The Cover Letter

A cover letter is always required, unfortunately cover letters are seldom carefully read and there’s a good chance that it might never be read. Yet, you should develop the best one that you can. Here are guidelines and an effective template you might use.

General Guidelines:

  1. Keep the letter to one page.
  2. Carefully proofread for any mechanical errors—spelling, punctuation, grammar, word choice, capitalization, complete sentences. Have a colleague who has excellent writing skills proofread.
  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 elementary school assistant principal.”) This should read: “I am applying for your assistant principal position.”
  4. After researching the school and district, identify what they need, and let them know that you represent the solutions to their needs.
  5. Emphasize your accomplishments, particularly those that are related to their school-community.
  6. Avoid presenting your job description.
  7. 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:”
  8. Make certain that you address it to the right district. You will usually send a similar form of the letter to various districts, so be careful to change the name when addressing the new letter.
  9. Use a four-paragraph format.
  10. Sign off as “Sincerely”.

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. “As a result of researching your school/district, it appears that one of your priorities is _________________. One of my most significant accomplishments involved______________ which seems to be related to your priority.”
  4. “I earned my _____________________________. “(list your academic degrees, major areas of study, 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-community? Be positive.

Paragraph 2:

  1. Briefly describe two or three other 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:

     Briefly 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.”

Sign off: “Sincerely,”


Contact him:


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