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Career Advice

Former recruitment agency experts answer employment questions, candidly suggesting how to negotiate your salary, find a really good job, handle phone interviews, and more.

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Academic Cover Letter

When applying for an academic position a cover letter is your first chance to make a strong impression. Below are some tips for presenting your qualifications most effectively.

Difference between an academic cover letter and business cover letters

The academic cover letter is similar but the content and length will differ. The academic cover letter goes into more depth and thus can possibly be up to two pages long.

Other Advice on an academic cover letter

Give your contact information for where you can be reached if you will be away during the summer.

If you have some special connection to their school such as having done a previous degree there or having grown up in the area then it might be goos to mention this connection.

Indicate that you will forward on request writing samples, teaching evaluations, letters of recommendation, etc.

Writing an Academic Cover Letter

They typically are longer than other cover letters (2 pages rather than one) and they detail the candidate’s research and teaching goals.

Research the institution and department. For example, find out whether it is more research-oriented or teaching-oriented. Find out what the research interests are of the faculty.

More Tips

Try to find out who will read your cover letter and address your letter to that specific person.

Send your application in early. It is more likely to be reviewed thoroughly if it arrives ahead of the last minute inundation at the deadline.

Send only what is asked for, but indicate that you would be happy to furnish the committee with additional materials if requested.

Mention your major professor by name if (s)he is well known in your field.

For a position with a small undergraduate college, emphasize your teaching experience early in the letter.

Describe your plans for future research.

Have someone proofread and critique your cover letter.



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