HELP! My cover letter sucks - can I get some help?

Discussion in 'Job Seekers' started by gazing_iscariot, Jun 5, 2008.

  1. gazing_iscariot

    gazing_iscariot Rookie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2008

    I never wrote a cover letter before I wrote this one, and I don't think it's what it should be - if anyone doesn't mind, could I get some feedback please?

    My name is Sarah and I would love the opportunity to interview in person for any openings at X School in English Language Arts. I have filled out an application for XYZ ISD and attached is my resume and Statement of Eligibility for employment.

    I am a recent graduate of Texas Tech University and I am pursuing my teaching certification through ITeachTexas. My certification area is English Language Arts and Reading in grades 8-12. I have completed all coursework through ITeachTexas and I recently passed the TExES certification test on December 8th. I am now studying for my ESL certification test, and will be ESL certified before the upcoming school year. I am eligible to be hired at any time to begin my one year internship.
    I am currently employed by ABC ISD as a Teacher's Assistant in the Computer Lab, while also tutoring 3rd graders 90 minutes daily in preparation for retaking their TAKS test. Prior to that I have worked as a substitute teacher for XYU ISD.

    I would love an opportunity to interview for X ISD, as I have heard many wonderful things about the district. If you have an 8-12 English Language Arts position available I would love to be considered.


    Thank you for your consideration,


    I know it's not what it should be, but I don't know what to do with it. :/
     
  2.  
  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 5, 2008

    First a cover letter is the "hook" that is supposed to get you an interview. In the first paragraph, you should express your interest in the position(s) and directly ask for an interview: With the attached resume, I would like to introduce myself and make known of my interest in interviewing for X position. Then try to incorporate the district's mission statement and how it aligns with your philosophy.

    In the second paragraph, drop some buzz words: differentiational learning, cooperative learning. Is there a story that you have during any subbing or student teaching that you could discuss?

    In the 3rd paragraph, you need to wrap it up with something about how you look forward to a personal interview with the district to discuss your qualifications.
     
  4. Pisces_Fish

    Pisces_Fish Fanatic

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2006
    Messages:
    2,735
    Likes Received:
    5

    Jun 5, 2008

  5. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    283

    Jun 5, 2008

    For starters, do you know about any definite openings? I say that because, in theory, a cover letter should be directed to a particular person for a particular job. That means, you want to focus on the needs and wants of the organization, while highlighting your best points, in order to get them interested in calling you.

    If not, you could just sending out stacks of cover letters with your resumes. It is basically the same thing.

    Cover letters, like resumes, that are randomly sent are usually..sorry to say, ignored. If you don't address a particular opening, they don't have a job opening, nor want to determine which job you will qualify for. They won't have the time to look, save, or consider keeping your resume and cover letter. So, before focusing on the perfect cover letter, why not come back with some job openings first, and then we could better help you?

    I sense you are targeting one particular school. That, in itself may be what you want, but you should keep you options open. Again, in that regard, you would tailor your letter for each opening, and each school.

    I really want to help. Let's see if you can find an opening, so I can target your letter to that opening. I'm sure if you do your homework, you will find openings in this district/school. JMO...

    for example:
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    Dear Mr. Principal,

    I am interesting in your opening for a 2nd grade teacher. I have..., I can...and have experience in.... My prior work and student teaching has taught me ....

    I would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you in person to discuss your opening in detail.

    I can be reached at....

    Sincerely,
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    and in a nutshell, that is all you need. ABC School has an opening for a 2nd grade teacher. You send your letter, identifying this, and your resume. Somebody (HR/personnel secretary is going thru piles of cover letters, and just highlighting 2nd grade teacher

    Now, you will be in the 'call them' pile.

    so...this is why I suggest targeting a specific opening. You can save your good details for the interview. Don't give away all you secrets! Let them want to meet you and hear more!
     
  6. gazing_iscariot

    gazing_iscariot Rookie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 5, 2008

    I've applied at several isd's that currently have openings in my area - but I have yet to hear anything. I just recently revamped by resume, so I wanted to fix my cover letter so I could send them to the principal's at the school's I've applied to.
     
  7. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 5, 2008

    If these principals have specific openings, then I would suggest what MPK said. If you know the particular schools you're applying to and the principals, then in your first paragraph say something like:

    With the attached resume, I would like to introduce myself and make known of my interest in interviewing for any English Language Arts positions for the 2008-2009 school year.
     
  8. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    283

    Jun 5, 2008

    ok, so again...send each one a letter, for each job.

    if you have 3 openings at one school, I would still send three separate letters.

    there may be several people looking and review your cover letter and resume. the princpal may not even see it until others made the decision.

    for example: there's a 2nd, 5th and 7th grade opening. You send one letter. It sits on the secretary's desk. You have not indicated your interests. She's got a ton of letters. Principal said to go thru letters. And she is going to lunch.

    You send 3 letters. Secretary highlights each position. She quickly gives 2nd grade letter to primary team captain...because he makes all the decisions, and passes them on to principal. The 5th grade letter may sit awhile. 2000 people applied :eek: The 7th grade is a desperate opening. The teacher left unannounced! They have a sub in there now. None of the current teachers will take it. Nobody else has sent in a resume.

    Secretary walks your letter in to principal and puts it in his/her hand!
     
  9. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 5, 2008

    I have to disagree, MPK. I just recently wrote a cover letter to a principal that had two positions open so I just included both of them in one cover letter. I email the principal first, then send in a hard copy of my cover letter and resume. Even if they don't get the email, they'll get the hard copy that will goggle their memory and they will remember that you emailed them as well. That will show them your interest. And then if you don't hear from them within a week or two of sending in your hard copy, then call them.
     
  10. Master Pre-K

    Master Pre-K Virtuoso

    Joined:
    May 18, 2007
    Messages:
    6,291
    Likes Received:
    283

    Jun 5, 2008

    sure STG...everything is open to intepretation...

    keep in mind I am used to dealing with huge offices and small politcal ones.

    btw..did you see my post in po club? Marva Collins is closing her school. :(
     
  11. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 6, 2008

    I did, MPK. That is really sad. I feel sorry for all her students.
     
  12. gazing_iscariot

    gazing_iscariot Rookie

    Joined:
    May 20, 2008
    Messages:
    21
    Likes Received:
    0

    Jun 8, 2008

    Ok - I completely redid my cover letter. Does it sound better now?

    I am very interested in speaking with you about interviewing for the open English Teacher position at ABC school. I am currently employed by X ISD at EFG elementary as a computer lab assistant and daily reading tutor for our 3rd graders that did not pass the first administration of the TAKS test.
    I am a 2007 graduate of Texas Tech University where I majored in English Literature and Language and minored in History. I always knew I wanted to teach, but I chose to minor in History instead of education, because I felt that having a background of the history of the literature would be profoundly helpful in understanding and presenting the texts to students.
    I am pursuing my teaching certification through ITeachTexas where I have completed all of my coursework and passed the 8-12 English Language Arts and Reading TExES. I am studying for the TExES 4-8 ELA and ESL supplemental test and plan certified in these areas by the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year.
    I have a plethora of classroom experience both from my current position as well as substituting for Y ISD. My experience with substitute teaching and reading tutoring has taught me how to maintain an effective and engaging learning environment for all students. I have experience in creating lesson plans that stimulate creativity and learning, administering and evaluating student assessments and communicating effectively with teaching team members.

    It is my goal to combine my range of experience with my ability to be a compassionate, enthusiastic, intelligent teacher who will make a positive contribution to your school. I would welcome an interview and hope to hear from you at your earliest convenience.
     
  13. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2007
    Messages:
    17,362
    Likes Received:
    46

    Jun 8, 2008

    I would take out all the stuff that is found on your resume. Do you have a success story involving a student? Is there a district mission that you can incorporate into your letter?
     

Share This Page

Members Online Now

  1. miss-m
Total: 145 (members: 2, guests: 127, robots: 16)
test