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Writing Cover Letters that Get Attention

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Whenever you send your resume to a school district to be considered for a teaching, coaching or administrative position you should always include a well-crafted cover letter. Effective cover letters are clear, to the point, and brief. The cover letter should convey information in three to four paragraphs that consist of the opening, the body and the closing.

The best way to craft a good cover letter is by working from the job description or job posting announcement, making reference to how you have demonstrated the skills required or knowledge necessary to fulfill the stated responsibilities.

A cover letter should accomplish six things:
1. Introduce who you are and why you are writing to the school district, targeting your resume toward a specific person (usually the Human Resources Director or Superintendent)

2. Present an overview of your qualifications including your passion for teaching, coaching, or leadership in education

3. Demonstrate how you are prepared to contribute and meet the needs of students by giving an example of your teaching, coaching, or leadership success

4. Give evidence of what you have discovered about the school district and why you would like to work for them

5. Encourage the employer to review your resume to learn more about you

6. Specify your plans to be proactive with the follow-up

A well-written cover letter will concisely tell a story as to why you may be the best person for the position. Be sure to convey your enthusiasm for working in education and offer good examples of past successes in the classroom, on the court or in leadership positions. Be careful not to just repeat information that is already stated in your resume, but use the letter to highlight or explain an experience or success. Lastly, indicate your plans to follow up within 7-10 days to determine the status of your application.

Be positive and write with confidence regarding your ability to meet the needs of the students you hope to teach/coach/lead.

--Douglas Reichenberger
Director of Alumni Career Services
Malone University, OH, on behalf of AAEE

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