Suggested guidelines for writing a cover letter:
- Enclose a cover letter each time you send a resume. A cover letter exhibits your knowledge of the school and indicates what about the school appeals to you as a workplace.
- The goal of the letter is to obtain an interview. As the first thing the prospective employer sees, the letter should be neat, organized, and well-written.
- Make each letter specific to the position for which you are applying.
- Learn as much as you can about a school by reading the school catalog and website, and by talking with faculty, students, graduates, and parents.
- Always keep a copy of your cover letter; refer to it prior to an interview.
The cover letter should have four paragraphs or sections:
- In the first paragraph, explain why you are writing. Mention the specific position and how you learned of the opening.
- Refer the reader to your resume in the second paragraph, and expand upon your background and what you are doing now. Use your resume to support your qualifications for the position.
- In the next paragraph, explain why you are interested in this particular setting. Include something specific about the school here. (Note: 2nd and 3rd paragraphs can be switched.)
- In the closing paragraph, make a specific request for an interview; do not be vague. Let the school know how you can be reached.
Suggested guidelines for writing a resume:
- There are many different formats that can be used when writing a resume; make sure you are consistent.
- A resume should include who you are, what you do, what you have done, and what you can do.
- Include a complete chronological history of education and work experience, brief personal information, special talents and interests.
- Do you want to put education or teaching experience first? Many students with limited teaching experience list their education first. Remember: whichever you put first is what the reader sees first.
- Resumes are often looked at quickly: underlining the position or other important information is helpful to the reader.
- Unless there truly is a gap, do not leave one in your work experience. If so, do not ignore the gap; you might choose to explain the reason in your cover letter or in an interview.
- Start with most recent experiences and work back in years; include any field work in your teaching experience. If you are applying for your first teaching job, include tutoring and camp experience.
- If you have an extensive work history, and your resume is longer than one page (which is fine), be sure the information the reader should see first is on the first page. If you can, list the education and experiences relevant to the job you now want first.
- Include any work history before Bank Street in you resume; you might not think prior experience is relevant, but the reader might.
- Don't be afraid to emphasize your accomplishments.