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Cover letters. The cover letter’s goal: get an interview. CV: are you qualified? Cover letter: is there is a match?  Think of your documents as a portfolio. The application process. CV c over letter p hone screen interview q ualifiedpaper matchpersonal match.

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Cover letters

Cover letters


The cover letter s goal get an interview

The cover letter’s goal: get an interview

CV: are you qualified?

Cover letter: is there is a match?

 Think of your documents as a portfolio.


The application process

The application process

CVcover letterphone screen interview

qualifiedpaper matchpersonal match


Best strategy small is beautiful

Best strategy: small is beautiful

 Invest a lot of energy into a few applications


Your quest is to show a match use your cv and cover letter to make the case

Your quest is to show a match. Use your CV and cover letter to make the case.

Organization

You

Mission

Position

Culture

Projects

Goals

Skills

Personality

Values

Goals

Match


Show don t tell

Show, don’t tell

 BE CONCRETE, QUANTITATIVE AND SPECIFIC.


There is an art to sophisticated persuasion

There is an art to sophisticated persuasion:


Step 1 listen carefully

Step #1: Listen carefully.

Every organization has a song;

weave the melody into your application.


Do your research

Do your research

  • Mission/vision/strategic plan

  • Financial statements

  • Hiring manager

  • Key staff

  • Position

  • Current projects

  • Competition


Craft your story

Craft your story

  • Draw a map of your journey

  • Select which experiences you will share

  • Make your tale have a theme


Apply key concepts to individualize each application

Apply key concepts to individualize each application

  • Do your research

  • Show, don’t tell your qualifications

  • Make the match

  • CRAFT STORY

  • ORGANIZE STRUCTURE

  • QUANTIFY IMPACT

  • PICK WORDS

  • DESIGN LAYOUT


The cover letter formula

The cover letter formula

  • I am writing to express interest in XX position…

  • I am interested in the position because…

  • This may be a great match for me because…

  • I look forward to speaking with you further about this opportunity…


Use appropriate language

Use appropriate language.

YES! 

  • Professional

  • Humble

  • Specific

  • Technical

  • Formal

  • Personable

NO! 

  • Flowery

  • “Thesaurus Words”

  • Jargon

  • Personal

  • Persuasive


Some cover letter tips

Some cover letter tips:

  • Lift their language

  • Mission statements matter

  • Show a bit of your spirit

  • You cannot have one mistake – proofread!


Cover letters

Jaime B. Goldstein

ADDRESS HERE

September 13, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express interest in the Coordinator of Writing Initiative position in the Biological Engineering department at MIT (mit-00009041).

Having a brilliant mind is simply not enough. Great ideas may never reach their full potential if they are not communicated effectively to others. Through clear articulation, collaboration and progress are possible. In today’s world, scientists need to be writers too.

It would be an honor to coach and support the students of the Biological Engineering Department to become better writers. The Biological Engineering Department seems to attract some of the most innovative thinkers - people who have deep scientific roots and the flexibility to cross disciplines and solve some of the world’s most challenging mysteries. It would be a very rewarding experience for me to help the undergraduate population polish their writing skills so that, regardless of their career paths, their insights will have the potential to make a real difference.

As a writer, teacher and administrator, this position feels like a particularly good match for me right now. I have coached and mentored students of all ages – from the middle school to the graduate level. I am familiar with the scientific world from my self-designed undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Non-Fiction Writing and, unofficially, I have been my husband’s editor for years (he is a Biotech Scientist at Abbott Labs).

I am excited by the entrepreneurial nature of this position; it sounds exhilarating to work with your top-notch faculty and administration to figure out how best to support the goals of the Biological Engineering Department through a peer tutoring program and a winter writing workshop. Additionally, I am attracted to the part-time nature of this role; I recently had a baby and am seeking a stimulating position that will work with my family’s needs.

Writing can be an art form, an expression of self, and, most importantly, a tool to connect people and ideas. MIT’s Biological Engineering Department shapes the minds and practices of this next generation of leaders. I have no doubt that many of your students will make substantive contributions to society; I would feel proud to have played my part as their Writing Coordinator.

I hope to be considered for the position and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Jaime B. Goldstein


Cover letters

Formal letter format

Express Interest in the position

Jaime B. Goldstein

ADDRESS HERE

September 13, 2012

To Whom It May Concern:

I am writing to express interest in the Coordinator of Writing Initiative position in the Biological Engineering department at MIT (mit-00009041).

Having a brilliant mind is simply not enough. Great ideas may never reach their full potential if they are not communicated effectively to others. Through clear articulation, collaboration and progress are possible. In today’s world, scientists need to be writers too.

It would be an honor to coach and support the students of the Biological Engineering Department to become better writers. The Biological Engineering Department seems to attract some of the most innovative thinkers - people who have deep scientific roots and the flexibility to cross disciplines and solve some of the world’s most challenging mysteries. It would be a very rewarding experience for me to help the undergraduate population polish their writing skills so that, regardless of their career paths, their insights will have the potential to make a real difference.

As a writer, teacher and administrator, this position feels like a particularly good match for me right now. I have coached and mentored students of all ages – from the middle school to the graduate level. I am familiar with the scientific world from my self-designed undergraduate degree in Environmental Studies and Non-Fiction Writing and, unofficially, I have been my husband’s editor for years (he is a Biotech Scientist at Abbott Labs).

I am excited by the entrepreneurial nature of this position; it sounds exhilarating to work with your top-notch faculty and administration to figure out how best to support the goals of the Biological Engineering Department through a peer tutoring program and a winter writing workshop. Additionally, I am attracted to the part-time nature of this role; I recently had a baby and am seeking a stimulating position that will work with my family’s needs.

Writing can be an art form, an expression of self, and, most importantly, a tool to connect people and ideas. MIT’s Biological Engineering Department shapes the minds and practices of this next generation of leaders. I have no doubt that many of your students will make substantive contributions to society; I would feel proud to have played my part as their Writing Coordinator.

I hope to be considered for the position and look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Jaime B. Goldstein

Understand the organization & role

Explain the match

Close & next steps


Cover letters

Formal letter format

Interest in position

Understand the

organization and

position

Explain why you’re

a great match

Close & Next Steps


Cover letters

H3 Biomedicine300 Technology SquareFifth FloorCambridge, MA 02139To Whom It May Concern,I am writing to express interest in the drug discovery Scientist position at H3 Biomedicine (Job Code 11-08TB).  

Everything I have learned of your company has deeply impressed me -- it seems as though your company is striving toward a wonderful balance of a bold vision, top-notch research, talented leadership and dynamic teamwork. It would be an honor to use my skill set to help your group with patient-based, genomics-driven drug discovery research to make a real difference.  

Over the past eight years, I have been working in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry. These last four years, I have been conducting Oncology drug discovery research at Amgen here in Cambridge. Two of those years, I served as a project team leader. Through my experience, I feel that I have come to understand intimately the pressures of this line of work - like rapidly changing priorities, tight deadlines, and high-level problem solving. My role at Amgen was primarily lab-based and involved developing and troubleshooting cell-based assays, target validation, determining mechanism of action and probing biology with chemical and biological modulators. I also collaborated closely with the in vivo pharmacology group for selection of models and development of pharmacodynamic assays for pre-clinical testing.I enjoy taking a multifaceted approach to unraveling biology by integrating biochemical, genomic and cellular data to generate and test hypotheses. I am in the process of working on a few publications and a patent application but, as you may know, early discovery programs in industry tend to be kept quiet and that has limited my ability to publish as often as I would have liked.

I am a self-motivated, data-driven, energetic scientist looking for exciting new challenges. H3 feels as though it may be a great match for my personality, skills and passion. I hope to have a chance to further explore this opportunity with you; I look forward to speaking with you soon.

Kind regards and Happy Holidays.

Sincerely,Jon Goldstein, Ph.D.

FIND THE FORUMULA


Your application is just the start

Your application is just the start!

  • Formal email correspondence

  • Interview preparation

  • Proper “thank you” notes


Email communication matters

Email communication matters

Dear Sir,

It is a pleasure to meet you, albeit via email. For the past eight years, I have followed closely the many research aspects of your lab and collaborators. I was first exposed to Receptors as a Teaching Assistant for Professor Dan Hammer’s course Cellular Engineering while on sabbatical at the University of Delaware. As a graduate student, I was taught PCA in Professor Ogunnaike’sAdvanced Process Dynamics and Control – Biological Control Systems course by evaluating the analyses of Janes et al. (2005). A year later, I witnessed the presentation of the same research while attending a Gordon Conference in 2008 where Professor Sorger conveyed the merits of Systems Biology and its significant impact in cell physiology. I then taught graduate and senior undergraduate engineering students the same topic in Ogunnaike’s course Random Phenomena Fundamentals of Probability & Statistics for Engineers in Spring 2012.

In December 2011, I defended my Ph.D. thesis entitled Interrogation of Quality Control Mechanisms and Protein Trafficking in S. cerevisiae under the guidance of Professor Anne S. Robinson. Currently, I am completing manuscripts while working at the Delaware Biotechnology Institute, UD BioImaging Center as a Research Scientist. I am writing to you today, to inquire if there may be a postdoctoral opportunity for me under your guidance in the Department of Biological Engineering at MIT beginning Fall 2012. I am eager to assist your lab with any of the skills and approaches I have become an expert in during my graduate career, and hope to mature as a scientist in your group as I increase my technical knowledge and advance my career aspirations. My professional journey thus far has been non-traditional, but I believe that my experiences in industry, teaching at various levels of education, and cross-disciplinary collaborations have given me a level of maturity that has enabled me to be a better researcher. I consider myself an engineer, with a thorough knowledge of cell biology. Attached, I have combined my official Letter of Inquiry and CV for your perusal.

I look forward to speaking with you in the near future and thank you for your time and consideration.

All the best,

Carissa Young


Check your online presence

Check your online presence

  • Linked In

  • Google search

     What message are you sending?


Group writing exercise

Group writing exercise:


Make an appointment with a be writing fellow

Make an appointment with a BE Writing Fellow.

  • Get one-on-one coaching once you have chosen a particular position.

  • [email protected]


  • Login