Cover letter length

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gihamil24
Posts: 2
Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2020 9:20 am

Cover letter length

Post by gihamil24 »

Hi! I’m trying to break into international schools for 21/22 and I’m currently applying for jobs, mostly on Schrole. I would like to know how long the cover letter should typically be? I’ve mostly taught in the UK and it tends to be a 2 page statement here, but when I’ve researched online about the length for international schools, there’s conflicting information, some say one page and others say two. Would love to hear some perspectives from successful international teachers!
sid
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by sid »

I prefer one.
Heliotrope
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Heliotrope »

I've only ever used one page.
I think that's pretty much standard in IE.
shadowjack
Posts: 2053
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2012 9:49 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by shadowjack »

Cover letter is one. CV is two - but you can have references on a separate page and it won't hurt you. (so CV and then one page of references).
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Respone

Post by PsyGuy »

A resume should ideally be one page for an IT (unless the IS wants a true CV, then however long it needs to be) 2 for leadership. If you just feel as an IT your special enough to warrant a 2 page resume, then structure the resume so that the less valuable items are further don the resume (page 2).

The Cover/Intro letter should also be one page. Its better to create separate documents for such things as teaching philosophies, references, etc.
Thames Pirate
Posts: 1107
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Thames Pirate »

I have only ever used one page. Not many people have time to read a life story, and some don't bother to read them at all. Just say why you think you would be an asset to that particular school, and let the CV or resume speak for itself. You can have a tailored CV, too--highlighting things that are more relevant to the job you want. For example, if I taught social studies and English at a public school and were applying to a humanities job, I would put the social studies first and vice versa. I might highlight different clubs based on the school's mission or obvious priorities. I think making a CV more relevant to the job accomplishes more than writing an endlessly long cover letter.

My resume is also one page, though I also have a 2 page version available.

So many cover letters are generic and just say "I want a job." Make it specific to that particular job!
Zebra750
Posts: 15
Joined: Sun Dec 09, 2018 8:08 pm

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Zebra750 »

@ThamesPirate

I'm inclined to agree with you - I have a general template that I sort of adjust and amend for the specific kind of job that I'm hunting for.

(Although it's easier for me since I've basically worked in Humanities/English/History world so things are semi-interchangeable.
Lastname_Z
Posts: 112
Joined: Mon May 20, 2013 12:17 pm

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Lastname_Z »

I have a follow-up question to this. How do you cut everything down to one page for resume? I've never been able to do it.
sid
Posts: 1274
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2006 11:44 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by sid »

Resume gets two pages. Cover letter gets one. Regardless of other claims in this thread, as a recruiter it is the overwhelming norm that resumes are two pages.
Illiane_Blues
Posts: 297
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:56 pm

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Illiane_Blues »

sid wrote:
> Resume gets two pages. Cover letter gets one. Regardless of other claims in
> this thread, as a recruiter it is the overwhelming norm that resumes are
> two pages.


When I looked co-workers resumes last week, I saw they don't always include the same things.
If I can bother you some questions about resumes?

#1. What do some people include in the resume that you think they should/could leave out?
#2. What is sometimes/often missing on resumes
#3. Can you say which headers should always be on resumes?

I always include:

Contact details
Photo
Objective (*)
Profile/introduction (*)
Education
Teaching experience
Teaching-related experience (*)
Additional qualifications & professional development
Achievements & interests
Extra-curricular activities & duties
References

I feel maybe these should go:
Objective
Profile/introduction
Teaching-related experience

#4. Do you agree? Or should I cut even more, or add things that aren't included yet?

Thanks!!
PsyGuy
Posts: 10043
Joined: Wed Oct 12, 2011 9:51 am
Location: Northern Europe

Discussion

Post by PsyGuy »

Regardless of other claims its one page for a resume, thats the norm in what gets read. Youre better off with a two page cover than a resume because your cover is only going to get read prior to interview, but covers should be one page as well

Most of the items ITs have on their resume is vanity and ego, so much of it just doesnt matter. You can get a resume on a business card: One bullet point for years of experience teaching X, one bullet point for your degree, one bullet point for your certificates, the front has a photo and contact identification info.
Your resume should have five sections: identification and contact at the top, next DT/IT experience, followed by education, then certificates, and lastly special skills.
Start, with aggregating your experience instead of items and headings for each DS/IS, use a heading for what you taught such as date - maths teacher, then underneath that in the much smaller bullet point font list the schools and periods.
Second, so many of an ITs accomplishments fall under the general job description of a teacher, everyone makes lesson plans, everyone marks/grades, attends meetings, collaborates, fills out reports, does ASPs, meets with parents, does PD, serves on committees, etc. all that stuff doesnt really matter. The only achievement thats worth the space is exam results. So youve got heading 'social studies' and the dates and below that the schools and the dates and then your exam results. Thats it that all you need.
Third, unless you have no edu experience nothing you did at Uni aside from earning a degree matters. Nothing, not your GPA, not anything, about the only exception is if you published something and then only if at the end you have the space and even if you have the space flip a coin.
Fourth, you dont need to get into the details of your credential or multiple credentials, especially if your a US edu, whatever youve got think of it like QTS and write it that way 'State Teaching Certificate" with dates is all you need, its assumed if your applying for the position your credentialed or otherwise qualified for the vacancy if your listing a credential on your resume.
Fifth, you do not need an 'objective', the objective is getting the edu job youre applying for.
You do not need to put references or references available on request. Its assumed you have some when your contacted and if you provide them in advance there are too many recruiters and leaders that will contact references before even deciding if you get into the applicant pool.
You do not need a profile or introduction save that for your cover letter/intro email.
You do not need non-edu related experience unless it was directly on point and relevant to your edu experience and its noteworthy. Business IT, C level experience in a fortune 500 corporation okay. Retail sales associate at H&M, no. ICT IT, worked for Google or Apple okay, worked at big box store tech support, no. Even in the case of the okays, it gets one line.
Its assumed youve done PD, and youre achievements are likely not noteworthy.
Everyone does ASPs and XCs and various duties. The special skill section should contain the one maybe two things your really qualified to do and would do a your ASP, or you have some sort of certificate or award to do it or have done it. If your an equestrian for example you dont put it on your resume unless you have a medal or some award or you have a certification, such as a coaching certificate. Otherwise your interests are a waste of space.

Probably the thing ITs leave out the most is their demographics, if your under 50, white, and single or part of IT couple that should either be in your resume or at least very early in your cover/intro.

The issue of a photo is a contested one, if you put it on resume and those get printed out, they re going to look like blobs that are wasted space, if you attach it to the email as a separate file, then the thumbnail may help identify your message. Putting the photo puts a face to the document.
fine dude
Posts: 590
Joined: Tue Dec 18, 2012 7:12 pm
Location: SE Asia

Re: Cover letter length

Post by fine dude »

Agree with sid. Two-page CV and one-page cover letter are typical. The strength of a cover letter lies in candidates' willingness to work within the limitations of a system and accomplishing without much whining and complaining. I'd also highlight wider contributions to the school community and evidence of a growth mindset and commitment to lifelong learning. Schools on Schrole have some interesting recruitment questions that can help you write a robust cover letter. Alternatively, read schools' mission statements before typing one.
Heliotrope
Posts: 953
Joined: Sun May 13, 2018 1:48 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Heliotrope »

Like @sid and @fine dude say, resume gets two pages, and cover letter gets one.

@Illiane_Blues
Yeah, I would cut those three, and I'd make sure 'Teaching experience' gets the most attention.
Thames Pirate
Posts: 1107
Joined: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:06 am

Re: Cover letter length

Post by Thames Pirate »

My one page resume is almost a bullet point version. I put my husband's on the back when we are applying at fairs. It has contact information, education, and jobs held in vague terms. On the two page I might put a bit more--

[Subject] Teacher--XXX School 2013-2016
Courses taught: IBDP [subject], MYP [subject, grade level], MYP [subject, grade level]
Additional Roles: CAS Coordinator, PBS Leader, Swim team coach

I might add more general roles like member of the tech integration team or involvement in the school play. I might also include more about my accomplishments and interests as they might be relevant to the school, and maybe an objective.

Both should be in a format that can easily be scanned and free of stupid fluff like "met with parents" or "provided hallway supervision."
Smokegreynblues
Posts: 15
Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2019 9:50 pm

Re: Discussion

Post by Smokegreynblues »

PsyGuy wrote:
> Regardless of other claims its one page for a resume, thats the norm in
> what gets read. Youre better off with a two page cover than a resume
> because your cover is only going to get read prior to interview, but covers
> should be one page as well
>
> Most of the items ITs have on their resume is vanity and ego, so much of it
> just doesnt matter. You can get a resume on a business card: One bullet
> point for years of experience teaching X, one bullet point for your degree,
> one bullet point for your certificates, the front has a photo and contact
> identification info.
> Your resume should have five sections: identification and contact at the
> top, next DT/IT experience, followed by education, then certificates, and
> lastly special skills.
> Start, with aggregating your experience instead of items and headings for
> each DS/IS, use a heading for what you taught such as date - maths teacher,
> then underneath that in the much smaller bullet point font list the schools
> and periods.
> Second, so many of an ITs accomplishments fall under the general job
> description of a teacher, everyone makes lesson plans, everyone
> marks/grades, attends meetings, collaborates, fills out reports, does ASPs,
> meets with parents, does PD, serves on committees, etc. all that stuff
> doesnt really matter. The only achievement thats worth the space is exam
> results. So youve got heading 'social studies' and the dates and below that
> the schools and the dates and then your exam results. Thats it that all you
> need.
> Third, unless you have no edu experience nothing you did at Uni aside from
> earning a degree matters. Nothing, not your GPA, not anything, about the
> only exception is if you published something and then only if at the end
> you have the space and even if you have the space flip a coin.
> Fourth, you dont need to get into the details of your credential or
> multiple credentials, especially if your a US edu, whatever youve got think
> of it like QTS and write it that way 'State Teaching Certificate" with
> dates is all you need, its assumed if your applying for the position your
> credentialed or otherwise qualified for the vacancy if your listing a
> credential on your resume.
> Fifth, you do not need an 'objective', the objective is getting the edu job
> youre applying for.
> You do not need to put references or references available on request. Its
> assumed you have some when your contacted and if you provide them in
> advance there are too many recruiters and leaders that will contact
> references before even deciding if you get into the applicant pool.
> You do not need a profile or introduction save that for your cover
> letter/intro email.
> You do not need non-edu related experience unless it was directly on point
> and relevant to your edu experience and its noteworthy. Business IT, C
> level experience in a fortune 500 corporation okay. Retail sales associate
> at H&M, no. ICT IT, worked for Google or Apple okay, worked at big box
> store tech support, no. Even in the case of the okays, it gets one line.
> Its assumed youve done PD, and youre achievements are likely not
> noteworthy.
> Everyone does ASPs and XCs and various duties. The special skill section
> should contain the one maybe two things your really qualified to do and
> would do a your ASP, or you have some sort of certificate or award to do it
> or have done it. If your an equestrian for example you dont put it on your
> resume unless you have a medal or some award or you have a certification,
> such as a coaching certificate. Otherwise your interests are a waste of
> space.
>
> Probably the thing ITs leave out the most is their demographics, if your
> under 50, white, and single or part of IT couple that should either be in
> your resume or at least very early in your cover/intro.
>
> The issue of a photo is a contested one, if you put it on resume and those
> get printed out, they re going to look like blobs that are wasted space, if
> you attach it to the email as a separate file, then the thumbnail may help
> identify your message. Putting the photo puts a face to the document.


Since there are 1000s of templates online, which one is the industry standard could youu point to such a cv template.
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