Critique my cover letter

Discussion in 'General Education' started by dizzykates, Apr 4, 2011.

  1. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Apr 4, 2011

    full name
    address
    city, state
    phone number

    To Whom It May Concern:

    I am writing to make you aware that I am applying for the licensure advisor position available in the School of Education. I have a wide variety of experiences in the field of education and desire to use them to build a career that helps adult learners achieve their goals. I believe my background working with diverse learners combined with my ability to plan and organize both my time and priorities would make me an excellent candidate to help meet the needs of the *** School of Education.

    Currently I am finishing my third year teaching at ** Elementary in **, *. I have taught full-day kindergarten the last two years, but I have a total of six years’ experience in the field of education. Many of my teaching experiences have been in classrooms with rich language experiences and many different levels of English proficiency. Given my current setting, a school with almost 80% free or reduced lunch and having about 2/3 of my class qualify for ESL services, I understand the value a strong ESL program, such as the one ** provides, has on the impact of student learning.

    I have personal experience with the challenges English Language Learners face as they acquire a new language. I have studied Spanish extensively since I was 12 years old and have yet to reach true proficiency. It continues to be a passion of mine that continually reminds me of the challenge both the students and teachers face as they work towards developing fluency in a second language.

    As a current *** graduate student in the *** program and a former participant in the Reading Licensure program, I feel confident in pursuing a career with such a respectable organization. I appreciate you taking the time to review my application and compare my skills and experiences with the qualifications you are seeking for your future ESL licensure advisor. Please contact me at your convenience to schedule an interview or clarify my experiences.


    Sincerely,

    dizzykates

    full name
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  3. MissFroggy

    MissFroggy Aficionado

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    Apr 4, 2011

    I like everything except the first sentence.

    Make you aware doesn't sound right to me.

    I would say something like: I am writing in response to your opening as the licensure advisor position in the School of Education. As you will see from my resume....

    or:

    I noticed your opening as the licensure advisor in the School of Education, and write, with excitement, to apply for this position. My attached resume details the qualifications and experience I would bring to your school/organization/university.

    Also, I think it's important to highlight SOMETHING about how you work with colleagues in a professional environment. It sounds like this position will be with adults, and I think they will want to know how you work with adults, not just children.

    Hope this helps!
     
  4. dizzykates

    dizzykates Habitué

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    Apr 5, 2011

    Thank you! I was feeling the same way about that first line, but just couldn't smoothe it out for some reason. :)
     
  5. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 5, 2011

    What does the licensure position involve?
     
  6. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2011

    Good question.... TG
     
  7. Major

    Major Connoisseur

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    Apr 5, 2011

    dizzykates, I've read thousands of cover letters ...... and I can confidently say your first sentence needs work...... :)

    Good luck....... Major......
     
  8. MathJourney

    MathJourney Rookie

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    Ok as someone who has worked in Finance and at one point had to read several job applications, I can read you are making a very common mistake most people make when they make a cover letter. Please, do not get defensive; I am only trying to help. Your cover letter reads like a prose narrative of your resume.

    The trick behind the cover letter is to include in it all those variable such as personality, enthusiasm, ambition, desire that a resume cannot capture.

    A typical resume will include history of your work experience--most recent first--related job skills/certifications and education.

    Personally, the cover is the last thing read--contrary to popular belief. The way my company worked human resources--who knows nothing about what makes a candidate qualified--will burn through the resumes that clearly do not have a shot.

    What is left are the people who cannot be ruled out for the position. Those applications are given to a hiring manager to review. The hiring manager will typically give the remaining applications to someone like me--who was not a hiring manager but was working in the position for which management was hiring.

    I did not bother reading the cover letter at first. Unlike HR, I know what is needed for the position. So, I would look to the resume. The first thing I would look at were skills and certifications. Anyone who did not list the required skills--such as proficiency in a certain software--I would weed out. Then I would look at employment history. Employment history gave me a further sense of whether the person was ready for the job. Once again, I would weed out people who did not have the appropriate work history. Education was the last thing I looked at. That is not always the case. For entry-level positions usually your best indicator is education, but at more advanced levels of the profession education becomes less and less relevant relative to experience.

    Finally, the remaining applicants left were all people who could do the job. So the question was were they people with whom we wanted to work. That is where the cover letter helps.

    Currently in addition to just being another version of your resume, your cover letter reads like a robot wrote it. I can't get a sense of your personality. This is not indicate you should write informally or any less than professional; there are ways to show your personality while remaining professional.

    Some things I would like to know:

    Do you know anything about our company? This is important because not every company is alike. Each company has a history and that history largely determines the corporate culture.

    Is there anything on your resume that may look funny to me? For example, suppose you have a long record with a few companies but there is one company in which you worked only a few months. Looking at that, I'm wondering why? So, look at your resume and look to see if there is anything that might raise a question. If there is respond to it, casually, in your cover letter.

    How would former colleagues judge your ability to work as a team, to put in the hours, to work with clients?

    Ok, I hope this helps.

    I would write more now but I have to go. I'll be happy to answer any more questions later.
     
  9. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Apr 5, 2011

    This is a university position, I assume. The HR offices of most universities, like the HR section of most K-12 districts, are charged with processing hires and keeping up with various sorts of paperwork - but, typically, job applications go straight to the academic department, program, or school for screening. That being the case, the cover letter typically looms rather larger in the process than it might in industry.

    With that said, dizzykates, MathJourney's comments deserve attention. Your letter should make it clear that you know what a licensure advisor does at the institution in question and that your background equips you to do it. One doesn't see that in this letter, I'm afraid.
     
  10. Sshintaku

    Sshintaku Comrade

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    Apr 6, 2011

    I understand the value a strong ESL program, such as the one ** provides, has on the impact of student learning.

    This reads really weird to me. I think it should either be value OR impact, but not both in one sentence.
     

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