5 Cover Letter Mistakes Teachers Should Avoid (+ Examples)

teacher cover letter mistakes

Writing a cover letter as a teacher seems like it might be a fairly basic task. You might think to yourself that a regular, generic cover letter approach might be the right one. But in reality, teachers should be emphasizing certain aspects of their careers that other professionals don’t need to.

For example, a teacher should absolutely lean into any of their awards, merits, certifications, and qualifications as a teacher. This can benefit both the reader and the applicant as it puts all of the requirements upfront.

We interviewed teachers and asked them what their biggest mistakes were when writing their cover letter. Here are the top five that you can avoid.

Table of Contents

Leaning Too Far Into Your Personal Story

Spending your entire cover letter speaking about how you decided to become a teacher seems like it might be a beneficial idea. But in reality, avoids too much of the hands-on experience that principals and faculty are looking for.

Your cover letter might sound something like, “Since I was a young girl I had respect for my teachers. They showed me ways to lean into what made me unique and how education might be fun.”

While stories like that are great, spending 500+ words speaking to it can be overwhelming.

Not Citing Your Certifications

If you decide to bring up your certifications only in your resume, this might risk the principal or faculty member who is reviewing applications to not see your qualifications.

You should be bringing up your certifications early in your cover letter. For example, “Since 2012, after attending Brown University for Education, and receiving my Education Masters from Harvard, I’ve been an educator at Lexington School.”

Something where you can tell your story and bring up your certifications.

Not Expressing Your Love For Education

What’s your reason for wanting to get into education? And what’s the honest reason? Not citing your love for education will make your cover letter sound bleak. And it could risk the principal or faculty member reviewing your application to see you as a low-level candidate.

Be sure you express the real reasons. For example, “As a child, I suffered from dyslexia. If it weren’t for educators, I wouldn’t be able to be part of the world I am today.”

Something along the lines of how education truly connects with you.

Not Knowing The Faculty’s Values & Ethics

Researching the education system in advance and knowing both state and local level education guidance can be a beneficial part of your cover letter. Not referencing some type of indicator that you have knowledge of this is going to make your cover letter sound weak.

Teachers have indicated that something like the following can go a long way, “State-level testing requires students to know at least 20% typing and computer skills. I see myself as a person who has great technical skills and can help students to develop the education they need to pass state-level exams.”

Not Indicating Work You’ve Done Outside The Classroom

Most teachers have done some type of community work. Whether it’s being part of their local community for orphans. Or for creating a neighborhood watch. Teachers tend to organize groups of people together for great causes.

By expressing these causes in your cover letter, you can indicate that you have a passion for education. If you tend to want to create excellence and strive for better surroundings, even when not being compensated, this indicates that you’re a wonderful teacher.

You can bring up these things in your cover letter quite simply. For example, “I’m passionate about local communities and being involved in bettering our culture. I’m a legion member at our local orphanage where we push events, donations, and community service as part of the knowledge that these orphans are present.”

Cover Letter Length For Teachers

While most cover letters should never exceed 500 words, teachers can spend a little more time speaking to their past. Try to keep the cover letter to one-page. But take your time really dissecting what makes you special as an educator.

Try to keep these aspects of your cover letter in mind:

Other Teacher Resources

author: patrick algrim
About the author

Patrick Algrim is an experienced executive who has spent a number of years in Silicon Valley hiring and coaching some of the world’s most valuable technology teams. Patrick has been a source for Human Resources and career related insights for Forbes, Glassdoor, Entrepreneur, Recruiter.com, SparkHire, and many more.


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