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Two women speaking at a table containing papers and a clip board. Once you’ve made a decision about the kinds of jobs you’d like to apply to, and you've worked on professional development, it’s time to focus on writing application materials. These materials can seem daunting. They summarize you and your qualifications in a few short pages. But they are a great opportunity for you to stand out from the crowd of other applications and show what makes YOU a great candidate. There are a few big things to keep in mind as you work on these materials.

  1. Different job fields will ask for and expect different kinds of application materials. It’s good to spend some time looking through job ads and talking to people in the field before you apply so that you have a sense of what is expected of you. For many faculty positions you will need a cover letter, CV, teaching statement, and possibly a research statement. For most scientific industry positions you will need a cover letter and a resume. Knowing what is expected of you can help you prepare and place your energy into crafting documents that are relevant.
  2. Think of your application as a complete packet of information. Make sure there is a core through-line about who you are, why you are well suited for the position, and what you can bring to the role. This means being cognizant of where in the packet it is appropriate to highlight your varied skills and accomplishments.
  3. Have a few people read through your materials to check for clarity and grammatical errors. For the hiring committee, your application is their first impression of your professionalism and ability to be a member of their team
  4. You will likely be asked for professional references (or for people to write you letters of recommendation). It is a good idea to have conversations with those who you plan to ask for recommendations early in your job search process. Consider people who are able to speak to your skills and abilities that are relevant to this position.

This website offers resources for the most common application materials. If you would like to get more information, or have someone provide personalized feedback on your materials, please contact us.

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