Writing a cover letter correctly is always important but when it is for an Academic role then it is even more so important that the content shows what kind of person you are and how you could perform for a company.
A covering letter is your time to sell yourself. It is something along with your CV that stands in your way of being able to meet with a company face to face and sell your skills and experiences to them so it is very important that it is written well to entice that company to invite you in for an interview.
Focus on your academic background, emphasise your education, any publications you have been involved in, any research that you have done as this will give an employer an idea of your previous works and show them what you are capable of.
The list below are ideas of what to cover and all about writing a successful letter for an academic
Start by going through your CV a great deal. What academic roles have you had in the past? What makes you qualified for these academic roles? Why are you choosing this kind of position? Go through in detail your CV and pick out the bits that an employer is looking for and highlight these so that you can use some of the points when writing your cover letter.
Examples of cover letters
Have a look at some example cover letters and see how people have set them out and what they have included on them but for a general rule, you need an opening paragraph as to the role you are applying for and where you saw it advertised, then the second and third paragraph you need to sell yourself using the job description or advert as a guide. Then end with a closing paragraph and ensure you thank them for reading your application and say that you look forward to hearing from them in due course.
It is important to follow the job description carefully when writing your cover letter. At the end of the day this is the document that the company have put together about the job that they want doing and have thought hard about what skills and previous experience they need. For an academic position, there will be strict education guidelines too so it is important that you outline your education as they require in your covering letter.
Research the company history and information that you need so that you can refer to certain aspects that would be of interest to a company and shows them that you have done some research before even being invited to an interview which makes you stand out from the crowd.
Address to the correct person
Make sure that you address your application to the correct person paying special attention to any letters after names etc so that you do not insult anyone and show that you have paid attention to detail.
Your experience in detail
In a covering letter, a potential employer will want to know what your PhD was done on, where from and when and what teaching experience you have had so that they can assess if you have the right level of experience they are looking for in their academic role. It is important to highlight how your skills will fit into their role and demonstrate to them through your letter how you envisage this. What have you got to offer to them that will be of real interest and set you apart from the other applicants?
If you have any research papers that you have done in the past or any publications then it would be an idea to give links to these and or make reference to these in your covering letter. Ensure that they are relevant to the role that you are applying for but it is important to be able to show them the kind of work and research you have done in the past.
Have you got any future plans, whether it be future research or your long term goals of where you think your role is going and what you want to achieve this.
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