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Like any good sales pitch, your cover letter should motivate the customer to learn more about the product—in this case, you.
A good cover letter, like a good sales pitch, has several characteristics. First, like a good doctor, it does no harm: It avoids making a negative impression. Second, it demonstrates that the product suits the consumer's—your future employer's—specific needs.
Third, it assures the customer that the quality of the product you is superb. Accomplishing all this is easier said than done. So how do you write a cover letter that will do you justice and earn an interview?
First you need a plan. If the cover letter is to be effective, it must definitely be tailored to the particular institution. Robert Horvitzwho shared the Nobel Prize for physiology and medicine and has chaired search committees at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge.
Whitmire would allow applicants a bit more room: Door Opener Par Excellence " The match An effective cover letter doesn't just emphasize your best qualities; it also shows how well those qualities are likely to mesh with the open position. The former is necessary, but the decision to interview will often be made upon research area or some other measure of fit to the department's needs at that moment in time.
Department websites are a good starting point, but don't stop there. Go beyond the public information, and seek a sense of perspective. Close senior colleagues can serve the same purpose. Read beyond the job ad, and figure out what they're really looking for. Once you've got a fix on the institution, the department, and the open position, ask yourself what abilities or special qualities a candidate needs to excel in that position.
Then determine which of your qualifications and accomplishments will particularly interest this department. Think about your research plans, past research accomplishments, special projects, and previous employment. What evidence can you put forward that your background and plans prepare you well for this opening?
How well do your research interests match those described in the advertisement? How well will they complement the work of the current faculty?
How will your presence there make the department better?
All this information will determine what to emphasize in your cover letter. Writing the body of the letter Your research accomplishments and plans should constitute the body of your cover letter for a research university position.
At institutions where teaching is the primary emphasis, your primary focus should be your teaching experience, philosophy, and goals—and the suitability of your research program to a teaching-focused environment. Focus on your most important two or three examples of proposed research projects and innovative teaching plans, such as developing novel courses.
These examples should change from one cover letter to another, as you customize your letters for different jobs. The opening After the body of your cover letter has been drafted, you come to the most critical step: Salespeople call this "having a handle.
For example, summarizing how well your research interests match the ones the department advertised provides an effective letter opening. The opening paragraph should be short but more than one sentence.Writing Cover Letters.
What is a cover letter? What to include in a cover letter; you should take great care to write an impressive and effective letter. Remember that the letter not only tells of your accomplishments but also reveals how effectively you can communicate.
For further information on cover letters contact the Career. Perhaps the most challenging part of the job application process is writing an effective cover letter.
And yes, you should send one. Even if only one in two cover letters gets read, that’s still a 50% chance that including one could help you. Tips for writing a cover letter. If you want your cover letter to be a great one, then here are some tips which you should follow till death!
Don’t use your cover letter to . Whether you're writing a cover letter for the first time, or it's been awhile since it was necessary, Sarmiento's Complete Guide to Writing Effective Resume Cover Letters will arm you with all the basics to get noticed in today's competitive work force.
What is a Cover Letter? Before you start writing a cover letter, you should familiarize yourself with the document’s purpose.
A cover letter is a document sent with your resume to provide additional information on your skills and experience. Downloadable Cover Letter Examples. Browse through our library of industry-specific cover letter samples.
Get inspiration on how to create a cover letter that fits your career path.