How do I write a cover letter?

Discussion in 'Job Hunting & Interviews' started by MisterG, Mar 16, 2006.

  1. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Mar 16, 2006

    Cover letter - Part 2

    *Hello,
    I have a new draft below at the bottom, please let me know what you think. :)

    Thanks,
    Ryan*



    Hello all,
    As this spring rolls around, Im starting to get stuff squared away for applying to districts. I think Im having a rough time with my cover letter though.

    Can you guys offer advice as far as the length, content...etc that should be in a cover letter?

    The following is an example of what I have on a previous cover letter. I guess I just dont know how to write a decent one:

    "Dear Mr. x:

    I am applying for the sixth grade social studies teaching position for the X public school district which has been posted on the EdPost website.

    I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead in May 2004 with an elementary education degree and then began the 2004-2005 school year in Las Vegas, teaching fourth grade. Shortly thereafter, staff changes were made and I was placed in a Kindergarten classroom in early October where I finished the school year. During that experience and over the past school year, I learned much about classroom management and organization along with the importance of procedures and routines.

    Throughout the school year, I attended various workshops and new teacher training seminars so that I could expand my teaching methods and experiment with new strategies. I have implemented these techniques into the classroom environment.

    I have also had the pleasure of serving on the Social and Technology committees as well as being Kindergarten grade level chair for the spring of 2005. I represented my grade level at Instructional Data Management System trainings and then passed on this knowledge to my fellow teachers. I feel very capable of teaching / helping out in other areas such as keyboarding / computers, technology…etc.

    I recently moved to the Austin area and currently am a substitute teacher for the district.

    Thank you in advance for taking the time to review my application. I am excited to see your opening and look forward to hearing from you regarding this opening in the X public school district. I can be reached at the above phone number or email address. "

    Suggestions?
    Thanks,
    Ryan
     
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  3. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2006

    It seems too detailed to me. First of all, it should never be more than one page. I think you should summarize your experience in one paragraph, at most.
     
  4. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 17, 2006

    I agree paragraphs 2 to 5 should be one paragraph.

    I might just cut this part out: Throughout the school year, I attended various workshops and new teacher training seminars so that I could expand my teaching methods and experiment with new strategies. I have implemented these techniques into the classroom environment.

    All new teachers do that.
     
  5. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Mar 17, 2006

    Thanks for the replies...Hmm, Im just trying to figure out how to make mine stand out. All of the stuff on there was one page, I felt I had too much, but didnt really know how to make it stand out enough.
     
  6. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Mar 17, 2006

    Yep, too long. I have read hundreds of resumes and cover letters. I can tell you from experience that the reader will only spend a few seconds on it because he has a big pile of others to read. If the letter is too long, there is a possibility that the reader won't read it.

    All the cover letter needs to do is tell the reader why you sent the letter and what kind of job you are looking for (intern, teacher, sub), what grade level and subject, and a very short summary of your experience ("5 years teaching..."). The resume can tell the rest of your story. Of course, do be polite and thank the reader for taking the time to consider you.

    FWIW, IMHO unless you know you have a particular skill that is in demand at the district, it is probably not a good idea to make your cover letter stand out. The ones I remember standing out didn't stand out for a good reason. Usually it was because I got the feeling that the writer thought he was a lot hotter than he really was.
     
  7. KimberlyBest

    KimberlyBest Comrade

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    Mar 18, 2006

    Your letter seems far too detailed - almost as if it is the resume itself. The cover letter should simply state the position you are applying for, your philosophy of education and a small paragraph about how you look forward to joining the staff of such an exceptional education institution (ok that last part might be a bit much :D )
     
  8. MisterG

    MisterG Comrade

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    Mar 22, 2006

    lol...ok its been like a week...but here is my latest draft...what do you think? I know I know...Im asking for advice on a few different things, but I need the help, lol. Thanks a ton

    "Dear Mr. X:

    I am applying for the sixth grade social studies teaching position for the Grand Meadow public school district which has been posted on the EdPost website.

    I have experience teaching in Kindergarten and 4th grade along with student teaching in grades 2, 3, and 6. During this past school year, I have stayed in the education field by substitute teaching and working as supervisor of an In School Suspension program. I am very eager to get back into the classroom and continue my teaching career.

    My philosophy of education is to get students curious about the world around them and get them interested in learning how things work; exploring and learning by getting them involved in their education through hands on experience and activities that keep them engaged and on task.

    I would like to thank you for taking the time to review my application. I am excited to see your opening and look forward to hearing from you regarding this opening in the x public school district. I can be reached at the above phone number or email address.

    Sincerely,
    "
     
  9. JaimeMarie

    JaimeMarie Moderator

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    Mar 22, 2006

    It sounds better. The last paragraph is hard to read. I think I would change the second word opening to position. And put your phone number in again.
    I am sure others will have better advice.
     

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