Academic Cover Letters
- Allows for more conversational presentation of your accomplishments.
- 1-2 pages is typical, but some disciplines prefer lengthier, more substantive documents. Ask your faculty for guidance on appropriate length in your discipline.
- Paragraph 1: state what you are applying for and when you finished or will finish your PhD; may include why you are interested in the position (e.g., if you attended a small liberal arts college and are applying for a job at one; if you have family in the area and are eager to be close to them; if your work is a particularly excellent fit for their program)
- Paragraph 2: usually the research paragraph. Will include information that is also in CV and/or research statement, but should be in letter too.
- Paragraph 3: usually the teaching paragraph. Can interchange location with research if teaching-intensive position. Describe your experience teaching or TA-ing, along with a quick list of courses you’d feel comfortable teaching.
- (Optional) Paragraph 4: other information of interest, e.g. industry experience, organizational/administrative experience, grant-writing
- Paragraph 5 (or 4): closing; thank them for their time, tell them what documents you have included. Include contact information below name/signature.