Cover letters are an important part of any search in higher education careers. Why? Because with the number of applicants pursuing any higher education job, the amount of time that the search committee chair, or any other hiring individual has to review applications is limited, at best! The cover letter is often the first thing the search committee reviews.
There are some key points to incorporate into every cover letter:
When responding electronically to an academic position posting, incorporate your cover letter into the email. That is, do not attach a cover letter (word document) to the email. Make the email your cover letter and attach your resume to that email.
Finally, prior to sending, proof-read and spell check your letter (as well as your resume). Ask a family member or friend to proof-read your cover letter and review for grammatical and punctuation errors. Competence can be stated in words, but it is also demonstrated in one’s writing style.
John McCarthy is Associate Dean for the College of Education, at Kutztown University, Kutztown, PA.
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