Applying for a job in academia is slightly different from writing other job letters. An academic job letter tends to be longer and spends more time establishing your credentials and education. More information about how to write this job letter is outlined below.
Format and Content
This job letter is longer than most cover letters, and can sometimes run two pages. The academic job letter format begins with an introduction and the job you are applying for. It then continues to multiple paragraphs of your academic qualifications, which includes your specific area of focus and your general education. You should then discuss any additional academic interests you have and how your area of expertise qualifies you for the job you are applying for. As is done with all job letters, you should conclude it with your contact information and reiterate your interest in this opportunity.
Presented below, you will find an academic job letter sample directed to a university’s psychology department. This particular individual is pursuing a position as an assistant professor in the department and emphasizing how his practice interests fir with the overall mission of the institution. If you know your institution’s mission statement, that is certainly worth bringing up, especially if you can address it directly through your experience and qualifications.
111 Resident Lane
New York, NY 10458
August 14, 2013
Professor Laura Miller, Chair
Dear Professor Miller,
I am writing to express my interest in the open assistant professorship in Psychology at New York University. I have completed a PhD program in Clinical Psychology with a concentration in hypnotherapy at the University of California – Los Angeles, and I believe that I am ideally suited to this position.
My PhD dissertation focused on modern hypnotherapy techniques as assistance to clinical therapy. By placing a subject in a relaxed state, hypnotherapy was effectively shown to augment the effectiveness of traditional patient evaluation. The challenge for professionals is to ensure that the relaxed state is not to used to make unhelpful suggestions or unduly influence the patient. My dissertation focused on standardized methods for hypnotherapy to be used without accidentally misleading the patient to an unhelpful solution.
In addition to the interests shown in my doctoral dissertation, my clinical interests include general counseling, emotional disorders, and depression. I have studied extensively on the best methods to communicate with young people who are at an emotionally difficult time in their lives. I believe that this will allow me to better communicate with college students and advise them toward productive outlets that will help them make the best possible life decisions.
My teaching philosophy combines didactic lectures with a hands on approach. Each lesson is intended to be interactive, with students encouraged to offer differing viewpoints that will help foster discussion. Role playing and workshops are also utilized to simulate hands on experience and give students a feel for the situations they will deal with in the field.
I have enclosed a copy of my curriculum vitae, and I will gladly provide other materials upon request. If you have any other questions, I can be reached by telephone at (123) 456-7890 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, and I hope to hear from you soon regarding this exciting opportunity.
Paul McAvoy, PhD