hit the trash before I got past the first paragraph. It's mean, but it's reality.

    2) Don't put your contact information in the body of the letter. Put it under your printed name, under your signature. It saves space in the body of the letter, and looks more professional.
     
  7. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    May 1, 2010

    Okay, here is a revised version. Let me know what y'all think. I reworded some things in the resume. Thanks:

    Dear Sir or Madam:

    I am interested in an elementary or intermediate teaching position in your school district and feel that my qualifications would be a fit for the position and for your district. I am an educator with 9 years of experience (8 years as a teacher and 1 year as an administrator) and am certified to teach ESL (PreK-8), Elementary (PreK-4), and Middle School (Generalist 4-8). I also hold a Principal license for grades PreK-12.

    I have taught all levels of elementary from 1st through 4th, including a ½ multi-age class, and I have been a part time principal, part time District ESL Data Analyst. My experiences include: grant writing, creation of 3rd Grade Smart Choices (a peer-lead drug & alcohol prevention program), data analysis, ESL program evaluation, ESL program improvements, coordination and facilitation of professional development opportunities, and much more. I have always believed that our education never ends, even after school ends. As educators, it is important for us to instill this passion for life-long learning in our students so that they can reach their fullest potentials and develop into successful, caring citizens. I have strived to achieve this goal through my work by always holding high standards for all students, individualizing instruction to help every child reach those high standards, and facilitating and maintaining a nurturing and accepting environment for all students.

    My qualifications and passion for education make me well qualified as an educator. I look forward to discussing my interest in this position with you
     
  8. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    May 1, 2010

    Thanks, mmswm! I didn't see your post b4 I made my changes. Will do some more revising.
     
  9. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 1, 2010

    But WOW, what a difference!!!!! I have much less to say about that last version. Just some thoughts....

    I don't like the parenthetical remarks. You don't have to detail everything. That's what your resume is for. Remember, the cover letter is your "teaser". It tells just enough so the reader is excited to get to the "good stuff": your resume.

    The last sentence is redundant. How about "My passion and experience make me a highly qualified educator". The words qualifications and qualified on the same line just don't flow well.
     
  10. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    Thanks mmswm! I am most thankful for all the responses!
     
  11. arevelyne

    arevelyne Rookie

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    May 2, 2010

    That second version is much better!
    A couple more suggestions, instead of at the end saying "well qualified" I would boost the adjective. These (things) make me an excellent candidate, or highly qualified....

    Also, some suggestions in bold:

    I have taught all levels of elementary from 1st through 4th, including a ½ multi-age class. I have been a part time principal and a part time District ESL Data Analyst. My experiences include: grant writing, thecreation of 3rd Grade Smart Choices (a peer-lead drug & alcohol prevention program), data analysis,an ESL program evaluation as well as ESL program improvements, and thecoordination and facilitation of professional development opportunities.omit New paragraph I have always believed that our education never ends, even after school endsmaybe "I have always believed that education is a life-long commitment". As educators, it is important for us to instill this passion for life-long learning in our students so that they can reach their fullest potentials and develop into successful, caring citizens. I have strived to achieve this goal through my work by always holding high standards for all students, individualizing instruction to help every child reach those high standards, and facilitating and maintaining a nurturing and accepting environment for all students.
     
  12. arevelyne

    arevelyne Rookie

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    May 2, 2010

    One last thing -
    Last line: "I look forward to hearing from you." sounds more confindent :)

    Just suggestions of course. :)

    Good luck!
     
  13. TiffanyL

    TiffanyL Cohort

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    May 2, 2010

    Okay, I'm going to admit something about myself that I may get some backlash for (because its wrong of me but I'm going to share it anyway).

    When I receive an application and someone's cover letter is addressed "Dear Sir or Madam", I'm done.

    I immediately stereotype that they didn't take the time to determine my name, or that they are outdated and not modern, etc.

    I do look through the application just to give them the benefit of the doubt but I am very turned off by Dear Sir or Madam. Please consider using something more updated, or better yet, make sure each cover letter is personally addressed to the appropriate person.
     
  14. mmswm

    mmswm Moderator

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    May 2, 2010

    I agree with the "dear sir or madam", thing. Its so much better to personalize.
     
  15. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    May 2, 2010

    Thanks again for all the tips everyone. You guys are great! Tiffany, this is the letter I use for job fairs and general job applications in districts that don't post the names of schools. When I do know the recipient or name of the school, I always use a personalized greeting along with the name of the school or districts. I have thought about using "To Whom It May Concern" for these generic cover letters, but to me, it just seems more rude. What do you guys think? Any suggestions?
     
  16. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    May 2, 2010

    I would even personalize then.

    You know who will be at the job fairs, and it's easy enough to find the name of the Superintendant at each of those districts. Even if he or she isn't the person at the job fair, they'll realize that you took the time (what, 20 seconds on google??) to find the name of the Super.
     
  17. deeceekids

    deeceekids Companion

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    May 2, 2010

    Aliceacc: Thanks for the idea!
     

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