The Two Most Important Components of Your Teaching Job Application
When applying for a teaching position, in addition to your resume, you will need to include a cover letter (also called a “letter of introduction”) and at least one letter of reference. Many employers will require two or even three letters. Be sure you check with each employer on what their specific requirements are.
While your résumé stays the same regardless of where you are submitting it, the cover letter should be personalized. Each of your cover letters can follow the same basic format in how it presents information, but the phrasing needs to be customized for the specific job or district. Remember to request an interview when writing your cover letter.
Letters of Reference
References are recommendations of employment that can be either written or spoken. References increase the potential employer’s confidence in your ability. Selecting appropriate references is a vital part of obtaining employment.
Each district differs in the method by which they obtain references. Some require that you have the reference writers be teachers in your region of the country? Compose a letter and mail it directly to them; others prefer to e-mail a form and have writers submit it to them electronically. Some districts, however, simply call and speak directly with the person listed.
No matter how the reference is submitted, the same references can and should be used for each district to which you are applying. Select references that have direct knowledge of your academic performance, career objectives, and positive statements of support. Avoid using relatives and personal references who may be biased. College instructors or academic advisors, student teaching advisors, or mentoring teachers would all be excellent selections as resources. Be sure to ask their permission before using them.
While your recommendation writers may prefer to write the whole reference on their own, it is okay to provide a few introductory sentences or a sample letter for them to base their own reference on. Many recommenders appreciate the help getting started.
Remember to thank whoever helps you with your cover letter and letters of reference. Just as you want your recommenders to be professional, thoughtful, and timely in their assistance, you’ll want to follow suite in how you deliver your notes of thanks.