Explore Academic Cover Letter Examples & Writing Tips

Learn how to personalise your educational skills and experience for an academic cover letter to catch the attention of the faculty search committee. If you’re looking to move into academia, you need to emphasise your educational experience and knowledge. How can you do that in your cover letter? Find out!



Table of Contents

  1. Academic cover letter example
  2. Academic cover letter
  3. Great academic cover letter example
  4. Tips for writing your academic cover letter using this example
  5. FAQ: academic cover letter

Academic cover letter example

Academic Cover Letter Example

Academic cover letter

In academia, having plenty of experience and knowledge is definitely a big part of getting a job. However, if you’re trying to get hired at a faculty position, you need to have more than just knowledge. You also need to showcase that you’re the right person for the positions you’re applying to. Here’s how you can do so, through an effective great cover letter.

Great academic cover letter example

If you’re looking for an academic cover letter sample to base your cover letter on, here’s a short example:
Dear Mr. Smith,
My teaching philosophy has always been to forge a connection with my students. I’ve followed through with this philosophy as a teaching assistant, resulting in high student pass rates and solid satisfaction ratings. I am excited to use my knowledge and experience to help the University of Cambridge’s social sciences programme.
My academic career has spanned a number of different subjects, but my research interests have always focused on the social sciences. My current research is actually in methods of improving research institutions, especially in improving how teaching evaluations work, and I have received positive feedback from students and colleagues about my mentoring abilities and desire to help.
I believe my teaching experience makes me uniquely qualified to help students at the University of Cambridge, and I look forward to speaking with you about how I can benefit your organisation. I can also provide more information about my research project methodology and future research, as well as how I hope to use it in higher education.
Susan Buck

Tips for writing your academic cover letter using this example

Your first step is to have a great header with your full name, phone number, and email. Then you can start using the following cover letter format to discuss your experience and knowledge.
First paragraph: Introduce yourself with a hook and list your best achievements
The first thing the applicant notes is that she has a unique teaching philosophy. She’s interested in ensuring that students actually learn information, not just passing a class. It’s possible to start your cover letter with something like, “I am pleased to apply to this job title,” but everyone starts their letters this way. Instead, jumping right into something that sets you apart from other job seekers can help capture the interest of a search committee.
Second paragraph: Provide more information about how you’re the best fit for the job
Now that you’ve caught the eye of the search committee members, you can discuss exactly what makes you a fit for the job. Here, the applicant discusses her current research, talking about how it’s about improving teaching evaluations. This can appeal to the type of institution that’s interested in their teaching staff having initiatives and collaborations with their existing research staff.
Third paragraph: Call to action
Lastly, you need a call to action. This applies not only actively requests the interview (“I look forward to speaking with you about how I can benefit your organization”)  but also states that she can provide more information about her future research plans. This gives committee members more incentive to bring her in to talk about her qualifications.

FAQ: academic cover letter

Q: Do I really need a cover letter to get an academic job?

It’s always a good idea to include a cover letter for any job, but a cover letter for an academic job can be particularly important. Academic application materials require that you provide information about your technical skills and about who you are as a person, because a teaching job is so heavily based on how you interact with students, and a letter is a great vehicle for communicating both. If you’re not well-versed in using cover letters, use the cover letter builder from CVHelp to help you create a cover letter.

Q: How long should my cover letter be to get an academic job?

You should aim for anywhere between half a page and 3/4 of a page. Any longer than a single page and you risk losing the interest of the reader. Any shorter than half a page and it may look like you’re seriously underqualified.

Q: Does this cover letter example work if I don’t have a lot of experience?

Remember that experience doesn’t have to just be about previous teaching positions. If you’re a graduate student, you can talk about educational experiences you’ve had, for example. Just highlight the experience that you do have that contains skills critical for the job, regardless of what type of experience it is.


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