This week I have a few #tips for writing your cover letter for #academia. Keep in mind these suggestions are based on my experiences with #highered and #studentaffairs programs. We hope you find them helpful!
- Introduction – Begin with a strong introduction that introduces yourself and your current role. If you are a current graduate student, indicate your current academic program, any areas of specialization/concentration, and current dissertation status (i.e., ABD, anticipated graduation date).
- Be concise – The cover letter should be about a page and a half to (max) two pages for an entry-level faculty role or postdoctoral fellowship. Do not include every detail of every publication, research project, presentation, or class. The writing should be direct, without overly complicated sentences. Follow writing guidelines for your field (e.g., sentence spacing, margins, font size).
- Write as a colleague, not a graduate student – When you consider your research, teaching, and service, present it as how you will contribute to the department or program area. What are the areas of expertise you will bring? What methodologies can you contribute to the department? What courses might you be able to teach? Research the program or department to learn what is offered and how you can build upon their present foundation.
- Tailor your letter – Reviewers see lots (sometimes over 100!) of cover letters during the recruitment stage. Refer to the job ad and the specific requirements, and then tailor your letter to align with the posting. Elaborate on how you would contribute to the anticipated need and share why this specific position interests you. Include one to two related accomplishments that demonstrate your potential contributions and future trajectory.
- Conclusion – Finish strong by letting the committee know how they will receive your materials. Include any hyperlinks to professional websites or portfolios. Thank the committee for their consideration and include your contact information again (just in case!).
In the end, be yourself and kind to yourself. Job searching is hard work. When you couple that with #wfhlife and being a #mami, it can be downright exhausting! Hang in there, mamis! Also, please also share your thoughts in the comments below. We look forward to hearing from you!
All the love,