8 Essential Tips for Writing a TEFL Cover Letter
The cover letter is a big part of your TEFL application. It allows the hiring managers to get to know you better and assess how you’ll fit in the role.
With the help of a well-written cover letter, you can stand out among applicants and fill in any gaps that your CV left. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to improve your chance of employment. This is why writing a good cover letter is such a game-changing task.
If you aren’t confident in your cover letter writing skills, no worries. Here are the must-know tips for writing a TEFL cover letter.
1. Write Concisely
A cover letter is a concise document. The goal is to clear up the picture of who you are but without writing an autobiography. Meaning, you should keep it short.
The ideal length is no more than 3 to 4 paragraphs. This is a challenge that demands quality, not quantity. So, forget about empty talk and fluff. Only share valuable information.
2. Research the Employer
One size fits all types of approach never did anyone good. Employers want personalized cover letters. They want to notice your interest and passion for working for them. For that reason, you should do some research on every employer that will receive your cover letter.
The research will help you personalize your writing. Pay extra attention to what employers prioritize. Is a positive attitude a must? Do they prefer teachers with exceptional communication skills?
Based on your findings, you can write about the skills that matter to them.
3. Provide Fresh Information
The cover letter shouldn’t be a replica of your CV. One of the biggest mistakes in writing cover letters is retelling what you’ve written in the resume.
What a cover letter must do is provide fresh information and deeper insight into your skills, expertise, and personality. So, move past what you've shared in the CV and add some new information to this letter.
For example, you can explain your strengths through examples. Share how you’ve honed your communication skills through the debate club. Or, show your leadership by telling the story of how you organized a charity auction in your neighborhood.
Be specific and surprise the hiring managers with some new information.
4. Share What Matters
“What should I write about?” – a question that torments almost every cover letter writer. The answer is simple: write about things that matter to the employer.
You want to stick to information that will boost your image as the perfect candidate. Some information you can share is:
- How you establish a good relationship with your students
- How you gained the skills that make you a good teacher
- Your unique and powerful teaching methods
- Your first experience with teaching English
- Your experience with teaching English abroad
- Meaningful situations that shaped you as a person and a teacher (e.g. volunteering)
5. Focus on How You Can Contribute to the Employer
The employer wants to know why you. How can hiring you be a good investment? You want to explain this by sharing what you can do for that school, organization, or company.
Instead of simply praising yourself without a finish line in sight, elaborate on how your positive traits can benefit the employer.
You might mention how your approach led to an increased number of students within a single year. Or, you can state how in the past you demonstrated skills that they listed as necessary in their job description. Show them that you are what they’ve been looking for.
6. Rely on Numbers
Numbers can quantify your skills. They make your claims more tangible. So, don’t hesitate when it comes to supporting your experiences with numbers.
There are various ways in which you can add numbers next to your accomplishments. Mention the students’ test scores improvement in percentages. Or, share the specific number of students you supervised.
With the help of numbers, the hiring managers could grasp more clearly what you can do and how well you do your job.
7. Organize Key Ideas in Paragraphs
The readability of the cover letter is also relevant. The flow and impression of your writing depend on how well-structured your writing is. Therefore, make sure that you organize your thoughts.
Try to keep one idea within a single paragraph. For example, you can organize your cover letter in the following three segments:
- 1 paragraph for a general introduction (what position you are applying to, why you are interested in that position, and where you saw the job posting)
- 2 paragraphs on your value as a teacher (explaining why this particular job is a great fit for you and why they should choose you)
- 1 closing paragraph (thanking them for taking the time to review your application and encouraging them to get in touch if they have further questions)
8. Proofread and Revise
Lastly, as a teacher, you must make sure that your cover letter is error-free. You are the one who corrects writing mistakes, not makes them.
Reread your cover letter several times. Reading aloud can help you get a different impression of your writing, so give that a try.
Also, give a family member or a friend a chance to read it. They can spot something you’ve overlooked.
If you feel uncertain about your writing, ask for help. Outsourcing an editing service is quite common, so feel free to explore some services which offer cover letter writing. An experienced eye of a professional can make you feel more confident in the final result.
Cover letters typically help employers make the final decision. They reveal more about who you are, showing them how you can fit into their team. So, look at the cover letter as your shot to prove your capabilities.
Hopefully, these tips can help you get the job you set your eyes on.
Author’s bio. Jessica Fender is a professional writer and educational blogger at EssayRepublic, an aggregator for useful college resources and websites. Jessica enjoys sharing her ideas to make writing and learning fun.
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