Best Postdoc Cover Letter Examples

Looking to score a postdoctoral position? Check out this cover letter example to help you get started writing your own.



Table of Contents

  1. Postdoc cover letter example
  2. Postdoc cover letter sample
  3. What is a postdoc?
  4. Great postdoc cover letter example
  5. Tips for writing your postdoc cover letter using this example
  6. FAQ: Postdoc Cover Letters

Postdoc cover letter example

Postdoc Cover Letter Example

Postdoc cover letter sample

To get a postdoctoral position, you should have a cover letter that allows you to stand out from other applicants. When writing a cover letter for a postdoc position, consider featuring your top skills and accomplishments right from the beginning. This will instantly grab your hiring manager’s attention and could give you an edge over other applicants.

What is a postdoc?

A postdoc is a temporary position that allows former students to expand their research. Many postdoc positions are available in universities and allow students to research while expanding their skills and experience relevant to their field of study.

Postdocs are primarily responsible for performing research. Additionally, they may take on responsibilities such as mentoring or teaching students and grant writing. Many of their daily responsibilities can prepare them for a future role as a principal investigator or faculty member.

If you’re interested in taking on a postdoctoral position, then you should write up a cover letter. If you’re not sure what to include in your cover letter, then check out our example below.

Great postdoc cover letter example

Dear Mr. Smith,
I am extremely interested in furthering my postdoctoral studies as part of your team. I am a recent graduate of Caledonia University, where I researched all aspects of cell biology and microbiology. During my time as a student, I’ve gained valuable research experience that has allowed me to develop my knowledge of biology. 
As a graduate student, I have excellent communication skills, pristine attention to detail, and top-notch leadership skills. Additionally, my research interests and student teaching experience have created opportunities that set me apart from others. 
As a creative and qualified postdoctoral candidate, I would love to get the opportunity to discuss this position with you further. I’ve attached my CV and would be happy to set up a time to speak about my skills and qualifications further.
John Johnson

Tips for writing your postdoc cover letter using this example

A good cover letter format can set you apart from other postdoc applicants. If you’re unsure where to start, you can look at some postdoc cover letter examples or follow along below as we go over some cover letter tips. 

Before you write the bulk of your cover letter, include a header with your full name and contact information. Provide your phone number, an appropriate email address, and a link to your LinkedIn profile (if available) so that employers can easily find your name and contact you.

First paragraph: Introduce yourself with a hook and list your best achievements.

The first paragraph of your cover letter should instantly grab a hiring manager’s attention. So, when you write the opening paragraph of your cover letter, talk about skills that set you apart from others. Additionally, you can talk about your years of experience and how you set yourself apart from other applicants.

Second paragraph: Give more information about how you’re the best fit for the job.

Once you’ve got your hiring manager’s attention, you can go on to talk about some of the soft skills and hard skills that you’ve acquired throughout your job experience. Some of the hard skills you may include for a postdoctoral cover letter include:

  • Responsible research methods
  • Social media skills
  • Data analysis skills

Some soft skills that most postdoc applicants should have include:

  • Communication skills
  • Professionalism
  • Leadership skills

Third paragraph: Call to action

For the closing paragraph of your postdoctoral cover letter, write a call to action. Leave it up to the hiring manager to follow up and contact you. You can do this by letting them know that you are interested in the position and would like to discuss it further by saying something like, “I look forward to hearing from you to discuss this research position further.” 

For those applying to educational roles, you might find our detailed guides particularly useful

FAQ: Postdoc Cover Letters

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

You should submit a curriculum vitae and a cover letter for a postdoc application. A curriculum vitae (CV) represents your accomplishments and experiences in academia. A cover letter gives potential employers more details about your most notable career achievements or research projects. Overall, you should always include a cover letter, even if you submit a CV.

Q: How long should my cover letter be to get a postdoc job?

Your cover letter should be at least 3/4 of a page long. Anything less than this could seem like you didn’t put much effort in. But anything more than a page long could be too overwhelming for a hiring manager to read. Keep it brief while highlighting your most relevant experiences and best skills. If you’re not sure what information to include in your cover letter, then consider using a cover letter template to get started.

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

Even if you don’t have a ton of work experience, this cover letter example still works. As the example demonstrates, you can discuss any academic experience or skills that you have, rather than professional achievements. For instance, you can talk about volunteer experience, internship experience, postdoctoral research experience, or other notable skills.


Move your cover letter to the top of the yes pile!

Build my cover letter

We personalize your experience.

We use cookies in our website to ensure we give you the best experience, get to know our users and deliver better marketing. For this purpose, we may share the information collected with third parties. By clicking “Allow cookies” you give us your consent to use all cookies. If you prefer to manage your cookies click on the “Manage cookies” link below.

Manage Cookies