Cover Letters for Academic Jobs

Producing a cover letter can be overwhelming, and the best way to get started
is by studying successful examples from your discipline and related fields.
This workshop has an emphasis on grammar, tone, and presentation of
ideas specifically for international students.

Purpose of a cover letter

  • Connect your skills and experiences to the position for which you are applying.
  • Show that you are familiar with the university (or company) and demonstrate that you are a good candidate for the position.
  • Demonstrate that you understand the conventions of formal academic communication.


  • Position for which you are applying and where you found out about this position
  • When you expect to have your Ph.D. in hand
  • Teaching: experience and philosophy
  • Research: experience and future plans
  • Enclosures
  • Tailor the content to the position.  Write a different cover letter for each institution!