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School Social Work Cover Letter Example

Want to land a job as a school social worker? Perfecting your school social work cover letter is the first step here. Read our complete guide before you get started.
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School Social Work Cover Letter Example
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As a school social worker, you are a vital link between students’ home lives, school, and society. You are a highly-trained professional who provides life-changing services to young people (and their families!) when they need it the most. So, whether you’ve been working in the field for decades or you’re a complete newcomer, you need a school social work cover letter that tells your story. Luckily, we have just what you need to succeed here. 

Chances are, you already know what it takes to support young people in their hour of need. But how do you convey your diverse skill-set in 300 words or less? Within this school social work cover letter example — and the corresponding guide — we will show you. Here’s what you can expect to learn when we take a deep dive: 

  • How to choose the best cover letter format (plus a handy cover letter example!)
  • How to maximize the impact of each cover letter section
  • What tone to take when writing your cover letter
  • The best way to sign-off your school social work cover letter
  • How to write your cover letter if you have no experience in this position.

Alongside this school social work cover letter guide, our broad choice of cover letter examples and writing guides help you to choose what to share.

Matching cover letter and resume
Matching cover letter and resume

Best format for a school social work cover letter

School social workers play a vital role in students’ lives. You have to be strong, resilient, and compassionate. So, how can you put all of the above into words? As a golden rule, the format of a school social work cover letter should contain the following: 

  • 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)

The format of your cover letter should tell a solid story. You want to include a strong introduction, followed up by a body that shares your unique experiences and skills. Once you’ve done that, it’s vital that you end strong. You need to create an ending paragraph that sums up your value and offers a quick call to action too. For more information on how to weave this narrative, check out our comprehensive cover letter guide. 

When you’re ready to put pen to paper, take a look at our school social work cover letter sample below: 

Adaptable cover letter example

Dear Principal Wilshire,

Fighting against systemic inequality for much of my own education instilled a strong sense of social justice that I seek to bring to my school social work role every day. Everyone has an equal right to education, yet the mental health challenges that derive from difficult home lives mean that many children don’t experience  an even playing field. Nothing like it.

I have worked in the public school system for the past nine years, contributing to raising the educational outcomes of 1,000+ individual students, and helping them meet their behavioral, social, health, and (even) educational needs. For many, school became a safe environment where they had an opportunity to grow.

My educational background in child psychology and passion for trauma counseling enable me to be acutely aware of each student’s needs. I am not afraid to make decisions based on individual circumstance. Student wellbeing must come first.

I am experienced in all aspects of school social work – conducting psychosocial assessments, counseling, individual support, and all aspects of behavioral intervention. When the students know that they are supported, they keep coming to school. Attendance of my students improved by an average of 28 percentage points after three months.

Working with students, parents and school leaders requires polished communication skills. I would love to tell you more about my unique approach to conflict resolution and how I have managed to turn around the fortunes of 200+ students who were excluded from other schools. Educational neglect is a form of child abuse.

I have long been a fan of the approach to behavior management at your school and would welcome the opportunity of an interview to explore how I might help your troubled students to find their best possible path.

Sincerely,

Harriet Brooks

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Cover letter header

First up, you need to write the cover letter header. This information is the first line of your application and sits at the top of the document. It includes your name, email, and phone number. While it may not be the most exciting part of your cover letter, it is extremely important. Should you pique a hiring manager’s interest, you need to make it easy for them to get in touch with you. Place this information front and center on your cover letter.

To give yourself a fighting chance, label each piece of information. Put “email” in front of your email address, “phone number” in front of your number, and “name” in front of your name. This simple trick could help you get past the ATS (Applicant Tracking System). Take a quick look at our cover letter sample to help you along the way.

Cover letter greeting 

You are applying for a professional role — so you need to use a professional cover letter greeting. This is the first line of the actual letter and says howdy to a prospective employer. You should avoid casual terminology such as “hi,” “hey,” and “hello.” These openers won’t do you any favors when applying for jobs. Instead, you need to have a more formal tone. 

Age-old wisdom may tell you that “To whom it may concern” is a safe bet. This is not always the case as it can come across as cold and uninterested. If you know the name of the hiring manager, you should address them directly. For example, you may use “Dear Mr. Simons” as a greeting. If in doubt, go for the anonymous “Dear _____ team” instead.

Cover letter introduction 

Next up, it’s time to introduce yourself. You only get one shot to make a good first impression. In just a sentence or two, tell the hiring manager why you are right for the job. Rather than trying to pack too much in the cover letter introduction, focus on a couple of your strongest attributes. For example, if you are a master of crisis intervention, mention that. If, on the other hand, you have experience of implementing educational programs, let the reader know ASAP. 

Get straight to the point — why are you the right candidate for the job? Where possible, leave the hiring manager wanting more. Take a look at our cover letter sample here.

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

Dear Principal Wilshire,

Fighting against systemic inequality for much of my own education instilled a strong sense of social justice that I seek to bring to my school social work role every day. Everyone has an equal right to education, yet the mental health challenges that derive from difficult home lives mean that many children don’t experience  an even playing field. Nothing like it.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body) 

The middle paragraphs of cover letters are arguably the most important. You have the opportunity to tell your career story so far. Make sure that you use formal language throughout and include anecdotes to illustrate your experience. Consider what each story tells the hiring manager about you as a professional. Every snippet should add value.

Expert tip

Want to make your application stand out?

Between 18 and 20 percent of US students have mental health problems that impair their life functions. For that reason, the School Social Work Association of America has released a statement on the importance of better supporting students’ mental health.

To make your cover letter shine, mention any special skills you have pertaining to mental wellness. Adding this important detail to your cover letter may land you the interview.

If you’re not sure where to start, we’ve got you covered. Take a quick look at our school social work cover letter example below:

Adaptable cover letter body example

I have worked in the public school system for the past nine years, contributing to raising the educational outcomes of 1,000+ individual students, and helping them meet their behavioral, social, health, and (even) educational needs. For many, school became a safe environment where they had an opportunity to grow.

My educational background in child psychology and passion for trauma counseling enable me to be acutely aware of each student’s needs. I am not afraid to make decisions based on individual circumstance. Student wellbeing must come first.

I am experienced in all aspects of school social work – conducting psychosocial assessments, counseling, individual support, and all aspects of behavioral intervention. When the students know that they are supported, they keep coming to school. Attendance of my students improved by an average of 28 percentage points after three months.

Working with students, parents and school leaders requires polished communication skills. I would love to tell you more about my unique approach to conflict resolution and how I have managed to turn around the fortunes of 200+ students who were excluded from other schools. Educational neglect is a form of child abuse.

Copied!

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

Round off your cover letter with a strong argument about why you’re the ideal candidate. Affirm any special skills that you have and encourage the reader to get in touch with you. You may want to say something like “I look forward to discussing my experience with you should I get invited to an interview.” While you don’t want to be presumptuous, you should remain confident in your tone and approach. Take a look at our example for inspiration.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I have long been a fan of the approach to behavior management at your school and would welcome the opportunity of an interview to explore how I might help your troubled students to find their best possible path.

Sincerely,

Harriet Brooks

Copied!

School social work cover letter with no experience

Are you new to the realms of school social work? While experienced social workers will have countless anecdotes to draw upon, you may be running dry. Fortunately, you can still write a persuasive cover letter. Include the following elements: 

  • Your educational experience and any placements you completed
  • Any experience you have of working with young people or vulnerable adults
  • Voluntary roles you have undertaken before completing your degree
  • Extracurricular activities that are appropriate to the role (e.g. summer schools)

You can use your cover letter to fill in any gaps that may be on your social worker resume. Show that you are passionate about this fulfilling sector too. Hiring managers don’t simply want candidates who tick their boxes — they are looking for professionals who care too.  

Key takeaways

  1. School social workers play important roles in supporting young people. Demonstrate your unique skill-set in 300 words or less!
  2. Be sure to highlight any special mental health skills you may have picked up.
  3. Use a formal tone to communicate your story effectively to a hiring manager.
  4. Get a head start on your application by using our field-tested cover letter templates now.

Looking for some additional inspiration? Take a look at all of our expertly-written cover letter guides. Here are some cover letter examples related to the wider public sector: 

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