Do you need a cover letter for substitute teaching?
Yes, if you want to increase your chances of getting hired, including a well-written substitute teacher cover letter with your resume is a good idea.
Studies show that even though 77% of recruiters prefer candidates who include a cover letter with their resumes, only a handful of them put in the extra effort of sending one.
So, taking the time to draft a compelling substitute teacher cover letter can easily give you an edge over other candidates.
The only time you should not send a cover letter is when the recruiters specify it in their job listing.
So, what should you write in your substitute teacher's cover letter?
Read on to learn more about the same and get clarity on the following related FAQs:
- What is a cover letter for teachers?
- How do I write a cover letter for a substitute teacher?
- How to address your substitute teacher cover letter?
- What is the best way to end your substitute teacher cover letter?
- How to write a cover letter for a substitute teacher with no experience?
- What are some useful tips for writing a substitute teacher cover letter?
- How much do substitute teachers make?
What Is a Cover Letter for Teachers?
A cover letter for teachers and substitute teachers is a document that you send in with your application to support your resume.
The purpose of a substitute teacher cover letter is to align your skills and experiences with the recruiters’ requirements and emphasize your suitability for the role.
It fills your resume gaps and allows you to give the recruiters a more insightful peek into your candidacy.
Apart from highlighting your achievements and skills, you can also include the following in your substitute teacher cover letter:
- Referrals (if any)
- Your reasons for wanting to work for the school/institution
- Reasons for career gaps (if any)
How to Write a Cover Letter to be a Substitute Teacher
Writing an impressive substitute teacher cover letter can be quite simple if you know the basics.
Here are some tips that will guide you through the process:
Choose the Correct Format
A clean and professional format will not only enhance the readability of your substitute teacher's cover letter but will also support its content.
Follow the guidelines given below to format your substitute teacher cover letter:
- Set 1” margins on all four sides of your letter
- Align the content of your letter to the left side to match the business letter formatting standards
- Use 1 or 1.15 line spacing
- Use 10-12 points font size
- Choose easy-to-read fonts like Calibri, Ariel, and Times New Roman
- Save the document in PDF format
Also read: How long should a cover letter be?
Personalize Your Salutation
One of the common mistakes that candidates make when writing a cover letter is starting the letter with “To whom it may concern.”
This is a big no-no.
Recruiters don’t spend too much time going through cover letters and resumes.
Therefore, if you want to grab their attention and make sure they actually read it, you should address your substitute teacher's cover letter with the hiring manager’s name.
A quick google search or a LinkedIn search can help you find the hiring manager’s name.
Taking the time to do this can also earn you some brownie points as it shows your dedication and interest in the role.
Here’s a snapshot of how you can address your substitute teacher cover letter:
Write a Catchy Introduction
The first paragraph of your substitute teacher's cover letter should serve as a hook to make the recruiters want to read further.
You can highlight the years of experience you have, along with your most notable skills and achievements that are in line with the requirements of the role.
If you have any referrals, you can mention the same in this paragraph.
Also, don’t forget to mention the role that you’re applying for.
The key here is to focus on talking about your proven track record rather than providing vague claims about your skills.
Also read: How to start a cover letter?
Find Out What the Recruiters are Looking for
You need to analyze the job description thoroughly to identify the skills that are important to the recruiters.
If you are clear about that, your substitute cover letter can focus on presenting similar experiences that prove that you possess these skills.
This way it will be much easier for the recruiters to envision you as the ideal candidate.
For instance, if the job description states requirements like knowledge of teaching techniques such as gamification and project-based learning, you must talk about past experiences where you’ve used the same techniques.
Talk About Why You Chose the Institution
Talking about your reasons for choosing the particular school or institution in your substitute teacher cover letter will show that you are familiar with their values or goals and that the letter is written just for them.
When you don’t customize your cover letter, recruiters will be able to tell that you’re sending out the same cover letter to multiple other listings - which will not work in your favor.
End with a CTA
To instigate a response from the recruiters, you must end your substitute teacher cover letter with a Call to Action (CTA).
Don’t go for generic lines like “Thank you for consideration.”
Instead, express your interest in meeting the recruiters in-person for an interview.
You can write something along the lines of:
“I’d appreciate the opportunity to further discuss my suitability and qualifications on call or in person.”
Substitute Teacher Cover Letter with no Experience
Many candidates who apply for the position of substitute teachers do not have prior work experience.
However, this doesn’t mean that your substitute teacher's cover letter has to be lame.
If you have no work experience to highlight in your cover letter, you can focus on showcasing your academic achievements, certifications, training, and volunteer experience (if any).
The rest of the fundamentals to draft a compelling substitute teacher cover letter remain the same.
If you have a degree in education or a special certificate in substitute teaching, leverage this information in your cover letter.
Focus on how you can utilize your knowledge and skills to benefit the institution and provide a great learning experience to the students.
Substitute Teacher Cover Letter Tips
The following are some additional tips to help you write an impressive substitute teacher cover letter:
Mention the Required Personal Details
Even though your resume includes your personal details, you must write them in your substitute teacher cover letter as well.
The header of your cover letter must include:
- Your full name
- Profile title
- A reachable contact number
- A professional email address
- Your current location (city & state)
- A link to your Linkedin profile or an online portfolio
Include Industry Related Keywords
Similar to your resume, your substitute teacher cover letter must contain industry-related keywords.
This is because some recruiters use the Applicant Tracking System (ATS) which scans resume and cover letters for keywords and ranks it accordingly.
Therefore if you want your cover letter to rank high in the ATS, must be mindful of using keywords.
You can also identify keywords from the job listing of the position you're applying for.
Proofread Your Substitute Teacher Cover Letter
After putting in the extra effort of writing a thoughtful cover letter, the last you want is some grammatical errors and spelling mistakes ruining your letter.
Therefore, to avoid such scenarios, ensure that your cover letter is free of any typos, spelling mistakes, and grammatical errors.
You can use free sites like Grammarly, etc. to identify mistakes that have skipped your sight.
Avoid Long Paragraphs
Your substitute teacher's cover letter must be concise and to the point.
Ensure that your paragraphs don't exceed 2-3 lines and that your letter is limited to 200-300 words.
Recruiters don't spend a lot of time reading resumes and cover letters.
Therefore, to ensure that your letter doesn't bore them, keep it short.
Sample Cover Letter for Substitute Teacher>
Substitute Teacher Salary
The average yearly salary of a substitute teacher in the US is $38,262.
However, their salaries can vary depending on the location, employer, extra certifications, and experience level.
For instance, substitute teachers with extra training like BC/BE and special education certifications can earn more than others.
And while substitute teachers with less than 1 year of experience earn about $37,291 per annum, those with 1-2 years of experience make $41,075 annually, on average.
As for the salary difference based on schools and institutions, given below are some of the highest paying employers of substitute teachers:
|Newport News Public Schools||$198,122|
|Anchorage School District||$67,758|
|Teachers On Reserve||$65,718|
|Cross Country Education||$65,574|
|Milwaukee Public Schools||$51,068|
|Denver Public Schools||$50,376|
|New York City Department of Education||$47,632|
|The Education Team||$46,988|
|Kenosha Unified School District||$46,436|
Key Takeaways from the Blog
- The purpose of a substitute teacher cover letter is to align your skills and experiences with the recruiters’ requirements and emphasize your suitability for the role.
- A clean and professional format will not only enhance the readability of your substitute teacher cover letter but will also support its content.
- Choose a font size between 10-12 points and stick to professional fonts like Calibri, Ariel, and Times New Roman.
- Grab the recruiters’ attention by addressing your substitute teacher's cover letter with the hiring manager’s name.
- The first paragraph of your substitute teacher cover letter must highlight the years of experience you have along with your notable skills and achievements.
- Focus on talking about your proven track record rather than providing vague claims about your skills.
- Write your substitute teacher cover letter with only a single employer in mind.
- If you have no work experience to highlight in your cover letter, you can focus on showcasing your academic achievements, certifications, training, and volunteer experiences.