When you apply to a teaching job abroad, generally a supporting statement or a cover letter is requested in addition to your CV or job application. However, a member recently got in touch to say that they have been asked for both a supporting statement AND a cover letter when applying to certain schools. Even though they are very similar and these terms are generally interchangeable in teaching job ads, you can make a slight differentiation between them.

A Supporting Statement

A supporting statement tends to focus on how your skills and experiences meet the essential and desirable requirements of the person / job specification. In your supporting statement, you will add solid evidence and specific examples to illustrate where you developed and displayed these essential and desirable skills, in the order listed in the person / job specification. Always respect the word limit, if one is provided.

A Cover Letter

A cover letter expands on what you have mentioned in your CV and can also highlights extra examples of how your skills and experience match the teaching job. It gives you a chance to show some of your personality and passions outside work. Finally, you can show the research you have done towards the company and role in question in your cover letter.

If a cover letter is requested (without a supporting statement), then you should include everything, so your cover letter will be longer- up to 2 pages. Likewise, if  only a supporting statement is requested (without a cover letter), then you should include everything there! However, if both documents are requested, I hope this helps you differentiate the documents slightly, although there will be some overlap, of course!

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