Mock cover letter

So I’m working in the application package for this academic administrative job. I don’t need a research or a teaching statement for this position, but just a cover letter and my CV. The main problem is that I’m used to write cover letters for academic scientific jobs and this one has to be really different from those. It has to show passion and it has to show who I am. The more I read the job add, the more I think I’d be perfect for that position and that I’d be very happy to do it. Just talked to my collaborator and she suggested me to use part of my last blogpost into my cover letter. Instead of that, I decided to write a mock cover letter here, to my readers! It seems that it will be easier to express emotions when there’s no pressure about it being to apply for a job you really like:)

Dear reader,

I am writing to apply to this awesome academic administrative job. I am currently a postdoctoral associate working in neuroscience. I believe my years of academic research combined to my excellent networking skills will make me an ideal candidate for this position. Someone once told me that I am a hub, connecting people and ideas. I am a very social person, and passionate about research and science. I sincerely think that this job will be a wonderful opportunity to use my ability to deal with people in an academic environment.

One of the things I love most about being in academia is to interact with people at all levels. I feel truly happy and rewarded to mentor undergraduate students, opening the research path into their lives and watching them grow as a person and as a scientist. I look forward going to scientific meetings where I can spend all day surrounded by other researchers and discussing science. I attend to the SFN meeting every year since 2002, which involves more than 30k attendees come from all over the world. Most of the people think that this is really overwhelming, but I just love it! Another thing that really brings me joy is to organize academic and social events. I love to be in charged of everything! From the list of participants, topics and panelists to the details of the closing ceremony, food and drinks. It is always a lot of work, but there is nothing like the feeling of reward when you see your event happening successfully.

Over my academic years, I’ve always acknowledge the importance of advocating for our rights. Specifically, I’ve been a representative for every single position I’ve ever had. Back in my home country, I was the president of my undergraduate class and representative in the Physiology department for many years. As a graduate student, I was involved in the reorganization of the local association and later I was assigned as the vice-president for the national undergraduate student association for 2 years. As a postdoctoral associate in the US, I’ve been part of our PDA for almost 2 years, advocating for PD rights and helping the establishment of an actual niche for the PDs inside the University. I have worked closely to the former holder of this position at the University, what makes me feel somewhat familiar with what to expect from this position and confident that I can do it accordingly.

Conciliating all these extra-academic activities during my undergraduate, graduate and PD taught me a lot about time management and multi-tasking. And patience! Dealing with people is not easy and many times you need to find a way to conciliate different ways of thinking. The academic part of my training developed a sense of prioritizing but also helped me to deal with frustration. Failed experiments, nasty comments from reviewers of my manuscripts and grant refusals. But most important, to overcome all the frustration and be able to try again, and be even happier when you are successful 🙂

As requested, I’m enclosing a copy of my CV and arranged three letters of recommendation to be sent directly to your email address. I will gladly provide any other supporting materials that would be helpful. I am looking forward hearing from you soon and thank you for your consideration.


So, dear reader, would you hire me?

Back to USA resolutions

Wow, it’s been a while since I don’t write here. But for a very good reason. After a very long time I was able to fulfill all the requirements and finally got my VISA! I have no words to describe how I feel about finally being able to come back to what it became “home” to me.  A lot of people here asked me why I wanted so badly to come back. I felt a lot of pressure of trying to get a job here and forget about coming back to the US. I cannot deny that sometime in the middle of all the trouble I gave it a thought. But… no. I live there for 5 years already. I got used to the way people are, the way science is done, and this year here at home country made me realize how those things became important in my life!

So now what? I have one week remaining here, that seems like eternity for me! Although I still have tons of things to arrange, friends to say goodbye, some data analysis and last meetings in visiting lab, I am so ready to come back! We are renewing our R01 in my US lab, finishing two papers… I am receiving my collaborator two days after I’m back in town and I’m so much looking forward to it! I’m talking about MY collaborator, not from my lab. A line of research of my own, kind of my first step towards independence! All I can think about is to come back and work hard. If there’s something that is left from this year away is that I really know what I want now. To get a TT position ASAP and have my own lab!

I met someone at one workshop here that gave me 3 advices: 1) keep publishing, 2) do networking, 3) apply everywhere. And that’s what I’m planning to do. Work on smaller projects, yes or no answers that can get published easier. Of course, continue with the big questions, but try to balance that. I already sent emails to several researchers of my area to let them know that I’m coming back and asking to meet them at SFN (that of course, I am attending this year!). Still not sure about when I’ll be able to start applying for jobs, I already applied for a couple, but I still spend too much time tailoring the cover letter and everything that is seems that I won’t have too much time for that in a short term.

Does anyone have some other good advice for me to get that dreamed TT position?