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Written by Charlotte GraingerCharlotte Grainger

School Counselor cover letter example

You already know how to catapult students toward success. But how can you win over a hiring manager? Read our school counselor cover letter guide now.
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School Counselor cover letter example
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School can be a challenging period for any young person. Three-quarters of high school students don’t feel prepared to make important decisions about college or their future in general. Grappling to make the “right choice” can feel like a total minefield. That’s where you—the trusty school counselor—step into the picture. 

Whenever a student is struggling, you are there to give them all of the advice, support, and guidance that they could need. It’s not about telling them what to do, but giving them the tools that they need to make the best decisions for themselves. It wouldn’t be an overstatement to say that you play a crucial role in many a young person’s life. 

If you’re looking for your next school counselor position, your resume tells the hiring manager what experience you have. But how can you seal the deal? Writing a captivating cover letter that shares your passion and enthusiasm for changing students’ lives is the answer. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place, if you’re ready to get started. 

Here at Resume.io, we have the support and guidance you need to accelerate your career. With a library of cover letter examples and accompanying writing guides, we don’t leave anything to chance. In the following cover letter example and guide, you can expect to learn: 

  • The best format for a school counselor cover letter
  • How to write each section of the cover letter like a pro
  • Advice on how to conclude your application letter
  • Writing psychology tips to persuade the reader to interview you
  • Help on what to write even when you have zero experience

Looking for a similar role? We’ve got you covered. Check out our related cover letter examples below: 

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Best format for a school counselor cover letter

When you’re ready to start applying for jobs, perfecting your cover letter is an absolute must. While this is the most creative part of the application package, it still needs a structure. Taking a freeform approach to this letter won’t do you any favors. You could end up with a chaotic and, frankly, confusing document. With that in mind, your school counselor cover letter should include the following elements, in this order: 

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting/salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

Using the above format means that your school counselor cover letter will flow well. You will still have plenty of freedom to showcase your drive and passion for the job. However, this structure means that the reader will know what to expect from each section. It has a solid introduction, middle, and conclusion. For more information, check out our cover letter guide.

Before you put pen to paper and start writing, you might be wondering how this format will look. Take a quick look at our cover letter example below to give you some inspiration:

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Mrs. Kim, 

I am writing to apply for the School Counselor position at Lincoln High School, as advertised on the Portland Public Schools’ job board. With a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Oregon and six years of dedicated experience at Riverbank Middle School in Portland, I am eager to leverage my expertise to support Lincoln High School students. 

In my current role, I have successfully developed and implemented comprehensive counseling programs that focus on social-emotional learning, leading to improved student engagement and well-being. My proactive collaboration with parents and educators has created strategies fostering a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. My experience with positive behavior intervention supports (PBIS) could be a beneficial asset in maintaining a positive school culture at Lincoln High School. 

I am passionate about serving as a reliable advocate for students, promoting an open-door policy to encourage open communication and support students in their academic and personal growth. My evidence-based approach to counseling and deep commitment to understanding and meeting each student's unique needs have been the bedrock of my counseling philosophy. 

I am eager to bring my experience and a proven track record of success in middle school counseling to the high school environment, helping to foster resilience and academic excellence in your students. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to potentially discussing how I can contribute to your team. 

Sincerely, Jordan Williams

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Cover letter header

The cover letter header tells the recruiter who you are, where you’re based, and how they can reach you. It won’t make or break your application. However, if the hiring manager likes your application, they will want to get in touch with you pronto. You don’t want there to be any barriers to that. So, you need to make sure that the content in your header is clear and easy to read. Choose a legible font and be certain that it’s not too small for the reader.

Cover letter greeting

Your greeting is how you address the letter. There’s a right way to do it—and a wrong way to do it. If you know who the reader (i.e. the hiring manager) is, you should address them directly. That means using their title and surname, for example, “Dear Ms. Peters”. 

On the other hand, if you don’t know who will end up reading your cover letter, you need to take a more ambiguous approach. You can use “Dear ______ team” or words to that effect. However, the golden rule here is to avoid the old hat “ To Whom It May Concern” at all times.

Cover letter introduction

Now that you have properly addressed the hiring manager, it’s time to get down to business. As a school counselor, you wear many different hats. You guide students when they are having interpersonal troubles, help them make the right decisions, and give them everyday support. But you can’t fit all of the above into a meager few sentences. When you’re writing the intro to your cover letter, you need to consider what your most valuable attribute is. 

Hooking the reader’s attention with a bold statement is one way to go. You may choose to kick things off with your proven track record, a specialist certificate you have, or an anecdote about how you successfully helped a student reach their goals. You may want to draft a few different openers, read them aloud, and decide which of them makes the biggest impression. 

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Mrs. Kim, 

I am writing to apply for the School Counselor position at Lincoln High School, as advertised on the Portland Public Schools’ job board. With a Master of Education in School Counseling from the University of Oregon and six years of dedicated experience at Riverbank Middle School in Portland, I am eager to leverage my expertise to support Lincoln High School students. 

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle paragraphs of cover letters are where you can expand on your skills and expertise. You will have covered your experience in your resume. However, that is a functional material, sharing only the details of your career history. Within your cover letter, you can afford to elaborate on your work so far and detail the unique approach you take. 

Each paragraph should tell a different story and, most importantly, add value to your application. There are plenty of different angles you can take here, including: 

  • Anecdotes. School counselors work one-on-one with students. Chances are, you have a whole bunch of colorful stories you can share that will demonstrate the approach you take to shaping young minds.
  • Awards. Have you won any special awards? What certifications do you have and why did you choose to undertake them? How do you apply the skills that you have learned in your everyday work life?
  • Referrals. Did you previously impress a head teacher? Have parents commented on your natural ability to guide students? If you have received compliments before now, it may be the time to whip them out.
  • Approaches. What makes the advice you give effective and unique? School counselors use a variety of techniques when guiding young people. Take the opportunity to outline your approach to this position and why it works well.

The middle section of your cover letter needs to shine. When you are writing each paragraph, consider what it takes the reader about you as a candidate. The general idea is to create a seamless picture of your professional expertise that shows your value. 

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

In my current role, I have successfully developed and implemented comprehensive counseling programs that focus on social-emotional learning, leading to improved student engagement and well-being. My proactive collaboration with parents and educators has created strategies fostering a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. My experience with positive behavior intervention supports (PBIS) could be a beneficial asset in maintaining a positive school culture at Lincoln High School. 

I am passionate about serving as a reliable advocate for students, promoting an open-door policy to encourage open communication and support students in their academic and personal growth. My evidence-based approach to counseling and deep commitment to understanding and meeting each student's unique needs have been the bedrock of my counseling philosophy. 

Copied!

How to close a school counselor cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

The final few sentences of your cover letter need to leave a lasting impression. The reader will slow down their pace as they get toward this section. Don’t miss the chance to leave them wanting more. You can use a Call to Action (CTA) here, encouraging the hiring manager to take you to the next level. For example, you might suggest that you have more to share with them at an interview or that you are excited at the prospect of meeting them.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I am eager to bring my experience and a proven track record of success in middle school counseling to the high school environment, helping to foster resilience and academic excellence in your students. Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to potentially discussing how I can contribute to your team. 

Sincerely, Jordan Williams

Copied!

Writing psychology: how to win over the hiring manager 

Now that we have covered the sections that you need to include, let’s talk about how to write them. Everything—from your word choice to your tone—will affect the reader. To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to pitch your style right. Let’s take a look at some of the core tips you can use to help you do just that: 

  • Tailor your language. Before you get started, you need to know your audience. Who is the hiring manager and what are they looking for? Take the time to ponder this question ahead of writing your school counselor cover letter.
  • Use action verbs. Action verbs showcase what you have done by putting you at the center of the narrative. Examples of powerful action verbs include “oversaw,” “planned,” “managed,” “drove,” “liaised,” and “arranged”.
  • Keep sentences short and sweet. Convoluted sentence structures will put the reader off. If you want to keep their attention, get to the point quickly.

Writing a persuasive cover letter is an art form. You might find that it takes a few tries before you are satisfied. Continue chipping away at it and you will get there in the end.

Pie chart with school counselor facts
Pie chart with school counselor facts

School counselor cover letter with no experience

If you’re new to this career, you may be wondering how you can win over the hiring manager. Use your cover letter to share why it is that you have chosen this job. What is it about this particular position that interests you and why do you have the skills to fill it? 

Once again, you can use some anecdotal evidence here. You might want to speak about voluntary positions you’ve previously held that align well with the duties of this job. Alternatively, you can focus on your education or training. You can reveal what you learned during specific modules and how you plan to apply that information to your first role. 

Expert tip

Think like a hiring manager! 

When a hiring manager reads your cover letter, there’s only one question on their mind: “Why should I give this candidate a shot?” It’s your job to answer that quickly and easily. 

Consider what you will bring to the table, should the hiring manager pick you. How will you make their job easier? What talents do you already have? What improvements do you plan to make? By keeping these questions in mind, you will craft an excellent cover letter.

Key takeaways

  1. School counselors play a central role in young people’s lives. It’s a tall order.
  2. Show the hiring manager that you have what it takes by sharing choice anecdotes.
  3. Keep in mind what the hiring manager is looking for in candidates. When checking your cover letter, consider whether your application is hitting the mark.
  4. Make the whole process easier by using one of our field-tested cover letter templates.
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