Postdoc cover letter uk


The objective

Many graduate students applying for their first postdoctoral positions underestimate the importance of the cover letter.


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While it may be true that your awesomeness is beautifully outlined on your curriculum vitae, your cover letter often will dictate whether the busy principal investigator puts your application at the top of the heaping pile or into triage. First impressions are everything for some people, so leave nothing to chance.

Start off right.

Does anyone have any good postdoc cover letter examples?

A letter that appears to come off an assembly line is likely to ride directly into the trash bin. If you do not invest the time to learn about the PI and his or her research, then the PI is not likely to invest the time to read your application. After the salutation, the first statement should be a formality that states why you are writing to the PI. If you are not immediately available for hire, it is useful to mention when you will be able to start. End the first paragraph with just one or two concise sentences that hint at why you are the ideal candidate for the position — you will expand on these points next.

In the second paragraph, elaborate on why you should be considered for the postdoc — not just any postdoc, mind you, but this particular postdoc in this particular lab. Yes, it is infinitely easier to use the same cover letter for the dozens of postdoctoral positions for which you are applying, but that is not going to cut it.

Writing a winning cover letter | Science | AAAS

These uniform letters are easy to detect and usually dismissed as lazy and insincere. If you fail to convince the PI that you are taking the postdoc search seriously, then the PI is not likely to take you seriously. Other CV and application advice from the Careers Service. Skip to main content. Search: Search. Careers Service Careers Service. Contact us. Target your CV When preparing any CV you should be targeting it to the job for which you are applying.


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Guidelines on how to prepare an academic CV and covering letter can be found in the document below: How to write an academic CV and cover letter It's also important to spell out exactly how your abilities and interests align with the position, says Aaron Genest, who recruits candidates as part of his job with software firm Solido Design Automation in Saskatchewan, Canada. Because it's rare that an applicant's background exactly matches all of the criteria that hirers seek, it can help to make it clear in your letter that you are willing to do what is necessary to learn the specific skills that the hiring organization needs, such as by taking a course.

When all else is equal — background, education, skills, talents and abilities — getting the job is often down to your personality and how well you might fit in with the team.

Writing a good CV

Outside an in-person interview, only your cover letter can offer a glimpse of your persona and disposition. Kevin Wang, a recruiter at biotech firm Stemcell Technologies in Vancouver, Canada, says that an applicant's 'personal brand', or individuality, is best conveyed in story form in the letter.

pfehafouttidu.tk You might, he suggests, write briefly about a time when you demonstrated your excellence at teamwork or problem solving, or explain in a concise way why you want the job. If you can link a personal interest to the position in some way, you should do so. Wang, who takes part in triathlons, says that if he were writing a cover letter for himself, he would probably include how triathlon training has taught him to be resilient and tenacious in the face of challenges.

Similarly, if you're enthusiastic and excited about the potential job, you should judiciously express that emotion. Cover letters that are vibrant and creative but not outlandish spur him to spend more time on the applicant's CV, he says.


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The importance of a cover letter may vary depending on whether you're applying for a position in industry, a non-profit organization or academia. So before agonizing over your letter, check to make sure it is needed at all. Similarly, they are not used in the highly specialized hiring process at Diamond Light Source, the United Kingdom's synchrotron science facility in Didcot.

Diamond's chief executive, Andrew Harrison, explains that the organization aims to standardize the hiring process, because some candidates who work with headhunters may not write the letters themselves. Some academic institutions also do not consider cover letters to be crucial. Yvonne Buckley, hiring lead for zoology at Trinity College Dublin, says that it is only a single component of an application package, along with a CV and teaching and research statements.

Secondary Sidebar

But although hiring committees may not read a letter if the other materials provide all of the necessary information, she says, candidates should not necessarily abandon the practice of including one. Especially in academia, where CVs can run to many pages, a cover letter can help to highlight achievements that relate to the job description and point committee members to where they can find more specific or detailed information. It is important to remember that there is no line-by-line blueprint for a successful application document, save the need to tailor it to the hiring organization and the specific position.

Should I apply for a postdoc or fellowship after my PhD

And although standing out is desirable, you do not want to do so for negative reasons. Recruiters and hiring managers warn that you need to make sure not to kick yourself out of the running because of mistakes or missteps that you could easily have avoided see 'Tips for effective cover letters' , such as addressing the letter to the wrong person, making typographical or grammatical errors or including inadvertent leftovers from a previous application. Another common issue is length.

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