Aug 11, 2018 - 09:28 PM
Despite popular belief, the cover letter is still very much alive, especially in the world of academia. According to Inside Hired ED, the cover letter is the most important part of an aspiring academic's application as it is the first thing the search committee sees. More than that, however, it gives the hiring committee a good idea of who you are as a person and teacher.
Though a resume outlines your work history and skill sets, it does not help to showcase your teaching philosophy, moral character, or other soft skills that academic institutions value. It serves as your way of telling the search committee why you—a recent graduate—are more qualified than, say, another candidate who put in five years at Yale.
Your cover letter should be no more than two pages long but not less than one. The tone should be professional, as the search committee wants a colleague and not another student to look after.
Whether you're a recent graduate or a veteran teacher looking for a new position, you may wonder if faculty members still expect to see cover letters in job applications for academia. In short the answer is yes, in academia, the cover letter is not dead.