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You absolutely cannot underestimate the importance of an academic cover letter.  Of course, if you have never written one, you might not understand what it is!  That is no problem.  This article will contain all the information you need – the definition, some cover letter tips, places to find some comprehensive help, and some writing advice.

First of all, writing a cover letter for a promotion is what you submit to a college or university when you are applying for a job there.  This includes both community colleges, two year colleges, and four year universities.  It is different from a business cover letter in several ways.  For instance, academic letters tend to be longer – they should generally be at least two pages long.

As far as cover letter writing goes, you need to be meticulous about including your research experiencing and the goals you have, whether they apply to researching, teaching, et cetera.  As far as the minutiae goes, the necessary criteria tends to vary from college to college and university to university.  For example, a four year liberal arts university will understandably require different information than what is needed by a community college.

One of the most beneficial cover letter tips you will ever hear or read is simply this: start preparing ahead of time.  In fact, as soon as you decide that want to work and/or teach at a college or university, you need to start putting together a cover letter template.  That is, it will contain all of your pertinent personal and professional information, and will only lack the specifics associated with any particular institution.  You should also put together a CV (curriculum vitae) template.  After you have designed a template, you should take it to any professors you know, or to the writing center at your university or the university at which you are interested in working.  There, you will be able to get some good cover letter help.  Namely, they will let you know what looks good, what could be improved upon, et cetera.

If you do have a college or university in mind, then you should make yourself familiar with the campus, the institution itself, and the department – or departments – in which you would like to work.  All of this can help you when you get down to writing an academic cover letter for a specific university.  Primarily, you need to recognize whether a particular college university is more oriented towards research or teaching, or both.  Get to know the details about the student body, such as the diversity exhibited, the average background, et cetera.  Get to know the same things about the faculty.  Of course, you should also find out what types of classes are offered, what types of degrees are attainable, and things of that nature.

It is entirely possible that your academic cover letter could ultimately point you in the direction of a tenure track job at the college or university of your choice.  That alone is a good reason to take the cover letter writing process seriously and to do the very best you can.  Remember, your cover letter is going to be part of your first impression.  If it looks disorganized or like it is lacking vital information, you may have to kiss the position of your dreams good bye.

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