Writing a good cover letter could make all the difference to your job application. With so many candidates to choose from, first impressions are really important, so it’s important to get the covering letter right.
Education careers expert John Howson, recommends beginning the letter with a powerful statement: “Job applicants need to provoke the reader’s interest,” he says. “However, what you leave out is just as important as what you put in, in order to keep the letter succinct and punchy.”
“The competitive nature of the teaching profession means first impressions are imperative,” says James Innes, managing director of The CV Centre. “Many applications may even be judged solely on the strength of the covering letter.”
Your cover letter shouldn’t be longer than a side of A4 and should be easy to read. Use a standard font and break the main body into chunks so it can be skim read.
Get the formalities right
If your cover letter needs to be written and attached, not included in an online form, you need to get the formal stuff right.
Include your name and address on the right hand side. Then on the left include the date, name of recipient (if you’re unsure telephone the school and check the spelling) and the address of the school. It’s better to be accused of being too formal, rather than not formal enough, so begin with ‘Dear Mr/Mss…’.
Start with a strong statement
Your cover letter should start with a strong statement outlining why you want to apply for the job and why at this school. For example, if the school has won a number of awards in certain areas you could mention this. Or if you have the skills and experience to address some of the problems the school faces then highlight them here.
It’s important to open with something that will grab the reader’s attention. Employers probably won’t have time to read every word so it’s important you start strong.
Show you know your school
Having touched on some school specifics in your opening statement now is your chance to really go to town. Show that you’ve done your research and you genuinely think you’re a good fit for the role.
How does the school’s vision align with your own? Look at the language the school uses in the job description and try to include a few buzzwords.
Pick out some CV highlights
Don’t assume your CV will automatically get read. Pull out some key achievements and link them to specific requirements in the job description.
As well as the career aspects, don’t forget to highlight any volunteer work or personal interests that have relevance. This is your chance to show your well-rounded credentials and elevate yourself above the other applicants.
Go out on a high
If your potential employer has got to the bottom of your cover letter you know you’re in with a chance. Finish with something positive and upbeat. Let them know when you’ll be available for interview (and for work) and that you look forward to hearing from them.
Got to Head Teacher Cover Letter Go to Primary School Teacher Cover Letter
In our first teacher cover letter sample, Andrew Miller, an experienced Department Head, enquires about a Headteacher position in a speculative approach. Our other example cover letter for teaching features Leanne Smith, an experienced primary school teacher who applies for an advertisedprimary school teaching job.
Both teaching cover letters are constructed using four paragraphs and consistently follow the same letter writing rules. When writing cover letters for teaching positions, these rules and best practises apply equally, irrespective of the teaching field or level of experience. So, when writing your own letters, aim to use 3-5 brief paragraphs.
The first rule dictates that teachers' cover letters should begin in a confident tone, so start your first paragraph by stating your interest in the position, explaining your reasons for applying and your suitability for selection. In our sample cover letter for teacher Andrew Miller, see how Mr Miller incorporates these elements in a short and persuasive paragraph. In Leanne Smith's sample teaching cover letter, she also begins her narrative in the same forthright manner.
The second rule when composing a cover letter for teaching positions dictates that you use the middle section of your letter to expand on your current and previous roles, demonstrating use of teaching skills that are pertinent and relevant to the position you are seeking. Also mention your successes, achievements and other significant results as a teacher. See how Andrew Miller and Leanne Smith explain their remits in our teacher cover letter examples.
The third rule dictates that you conclude your letter as you started by re-stating your case confidently, as shown in our two teaching cover letters below. This is clearly illustrated in our cover letter for teacher Leanne Smith, as she confidently re-states her interest in the job and re-affirms her suitability for the post. Also show enthusiasm in the possibility of becoming a member of the school or college.
Constructing a compelling cover letter for teaching positions requires incorporating the three rules in a concise narrative not exceeding five short paragraphs. Studying the way our two teachers' cover letter examples follow these rules will give you an insight on how to write your own letters in a professional manner.
Speculative and non speculative letters: how do they differ?
Despite the similarities between the two letters, there are important differences between them. Andrew Miller's Head Teacher cover letter sample is a speculative letter which he uses to speculatively enquire about a position. Leanne Smith's cover letter for the Primary School Teacher job was written after she saw the position advertised. The difference between the two letters can be seen in their opening and closing paragraphs.
You can use both Andrew Miller's and Leanne Smith's sample cover letter teaching templates below to help you construct your letters.
Mr Jerry Wilmer
220 College Avenue
Dear Mr Wilmer,
Re: (Enter Position / Ref here)
I am seeking the opportunity to apply myself to a varied and challenging Head Teacher position, to capitalise on both my educational and professional experience whilst allowing me to progress in my career and advance within teaching as well as management in general.
As you can see from my resume, I have amassed over fifteen years significant and progressive experience within teaching. Currently I am Deputy Head of Science department at the XYZ School in Oxford, UK and have held this post for ten years. I orchestrate delivery of Science lessons across KS3, KS4 and Physics at A level, train staff and assist colleagues maintain good class room practice. I also support student teachers, recruit and manage staff among other duties. Prior to this role, I was attached as Science Teacher at MNOP Boys School. In this role, I delivered A level Physics lessons, identifying and monitoring progress of students. I conceived and with the Headteacher's support, orchestrated and implemented weekend revision classes which resulted in significantly improved educational attainment of pupils. I also consistently delivered top GCSE and A level class grades and mentored colleagues to maintain high level of discipline and class control.
As evidenced in my resume, I have fifteen years experience as an examiner. With my expertise teaching British curriculum and experience as an examiner, as well as my management experience, I am confident I can make a positive contribution by taking on responsibility within a private school environment such as yours.
I would welcome the opportunity of discussing the possibility of joining your school at your earliest convenience. I can be contacted on +44 000111222 and will call your office next week to confirm receipt of this letter, discuss your recruitment programme, and arrange a possible meeting, when I can expand on my skills and let you know how I can help you further; and my availability for interview. Thank you for your attention and I look forward to talking to you soon.
Mrs Mary Brown
140 School Boulevard
Dear Mrs Brown,
Re: (Enter Position / Ref here)
Having gained several years professional experience in Primary Teaching spanning 20 years, I am seeking the opportunity to consolidate strong academic qualifications with sound practical training and knowledge in a primary environment. The Primary School Teacher position would be an ideal prospect, since I hold substantial expertise with years 3 and 4, and also have experience of teaching all aspects of the curriculum to nursery aged children right up to year 6 both as a supply teacher and a support teacher. I now seek fresh challenges and the possibility of progression within the field, to build upon the strong and highly relevant skills I have already attained.
I am currently employed by ABCD Primary School as a Full Time Class Teacher. My duties include devising and implementing effective teaching techniques in order to maximise each students potential, whilst undertaking continued research into ongoing teaching developments to successfully extend my knowledge base to achieve significant outcomes within the school environment. I am also able to identify pupils with learning difficulties and address their specific needs within different learning styles in order to support their further progress.
As my resume/CV reflects, my experience has given me the ability to solve problems swiftly and independently. It has also provided me with the opportunity to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team, utilising strong communication and interpersonal skills in order to build respectful professional relationships with members of staff, pupils and parents alike and promoting the schools reputation as a whole. As an effective classroom practitioner, committed to raising the standard of every pupil in my care, I am conscientious, thorough and well organised in all areas of my planning, teaching, marking, assessing, and display and discipline capabilities.
I am highly motivated, resourceful and tenacious. I believe I am suitable for the Primary School Teacher position because I wish to utilise transferable teaching skills I have amassed and develop new ones for long-term aspirations within teaching. The skills and qualities that are evident from my resume are highly relevant to the position and my confidence, enthusiasm and commitment would be hugely valuable to your school in a number of areas. Please find, enclosed, a copy of my Curriculum Vitae for your perusal. I look forward to your response at your earliest convenience.
As previously mentioned, both sample teaching cover letters have been designed for use as templates for all teaching jobs and disciplines. In ensuring your letter is of the highest standard, you should also ensure your CV is of the highest standard. You should therefore check and review the quality of your resume in terns of its presentation, brevity and objectivity. If you require professional help, we can assist.
Our CV consultants can significantly enhance the quality of your teaching resume and cover letter, giving you peace of mind, saving you time and increasing the chances of success in your IT job applications.
View our services and price list.