Example Cover Letter For Teaching Job Uk Ac

It’s also important to understand what will and won’t be acceptable to the organisation you’re hoping to join. Faced with a big pile of applications, an employer is looking for reasons to put most of them in the bin. If your application varies from the expected format or is difficult for the potential employer to understand you are giving them a reason to discard it - and all before they’ve had a chance to see that you’re perfect for the job!

Online advice on academic cover letters can be conflicting due to different expectations between disciplines and especially between countries: some examples are length of the letter, what it should include versus the CV/resume and type of supplementary documents to attach.

Getting your letter right

Other things to consider

Cultural differences - a few examples

Articles about academic cover letters or applications

Templates and examples

Will anyone read my cover letter?

Getting your letter right

There are some things everyone seems to agree on and which are not specific to applications for academic positions. Key points include:

  • The main purposes of your letter are to convey your enthusiasm, to make it clear why you’re a good fit for the position and why you want to work in that department or research group
  • Tailor your letter to the position and employer. If you use the same letter for all applications it will probably be obvious, could give the appearance that you are not as keen as other candidates and is likely to be detrimental to your application.  Remember that your covering letter might be the first thing that a potential employer reads
  • Try to address your letter to a specific individual. Do a bit of digging if you don’t already know who the appropriate person is
  • Rather than simply making assertions, give evidence to illustrate your strengths and your fit for the role
  • Don’t repeat what can easily be seen on your CV/resume
  • Get the tone right. Apart from being professional, the right tone can vary by culture so if you’re applying outside your home nation or your comfort zone, do some research. For example, what passes for a confident tone in one culture might appear to be arrogance in another
  • Make sure you use correct spelling and grammar and have made no mistakes.

Other things to consider

  • If the application is by online form, send a cover letter in addition unless this is specifically prohibited. If the entire application must be submitted via the online form, look for ways to incorporate what you would otherwise include in a cover letter
  • When sending your application by email, make sure that the titles of your email and of each attachment include your name and the title or reference for the position. Make it easy for your potential employer – they shouldn’t have to open your cover letter just to check who it’s from
  • Your email might be forwarded directly to the person who’s making decisions about applications so make sure that the email itself is clear and professional. It’s also important to consider your email address, for example if you are currently using funtimesjo@gmail.com don’t even think of using it – set up a new address with a more professional feel such as joannajones4@gmail.com
  • Unless you possess a good knowledge of a national language for the country you’re applying to, write in English which is a working language in academia in many countries. In cases where English might not be widely spoken you could send both English and translated versions of your cover letter and other documents
  • If you have a professional website, you could direct a potential employer to it for additional information about you, if it's relevant to the position.

Cultural differences – a few examples

Consider what your potential employer will expect from an application to ensure that you stand out in the right ways, not the wrong ways! If you’re not completely familiar with the culture and customs of the country or situation you’re applying to, seek specific advice. Universities, professional bodies and national careers services might offer information. There may be international expertise in your current institution’s advisory services or in your personal network but consider whether potential advisors also have specific knowledge of academic expectations.

Here are just a few examples of different expectations that might affect how you write your cover letter or put together your application as a whole:

  • If you are applying for a position in China, remember that Chinese names are written surname first. Also, in Chinese culture humility is appreciated far more than arrogance. Language that may not seem arrogant in Western culture may appear so in China
  • For many countries, in addition to a cover letter, CV/resume, statement of academic research interests and application form it’s usual to include a professional photograph. If it’s not usual, don’t include one. In other countries, including Germany, copies of educational certificates and written references may also be expected
  • UK advice may positively encourage you to contact a potential employer - to discuss the position and the sort of person they’re looking for - as part of your research on the role. Taking the initiative, showing an interest and drawing yourself to their attention is seen as complementary to your written application. If you’re applying to a university or institute in the USA, while asking for basic information may be acceptable appearing to promote yourself outside of the defined application process can be frowned upon
  • Be aware of variations in academic qualifications and job titles between countries and that some explanation from you may be necessary. For example Lecturer (level B) in Australia is equivalent to Assistant Professor in North American universities. If you are from France and have the Habilitation à Diriger des Recherches qualification, this might need further explanation if you are applying to work in a country where no similar qualification exists, such as the UK.

Articles about academic cover letters or applications

Templates and examples

Will anyone read my cover letter?

It’s impossible to say and probably in some cases no. However, in lots of cases your letter will be read or even prioritised so deciding not to bother is simply not worth it. If you do, that’s just the impression you could give – that you couldn’t be bothered.

This is an academic cover letter template that you can use together with the academic CV template.    

                                                                                  <Write your address

                                                                                  and phone number

                                                                                  and email address

                                                                                  in this area>




Application for position of

Dear ,

<In the first paragraph introduce yourself generally and list the reasons why you should be considered for the job., For example:>

I would like to be considered for the above position and hope to demonstrate how much I could bring to it. My research and teaching interests fit extremely well with the requirements of this post and with existing members of staff. I have extensive teaching experience in the department of x at university y, most of it focused on <name a field relevant to this job>. My work provides a useful link between <name two related fields> in the department, encouraging research and teaching collaborations.

<Move on to discuss your PhD in the second paragraph>

I was awarded my Ph.D. by the x department at y university in<give date>. My thesis was entitled <give title>. In it, I explore <give 150 words or so of explanation about your project. What did you look at, what was your methodology, what were your findings and what makes your PhD unique and original>. My publication plans for the thesis are as follows: <list any interest from publishers that you have had and/or a timetable for publication>

<In the next paragraph discuss your future research plans>


<Now move on to teaching experience>

I have x number of years' teaching experience on <list module names>. As required I would be happy to contribute to undergraduate and postgraduate modules of both a research-led and a methodological nature. <Suggest possible new modules that you could offer. Give titles and a one-sentence description of what they are about and which level of student they are aimed at>.

I am also aware of the importance of the pastoral care of students and take the role of tutor very seriously. I am experienced in liaising with colleagues to help students with a variety of problems <give details of particular pastoral care you have offered or student-focussed work you have done>.

<Now you should make a list with full details of any other factors you believe will make you attractive and show how you lead a full and active academic life. E.g. conferences, editing journals etc.>

To summarise, I fill the criteria of the person specification thus: <here is your chance to end on a snappy note, directly comparing yourself to the requirements listed in the job advertisement>

<Make a statement about qualifications and their relevance; your teaching experience; your research record and publications; your participation in academic culture on an international basis>

<Finally, ask explicitly to be interviewed>

I would be grateful for the opportunity to demonstrate my capabilities further at interview. I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

<Your name

Related Article:

Academic CV Template

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