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Career Center
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 •
Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114...
Graduate Student Cover Letter Structure
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith ...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
Graduate Student Example Cover Letter
Dr. Marlo Gervaise	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	 	                       September 5, 2013
Provost’...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
Skills, Qualifications and Certifications Bank for Cover Letters
Skills, Qualifications,
or Certifications
Where You Devel...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor •
114 S. Buchanan B...
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Graduate Student Cover Letter Collection

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Collection of cover letter handouts, examples and guides for graduate students.

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Graduate Student Cover Letter Collection

  1. 1. Career Center Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Graduate Student Cover Letter Collection Index Graduate Student Cover Letter Structure Graduate Student Example Cover Letter Skills, Qualifications and Certifications Bank for Cover Letters Examples
  2. 2. Graduate Student Cover Letter Structure Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Your Present Address City, STATE Zip Code Date Contact’s Name Contact’s Position Title Employer Name Street Address City, STATE Zip Code Dear Mr./Ms./Dr. Contact’s Name: (OR “Dear Hiring Manager”), 1st Paragraph (Introduction) • Briefly describe who you are (e.g., “completing PhD in Social Psychology at Duke University”) • Express enthusiasm and interest in the position • If you were referred by a specific person in the company, you can mention it here • Outline the rest of the document (connecting your most relevant skills/experiences, based on the job description and your previous research, to the actual position/organization) – set up the structure that you will follow (e.g., focusing on communication skills, then analytical skills, then real-world experience; OR focusing on problem solving abilities, interpersonal skills, and then technical skills, etc.) 2nd – 4th Paragraphs (Body – Elaborating on specific experiences, skills, & fit – Order of these paragraphs depends on importance and how you’ve outlined it previously) • Tell a story about or describe your experience that references several of the necessary qualifications for which the employer is asking (e.g., communication skills, technical expertise, analytical skills, etc.) • Tell another story showcasing a different aspect of yourself that is relevant to the position – You can think of the structure of the Cover Letter and Resume as similar (start with the most important/relevant experiences) • Explicitly state aspects of the role, team, and organization that you are applying to and emphasize your fit • Provide evidence that you have the skills/experience/talent necessary and that you will utilize these in the most relevant and productive way for that particular organization Final Paragraph (Next Steps) • Thank them and reaffirm your enthusiasm about the role, team, and organization • Restate your confidence in the fit between your background and role/expectations • Detail your next action (e.g., “will follow-up with a call,” look forward to interviewing with you,” etc.) Sincerely, Your Typed Name
  3. 3. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Graduate Student Cover Letter Structure - cont. Job Description Principal Data Analyst Big Bank LTD. • Perform quantitative and qualitative analysis of econometric data, relating constants and variables, restrictions, alternatives, conflicting objectives, and their numerical parameters to provide useful information. • Define data requirements and gather and validate information, applying judgment and statistical tests; communicate feedback to internal clients around strength/relevance of criteria/requests for creating business relevant information. • Translate data into useful information via strong analytic, synthesis, and communication skills • Develop complex data structures to support the generation of business insights and strategy. • Maintain data infrastructure and develop scripts to automate recurring processes. • Analyze data analysis requests obtained from management to conceptualize and define operational problems and define data modeling requirements, validation of content, and problem solving parameters. • Use intuition and real time market intelligence to contextualize data/information and communicate your conclusions to inform product and marketing discussions. • Ability to tell compelling stories using data/information in order to persuade/influence an audience. • Identify opportunities to use data analysis to develop new strategies and improve business performance and utilize knowledge of mathematical modeling and other optimization methods to perform quantitative and qualitative data analysis. • Strong grasp of statistical approaches to data analysis; familiarity with analytic stats packages such as Stata, minitab, or vista is a plus. • Utilize programming and analytical tools including SAS, SQL, Teradata or similar relational database tool, and Unix to formulate mathematical or simulation models. • Communicate and present data to management by developing easily digestible text/reports. • Create communications suitable for public distribution to thought leaders, industry leaders, academics, clients, and mass media as needed. • Serve as ambassador/speaker for the function when interfacing with colleagues from across the organization; explains the value add of data analysis in simple language, to the effect of growing our portfolio of internal clients Qualifications The position requires a Master’s degree or foreign equivalent in Economics, Finance, Engineering, Mathematics, Science, Information Technology or a related quantitative analytical field, or equivalent experience. Must have the following skill set, through formal education or work experience: quantitative and qualitative data analysis; data modeling; developing reports; Teradata or similar relational database tool; SQL; SAS; Unix programming. Must have worked with significant data sets, and be comfortable manipulating such data sets to identify trends and extract useful information. Must be a gifted communicator, with a broad awareness of domestic cultural trends and interest in global markets.
  4. 4. Graduate Student Example Cover Letter Dr. Marlo Gervaise September 5, 2013 Provost’ Office Stratham College 1745 University Drive Gainesville, FL Dear Dr. Gevaise, I am writing to express my strong interest in the Assistant Director of Data Analysis role. As I have studied the role description, I have become increasingly excited at the degree to which my experiences align with the key role requirements across the board. From my graduate work translating big data into useful information, to the complex process, policy, and interpersonal issues I navigated to complete that work, to my hands-on experience with non-profits, I believe the fit is a compelling one. The skills I acquired in researching and writing a dissertation in South American Cultural Studies will be enormously useful in this position. During my research in Uruguay, I became adept at navigating large data sets and translating themes in the data to useful information. During my dissertation I assimilated and analyzed over 6,500 pages of discourse, identifying patterns within that mass of text-based data and pulling out conclusions around those themes. I believe that this experience strongly foreshadows the work I would do as Assistant Director of Data Analysis, and speaks to my ability to convert data to actionable information. Beyond my skill with parsing and analyzing data, I bring a grounded approach to solving complex problems. During my doctoral field studies, I was often faced with problems that required multiple solutions. As a result, I learned to bring several solutions to the table, anticipate objections and prepare responses, and meet each issue with a plan, a contingency plan, and a back-up contingency plan. I believe that these skills will inform and enrich my work in researching and tracking potential donors. Finally, I have hands-on experience working in donor development. Over the course of my 2012 internship wit the Wake County United Way, I analyzed the organization’s efficacy and wrote reports for prospective donors, which I presented in regional road shows; thus, I effectively provided a combination of research, marketing, and donor-facing support. From core data analysis, to complex problem solving, to field-based experience with donor development, I believe that my skills and experience make me an ideal candidate for this position. I would relish the opportunity to take these skills to such a prestigious and forward-thinking organization such as Stratham College. Not only am I an ideal fit for the position but, as a graduate of Duke University, I also bring first-hand knowledge of the power and value of a liberal arts education, and would be delighted to represent an institution like Stratham. Finally, Stratham’s commitment to encourage “students to grow personally, professionally, and philosophically” and to “make a lasting mark” resonates strongly with me. The school’s commitment to this type of personal and social growth can only be continued with a strong endowment. I want to be a part of the team that fosters that mission. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely, Ellie M. Clampett Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708
  5. 5. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Graduate Student Example Cover Letter - cont. Internship Position Ms. Gillian Notelovitz Intern Coordinator The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights/Leadership Conference Education Fund 1629 K Street, NW, 10th Floor Washington, DC 20006 October 10, 2013 Dear Ms. Notelovitz: As a first-year Ph.D. student in Political Science at Duke University, I am writing to express my sincere interest in a Summer 2011 internship with the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund. After speaking with several of my professors, I determined that the Leadership Conference internship provides an ideal opportunity for me to work and grow as I look to gain real-world experience in the policy arena. The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights is an important and influential coalition, and one to which I believe I can contribute my analytical skills and academic training. My strong writing and research skills make me well qualified to perform the work and meet the challenges of an internship with the Leadership Conference. My background in the study of American politics began during my undergraduate career, also at Duke University, where I earned a B.A. in Political Science and African & African American Studies. I conducted independent research on topics such as racial attitudes, political institutions, and policy outcomes as a Mellon Mays Undergraduate Fellow. As a Ph.D. student, I am working toward certification in the fields of Political Behavior & Identities and Race, Ethnicity, and Politics. My studies focus on civic discourse and the ways in which beliefs, attitudes, and social identities influence political decision-making, as well as the salience of race in American politics. The pursuit of my bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in these fields has helped me to develop my organizational and communication skills, as well as a nuanced understanding of political analysis, policymaking, and a number of other key issues facing disenfranchised communities. Furthermore, my prior internships and involvement as a student leader have provided me with substantial experience communicating and collaborating with people at all levels and across disciplines within organizations, successfully serving as a member of a team, and working with diverse groups of people. My commitment to social justice and advancing research in racial and ethnic minority politics, coupled with my demonstrated skills, shows that I am ready and motivated to gain experience at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund this summer. Thank you for considering my application. Sincerely, Jennifer Haskins
  6. 6. Skills, Qualifications and Certifications Bank for Cover Letters Skills, Qualifications, or Certifications Where You Developed or Used the Skill Sentence/Paragraph for Cover Letter Leadership skills Student Organization at Duke As President of the Biomedical Engineering society, I developed greater leadership and organizational skills through my experience planning an annual career conference featuring 80 alumni panelists and over three hundred attendees. Communication skills Internship at RTI International At RTI International, the success of my internship in Innovation and Commercialization depended on my ability to interact with a variety of professionals. I was able to thrive in these interactions by adapting my communications skills in order to effectively get my point across, whether it be with my fellow interns, my supervisor, or even the President of the Division. Myers-Briggs Certification Myers-Briggs Certification Program Official certification as a Myers-Briggs facilitator has enabled me to enhance my leadership skills through presenting to professional associations, counseling in one-on-one settings and implementing workshops for higher education institutions C++ Internship with Microsoft/ Academic Coursework My internship at Microsoft allowed me to hone the technical skills that I acquired through my academic coursework on real-world projects leading to increased proficiency in C++ programming and MATLAB scripting. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708
  7. 7. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Skills, Qualifications, or Certifications Where You Developed or Used the Skill Sentence/Paragraph for Cover Letter Resources Events@Duke Calendar: www.calendar.duke.edu/events DukeConnect: www.dukeconnect.com Durham Networking Opportunities: www.linkingthetriangle.com Linkedin: www.linkedin.com Slideshare: www.slideshare.net Career Center Information (919) 660-1050 Smith Warehouse Bay 5, 2nd Floor career-student@studentaffairs.duke.edu studentaffairs.duke.edu/career Skills, Qualifications and Certifications Bank for Cover Letters - cont.
  8. 8. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Additional Examples Duke  Alumni   1217  Northcreek  Drive    |    Durham,  NC  27707    |    (718)  496-­‐0473    |    duke.alumni@alumni.duke.edu   Duke  Contact   Intern  Coordinator   The  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights/Leadership  Conference  Education  Fund   1629  K  Street,  NW,  10th  Floor   Washington,  DC  20006     March  29,  2011     Dear  Ms.  Lighty:       As  a  first-­‐year  Ph.D.  student  in  Political  Science  at  Duke  University,  I  am  writing  to  express  my   sincere  interest  in  a  Summer  2011  internship  with  the  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and   Human  Rights  and  the  Leadership  Conference  Education  Fund.    After  speaking  with  several  of   my  professors,  I  determined  that  the  Leadership  Conference  internship  provides  an  ideal   opportunity  for  me  to  work  and  grow  as  I  look  to  gain  real-­‐world  experience  in  the  policy   arena.    The  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights  is  an  important  and  influential   coalition,  and  one  to  which  I  believe  I  can  contribute  my  analytical  skills  and  academic  training.     My  strong  writing  and  research  skills  make  me  well  qualified  to  perform  the  work  and  meet  the   challenges  of  an  internship  with  the  Leadership  Conference.    My  background  in  the  study  of   American  politics  began  during  my  undergraduate  career,  also  at  Duke  University,  where  I   earned  a  B.A.  in  Political  Science  and  African  &  African  American  Studies.    I  conducted   independent  research  on  topics  such  as  racial  attitudes,  political  institutions,  and  policy   outcomes  as  a  Mellon  Mays  Undergraduate  Fellow.    As  a  Ph.D.  student,  I  am  working  toward   certification  in  the  fields  of  Political  Behavior  &  Identities  and  Race,  Ethnicity,  and  Politics.    My   studies  focus  on  civic  discourse  and  the  ways  in  which  beliefs,  attitudes,  and  social  identities   influence  political  decision-­‐making,  as  well  as  the  salience  of  race  in  American  politics.         The  pursuit  of  my  bachelor’s  and  doctoral  degrees  in  these  fields  has  helped  me  to  develop  my   organizational  and  communication  skills,  as  well  as  a  nuanced  understanding  of  political   analysis,  policymaking,  and  a  number  of  key  issues  facing  disenfranchised  communities.     Furthermore,  my  prior  internships  and  involvement  as  a  student  leader  have  provided  me  with   substantial  experience  communicating  and  collaborating  with  people  at  all  levels  and  across   disciplines  within  organizations,  successfully  serving  as  a  member  of  a  team,  and  working  with   diverse  groups  of  people.     My  commitment  to  social  justice  and  advancing  research  in  racial  and  ethnic  minority  politics,   coupled  with  my  demonstrated  skills,  shows  that  I  am  ready  and  motivated  to  gain  experience   at  the  Leadership  Conference  on  Civil  and  Human  Rights  and  the  Leadership  Conference   Education  Fund  this  Summer.    Thank  you  for  considering  my  application.     Sincerely,     Duke  Alumni  
  9. 9. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Additional Examples - cont. Genentech,  Inc.   1  DNA  Way   South  San  Francisco,  CA  94080     30  March,  2011       Dear  XXXXXXX,     I   had   the   opportunity   to   interact   with   Ms.   XXXX,   a   Genentech   employee,   and   was   very   impressed  with  the  organization’s  intellectually  stimulating  yet  informal  work  culture.  At   Genentech,   I   will   learn   and   grow   professionally,   pursue   my   passion   for   using   my   background  and  skills  to  impact  lives  and  make  a  difference,  and  be  assured  that  I  will  be   appreciated   for   my   “unique   DNA”.   I   am   currently   a   Master   of   Science   student   in   the   Biomedical   Engineering   Program   at   Duke   University.   After   discovering   the   Operations   Rotational  Development  Analyst  position,  I  know  that  Genentech  is  the  company  I  want  to   start   my   career.   The   position   is   a   perfect   blend   of   my   engineering   background,   communication,  leadership  and  interpersonal  skills     I  have  always  had  a  wide  variety  of  interests  which  have  led  me  to  learn  new  things  and   take  on  diverse  responsibilities.  In  addition  to  excelling  in  academics  as  is  demonstrated  by   my  merit  based  fellowship  at  Duke,  I  have  worked  on  a  variety  of  projects  ranging  from   marketing  to  process  design.  Through  these  experiences,  I  demonstrated  my  ability  to  be  a   quick  learner  and  a  problem  solver.  Recently,  I  worked  in  an  inter-­‐disciplinary  team  and   won   second   place   in   the   Duke   Global   Health   Case   Competition,   where   I   used   my   communication   skills   to   present   creative   solutions   to   address   chronic   diseases   after   the   earthquake  in  Haiti.  My  certification  from  Communication  Across  a  curriculum,  Louisiana   State  University,  helped  in  team  discussions  and  bringing  the  message  to  the  audience,  it   will  also  aid  me  in  presenting  the  learnings  of  each  rotation  at  Genentech.     By   taking   up   leadership   roles   in   several   student   organizations   and   involving   myself   in   community  service  during  my  collegiate  years,  I  have  proven  to  be  a  team  player  as  well  as   a   leader.   I   believe   in   taking   initiative   to   make   an   impact.   While   interning   at   Johnson   &   Johnson,   I   initiated   and   led   weekly   intern   meetings   to   facilitate   holistic   learning   about   different  functions  of  Clinical  Operations  that  each  of  the  interns  were  involved  in.         I  look  forward  to  growing  in  an  intellectually  challenging  yet  supportive  environment,  and   be  mentored  by  experts  in  the  field.  I  will  bring  my  passion,  knowledge  and  skills  to  the   team   and   the   tasks,   and   contribute   to   Genentech’s   technical   and   business   functions   by   designing   and   implementing   processes   that   make   an   impact   on   cutting   edge   products.   Please  feel  free  to  reach  me  at  123.456.7890  or  at  duke.student@duke.edu  Thank  you  for   your  time  and  consideration.     Sincerely,   Duke  Student    
  10. 10. Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708 Additional Examples - cont. Associate  Director,  Education  and  Training  Core   Social  Science  Research  Institute   Duke  University   Box  90420   Durham,  NC    27708-­‐0420     May  20,  2011       RE:  Postdoctoral  Associate  in  Survey  Research  Methods       Dear  Hiring  Manager:     As  a  recent  PhD  graduate  in  Sociology  from  Duke  University  I  am  an  excellent  fit  for  the  Social  Science   Research  Institute’s  (SSRI)  Postdoctoral  Associate  position  in  Survey  Research  Methods.    I  believe  that   my  experience  in  publishing  quantitative  research,  conducting  survey  research,  and  teaching   undergraduates  would  be  particularly  beneficial  to  this  position.       During  my  six  years  at  Duke,  I  served  as  a  Research  Assistant  and  Project  Manager  for  four   multidisciplinary  research  teams.  In  these  positions,  I  analyzing  quantitative  and  qualitative  data,  serving   as  first  author  on  four  manuscripts  that  have  been  accepted  for  publication  in  peer-­‐reviewed  journals,   and  designing  surveys  using  the  latest  technology  and  best  practices  advocated  by  survey   methodologists.  For  example,  as  a  Research  Assistant  at  Duke  University’s  Center  for  Child  and  Family   Policy,  I  designed,  implemented,  and  analyzed  the  results  from  a  web-­‐based  survey.  The  findings  served   as  a  basis  for  reports  I  wrote  for  funding  agencies  and  for  manuscripts  that  have  been  submitted  for   publication  in  peer-­‐reviewed  journals.  By  becoming  immersed  in  survey  research,  I  am  equipped  with  the   skills  necessary  to    develop  resources  and  advise  social  and  behavioral  scientists  about  survey  research.   As  I  also  have  ample  experience  working  in  a  collaborative  environment  on  survey  research  topics,  I  am   confident  I  can  assist  SSRI  personnel  in  developing  the  Duke  Initiative  on  Survey  Methodology.     As  you  can  see  on  my  resume,  I  also  have  experience  in  conducting  independent  survey  research  and   teach  Duke  undergraduate  students.  My  independent  research  interests  and  experience  intersect  with  Dr.   Johnson’s  research  agenda  on  voting  behavior  in  U.S.  presidential  elections  and  the  validity  of  survey   research  methods  teaching  experience  includes  assisting  undergraduates  who  were  conducting   quantitative  research  as  part  of  class  projects  and  serving  as  a  mentor  for  an  undergraduate  who   analyzed  data  from  a  large,  secondary  data  set  for  their  senior  thesis.  By  merging  the  knowledge  gained   from  working  with  undergraduates  on  survey  research  projects  with  my  ability  to  effectively  present   quantitative  research  findings  at  national,  scientific  conferences  I  know  I  can  develop  and  lead  effective   and  engaging  workshops  that  introduce  Duke  students,  faculty,  and  research  scientists  to  the  science  and   art  of  conducting  high-­‐quality  survey  research.         I  am  available  to  start  immediately.  Please  do  not  hesitate  to  contact  me  with  any  questions  at  919-­‐123-­‐ 4567  or  duke.student@duke.edu.  Thank  you  very  much  for  your  time  and  consideration,  and  I  look   forward  to  hearing  from  you  soon.       Sincerely,       Duke  Student  
  11. 11. Additional Documents Cover Letter Curriculum Vitae Internships Interviewing Job Search Networking Resume Additional Resources Career Center Skills Guides Cover Letter Skills Guide Curriculum Vitae Skills Guide Internships Skills Guide Interviewing Skills Guide Networking Skills Guide Resume Skills Guide Strategic Search Skills Guide Duke Career Center • studentaffairs.duke.edu/career • 919-660-1050 • Bay 5, Smith Warehouse, 2nd Floor • 114 S. Buchanan Blvd., Box 90950, Durham, NC 27708

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