Cover Letter Tips
(This is the letter you compose when you click the blue “Contact School” button on a Search job vacancy, or click the “Contact the School about this vacancy” link from a Daily Email Update, and the pop-up message window appears. Or if the school is using APLi and requests a cover letter, you can upload a PDF.)
Recruiters have to scan 100s (1000s?) of applications and they do not have time to sift through long letters to find the key information they need. Long-winded or wordy cover letters could actually get your application dismissed! Don’t forget – schools have direct access (with one click) to your full Search profile and resume/CV. They want to quickly find relevant information – what are you applying for? Are you qualified? Do you have recent/relevant experience? What “value-added” would you bring to our school? Why should we interview you?
First, you need to research the school in advance. Check the school’s website and read its mission statement. Do you meet their requirements? What are they looking for? Not just the teaching subject, but what type of teachers succeed in their school community?
We strongly recommend this format (trust me, I know what recruiters are looking for!):
Dear (address to Head of School/Director – you can find this from the school’s Search page. This is a professional courtesy!)
- 1st paragraph, brief introduction and express interest in the job/school.
- 2nd paragraph, your recent and relevant teaching experience/highlights. PROVE YOU ARE QUALIFIED FOR THIS POSITION.
- 3rd paragraph, why you are interested in this job, this school. DEMONSTRATE YOUR KNOWLEDGE OF THE SCHOOL, MISSION, PROGRAMS AND CULTURE. State why you think you are a good fit, and WHAT ARE YOU BRINGING TO THE TABLE?
- 4th paragraph, Thank you for your consideration, please review my Search profile, and request an interview.
- Address to To Whom It May Concern, Hiring Committee, HR Department
- Regurgitate all the information on your resume/CV
- Ramble on (avoid “blah blah blah….”)
- On the other hand, do not send a super short message either (“I am interested in this job, please review my Search profile. Thank you.”)
- Include a lengthy philosophy of education (if a school wants one, they will ask for it later)
The goal of your cover letter is to convince the recruiter to check your Search profile (with one click they have access to your complete file including CV and confidential references) and to GET AN INTERVIEW!
Note: If you are an Active candidate and would like me to review your cover letter, or you would like some sample cover letters to help get you started, please send me an email. APLI
Another perspective: Job experts reveal major ‘turnoff’ in a cover letter Writing a cover letter can be one of the most hated elements of a job search, but SEEK’s head of customer insights has some good news for job seekers: it probably doesn’t need to be as long as you think. (by Lucy Dean, Yahoo Finance AU, 22 September 2020)