How to Write

How to Write a Cover Letter: Personalizing Your Application for Maximum Impact

Cover Letter
Eric Stelee
Last updated:
Apr 17, 2024
Published:
Feb 6, 2023

In today's fiercely competitive job market, did you know that up to 50% of recruiters and hiring managers consider a well-written cover letter as crucial as the resume itself? Despite this, a surprising 45% of job applicants admit to not including a cover letter with their applications. Shockingly, such a simple omission can reduce the likelihood of landing an interview by a staggering 30%.

It's evident that the cover letter holds significant weight in the hiring process, acting as your personal narrative to complement your resume. So, if you want to boost your chances of getting noticed and landing your dream job, mastering the art of crafting an impactful cover letter is essential. Let's explore how to write a cover letter by harnessing the power of words to make your application stand out from the rest. Just in case you need the solution fast, our paper writers can do cover letters too!

What is a Cover Letter?

A cover letter is a crucial component of a job application for academic positions, such as faculty positions, postdoctoral fellowships, or research positions. Unlike cover letters for other industries, academic cover letters typically include additional elements such as a statement of research interests, teaching philosophy, and academic accomplishments. This document allows candidates to convey their academic background, research expertise, and teaching experience and fit with the institution's academic culture and mission. It is a persuasive narrative showcasing the candidate's scholarly contributions, potential for future research, and commitment to teaching excellence.

Cover Letter Format

To write a cover letter that brings the desired effect, follow the specific format with a structured layout consisting of several key sections:

  • Header

Include your contact information (name, address, phone number, email) at the top of the page, followed by the date and the recipient's contact information (if known), including their name, title, company/institution, and address.

  • Salutation

Address the recipient by name if possible (e.g., "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Dr. Jones"). If you don't have a specific name, you can use a general salutation such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Selection Committee."

  • Introduction

Begin with a brief and engaging introduction that states the purpose of your letter. Mention the position you're applying for and where you found the job posting. You can also express your enthusiasm for the opportunity.

  • Body Paragraphs

The body of the cover letter typically consists of two to three paragraphs. Use this section to highlight your relevant skills, experiences, and accomplishments that make you a strong candidate for the position. Tailor your content to align with the job description and demonstrate how your background fits the needs of the organization.

  • Closing

Conclude your cover letter with a strong closing statement. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply and reiterate your interest in the position. You can also mention your availability for an interview and include a polite request for further consideration.

  • Signature

End the letter with a professional closing (e.g., "Sincerely" or "Best regards"), followed by your full name. If you're submitting a physical copy of the letter, leave space for your handwritten signature above your typed name. If submitting electronically, you can include a scanned signature image or simply type your name.

  • Enclosures

If you're submitting additional documents along with your cover letter (such as a resume, CV, or writing samples), mention them at the end of the letter (e.g., "Enclosure: Resume").

How to Write a Winning Cover Letter?

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How to Write a Cover Letter?

Discover six straightforward steps to write a cover letter. Below, we'll provide comprehensive guidance on the essential components to incorporate in each section, complete with illustrative examples. Should you lack time, simply say, ‘write my paper for me,’ and one of our experts will address your current concerns.

How to Write a Cover Letter

Step 1: Understand the Institution and Position

Begin by thoroughly researching the academic institution and the specific position you're applying for. Explore the institution's website, academic programs, faculty profiles, recent publications, and other resources to gain insights into its mission, values, research focus, and teaching philosophy. Pay close attention to the job description and requirements outlined in the job posting, including the department's needs and expectations for the role. Identify key skills, experiences, and qualifications the institution seeks in a candidate. Tailor your cover letter to demonstrate how your academic background, research interests, teaching experience, and professional goals align with the needs of the department and the institution.

For example, if you're applying for a faculty position in biology at a liberal arts college, research the college's emphasis on undergraduate teaching and its commitment to interdisciplinary learning. Tailor your cover letter to highlight your experience mentoring undergraduate students in research projects and your ability to integrate your research interests with the undergraduate curriculum. Emphasize your commitment to fostering a collaborative and inclusive learning environment that engages students from diverse backgrounds.

Step 2: Address the Recipient Appropriately

Take the time to address your cover letter to the appropriate recipient within the academic institution. If possible, find out the name of the hiring committee chair, department head, or search committee members through the institution's website or departmental directory or by contacting the department directly. Addressing your cover letter to a specific individual demonstrates your professionalism, attention to detail, and genuine interest in the position. If you're unable to find a specific name, use a generic salutation such as "Dear Search Committee" or "Dear [Department Name] Hiring Committee." Avoid overly generic greetings like "To Whom It May Concern," as they can appear impersonal and generic in an academic context.

For instance, if you're applying for a postdoctoral research position in psychology, and you know the name of the faculty member leading the research project, address your cover letter directly to them. Use salutations such as "Dear Dr. Smith" or "Dear Professor Jones." This personalized approach demonstrates your professionalism and attention to detail, which are highly valued academic qualities.

Step 3: Craft a Compelling Introduction

Start your academic cover letter with a compelling introduction that immediately captures the reader's attention and sets the tone for the rest of the letter. Begin by introducing yourself and stating the specific position you're applying for, along with where you found the job listing (e.g., department website, academic job board, professional network). Briefly highlight your academic background, including your degree(s), major(s), and any relevant academic honors or awards.

Consider starting your cover letter with a brief anecdote that illustrates your passion for your field of study and your excitement about the opportunity. For example, if you're applying for a tenure-track faculty position in history, you could begin with a story about a pivotal moment in your academic journey that sparked your interest in a particular historical period or research question. This personal touch helps to establish a connection with the reader and sets the tone for the rest of the cover letter.

Express your enthusiasm for the opportunity to join the academic community at the institution and contribute to its research and teaching missions. Consider incorporating a brief sentence or two about why you're particularly interested in the position or how your academic interests align with the department's research focus or teaching goals.

Step 4: Highlight Your Academic Achievements and Research Experience

In the body of your academic cover letter, focus on highlighting your most significant academic achievements, research experiences, and scholarly contributions that directly align with the requirements and expectations of the position. Provide specific examples of your research projects, publications, presentations, and other scholarly activities demonstrating your expertise and potential for future research.

Discuss your research interests, methodologies, theoretical frameworks, and any interdisciplinary collaborations or innovative approaches you've pursued. Tailor your examples to match the department's and institution's specific needs and priorities. For example, if the position emphasizes the importance of conducting high-impact research and securing external funding, discuss your track record of publishing in top-tier journals, securing grants or fellowships, and mentoring undergraduate or graduate students in research projects.

Step 5: Showcase Your Teaching Experience and Pedagogical Approach

Demonstrate your teaching experience, expertise, and commitment to excellence in undergraduate and/or graduate education. Highlight any teaching roles you've held, courses you've developed or taught, and innovative teaching methods or technologies you've utilized. Discuss your approach to teaching, including your philosophy, goals, and strategies for fostering student engagement, critical thinking, and intellectual growth.

Provide specific examples of how you've designed curriculum, developed instructional materials, assessed student learning outcomes, and mentored students in their academic and professional development. Tailor your examples to match the department's and institution's specific needs and expectations. For example, if the position involves teaching courses in your specialization, discuss your experience designing and delivering courses that integrate your research interests and engage students in active learning and research-based inquiry.

Step 6: Close with a Strong Conclusion

End your academic cover letter with a strong and confident closing statement that leaves a positive impression on the reader and reinforces your enthusiasm for the position and the institution. Express your gratitude for the opportunity to apply and reiterate your interest in contributing to the academic community and advancing the department's research and teaching missions. Invite the reader to contact you for further discussion or to schedule an interview. To facilitate communication, provide your contact information, including your phone number and email address. Avoid using generic closing phrases and instead opt for a specific, memorable statement that reflects your academic achievements and professional goals.

For example, "Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the possibility of joining the esteemed faculty at [Institution Name] and contributing to its vibrant intellectual community. I am eager to discuss how my research expertise, teaching experience, and passion for interdisciplinary inquiry align with the department's goals and priorities. Please feel free to contact me at [Phone Number] or [Email Address] to schedule a conversation. I look forward to the opportunity to further discuss my qualifications and potential contributions to [Institution Name]."

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Effective Cover Letter Tips

Tailor Your Cover Letter to Each Opportunity

Avoid using a generic cover letter for all job applications. Instead, customize each cover letter to align with the job description and company culture. Highlight relevant skills, experiences, and achievements that demonstrate your suitability for the role. For instance, if you're applying for a part-time marketing internship, emphasize your marketing coursework, your involvement in relevant student organizations, and any related projects or internships.

Showcase Your Transferable Skills

Even with limited work experience, you likely possess valuable transferable skills gained through academics, extracurricular activities, volunteer work, or part-time jobs. Highlight communication, teamwork, problem-solving, time management, and adaptability skills. Provide concrete examples of how you've demonstrated these skills in various contexts, such as group projects, leadership roles, or community service activities.

Emphasize Your Academic Achievements

As a student, your academic performance can be a strong indicator of your potential to excel professionally. Highlight relevant academic achievements, such as high GPAs, academic awards, scholarships, research projects, or conference presentations. Discuss any honors societies you've been a part of or academic clubs you've participated in. Academic achievements can demonstrate your dedication, intellect, and commitment to excellence.

Convey Enthusiasm and Professionalism

Employers value candidates who are enthusiastic about the opportunity and demonstrate professionalism in their communication. Express genuine interest in the position and the company by researching the organization and referencing specific aspects that appeal to you. Use professional language and format your cover letter professionally, including a clear and concise structure, proper grammar and spelling, and an appropriate salutation and closing. Demonstrate professionalism by promptly following any application instructions and submitting your materials. If you’re applying for an internship or scholarship, you can tell one of our specialists, ‘write my thesis for me’ to focus more on your career rather than research papers.

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