Field of Science

Faculty position cover letter Do's and Don't's

Do: Start with the big-picture question your research is investigating.

Do: Explain what distinguishes your work on regulatory protein-of-the-month from everyone else's.

Do:
Recheck the final text just before you submit it.




Don't:
Say that you're applying because you really want to live here.

Don't: Say that you only found out about the position because your buddy showed you the ad.

Don't: List generic research 'skills' such as gel electrophoresis, cell culture, and Microsoft Excel.

Don't: Say that you're the ideal candidate.

Don't: Say that you will happily apply your specialized techniques to any research question (i.e. you don't care about the science, you just want to play with your toys).

Don't: Give a full history of every project you've ever worked on.

Don't: Fill four pages.

Don't: Talk about your passion for research (or any other feelings).

Don't: Say you're hardworking.

Dont: Delay publishing a first-author paper on your post-doc work until you're about to apply for faculty positions.

4 comments:

  1. What the fuck happened to the S's there?! Is that even real? Please tell me it's a hoax! o_O

    I get really awkward around resumes and cover letters and such... I've been brought up in a culture where it's generally frowned upon to talk about yourself, especially good stuff about yourself. Yet in this culture, that's the norm, and if you don't brag, that may imply you -really- suck. Especially in a place where people pad their resumes with practically anything they ever got their hands on, be it a real job or a 1h volunteer stint at the local [insert social cause here]. I can't bring myself to do that. So I get confused. Probably not a really good thing... any suggestions?

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  2. This is probably as useful a post as the ethidium one which a lot of people will appreciate. Thanks Rosie!

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  3. oh, he got one s! in Scientiptp!

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  4. This was a great post, except for the fact that the Don't list was much longer than the Do list. I'd like to know more about what to do when applying for a faculty position.

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