A Faculty cover letter should not exceed 1 page, so you must present your qualifications to the Faculty Search Committee in a concise manner. Use verbs that illustrate impact (“led,” “developed,” “innovated”) over verbs that make you sound passive (“participated”).
Aim for verbs that are more specific to the actual contribution you made. For every sentence, challenge yourself to remove as many words as possible without changing the meaning of the sentence. Keywords cited by grant-funding agencies, easily recognizable by any faculty member, should be included in relevant sections of your Faculty Cover Letter.
Engineering students are likely to be co-authors of patents; state this information.
Beyond reiterating your past accomplishments, you must also show that you are prepared to handle the future challenges of being a Principal Investigator.
Knowing what the Faculty Search Committee is looking for will help you tailor your application.
Searches for new hires may focus on specific research areas ( nanomaterials, systems engineering, therapeutic science, renewable energy).By far, the most difficult paragraph to write in the Faculty cover letter focuses on the Motivation & Impact of your future research program.Clearly articulate the vision of your future research program and describe how your leadership will facilitate an environment of scientific and teaching excellence.How will you fit uniquely into the department — what is your niche?The Motivation & impact section provides an opportunity to concisely define your niche.Demonstrate expert understanding of your field, and confidently state your qualifications as a leader in research, an educator, and a citizen of the university. You must differentiate yourself and your research program from other candidates, as well as previous or current advisor(s).Ask yourself what you will do that is unique compared to any of your past or future colleagues.Finally, you will more than likely apply to multiple departments and universities.Therefore, modify your niche for every application! Helping the Faculty Search Committee easily identify important information in your cover letter will only improve your chances of moving forward in the hiring process.In addition to research articles, noteworthy contributions may also include opinion articles, book chapters, or your role as a journal reviewer.Emphasize alternative sources of scientific communication (and funding) such as distinguished merit-based fellowships.