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Academic Cover Letter Template [For Faculty Positions]

Academic Cover Letter Template [For Faculty Positions]

Your passion and skill make you the best choice for that university job. Now prove it to the selection committee. This academic cover letter sample gets you through the ivy.

Writing a cover letter for academic jobs isn’t first year level. 

 

That’s where this academic cover letter sample comes in.

 

 Your CV is polished to a high gloss. 

 

But does that matter if they only skim it?

 

You have to write a cover letter for faculty positions that shows your laurels.

 

This guide will show you:

  • A sample cover letter for academic jobs better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • Ten academic cover letter examples for inspiration.
  • How to write an academic covering letter with authority.
  • Why achievements are the key to a great academic job cover letter.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your CV. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

sample cv and cover letter set

Sample Cover Letter for a CV—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Send your cover letter for academic jobs with a job-winning academic CV. See our guide: How to Write an Academic CV: Example and Template

 

Considering other careers? See our cover letter guides:

 

This academic cover letter template fills the prerequisites:

 

Academic Cover Letter Sample

 

Your Name

Title

Current University/Institution (if employed)

Your Postal Address

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Date

 

Hiring Official’s Name

Title

Honorary Title if Any

University/Institution Name

Postal Address

 

Dear [Hiring Official Name],

 

I'm excited to apply for the job of Professor of English at the University of Roehampton. The most energizing aspect of my work as Professor of English at the University of Nottingham has been supervising independent Final Year Projects. In that capacity I've coached 17 outstanding young writers during my time here, leading and challenging them to do their best work. Twelve are now employed as full-time writers. four have written Sunday Times Best Sellers. Two work for the Guardian. Three have received British Journalism Awards. The satisfaction I get from their achievements is visceral and awe-inspiring.

 

I'm so excited about the opening, in part because of your robust Final Year Scholar Program. The opportunity to expand and extend my mentoring to over 10 students per year would be a dream come true. Your posting says you're seeking an English professor with four years of experience at the university level. I have five years. You also need a professor with a Doctorate in English Literature, experience teaching a variety of English classes, and strong interpersonal skills. Here are a few of my achievements in those areas:

  • Doctorate. Graduated from University College London with a PhD in Comparative Literature. Wrote, submitted, and published "Nabokov in Full," a fictionalized account of a literary researcher that received the Booker Prize in 2008.
  • Teaching a variety of English classes. Taught multiple modern European literature survey courses and literary theory classes. Nine were undergraduate and 18 were postgraduate-level. Conducted 7 writing classes, including 4 in fiction and 3 in nonfiction.
  • Interpersonal skills. Consistently scored 99.9% in student exit surveys. Worked closely with 11 other English professors in the department in a project to raise LBGTQ awareness. Post-project data showed a 70% decrease in reported instances of insensitivity.

 

I would thoroughly enjoy sitting down with you to discuss how my passion for creating intellectual engagement aligns with your mission to enable each student to find his or her unique potential. I'd also be glad to tell you how I proved to a student uninterested in writing that he is actually a best-selling author in disguise.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[Your Name, Title]

[Current University/Institution]

 

With an academic cover letter template like that, they’d have to interview you. 

 

Now here’s how to write a great academic cover letter:

 

1. Use a Respected Academic Cover Letter Template

 

Writing a good cover letter for university jobs takes certain core requirements.

 

This academic cover letter template has them.

 

Hit all the right notes and the selection committee is bound to notice you.

 

Sample Cover Letter for Academic—Checklist

 

  • Your contact info
  • The hiring official’s info
  • Dear (hiring official’s name)
  • Paragraph 1: biggest accomplishment that fits their needs
  • Paragraph 2: passion + achievements that prove skills they want
  • Paragraph 3: your offer + a little mystery
  • Yours sincerely + your name + title

Pro Tip: How to mention passion in a cover letter for assistant professors? Start with a skill the school wants. Then show a time your passion—plus that skill—helped students.

What’s the right academic covering letter format? What fonts should you choose? See our guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide

 

2. Start Your Academic Cover Letter Strong

 

You’re in trouble.

 

That Head of Department is really busy.

 

She’s got her own classes to keep up with. Plus there’s department business and 100+ academic cover letters and CVs to read.

 

You need to get your message across fast or you’ll lose her.

 

So—start strong.

 

Grab her with a Cambridge-worthy academic achievement.

 

These cover letter for academic jobs examples show how:

 

Academic Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]

 

The first of these cover letter for academic faculty position examples passes with flying colors.

 

The position wants someone skilled in one-on-one coaching.

 

RIGHT

Your Name

Title

Current University/Institution (if employed)

Your Postal Address

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Date

 

Hiring Official’s Name

Title

Honorary Title if Any

University/Institution Name

Postal Address

 

Dear [Hiring Official Name],

 

I'm excited to apply for the job of Professor of English at the University of Roehampton. The most energizing aspect of my work as Professor of English at the University of Nottingham has been supervising independent Final Year Projects. In that capacity I've coached 17 outstanding young writers during my time here, leading and challenging them to do their best work. Twelve are now employed as full-time writers. four have written Sunday Times Best Sellers. Two work for the Guardian. Three have received British Journalism Awards. The satisfaction I get from their achievements is visceral and awe-inspiring.

That academic cover letter example works because it:

 

  1. Shows a massive academic achievement
  2. Fits the position

 

But this sample cover letter for academic jobs is a clear fail:

 

WRONG

I’m writing to apply for the position of English Professor at the University of Roehampton. For the past five years I’ve worked as an English Professor here at the University of Nottingham. During that time I’ve handled all aspects of the roles and responsibilities inherent in the position, including...

That’s first-year level stuff.

 

It just says, “I’m an English professor.” It shows no indication that you fit this school and this position.

 

You want the hiring official to sit bolt upright in her chair.

 

But what if you’re writing an entry-level academic advisor cover letter?

 

Academic Advisor Cover Letter With No Experience

 

Are you an academic advisor? Or do you need a cover letter for research positions at the undergraduate level?

 

  1. Learn which academic skills the job needs most.
  2. Tell about a time you used those skills to help out massively.

 

You still need achievements, but get them from unrelated jobs.

 

For instance?

 

Let’s say you need to prove research skills, but you’ve never been an academic researcher.

 

However, as a student, you researched job burnout. You got top marks. The UK MBA podcast interviewed you about it. The episode got 75,000 listeners.

 

That’s the right achievement for your academic cover letter’s first paragraph.

 

You can also start a cover letter for academic jobs with:

  • Something you love about the school or department
  • A fact that shows your passion
  • A connection at the school
  • A recent, positive news item about the school

 

See the next of our academic cover letter examples:

 

When Carol Daviau suggested I apply to the undergraduate research position, I knew it was the perfect fit. My manager at Industrial Chemistry News Today called me the most helpful researcher he’s ever known. The daily research I did for her required me to develop and use skills in Google Scholar and networking outreach.

 

Top of the class.

 

It shows you practically invented the skills they need.

Need more help with how to start an academic cover letter so the hiring official notices you? See our guide: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide

When making a CV in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your CV here.

When you’re done, Zety’s CV builder will score your CV and tell you exactly how to make it better.

3. Write an Educational Academic Cover Letter Middle

 

Watch out.

 

Don’t let your cover letter for academic jobs ramble after the first paragraph.

 

To land the interview, add more proof you’re the perfect candidate.

 

In your academic cover letter second paragraph, include:

 

  1. Why you love the position
  2. Your understanding of its duties
  3. More evidence you’re versed in them

 

Learn how from these academic covering letter examples:

 

Academic Cover Letter Examples [Middle]

 

The first of these academic cover letter examples scores high. It shows motivation, understanding, and evidence.

 

RIGHT

I'm so excited about the opening, in part because of your robust Final Year Scholar Program. The opportunity to expand and extend my mentoring to over 10 students per year would be a dream come true. Your posting says you're seeking an English professor with four years of experience at the university level. I have five years. You also need a professor with a Doctorate in English Literature, experience teaching a variety of English classes, and strong interpersonal skills. Here are a few of my achievements in those areas:

  • Doctorate. Graduated from University College London with a PhD in Comparative Literature. Wrote, submitted, and published "Nabokov in Full," a fictionalized account of a literary researcher that received the Booker Prize in 2008.
  • Teaching a variety of English classes. Taught multiple modern European literature survey courses and literary theory classes. Nine were undergraduate and 18 were postgraduate-level. Conducted 7 writing classes, including 4 in fiction and 3 in nonfiction.
  • Interpersonal skills. Consistently scored 99.9% in student exit surveys. Worked closely with 11 other English professors in the department in a project to raise LBGTQ awareness. Post-project data showed a 70% decrease in reported instances of insensitivity.

 

That’s in good standing.

 

That cover letter for academic jobs example shows you want the job. Then it shows you know the job and you can do the job.

 

How could they resist?

 

But the next of our cover letter for academic position examples shows up late: 

 

WRONG

I’d really like to work at the University of Roehampton. You’ve got one of the best English programmes in the UK. I believe I’d be a good fit because I’m passionate about teaching. I’m also highly skilled in classroom management, curriculum creation, assessing students, and working collaboratively with other professors.

That’s not a complete disaster, but it won’t land interviews.

 

Why does the second of those academic cover letter examples fail? Because it says, “I’m a good professor.” But it’s generic.

 

It doesn’t say why this university, nor does it prove your professional skills.

A cover letter for academic jobs can be a little longer than the average. See our guide: How Long Should A Cover Letter Be? Sample & Guide

4. End Your Academic Cover Letter Right

 

‘Thank you for your time.’

 

That’s not how to end a cover letter for academic jobs.

 

The head of department will barely see it.

 

Believe it or not, you need to offer something.

 

These academic cover letter examples show the lesson plan:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Academic [Ending]

 

The first of these cover letter examples for academic jobs did its homework:

 

RIGHT

I would thoroughly enjoy sitting down with you to discuss how my passion for creating intellectual engagement aligns with your mission to enable each student to find his or her unique potential. I'd also be glad to tell you how I proved to a student uninterested in writing that he is actually a best-selling author in disguise.

 

Yours sincerely,

 

[Your Name, Title]

[Current University/Institution]

That’s first class honours material.

 

That academic covering letter sample promises:

 

  1. Alignment with the university’s mission.
  2. A little mystery and an exciting story.

 

But this academic cover letter sample needs more work:

 

WRONG

Thank you for your time. I’d love to discuss the position face to face.

That’s not even worth a third.

 

Everybody wants the interview. You need to earn it.

Want other ways to end your cover letter for faculty positions? See our guide: How to End a Cover Letter [+Examples]

Key Takeaway

 

Summary:

 

How to write an academic cover letter:

  • Use the 3-paragraph academic cover letter format. It shows passion, understanding, and a fit they can’t ignore.
  • Start strong. The first paragraph of a cover letter for academic jobs needs a big, eye-catching fact.
  • Show skills. The middle of your academic covering letter should show you’ve mastered their most needed skills.
  • Make an offer. Your academic cover letter’s ending has to leave them thinking they had better call you soon.

 

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your CV will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

 

matching set of cv and cover letter

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Not sure how to start an academic job cover letter? Need a cover letter for other university jobs? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to help.

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Jacques Buffett, CPRW
Jacques, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published almost 200 articles on Zety. His insights and advice have been published by LinkedIn, Forbes, MSN, Yahoo!, Business Insider, AOL, U.S. News, and other top news outlets. He also has extensive professional experience in people management and recruitment.

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