How to write a cover letter for a community college teaching job

I am an educational professional with over 10 years of experience teaching at the college level. I am organized, with a good sense of time management, which allows me to handle the responsibilities of teaching multiple courses.

How to write a cover letter for a community college teaching job

Recently, on a listserv in my field known for being welcoming to outsiders and newcomers but also for being rife with discussions that quickly turn ridiculous, a thread on cover letters followed the usual pattern: A new grad student asks what seems to be an innocuous question, a few professors offer semi-helpful responses without getting too sucked into the time-sink, the rogue academic contributes some tongue-in-cheek humor, a few more grad students take the jokes seriously and panic, the list erupts in false information and rumors.

The job application letter, or the cover letter, is the most important part of your application.


Typically, a search committee member will read your materials in the following order: Depending on the individual committee member and how large the candidate pool is, your materials may get as long as 30 minutes or as short as 5 minutes.

This document is, next to the teaching philosophy fodder for another columnthe most difficult for students to write because it sums up, usually before the student has finished their degree, their Ph.

This does not mean you should dumb things down, but that you should fully explain yourself, defining any specific terms you need to use and giving examples from your research and teaching. The academic cover letter generally follows very strict genre conventions. It should be no more than two pages, but definitely more than one and a half.

The tone of the letter is crucial. It must be thoroughly formal and professional; remember that you are speaking as a potential colleague, not as a desperate graduate student.

Your cover letter should not repeat items from your C.

how to write a cover letter for a community college teaching job

This is why your cover letter should narrate your experiences and persuade the committee that your qualifications meet the needs of the job qualifications posted. Two pages is a short amount of space to work within, which is another reason why this genre is difficult for students to write successfully.

Getting You Through Graduate School, The Job Market and Tenure…

And then they often write another three or four drafts to perfect it for one job. I recommend students pick out a "dream" job posting early on or from the previous year, perhaps and write their letter toward that job. And you must tailor each cover letter to fit each job ad, which is why being on the market is so damned time-consuming.

Job letters typically follow a five-paragraph format, with the order of paragraphs switched depending upon the focus of the department research or teaching: Also in this paragraph, you should state what your current status is ABD, defending in April, assistant professor, etc.

If you have not finished your degree yet, be very specific about when you defend not will defend: Sometimes these statements can come across as empty.

For instance, a colleague wanting to make the switch from a tenure-track position at an R2 teaching-intensive institution with some Ph.

Many students start crafting their cover letters at the same time they start writing their dissertations, so they have a really hard time writing in the future abstract.

One paragraph should be enough, and it can be structured similarly to the organization of your whole dissertation: If methodologies and methods are an important part of your research and field, include them.

If archival or corpus-based work is an important part of your research, name them. Make sure you emphasize the aspects of the dissertation that fit the particular job ad.

Writing Cover Letters for Community College jobs | Paragraph City

Finally, in some fields it is acceptable to include an added, longer one- or two-page dissertation abstract with your materials. With the increased use of online submission websites for job ads, which mandate what you can upload, I suspect we will begin to see less and less of this inclusion from job candidates.

Students early in their dissertation writing often panic at the thought of having to plan out their research trajectory for the next six years, but if you want a job with any research involved, you will need to have some idea of how you will get tenure, and the research agenda is that document.

Indeed, you might start this paragraph as a separate research agenda document and then summarize it in your cover letter. Research-intensive schools may ask for the separate, longer document, which should include names of projects, brief outlines, journals or presses or funding agencies they will be submitted to, and your work plan for completing them before tenure.

The purpose of this paragraph is to show that you have a coherent research trajectory and that you are productive.

Ready to build a strong letter?

It is most useful for applying to research-intensive universities, to convince them that you can work independently and will get tenure. Like the dissertation paragraph, I recommend students start by writing a full, two-page teaching philosophy coming soon to a column near you! This paragraph — you can have one or two — typically begins by explaining your teaching philosophy in one or two sentences.May 16,  · In a community-college job search, the cover letter is, by far, the most important element of all your application materials, even more important than your CV.

Think of this letter as your personal dialogue with the hiring committee: It should articulate clearly why you are the perfect person for this faculty Dana M.

Zimbleman. Mar 18,  · Writing Cover Letters for Community College jobs I was thinking the other day of someone I never met, a candidate for a job at Paragraph City, in the English department, more or less. It was a dreadful search experience, in . Customize your cover letter.

Be sure to tailor each cover letter to fit the specific school and job listing. One way to do this is to research the school and mention why you think you’d be a good fit for that specific school.

Writing a Cover Letter for a Community College Job Focus on teaching and students and what your potential employer is looking for, writes Alexis Nelson. By. If you are genuinely interested in teaching at a two-year college — or at least hope to appear that way — here’s what you need to keep in mind as you write your cover letter.

Mention the specific job and institution. That’s good advice for any cover letter. But when applying for a community-college job, it’s particularly important to let the committee . May 16,  · In a community-college job search, the cover letter is, by far, the most important element of all your application materials, even more important than your Dana M.


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