My (limited) understanding is that longer cover letters are more common in the humanities and social sciences.
I've been on multiple hiring committees for tenure-track assistant professors at a mid-tier research institution. We didn't expect two-page cover letters, and for the most part cover letters were quite brief and pro forma. I don't remember seeing two full pages even once, and I don't remember any of the candidates we interviewed saying anything noteworthy on their cover letters. This was expected and fine with everyone on the committee.
There are some situations that might call for a longer cover letter (or at least for you to pay extra attention to this). In particular, I would recommend this when applying to liberal arts teaching-oriented positions. From what I have overheard, my understanding is that, on average, teaching-oriented math departments care about "fit" more than research-oriented departments do. (And moreover, when research-oriented departments do care a lot about fit, they don't seem to expect candidates to anticipate what the department is looking for.)
You might also write a longer cover letter if you can genuinely make the case that you are a good fit for a particular department. Don't BS, but offer good reasons if you have them.
A longer cover letter might be a good idea if your application is in any way unusual. If you are finishing up a postdoc, it is understood that you will be applying to a huge number of jobs, and a brief cover letter is usually fine. If you already have a tenure-track position and are applying elsewhere, or would prefer to work at a teaching-focused institution despite having a research-heavy CV, etc., then you might consider explaining yourself more fully.
Good luck on your job search!
answered Aug 27 '16 at 18:52
Math Teacher Cover Letter Sample
Review this math teacher cover letter, also known as letter of intent or letter of application, and see if it captures your curiosity. I'm sure it will!
In the first paragraph, we list John's years of experience, which lets you know he is well-established in the education field. We also describe his interest and ability to perform in the position he is applying for.
The cover letter continues on by listing his education and credentials. It then highlights his dedication to the profession by mentioning the need to tailor his teaching style to meet the needs of all learners. He also describes the type of learning environment he creates for his students which results in better achievement from his students. The math cover letter shows how he encourages learning and how he has been successful in accommodating diverse learning styles and abilities. It's important to communicate your passion in your cover letter.
The cover letter continues on to describe his strengths in the classroom, as well as how he prepares students for final exams. By describing these areas, a school will have a better idea of what they can expect from him as a math teacher at their school should they hire him. The cover letter also gives John a chance to better describe his teaching style and educational philosophy – things that he can't go into detail about in his resume.
Keywords like manipulatives, hands-on activities, cooperative learning, and inquisitive class atmosphere are critical competencies needed to perform the position with excellence. At the same time these strengths are keywords, also known as buzzwords, which help get the cover letter and resume to the human eye if the application is scanned.
At the very bottom of the letter below his name, we've included the word 'enclosure' to tell the reader what other documents are also included in the application packet.
Lastly, this math instructor cover letter has been designed to complement the math instructor resume, using the same layout, font, header, and graphics. It is essential to have uniformity between your job application documents. Not only does this create a cohesive and consistent product, but it also ensures a visually appealing application.
Click here, a new window will open this cover letter in PDF format.
Check out the matching math teacher resume. We ensured consistency in fonts, format, style, and visual appeal.
Read in-depth teaching job application writing tips with examples to gain some modern ideas to enhance your math teacher application letter.
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