10 Tips for writing an academic cover letter

10 Tips for writing

Considered to be the best alternative to resume, cover letters, which works best across all the places where you apply for a job. Academic cover letters are quite longer when compared to other kinds of letters. For one, most of the cover letters are scripted by signifying full details and sentences that is present on your CV too. However, this is baseless. Selectors would have gone through the CV already and no one wants to read it again.

Instead of this, keep the cover letter as a short essay. It needs to be represented as a logical, evidence-based letter that will provide an answer to the question of why should a company hire you? So, keep searching on, here is your up need 10 useful tips for making a cracking academic cover letter, go and grab your desires.

1. Begin with a specific identity.

How to start an essay? Always begin the letter with a clear identity that is always trying to provide clear information about this individual. Now what do you do? The letter should clear these questions of the selectors about a person. The selector should get a clear view of the applicant from the first paragraph of the letter. If an applicant fails to do so in his letter, then there is a high chance of being forgettable.   

To get a job, one needs to be unique and different from others. The letter’s starting paragraph must provide a clear answer to these questions: What is the current job? What’s your field of research, and what’s your primary contribution to your job? What makes you the most suitable person for this role? Above all you can also check that what suits you the most. You should structure your essay correctly to attract and illustrate the views of the opposite ones.

2. Proper Evidence

It is quite natural that in a particular job application, an applicant needs to ‘sell’ himself, but the steps of doing this could be your anxiety. To guard himself against self-aggrandizement, an applicant needs to focus on evidence. If the applicant can provide adequate facts, figures, and charts to strengthen his evidence, then his letter will impact the selector. An applicant should keep in mind that the readers want them to be attractive, and memorable. Don’t describe your job that the selectors already know. For example- if they have asked for good communication skills, the applicant must provide some evidence as proof for his excellent communication skill rather than just merely stating that he or she is good in communication.

3. This is not an encyclopaedia.

Because everything an applicant says should be backed with proper evidence, it doesn’t mean that the applicant needs to include everything. It is seen that most of the individuals are prone to an encyclopaedic keenness in their letters. They provide details about every element of their job description in the letter, and they mention every aspect of the project that they were working upon, every chapter of the book and review article they’ve written. The letters of these kind doesn’t create an impact on the selectors and people fail to grab their attention.

Instead of doing this, the applicant should try to distinguish their main achievements that they have received from any reputed organizations or institutions. You can highlight your letter with proper evidences of the rewards and recognitions that you have received.

4. Holistically thinking

It is not necessary to try to make all the documents perform all your work. This will become repetitive. Let them work together in a holistic manner. If there are research proposals, then there is no need to provide a long paraphrase of the cover letter’s proposal. If there is any teaching statement, then it is useless to write more teaching or lengthy paragraphs. What is needed is to provide a snapshot where other information can easily be found.

5. Don’t go beyond two sides

There is no proper reason why the cover letters must cross more than two sides. It is seen that many people are shortlisted for fellowships and lectureships having a letter that is fitted to an A4. This is quite easy to do and easy to read for the selectors who might be impressed in the first go itself. Don’t compromise by shrinking the fonts or size of the letters just to accommodate it in a single page.

6. Writing about the research

In almost most of the academic application, fellowship is included. There is a high risk and disadvantage to write on your research so that a professional in that field can only understand it. It is much secured to pitch the letter to be understood easily and gain a huger readership. A person can show the draft version of his or her letters to some who is his or her immediate department. Can they understand what you have researched upon? Can they determine its significance? The selectors have other works, so they can’t care about every detail. Try to keep it crisp, straight to the point, and take a minimalistic approach.

7. Bridge the Gap

Don’t start with the statement that everyone uses. Try to make it different even though people are aware of the topic that you are going to write for. It does not even matter whether any other scholarship is present on the topic that you have chosen to discuss. Perhaps it didn’t get the right attention, efforts, time, or resources during that time. You can bridge the gap of how different your research and letter is.

8. Writing about teaching: avoid making a list

Avoid making any list here. There is no need to detail each course because selectors can also see it on your resume and identify it. There is absolutely no need to get into the details that are already present in your resume, module, or letter. Similarly, one doesn’t need to quote extensively from student feedback.

You can add some examples of related teaching, names of courses, and other aspects in fewer quantities that will suffice the motive of providing such information.

9. Be specific on the department

One should provide specific details about the department he wants to join and why he wants to join. Lookout for impactful statements that could create an effective impact on the selectors across all the reputed institutions. 

For example – “I would like to seek for an admission in the X department, with its leading research, teaching, and reputation. It would be the right place to shape my career and develop my knowledge, skills, and expertise.

10. Be yourself

Sometime it feels like a slim picking while hunting for a job. Most people feel enthusiastic to apply for any job that comes in their comfort zone even though it’s not a perfect fit for them. But it is always required to give you and try to realize your capabilities to make the best out of such situations. Rather than remodelling yourself into an approximate of what one thinks of the selectors, one should try to be himself. However, if you are going to shake that by your cover letter, then you should keep trust on your skills, and you can learn about how to write a good essay also.


These are some important tips to write an impactful academic letter and stand out of the crowd. Implement these tips and work on your execution part to an effective academic letter.

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