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EAP cover letter + application

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Joined: 18 Nov 2014
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2014 10:24 am    Post subject: EAP cover letter + application Reply with quote

I am planning on applying for an EAP tutor position at a London University (and other places as they come up). I get the impression that they get a lot of applications.

I have already sent them my CV in an initial general inquiry but now need a cover letter which, I have been advised, should be no more than one A4 length.

I have a TESOL, DELTA and more than 8 years off teaching experience. No real EAP experience in the UK although I taught for a year in the Gulf on a university foundation programme.

There is one post here about what to include on your CV for EAP positions. I will now be removing the personal statement from my CV!

I hate writing cover letters! I am not very good a 'selling' myself and was wondering if anyone had any tips about what to include?

Thanks in advance...
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Joined: 15 Nov 2012
Posts: 67

PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just some quick thoughts.

Start with: I am writing to apply for xxxx position. Then go into your background (work experience and quals)
Then next paragraph say why you are applying to that particular position (i.e. linking what you have done before with what you would like to do in this role)
Then next paragraph mention specific skills you can bring to the table and anything else that might be relevant (pad it out a bit)
If there's nothing else relevant have a final para summarising how your skills match what they are asking for, how you would be keen to develop your skills/experience with them, and that you look forward to the outcome of your application.

...Right that's ten quid please

Good luck!
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Joined: 18 Nov 2014
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 03, 2014 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks very much. Now I just have to stop procrastinating.

Tenner is in the virtual post...
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Joined: 13 Jun 2010
Posts: 61

PostPosted: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi mlf2 - that was me that wrote the post about the EAP CVs...

For what it's worth, here is my take on cover letters - although, and I hope this goes without saying, this is just *my* take on it - I'm sure other employers will vary in terms of what they think:

1. CVs are for data: where you worked when, your qualifications, etc... Repeating that stuff in a cover letter is redundant and annoying.

2. So, the cover letter is so we can figure out who you are and where you're at. Where are you with your professional life? Where do you want to be? Why do you want to move into EAP? Are you planning on sticking around, or is this a short-term thing to fill in the gaps? Are you planning on doing a masters/doctorate?

3. It's not good to hire someone who's not good - getting rid of someone and replacing them mid-course is a total nightmare. In a sense, and I realise this sounds a little paranoid, the point of a cover letter (and interview) is to reassure us that you are not incompetent, crazy, or both. For someone like you, I would want to know that...

a) You are not just a TEFL teacher who's heard that there's more money in EAP. What is it about EAP that you already know, and what interests you about teaching it?

b) You are interested in professional development. If you don't have a masters, indicate that you are going to start one. A DELTA is a good start, but DELTA+MA/MEd is great.

c) You can write well (please don't use this post as a bench-mark - it's late and I've had a couple of glasses of wine! Smile )

d) If the department in question has a background in research, then you should have at least a peripheral interest in that.

e) If the university in question is a prestigious one, don't bang on about how much you'd like to work for an 'esteemed organisation such as [ours]', etc.. It sounds creepy, and makes it seem as if what you most want is to boast about where you work.

As the previous poster mentioned, if you have any background experience which is related to the courses that the institution offers (if, say, they do a foundation programme for Business Studies - and you've worked in corporate environments) then definitely mention that. I would also talk about your experience with the foundation programme that you worked on - show what you know about EAP already, however little it is.

As I think I mentioned in my other post, cliches like "I am passionate about motivating my students" and "I realise that teaching has always been my calling" don't help. They aren't informative, and imply (ironically) a kind of laziness.

To be honest, when interviewing people, one of the biggest things that is running through my mind is "Can I actually work with this person?" - as in, "Would I be happy sharing a work-space with them every day?". It might sound unprofessional, but one of my biggest concerns has always been about how they come across as a person. As soon as an applicant starts to appear even a little bit weird, aggressive, pretentious or [insert negative personality trait] then I start getting really reticent. For that reason, I'd pay careful attention to the wording that you use - anything that might even hint at you coming across as even the slightest bit odd is a definite no-no.

Good luck!
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