The Cover Letter

Cover letters are seldom read carefully and there’s a good chance that it might never be read. Yet, a cover letter is always required. So, you might as well develop the best one that you can.

General Guidelines:
1. Keep the letter to one page.
2. Carefully proof read for any mechanical errors—spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, capitalization, complete sentences. Have a colleague who has excellent writing skills proof read.
3. Avoid adjectives and adverbs. Avoid flowery language (“It is with great pleasure that you kindly accept this humble letter of application for your recently posted position on OLAS for your elementary school assistant principal.”) This should read: “I am applying for your assistant principal position.”
4. Emphasize your accomplishments. Avoid presenting your job description.
5. Address your letter to the person identified in the job posting. If a name is not identified, then address it: “To Whom It May Concern:”
6. Make certain that you address it to the right district. You will usually send the same form of the letter to various districts, so be careful to change the name when addressing the new letter.
7. Use a four-paragraph format.

Paragraph 1:
1. “I am applying for the position of______________.”
2. “For the last five years I have been serving as ____________ in the ____________School District.
3. Previous to this I was ______________.
4. “I earned my _____________________________. “(list your academic degrees and the universities)
5. Specifically indicate why you are interested in applying for this position. Why are you attracted to this job and this school?

Paragraph 2:
1. Briefly describe two or three accomplishments that relate to this new position and/or school-community.

Paragraph 3:
Identify three professional qualities and/or guiding principles that colleagues would use to describe you and define you, and briefly provide an example for each quality.

Paragraph 4:
Conclude with two sentences: “I look forward to meeting with you in the near future in order that I might provide you with more information regarding my candidacy. Thank you in advance for your serious consideration.”

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