To increase their chances of landing a position, teachers often send letters of interest to appealing schools. These letters, also known as prospecting letters, are similar to cover letters because they summarize a teacher’s experience and qualifications. Such letters are usually not prompted by a job posting or advertisement. As a teacher, think of them as a way to position yourself in case an opening occurs. With your letter of interest in hand, you may reap a competitive advantage by being called for an interview before a job posting is even created.
Play the student yourself and learn what you can about the school so that you can personalize each letter of interest. Such resourcefulness will demonstrate your sincerity and interest.
Center your name at the top of the page with a professional-looking font. Type your address, phone number and e-mail address below your name in smaller type.
Begin your letter with an enthusiastic statement of interest in teaching at the school. Mention your teaching experience, as well. You might say, for example, “As a fourth-grade teacher at George Washington Elementary School with 10 years of classroom experience, I am very interested in joining the innovative faculty at Hometown School.”
Cite your degrees, being sure to mention your major area of study and the type of degrees conferred. Include your certifications, which specify which grades you are permitted by state law to teach.
Summarize your teaching experience, citing the names of the schools, the length of time you taught at each one and the types of classes you taught. Include class sizes, or at least a range.
List your other school involvements, such as tutoring, advising and coaching. Be sure to emphasize your volunteer contributions because they will underscore your “team spirit” more than any activity for which you were paid.
Share a personal story that highlights your personal characteristics and your enthusiasm for teaching. For example, you might share an anecdote about how you motivated a difficult, struggling student to become a conscientious achiever.
Explain why you want to teach at the school. This is where your research will reap dividends because it will show that you are striving to achieve a fit that will benefit both you professionally and the school’s mission and objectives. Formulate an eloquent explanation now because the question will almost certainly come up during an interview.
Express your desire to meet with the principal at a mutually convenient time. Include your resume and references, and say that you would like the opportunity to discuss them in person. Promise to follow up on your letter of interest in a few days. Then, thank the principal for her time and consideration.
Proofread and edit your letter to ensure that it is error-free. Even if you’re not an English teacher, the letter should be flawless.
- Purdue University Online Writing Lab: Writing the Basic Business Letter
- Concise Writing.com: Clear, Concise Writing from Bold Visions
- Writing Forward.com: Proofreading and Editing for Polished, Professional Writing
- The Writing Center at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: Writing Concisely
- Confine your letter of interest to one page. Adjust the margins, if necessary, to make the letter fit on one page.
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.