Charles Darwin has embedded in our minds, the concept of "Survival of the fittest." The fact about surviving is that you need to be the best amongst the lot.
When it comes to academic cover letter, the most likely thing that people do is elaborating the curriculum vitae (CV) . It is a wastage of your energy. Because the people who select would have already had a look into your CV.
You can instead have your cover letter in the form of a brief essay. Remember that everything you write here must give a clear cut reason as to why you should be chosen over the rest of them?
Here is how to do it...
1) Be clear:
Never start your opening paragraph with "My greatest inspiration is so and so...". It is not clear-cut and its way too common.
Instead put in the sentences that contain your job at present, your association with it, your field of research, your major contribution to it, and the reason why you are the best person to be chosen for the position.
2) Include your proof of work:
You must know how to make your sentences sound modest and at the same time effective. If you claim things in a bold manner, it sounds arrogant, instead rearrange the sentence and keep the key word intact.
You must provide relevant facts and proofs to support your declarations. State what you produced and where it was used and by whom.
Do not give back a sentence that is picked from the job description! For instance, "I have sound knowledge in electronics." must not be your lines if the job requirement said "Sound knowledge in electronics is required."
3) Do not write a novel:
Do not be that highly descriptive author! You need not include every little detail like the small projects, every review article that you have written etc. Do not make your cover letter a "burden" to read!
Distinguish between the high priority deeds that you have like, scholarships won, top publications etc from the ones that include review articles, seminars etc.
4) Split the whole:
Sure you have a lot of achievements in your bag, but you cannot have every bit of its detail put into your cover letter. Split the whole, if you have written a research paper, do not put the whole paper along with two others. Simply state, "By doing A we get a B, and further details which includes the funding, plans of publication etc can be found in my proposal of research."
5) Have power points:
There is no rule to have a cover letter of several pages! Sometimes the best position has been taken by those who had a cover letter of a single A4 sheet. This does not mean you should have it written in small font and eliminate all the margins! You can have the cover letter filled with "power points" which are most important and relevant.
6) The "whys " about your research:
Writing about "why" this research was done is more important than what it does on the whole. Because you are giving them a valid reason, which shows that you arr clear about what you have done.
7) Be consistent:
When you are writing about your achievements, show consistency. There should not be a point where in you have done something and forgotten about it and did nothing to improve or bring it to force.
8) No items on list:
Stop yourself from listing out the credentials, because you have done this in CV. Do not describe in detail as well. What will work out would be to showcase your insight on the job profile that you have opted for and what would the company get out of this, what are your strategies and why are they effective.
9) Be specific:
Know about the department you want to join. Explain why you want to be a part of it. Back yourself up with the relevant research or projects that you have done that will catapult you to get the post you desire.
10) Be "you":
Instead of changing your whole self to "fit-in", be yourself and make the most of who you are! You need not sell yourself. You must present the facts and reasons why you are suitable, not pretend to be someone who you aren't. They can get to know. So be confident and positive.
These are some of the tips to refine the ways a cover letter should be given. You can share your tips here: https://www.facebook.com/oneindiaeducation