Academic Cover Letter: Writing Cover Letters That Fit Worksheet

Category: Job Search Writing – Job-Related Letters

Prepare yourself with this Academic Cover Letter Worksheet for writing cover letters by brushing up on your job writing for teaching or researching positions at higher learning institutions. Ten exercises help you gather and prepare the information you need to write a solid letter.

Academic Cover Letter: Writing Cover Letters That Fit


For each of the exercises below, follow the instructions for each individual exercise. If you already have a particular institution or job notice in mind, focus your answers around that institution. If you do not, select an institution that interests you, and focus your answers around it.

  • Visit the institution’s website, faculty websites within the department that interests you and the department website. View any other materials online you feel can provide relevant information.

  • Using the information you read about in #1, answer the following questions:

  • Is the school research oriented, teaching oriented or both?

  • What research interests the faculty, what degrees do faculty members hold
    and have faculty members published their research?

  • Are classes more lecture or seminar based? What classes are offered? What about special classes?

  • What is the student body like?

  • What information would you include in the first paragraph of your academic cover letter?

  • Would you put more emphasis on your teaching philosophy or on your research and dissertation? Why?

  • Do you have any ties to the institution or the surrounding community? If yes, what are they?

  • What makes you a strong candidate for the position?

  • Using your answers from the above exercises and other pertinent information discovered in your research of an institution, develop a brief outline of the information to include in your academic cover letter.