ACADEMIC Cover Letter

When you apply for a faculty position at a college or university, your cover letter will differ significantly from the standard business cover letter.

Your cover letter may be reviewed by Human Resources staff to determine if you meet the basic requirements for the job. If it does, it will be sent to a search committee made up primarily of faculty members and academic deans.

These people will be used to reading longer cover letters and academic resumes or curriculum vitae (CV) than would be customary in the business world. Often they will also be more interested in the philosophical underpinnings of your job than the typical business recruiter.

Your initial challenge will be going through the selection of Human Resources. Review each of the required qualifications listed in the job advertisement and compose statements containing evidence that you possess as many of the listed skills, credentials, knowledge, and experiences as possible. Also, address as many of the preferred qualifications as possible. Give concrete examples to support your claims about your strengths.

Be prepared for faculty review

Reviewers from your faculty will typically have an interest in your philosophy and approach to teaching and research within your discipline. They will also assess how your fund fits the type of institution where they work.

Research the faculty in your target department to gauge their orientation and experience. Emphasize the points of intersection between your philosophy and the prevailing departmental philosophy.

If you have traditionally valued areas of expertise that are not yet represented by today's faculty, be sure to point out those strengths in your cover letter. Tailor your letter to the orientation of the university and adjust the mix of teaching and research emphasis based on expectations in that setting.

Universities will typically want to hire new professors who are passionate about their current research and not relying on past research credits.

cover letter format

Your cover letter should be written in the same basic format as a business cover letter. An academic cover letter is typically two pages long compared to a single page for non-academic letters.

This is an example of the proper format for a cover letter and guidelines for formatting your letters.

Job Application Materials

It is important that you submit all of your application materials in the format requested by the college or university. You may be required to submit an email, postal mail, or online application through the institution's applicant tracking system.

Send only what is requested. It is not necessary to include information that the institution has not requested. However, you can offer additional materials such as writing samples, syllabi, and letters of recommendation in the last paragraph of your letter.

Submit your application

Follow the instructions in the job posting to submit your application. You must specify which format the university wants to receive.

Here are some examples of what you may be asked to include with your cover letter and resume or CV:

  • A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references.
  • A cover letter (PDF format) of interest stating your qualifications and the reason for applying, Curriculum Vitae (PDF format), and a minimum of three professional references, including phone and email contact information.
  • A letter of interest, a Curriculum Vitae, a teaching vision statement, a research vision statement that specifically indicates how to interact or collaborate with other faculty in the department, and three references.
  • A cover letter, CV/resume, and contact information for three references. Please upload as ONE document in RTF, DOC or PDF format.

Academic Cover Letter Examples

Model 1

Dear Dr. First Name Last Name,

I am writing to apply for the position of Assistant Professor of English with an Emphasis in 19th Century American Literature which they posted on the MLA Job Information Listing for February 20th. I am a fellow Dean and Ph.D. XYZ University candidate, currently revising the final chapter of my dissertation, and expecting to graduate in May 20XX. I am confident that my teaching experience and research interests make me an ideal candidate for your open position.

Over the past five years, I have taught a variety of English courses. I have taught various American literature study courses as well as writing courses, including technical writing and freshman writing. I have extensive experience working with ESL students, as well as students with a variety of learning disabilities, including dyslexia and dysgraphia, and disabilities such as ADD and ADHD. I pride myself on creating a classroom environment that meets the needs of my students while promoting a high level of critical thinking and writing skills. Some of my most satisfying experiences as a teacher have been helping struggling students understand difficult concepts, through a combination of individual lectures, class activities, and group discussions. I know I would thrive as a professor at your university,

My teaching experience not only meets the needs of your school and department, but my research interests also fit your description of the ideal candidate perfectly. My thesis project, “Ferns and Leaves: Nineteenth-Century Female Authorship Space,” examines the rise and development of American women authors in the 1840s and 1850s, with a particular focus on magazine publishing patterns. I argue that, rather than being submissive to the publisher's requirements, the authors in fact developed a more transparent reciprocal relationship between themselves and their readers than has previously been assumed. I apply recent print culture theory and book history to my readings of novels, magazine articles, letters, and journal entries by various female authors, with a particular focus on Sara Willis (known by her pen name Fanny Fern). I plan to develop my dissertation into a book manuscript and continue to investigate the role of women writers in prewar magazine culture, with a particular focus on the rise and influence of magazine publishers on literary culture.

My research interests have been shaped and shaped by my recent teaching experiences. Last spring, I developed and taught a course on the history of print culture in America. I combined readings on theory and literature dealing with print issues with visits to local museums and historical archives. My students did in-depth studies on particular texts (magazines, newspapers, novels) for their final papers. I believe my interdisciplinary teaching style, particularly my emphasis on material culture, would fit well with the interdisciplinary nature of your English department.

Therefore, I am confident that my teaching experience, my ability to work with ESL and LD students, and my research interests make me an excellent candidate for the position of Assistant Professor of English at ABC College. I have attached my resume and the two sample publications requested. I would be happy to send you any additional materials such as letters of reference, teaching evaluations, and past and proposed syllabuses. I will be available to meet you at the MLA or C19 conference, or anywhere else at your convenience. Thank you very much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.


His sign
Name last Name

model 2

Dear Dr Smith,

I am writing to apply for the position of Assistant Professor of Biology with a Molecular Biology Focus at XYZ University, as published in the February 20XX issue of Science magazine. I am currently a Postdoctoral Fellow at XYZ University in the Department of Molecular Biology, working under the advisory of Professor Linda Smith. I am confident that my research interests and teaching experience make me an ideal candidate for your open position.

Beyond my successes as a researcher (including five published articles and my current paper in progress), I have extensive experience teaching various biology courses. As a graduate student at the University of Science, I worked as a teaching assistant and guest lecturer for introductory biology and chemistry courses, and won the university's Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award. As a postdoctoral fellow at ABC University, I had the opportunity to teach Introduction to Biology, as well as a graduate course, Historicizing Molecular Biology. In each class, I strive to include a mix of reading, media, lab work, and discussion to actively engage students with the material. I would love the opportunity to bring my award-winning lesson planning and teaching skills to your biology department.

I am confident that my research interests and experience combined with my teaching skills make me an excellent candidate for the position of Assistant Professor of Biology at XYZ University. I have attached my resume, three recommendations, and the two requested sample publications. I will be happy to send you any additional material, such as past and proposed teaching assessments or syllabuses. I will be available to meet with you at the ASBMB conference in April or at any other location at your convenience. Thank you very much for your consideration; I look forward to hearing from you.


Signature (printed copy)
Your name

Si quieres conocer otros artículos parecidos a "ACADEMIC Cover Letter" puedes visitar la categoría de cartas PRESENTATION.

  1. Be prepared for faculty review
  2. cover letter format
    1. Job Application Materials
    2. Submit your application
  3. Academic Cover Letter Examples
    1. Model 1
    2. model 2

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