Until I started looking for a job as a teacher, I had never written a Cover Letter (is that so unusual?!). I had worked a number of jobs throughout my university years and also after I graduated, but a properly thought out Cover Letter was never all that necessary. For TEFL, however, a Cover Letter is a vital part of you application.
What’s the purpose of a Cover Letter?
Your CV or application form should contain all of the necessary details, such as where you worked, how long you worked there for and photos and vital statistics of people you worked with. The Cover Letter, however, plays quite a different role.
The Cover Letter should get the employer salivating (the words, that is, not the headshot). It should be formal, well-written, and, above all, positive. It should not be a simple repetition of the information in your CV – it should complement the CV. In the Cover Letter, you should show directly how your skills and experience link up to the person specification. You only have one page to do that, though, so use your space wisely.
Cover Letter: Template
Dear (If you know the relevant person’s name, use it. Make sure you include a title (Mr. Mrs. Miss. or Ms) and their surname
RE: job/advertisement reference number (if applicable)
Paragraph 1: clearly state which job you are applying for
I am writing in reply to your advertisement on the GaijinPot.com website on (date of advertisement) for (the position/job title). My CV/application is attached for your consideration.
Paragraph 2: briefly outline why you are a good applicant -what you can do for them
You could echo (but not repeat!) some of the phrases in the advertisement. For example, if the advertisement says:
‘Native English speaker required to teach children and adult classes. Experience is preferable but new candidates may be considered. Enthusiasm and reliability are essential.’
You could write:
As you will see from my CV, my voluntary and paid work as an English teacher has given me considerable experience in teaching both children and adults. It is a job I enjoy very much, and I always try to combine my passion for teaching with professionalism. .
Paragraph 3: Clarify or explain any problem areas (if applicable) or highlight relevant voluntary work.
Briefly explain anything in your CV that needs clarification. For example:
After completing a CELTA qualification, I worked as a salesman for a year. I gained some valuable experience in this job, and I am keen now to put to use the methods and skills I learnt from the teaching course..
Paragraph 4: Bow out gracefully!
Leave on a positive note, and possibly write something to show your knowledge of the employer. For example:
I hope my application is successful. I would welcome the opportunity to start my teaching career for a company with such a good reputation for its educational and employment standards.
The above template was adapted from Melanie Allen’s article.
If you still want more advice on writing a Cover Letter, check out the following articles: