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University Student Cover Letter Examples
How to write a compelling university student cover letter.
You’ve made it to the university of your choice, working hard to keep your grades up and earn the degree of your dreams. As you approach graduation, you may find yourself in need of a well-written cover letter to use for applying to internships, jobs, and many other key opportunities in your chosen field.
In this guide, we discuss the five key elements that any university student should include on a cover letter. Keep reading to learn all about:
- Creating a visually appealing header for your university cover letter
- Researching employers to craft a personalized cover letter
- Writing a compelling introduction as a university student
- Showcasing your best skills and accomplishments as a university student
- Completing your university student cover letter with a strong conclusion
1. How to create a visually appealing header for your university cover letter
To begin writing your university student cover letter, your first key step is to create a header.
A cover letter header serves two main purposes: to introduce you to the employer and to give your cover letter an appealing visual structure .
Within your header, you should include:
- Your name and professional title (if you do not have a professional title yet, you can use the title of the job you are applying for and add “Student” at the end)
- Your professional contact information
- The name of the company or organization you are applying to
Here is an example of a well-formatted university student cover letter header
Mason Wilds , Hospitality Management Student (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/mason-wilds
To: Hilton Head Hotels 1234 Street Address New York, NY
2. How to personalize your university student cover letter
One crucial step to take before beginning to write the body text of your cover letter is to research the employer beforehand. This gives you the opportunity to learn more about them and uncover key details about the company that you can reference throughout your cover letter .
Important information to look for during your research includes:
- Major projects, partnerships, or programs the company is involved in
- The company’s goals, values, and requirements for staff
- The person at the company responsible for hiring and reviewing applications
Using the third piece of information, you can create a personalized greeting that addresses this specific person by name. This lets them know immediately the effort you have put into researching and tailoring your cover letter for them specifically.
Here are 3 examples of personalized cover letter greetings
- Dear Mr. John Applewood,
Dear Hiring Manager John Applewood,
- Dear Mr. John Applewood & the Hiring Department,
3. How to write a compelling introduction as a university student
Next up, you need to begin the body text of your cover letter with a compelling introduction .
To write a strong introduction as a university student, make sure to include:
- A brief overview of your academic experience (most students will have minimal professional experience, making academic experience highly important to describe in a cover letter)
- Your specialized area of expertise (such as the degree you are working toward)
- A concise statement on why you are a great fit for the position
Here is an example of a great introduction from a university student’s cover letter
I am a junior at the University of South Carolina, with two semesters left to complete my degree in Business and Hospitality Management. As I approach my final year of school, I am seeking an internship opportunity with a major hotel chain to hone my hospitality skills and build industry connections. Having earned a spot on my university’s Dean’s List for three consecutive years, I will bring an exceptional work ethic and commitment to excellent service to this position.
Find out your resume score!
4. How to showcase your best skills and accomplishments as a university student
Once your introduction is written and you are satisfied with it, you can move on to writing the remaining body paragraphs of your university student cover letter.
In these body paragraphs, your main goal is to showcase your top skills or accomplishments that are relevant to the job you are applying for. As well as describing these qualifications , you can also use the research you did earlier to reference specific needs of the company and how your skills meet those needs.
Here are 6 examples of skills to describe in a university student cover letter
- Communication (always describe your style of communication)
- Collaboration and teamwork
- Critical thinking
- Time management
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a cover letter
As a student at the University of South Carolina, I have served as an Orientation Leader for two years, helping to bring new undergraduate students into the fold and get comfortable in their new surroundings. I recently earned the position of Head Orientation Leader thanks to my overwhelming positive reviews from new students I have mentored. Of the 300+ students I have worked with, 95% gave me a five out of five-star rating at the end of their Orientations.
5. How to complete your university student cover letter with a strong conclusion
The last step to writing your university student cover letter is to craft a strong conclusion . In this conclusion, you should include:
- The best times and days of the week to contact you
- When you are anticipating a response from the employer
- When you plan to follow up with the employer
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a strong conclusion from a university student's cover letter
I am honored to be considered for this position and hope to hear from you within the next week regarding this opportunity. You may best reach me at (123) 456-7890 on Mondays through Fridays from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. As I am excited to learn more about this opportunity, I do plan to follow up next Monday morning if I have not heard back about this position.
Julia is a professional writer, translator and graphic designer. She holds degrees in translation and interpretation, and has international work experience from a number of different countries in Europe as well as China and Panama. Julia formerly taught academic writing and as a graphic designer contributed to outlets such as The Business of Business . She has a passion for lifelong learning and good coffee.
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The purpose of a cover letter, when required by an employer, is to introduce yourself and compel an employer to learn more about you through your resume. Capture an employer's attention by following the actions below.
The statement "To Whom it May Concern" is concerning! Always try to address your letter to a specific person. If you do not know who should receive your letter, research the organization's website or call the main number and ask for the appropriate person's name and title.
In addition to determining the recipient's name and title, research the organization so that you can convey an appreciation for its mission and an understanding of the duties and qualifications of the position for which you are applying.
Articulate how your skills and experiences uniquely qualify you for the position and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the organization. Be clear and concise and limit your cover letter to one page. Additionally, maintain a confident, professional tone while providing insight into your personality so that your letter leaves an employer with a sense of wanting to learn more about you.
A poorly written or error-laden letter is a surefire way to end your candidacy. If you want an employer to spend additional time reviewing your resume, you must make time to proofread your letter and ensure that your grammar and spelling are perfect.
Cover Letter Format
Your street address City, state, zip code
Date Recipient's first and last name Title Organization name Street address City, state, zip code
Dear first and last name (address to someone specific or Dear Hiring Manager):
Paragraph 1: State what you are applying for and why you are applying to XYZ organization or position. Introduce yourself by saying something about yourself (i.e., I am a senior studying communications at American University). Note how/where you learned about the position. If you are writing at the suggestion of someone who knows the recipient, say so. Introduce 3-5 skills or strengths that you offer to the position/organization that you will give an example of in the following paragraphs.
Paragraph 2: Share your first story to demonstrate your skill or skills. Have a succinct beginning, middle, and end to the story. Follow the CAR method -- Context, Action, Result to tell a full story.
Paragraph 3: Share your second story following the CAR method.
Paragraph 4: Summarize what you bring to the organization and include any logistical information (when you are available, how they can contact you). Thank them for their consideration.
Sincerely, Your name
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Writing the Cover Letter
What are the objectives of a cover letter.
A good cover letter puts your résumé in context and persuades the prospective employer that you are a good match for the position in question. If your cover letter does its job, the prospective employer will begin to consider your candidacy and go on to review your résumé in detail.
Your cover letter also serves as a sample of your organizational and communication skills. For this reason, it's essential to spend time writing and organizing the content, and to proofread it carefully. The time and care that you devote to constructing and writing your cover letter and résumé will demonstrate to the prospective employer that you're capable of producing high quality work.
Finally, your cover letter expresses your interest in the particular position or particular organization. Cover letters should be individually tailored for each job prospect. Your letter should convey to each prospective employer that you have an understanding of the job, and that you've done some thinking about how you could fit in to the organization and contribute to its goals.
How should I approach the writing task?
Your cover letter is your opportunity to market those aspects of your skills, abilities, education, training, background, and experience which are most relevant to the position you're seeking. This means that you will need to begin by doing some thinking about your skills and background and how these relate to the position for which you're applying. (For more information about skills, visit the Humanities Academic Services Center website .) Your cover letter should reflect your individuality, but remember that you are "introducing yourself" for the first time to a stranger: it's best to err on the side of professionalism.
Read the job announcement carefully. What are the most important qualifications being sought? How can you best demonstrate that you have them? Try to put yourself in the prospective employer's position: What would you want to know about a candidate for this particular job? What information would be most important to you? Include only the most relevant attributes and experiences you possess which specifically match the job for which you're applying.
Research the company or organization: What does the employing organization do? What are its goals? What is its history? How does it fit in to its industry? What characterizes the organization's culture (e.g., is it casual, conservative, highly structured, diverse, traditional, modern, fast-paced, etc.)? Some information, such as the organization's mission, purpose, clients, partners, and a sense of its "style" can be found on its website (if it has one). There are also industry and employer directories available on the web, in the libraries, and at UW Career Center in 134 Mary Gates Hall. Local and national newspapers, industry-related publications and journals, and the Washington Occupational Information System are also good resources.
Address the letter to a specific individual. As with all writing, it's important to identify your audience. Taking the time to find out the hiring party's name and correct title is another way to demonstrate your interest in the position.
How should I format my cover letter?
Your cover letter should be three to four paragraphs in length and limited to one page. Like an essay, its content can usually be divided up into three parts:
The introduction states the position you're seeking, explains how you learned about the position, and indicates your interest. It often also contains a brief statement of your qualifications (education, experience, and skills).
The body highlights the most important qualities you can offer to this particular employer , related to the position that you're seeking. Because you will be attaching your résumé, this is not the place to go into great detail. What you are attempting to do is to get the employer's attention and interest him/her in your candidacy. This is also the place to present other relevant information about your characteristics or background that may not be evident from your résumé. You might provide the employer with some specific examples of how you've demonstrated particular key skills or how you fulfill the most important qualifications listed in the job announcement.
The conclusion should summarize your qualifications and your interest in the position. Be sure to close your letter with a request for action or an indication that you'll be following up. This might include a request for an interview, a statement of your intent to call the employer on a specific date, or the dates you'll be in town for an interview. Finally, always thank the employer for considering your application.
Sample Cover Letters
A cover letter introduces and markets you effectively by complementing your CV.
A cover letter tells your story by highlighting your relevant strengths and motivation for the person and organisation you are writing to, rather than listing all the things that can already be seen on your CV.
Always take the opportunity to submit a cover letter if you are given the chance.
The cover letter gives you scope to showcase what interests and drives you, and your enthusiasm for an organisation and the role. You can use it to align yourself with the organisation’s strengths, values and culture, and highlight in a targeted way your knowledge and strongest, most relevant skills for the position.
The content and style are up to you, but a logical and engaging structure is key. Below are some guidelines.
How to Write Cover Letters
Aim for a professional tone that conveys your message to the reader succinctly - remember it's not an essay or dissertation! Write in clear, concise English – take care not to drown the reader with your detail and avoid jargon they may not understand. The Plain English Campaign has some good guidance on improving your writing style.
Structure it like a business letter, brevity adds power and aim for no longer than 1 side of A4 in length. However, if the organisation gives you very specific instructions about the structure. length and content, follow their guidance.
Introduce yourself and explain why you are writing. If you are responding to an advertisement, state where you saw it. This tells the recruiter why they are reading the letter, and it gives them feedback on which of their advertising sources are working. You need to think about how you would like to introduce yourself; it could be that you mention the course you are studying and when you plan to finish it along with your place of study.
Why this job?
Explain why you are interested in the job and the organisation. Tailor the letter to the organisation and job description to make it clear that you haven't sent out multiple copies of the same letter to different employers.
Draw on your research, especially what you have learnt from speaking with their staff (e.g. while meeting them at a fair or event, or during work shadowing/experience) as this will demonstrate an awareness and understanding of them that goes beyond the corporate website. Be specific about why the position is particularly attractive for you, and back this up with evidence from your past, or by linking this to your overall career plans, and what you find exciting about this sector, don’t just repeat the text from their publicity material.
Explain why you are well-suited to the position. Refer to the most relevant skills (c.3-5), experience and knowledge you have and match what you say to the requirements outlined in the job description. Tell your story and highlight key evidence so that you are building on your CV, but not using exactly the same phrases. Make sure you read our guidance on demonstrating you fit the job criteria for more advice.
As your aim is to convince the recruiter that you are a suitable candidate for the job, focus on your accomplishments and the transferable skills that are relevant to the role. State explicitly how you match the job criteria – don’t expect the person reading your letter to infer your skills or experiences for themselves.
Support your claims by referring to examples that are already detailed in your CV. You can make a stronger, more credible case by linking different experiences that highlight similar skills or competences. For example:
- You first demonstrated your organisational skills by creating (an event) at school, and you have developed them further by raising (£xx) at last year’s fundraiser and, most recently, by leading (another event) for your society attended by (number) of people.
- The role (applied for) would allow you to further explore your interest in mental health well-being which has driven your success as college welfare officer and the personal sense of achievement gained from working as a peer counsellor.
Reiterate your desire to join the organisation and end on a ‘look forward to hearing from you’ statement, followed by ‘Yours sincerely’ if writing to a named individual and ‘Yours faithfully’ if you have not been able to find a named contact.
- Write to a named person if you can
- If you have not been able to find a named contact, you could use ‘Dear Recruitment Manager’ or ‘Dear Recruiter’.
- Check your spelling and get someone else to read it over.
- Check that it says clearly what you want it to say. Are there any sections that are hard to read, overly long sentences? If yes, try to simplify the language, avoid jargon, use shorter sentences or take out that section completely.
- Make the letter different each time. If you insert another company name, does the letter still read the same? If so, tailor it more specifically to the firm - you may need to do further research
- Don’t start every sentence with “I”.
- Give evidence for all your claims.
- Be enthusiastic and interested.
- Don’t repeat your whole CV.
- It’s normal to find cover letters tricky to write. Give yourself plenty of time before the application deadline to redraft.
- A careers adviser at the Careers Service can give you feedback on the content and structure of your cover letter and CV, and advise you on how best to target particular sectors – write one first, book an appointment on CareerConnect and ask a careers adviser for feedback.
Academic Cover Letters and Statements
Academic cover letters.
Academic cover letters vary in length, purpose, content and tone. Each job application requires a new, distinct letter.
For applications that require additional research or teaching statements, there is no point repeating these points in a cover letter – here, one page is enough (brief personal introduction, delighted to apply, please find enclosed X, Y, Z documents).
Other applications ask for a CV and a cover letter only, in which case the letter will need to be longer and require more detail. Others ask explicitly for this detail in the form of a supporting statement that sets out how you fulfil the job criteria. Aim for a maximum length of two pages, though for roles at associate professor level and above it may extend to 3-5 pages. In all cases it is important to use the space effectively and show that you can prioritise according to what they are looking for.
In all cases:
- Your letter is a piece of academic writing – you need a strong argument and empirical evidence
- Write for the non-expert to prove that you can communicate well
- Make sure you sound confident by using a tone that is collegial (rather than like a junior talking to a senior)
- Demonstrate your insight into what the recruiting department is doing in areas of research and teaching, and say what you would bring to these areas from your work so far.
- Give quantifiable evidence of teaching, research and funding success where possible.
What is a teaching statement and why do you need one.
When making an academic job application, you may be asked for a teaching statement (sometimes referred to as a ‘philosophy of teaching statement’). These statements may also be requested of candidates for grant applications or teaching awards.
A teaching statement is a narrative that describes:
- How you teach
- Why you teach the way you do
- How you know if you are an effective teacher, and how you know that your students are learning.
The rationale behind a teaching statement is to:
- Demonstrate that you have been reflective and purposeful about your teaching. This means showing an understanding of the teaching process and your experience of this
- Communicate your goals as an instructor, and your corresponding actions in the laboratory, classroom, or other teaching setting.
Format and style of a Teaching Statement
There is no required content or format for a teaching statement because they are personal in nature, but they are generally 1-2 pages, and written in the first person. The statement will include teaching strategies and methods to help readers ‘see’ you in a lab, lecture hall, or other teaching setting. The teaching statement is, in essence, a writing sample, and should be written with the audience in mind (i.e. the search committee for the institution(s) to which you are applying). This means that, like a cover letter, your teaching statement should be tailored for presentation to different audiences.
Articulating your teaching philosophy
Consider your experiences as both teacher and learner, and always keep your subject at the forefront. Consider all opportunities that you have previously had to teach, mentor, or guide, and determine instances that were both successful and perhaps not so successful. Understanding why and how learning happens is an important part of your teaching philosophy.
Here are some general areas to focus on in your teaching statement:
Goals : Convey your teaching goals. What would you like students to get out of your courses? What matters most to you in teaching and why?
Strategies : List effective teaching strategies. How will you realise your goals? What obstacles exist to student learning and how do you help students overcome them?
Evidence : Specific examples of your teaching experience are powerful in a teaching statement. Provide evidence that your students have learned (or not) in the past.
Some applications ask for a short research statement. This is your opportunity to showcase your vision for your research, propose a research plan and show how this builds on your current expertise and achievements. It forms the basis for discussions and your presentation if you are invited for interview.
- Provide a big picture overview of your research vision
- Make sure there are clear links between your proposal and the work of the recruiting institution. Each statement must be tailored to the particular role you are applying for
- Write about your research experience stating the aims, achievements, relevant techniques and your responsibilities for each project
- Write as much (within the word limit) about your planned research and its contribution to the department, and to society more broadly
- Invest time and ask for feedback from your supervisor/principal investigator or colleagues.
Tips for Junior Research Fellowship or JRF Applications
Read the job description carefully to understand what is prioritised by the recruiting College or institution(s) beyond furthering your research. If there are additional responsibilities such as outreach, mentoring, expanding or fostering academic networks, you will need to provide evidence of your interest and experience in these areas, as well as statements about how you would fulfil these roles when in post.
Try to meet current junior research fellowship (JRF) holders to gain further insight into what the role entails on a daily basis and what is expected by senior colleagues.
Show how your research contributes to, extends and/or maximises the impact of other work going on in the university. Then state why the JRF would enable you to further these in specific ways.
Think about how to demonstrate your experience in the following areas:
- Your research vision. Can you outline a big picture view of the research you want to do and its impact, for the department, the field and the wider society
- Publications, think broadly here and include journal articles, book chapters, policy papers, expert reviews, public commentaries and any other type of media coverage
- Funding, give prominence to any funding awards and to your grant-writing experience
- Participation in professional activities such as establishing collaborations with people or organisations outside the university, reviewing journal articles and membership of relevant societies
- Outline how you intend to participate in knowledge exchange and public engagement within your fellowship. These activities are now recognised as significant components of academic life
Look at Vitae’s Research Developer Framework to identify any other academic-related competencies that you could demonstrate in your application (particularly project-management, leadership, developing innovative partnerships/strategic thinking).
Have your application reviewed by a careers adviser by booking a short discussion appointment on CareerConnect .
Example cover letters.
- Sample cover letter
- Sample cover letter for management consultancy
- Sample cover letter for voluntary organisation
- Sample speculative cover letter (see speculative applications)
- Sample cover letter for first lectureship, Arts and Humanities
- Vitae for examples and advice relating to academic cover letters
- Demonstrate You Fit the Job Criteria
- Application Forms
External websites with guidance and examples.
- TARGETjobs: Cover letter essentials
- Prospects: Cover Letters
Artificial Intelligence (AI) generators and other paid-for services
A growing number of websites offer AI-generated cover letters, either for free or for a fee. There are also numerous organisations offering to write your cover letters for a fee. We believe that if you follow the advice above and come for a (free) cover letter review at the Careers Service as part of a 20-minute 1:1 appointment, you will get the best service for you.
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How to Write an Academic Cover Letter With Examples
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Submitting your application.
When you are applying for a faculty position at a college or university, your cover letter will differ significantly from the standard business cover letter.
Your cover letter may be reviewed by Human Resources department staff to determine if you meet the basic qualifications for the job. If it does, it will be forwarded to a search committee comprised mostly of faculty members and academic deans.
These individuals will be accustomed to reading more lengthy academic cover letters and resumes or curriculum vitae (CV) than would be customary in the business world. They will also often be more interested in the philosophical foundations for your work than the typical business recruiter.
Kelly Miller / The Balance
Tips for Writing an Academic Cover Letter
Your initial challenge will be to pass through the Human Resources screening. Review each of the required qualifications included in the job announcement and compose statements containing evidence that you possess as many of the skills, credentials, knowledge, and experiences listed as possible.
Address as many of the preferred qualifications as possible.
Give concrete examples to support your assertions about your strengths.
Your faculty reviewers will typically have an interest in your philosophy and approach to teaching and research within your discipline. They will also be evaluating how your background fits with the type of institution where they work.
Research the faculty in your target department to assess their orientation and expertise. Emphasize points of intersection between your philosophy and the prevalent departmental philosophy.
If you possess traditionally valued areas of expertise that are not already represented by the current faculty, make sure to point those strengths out in your cover letter. It's important to tailor your letter to the orientation of the college and adjust the mix of emphasis on teaching and research based on the expectations in that setting.
Colleges will typically want to hire new faculty who are passionate about their current research and not resting on past research credits.
Describe a current project with some detail and express enthusiasm for continuing such work.
Try to do the same with any evolving teaching interests.
Highlight any grants and funding you have received to undertake your research activities. Incorporate any awards or recognition which you have received for your teaching or research activities. Some text should also be devoted to other contributions to the college communities where you worked, such as committee work, advising, and collaborations with other departments.
Your cover letter should be written in the same basic format as a business cover letter. An academic cover letter is typically two pages compared to a single page for non-academic letters.
Here’s an example of the appropriate format for a cover letter and guidelines for formatting your letters.
Academic Cover Letter Example
You can use this sample as a model to write an academic cover letter. Download the template (compatible with Google Docs and Word Online), or read the text version below.
Academic Cover Letter Example #1 (Text Version)
Robin Applicant 123 Main Street, Anytown, CA 12345 555-555.5555 email@example.com
April 5, 2021
Dr. Sylvia Lee Chair, English Department Search Committee Acme College 123 Business Rd. Charlotte, NC 28213
Dear Dr. Sylvia Lee,
I am writing to apply for the position of assistant professor of English with an emphasis in nineteenth-century American literature that you advertised in the MLA Job Information List. I am a Dean’s Fellow and Ph.D. candidate at XYZ University, currently revising the final chapter of my dissertation, and expecting to graduate in May I am confident that my teaching experience and my research interests make me an ideal candidate for your open position.
Over the past five years, I have taught a variety of English courses. I have taught a number of American literature survey courses, as well as writing courses, including technical writing and first-year writing. I have extensive experience working with ESL students, as well as students with a variety of learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dysgraphia, and disabilities like ADD and ADHD. I pride myself on creating a classroom environment that accommodates the needs of my students while still promoting a high level of critical thought and writing skills. Some of my most satisfying experiences as a teacher have come from helping struggling students to grasp difficult concepts, through a combination of individual conferences, class activities, and group discussion. I know I would thrive as a teacher in your college, due to your belief in small classroom size and individualized support for students.
Not only does my teaching experience suit the needs of your school and department, but my research interests also fit perfectly with your description of the ideal candidate. My dissertation project, “Ferns and Leaves: Nineteenth-Century Female Authorial Space,” examines the rise and development of American female authors in the 1840s and 1850s, with a particular focus on patterns of magazine publication. I argue that, rather than being submissive to the requirements of the editor or publisher, female authors, in fact, developed a more transparently reciprocal relationship between themselves and their readers than previously has been assumed. I apply recent print-culture and book-history theory to my readings of novels, magazine articles, letters, and diary entries by various female authors, with a particular focus on Sara Willis (known by her pseudonym Fanny Fern). I plan to develop my dissertation into a book manuscript and continue to research the role of female writers in antebellum magazine culture, with a particular focus on the rise and influence of female magazine editors on literary culture.
My research interests have both shaped and been shaped by my recent teaching experiences. Last spring, I developed and taught a course on the history of print culture in America. I combined readings on theory and literature that addressed issues of print with visits to local historical museums and archives. My students conducted in-depth studies on particular texts (magazines, newspapers, novels) for their final papers. I believe my interdisciplinary teaching style, particularly my emphasis on material culture, would fit in well with the interdisciplinary nature of your English department.
I am therefore confident that my teaching experience, my skill in working with ESL and LD students, and my research interests all make me an excellent candidate for the assistant professor of English position at ABC College. I have attached my curriculum vitae and the two requested sample publications. I would be happy to send you any additional materials such as letters of reference, teaching evaluations, and past and proposed course syllabi. I will be available to meet with you at either the MLA or C19 conference, or anywhere else at your convenience. Thank you so much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.
Robin Applicant (hard copy letter)
Academic Cover Letter Example #2 (Text Version)
Betty Applicant 567 North Street, Boston, MA 02108 555-555.555 firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Robert Smith Chair, Department of Biology Acme University 123 Business Rd. Business City, NY 54321
Dear Dr. Smith,
I am writing to apply for the position of Assistant Professor of Biology with a focus on molecular biology at XYZ University, as advertised in the March issue of Science. I am currently a postdoctoral fellow at the University of XYZ in the Department of Molecular Biology, working under the advisement of Professor Linda Smith. I am confident that my research interests and teaching experience make me an ideal candidate for your open position.
My current research project, which is an expansion on my dissertation, “[insert title here],” involves [insert research project here]. I have published my dissertation findings in Science Journal and am in the processing of doing the same with my findings from my current research. The laboratory resources at XYZ University would enable me to expand my research to include [insert further research plans here] and seek further publication.
Beyond my successes as a researcher (including five published papers and my current paper in process), I have had extensive experience teaching a variety of biology courses. As a graduate student at Science University, I served as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for both biology and chemistry introductory courses and won the university award for outstanding teacher’s assistant. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of ABC, I have had the opportunity to teach Introduction to Biology as well as a graduate-level course, Historicizing Molecular Biology. In every class, I strive to include a blend of readings, media, lab work, and discussion to actively engage students with the material. I would love the opportunity to bring my award-winning lesson planning and teaching skills to your biology department.
I am confident that my research interests and experience combined with my teaching skills make me an excellent candidate for the Assistant Professor of Biology position at XYZ University. I have attached my curriculum vitae, three recommendations, and the two requested sample publications. I would be happy to send you any additional materials such as teaching evaluations or past and proposed course syllabi. I will be available to meet with you at the ASBMB conference or anywhere else at your convenience. Thank you so much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.
Betty Applicant (hard copy letter)
It’s important to submit all your application materials in the format requested by the college or university. You may be asked to email, mail, or apply online via the institution’s applicant tracking system.
You may be required to provide references with your application, so be prepared to submit a list of references. The institution may also request transcripts, teaching evaluations, and writing samples.
Send only what is requested. There's no need to include information that the institution hasn't ask for.
However, you can offer to provide additional materials like writing samples, syllabi, and letters of recommendation in the last paragraph of your letter.
Follow the instructions in the job posting for submitting your application. It should specify what format the college wants to receive.
Here are some examples of what you may be asked to include with your cover letter and resume or CV:
- A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references.
- A cover letter (PDF format) of interest indicating your qualifications and reason for application, Curriculum Vitae (PDF format), and a minimum of three professional references, including phone and email contact information.
- A letter of interest, a Curriculum Vitae, a teaching vision statement, a research vision statement that specifically indicates how you would interact with or collaborate with other department faculty, and three references.
- A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references. Please upload these as ONE document in RTF, DOC or PDF format.
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It has been said, "Unless you want your resume to end up at the bottom of a secretary's wastebasket, don't send (or fax) your resume anywhere without an accompanying cover letter." We add, "The letter needs to be addressed to a person with whom you have made contact." The cover letter either introduces the specific employer to you or refers to a contact you have made with the employers. The only purpose of a cover letter and resume is to obtain an interview. It should be concise, confident, positive, and cordial.
The cover letter should include the following three components:
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- The second paragraph indicates how your skills and qualifications relate to the organization or a specific position. Highlight small portions of your resume that apply to a position's requirements. Use examples of specific achievements or qualifications and focus on how you were able to produce results. Try not to repeat sections of your resume, but try to amplify related qualifications.
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