A letter of introduction, also known as a “letter of interest” or a “cover letter”, is a crucial requirement when applying for teaching jobs. It serves as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the administrator or district and express your genuine interest in working for them. Crafting an effective letter can be overwhelming, with numerous search results and conflicting advice available online. However, with my 15 years of experience and successful job applications in Southern California, I can provide you with valuable tips to create an impactful letter of introduction.
Tip 1: Personalize Your Letter for Each School or District
I highly recommend creating a master skeleton letter and customizing it according to the specific school or district you are applying to. Tailor your letter to impress the reader by showcasing your research about their institution and demonstrating how your qualifications and skills align with their mission. However, if you are applying for a job fair where your portfolio will be sent to multiple schools or districts, use the master letter without district-specific information.
Tip 2: Choose the Right Salutation
For the salutation, address your letter as “Dear Administrator:”. Through my research, I have found that this is the most commonly used punctuation, indicating formality and respect. If you have the name of a specific administrator, you may include it. However, keep in mind that your letter might be reviewed by an HR clerk rather than the administrator themselves. Regardless, maintain a professional tone throughout.
Tip 3: Avoid Including a Picture
To prevent any biases, it is advised not to include a picture of yourself anywhere in your application package, including the letter of introduction. The focus should be on your qualifications and experiences rather than physical appearances.
Tip 4: Ensure Consistency with Your Resume
If you used a template for your resume, consider using a matching template for your cover letter. There are various options available, including purchases from platforms like Etsy. You can choose to keep the design black and white or add subtle colors. Personally, I’ve found that a combination of dark teal accents, black text, and a white background creates an attractive and professional look.
Tip 5: Include Relevant Contact Information
In addition to your full name, include your contact information such as phone number, email address, and mailing address. If you have any education-related social media handles, such as LinkedIn, consider including them as well. This allows the reader to easily access more information about your professional background.
Tip 6: Properly Format the Letter
At the top of the letter, include the date and the school’s address. If you are applying to a district pool, use the district’s address instead. In the case of job fairs where your letter will be distributed to multiple districts, omit the address entirely.
Crafting Your Letter
Remember, the letter of introduction is an essential formality in the application process. While it is important to make it professional and appealing, do not excessively stress over it. Write, edit, incorporate specific details for each application, and move forward with confidence.
Wishing you the best of luck in your job search!