Help us improve
Office of Career Services
Teachers College, Columbia University
Teachers College
Columbia University

Skip to navigation menu

Skip to main content

Congratulations 2015 Graduates!!

Did you know that as an alumnus, you can continue to utilize Career Services?  To review a list of services offered, click here

Do you want to stay connected to what is happening in TC Career Services and the Columbia community? Join the TCCS Alumni Listserv to receive emails about upcoming career development workshops and panels, webinars, employer information sessions and current career opportunities. You will receive weekly updates during the fall, spring, and summer semesters, along with special announcements.  Click here to subscribe.

TC tower

Welcome to Career Services

Teachers College Career Services (TCCS) is committed to guiding all TC students and alumni throughout the different phases of the career development process. Whether you are entering a new field, advancing within your current profession, or changing directions, we will help you identify and develop the skills and resources needed to achieve your career goals.

TCCS Employer Relations:

The employers connect to highly talented TC students and alumni in the fields of education, psychology, health and international educational development. Our employer relations staff can maximize your recruitment efforts by understanding your immediate and future hiring needs and developing targeted recruitment strategies.  It is the educated way to go!  We welcome your partnership and long term interest in our students and alumni.  Upon hiring from TC, please share with us your hire information by clicking here.

Services Offered

TCCS can assist you with your career development throughout the duration of your time at Teachers College and when you become an alumnus.  Start you career development  journey today.  Schedule an hour long career counseling appointment to help you make informed decisions about your career goals: take an assessment test, learn job search tips, and schedule a mock session for interview preparation.   Have your resume, cover letter, and curriculum vita (CV) reviewed electronically or come in for a 15 minute walk-in.

Join the Alumni/Student LinkedIn Networking Group

Teachers College Career Services (TCCS), Columbia University LinkedIn Group
Connect with TC alumni and fellow students, exchange information, ideas and opportunities with others in your field, and learn about upcoming TCCS programs & events.

ATTENTION: This group now serves as the new TCCS Alumni Mentor Program.  The former Alumni Mentor Program housed in TCCS LINK is no longer accessible.  The transition to this group will significantly enhance your overall networking opportunities!  Click here for more information on joining this group!

TCCS Programs & Events

Throughout the fall and spring semester, attend a workshop to learn how to write a resume and to negotiate your salary. Attend an employer information session to learn more about an organization you are interested in pursuing. Come to a panel to hear from TC Alumni who are teachers working outside of the classroom or who have advanced their education by getting a doctorate degree.
Learn more

NACE Job Choices Magazine now in digital format on the TCCS Website

The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) connects campus recruiting and career services professionals, and provides best practices, trends, research, professional development, and conferences. NACE Job Choices Magazines are now available in digital format. Magazines feature job-search advice and interview tips, sample cover letters and resumes, links to employer websites, and more! To view, go to the Resources Section on the TCCS Website and click on Publications.


The web’s more complete resource for career management and job search information
Access to complete Insider Guide library and the inside scoop on more than 1,000 companies, careers, and industries, along with videos and tips.
Going Global - Leading provider of career and employment resources for evaluating, selecting, and transitioning into a successful career in a foreign country.
Resources_Tips and Samples > Cover Letter Writing Guide: Academic Faculty Positions

Cover Letter Writing Guide: Academic Faculty Positions

Printable Version

Cover letters are letters of application that supplement and accentuate information on the resume.  They should be written with the reader’s interest in mind.  Direct particular attention toward specific skills and use concrete examples.  Make sure you clearly stated why you are interested in the company, what you have to offer, and how you can contribute. 


Use the same heading that is on your resume or CV

2 spaces
4 Spaces
Street Address or PO Box #
City, State, Zip Code

2 Spaces
Dear Mr./Ms________:
1 Space
1st Paragraph:  State why you are writing by identifying the position, field or general area of your inquiry.  Tell the employer how you heard of the opening.  Be specific: tell them that the job was listed on TCCS LINK.   If you were referred by someone, include that person’s first and last name.  Let the employer know the degree you will receive or received, the graduate school you are attending or attended, the type of license/certification you will be eligible for or have (if applicable), and that your CV is attached.  You may introduce your interest in the position or make a claim for your candidacy (which you will elaborate on later in the letter). Make this first paragraph short—pique interest.
1 Space
Body Paragraphs:  Include a sentence that introduces your overall areas of expertise which illustrates that you are qualified for this position (this sentence can also be included as the closing sentence of your first paragraph).   Avoid “I feel" and "I believe” phrases. You want to have three separate paragraphs focusing on your research, teaching and advising student experiences. Important: These three areas represent the most common major requirements and subsequent qualifications needed for a faculty position. However, these body paragraphs can be adapted based on the specific requirements of the job and your professional background.  You will want to order these sections (research, teaching and advising students) according to their importance within the institution/department you are applying. For example, if the department/institution is focused on research begin this section by describing your research experience and follow with teaching and advising; if the department/institution is focused on teaching begin this section by describing your teaching experience and follow with research and advising. In other words move the sections around based on importance to the institution.
1 Space
Research: Use the language of the announcement and the department’s/ institution’s website to guide you. Provide context for your work; show that you are a forward-thinking professional.  In discussing your work, note the recognition it has received in the form of competitive grants, awards, publications in referred journals, and/or presentations at major conferences. It is also important to mention where you expect your research to go after the completion of your dissertation and the publications that will follow from it. They want to see evidence of a scholarly agenda that extends beyond the dissertation. Think twice about mentioning future projects that appear entirely unrelated to your current work. Departments will want you to be firmly established in one area before you go off into another. It is also important to be familiar with the research focuses of the department and/or institution and illustrate how you will support these efforts.
1 Space
Teaching: Discuss teaching and your teaching philosophy (even if a separate “Statement of Teaching Philosophy” is required). Be sure to mention experience with new pedagogies or technologies in the classroom. If you've had the opportunity to design and teach your own course, tell them, briefly, how you went about it and the choices you made. Don't just say you're a good teacher, tell them why. Look over your teaching evaluations and pick out one or two consistent strengths to highlight. Draw on your experience, talk about how you engage students and enhance their skills and intellectual development. If you have TA'd some of the courses that (based on the job description) you would be expected to teach, let them know. If you have not had that opportunity, but your field and research fall within the domain of the job description, you may want to add a line about how well prepared you are to teach such courses based on your training and research. If you have limited or no teaching experience; discuss what and how you would teach.  You will impress the committee if you show connections between your research and teaching.
1 Space
Advising: Advising will be a likely component of any academic position; therefore you will want to indicate how you have worked with students in one-on-one or group environments to demonstrate your mentoring and counseling abilities. Tell about how and to what capacity you have advised students. Have you advised pre-major students and how many? Have you advised major students and to what extent; have you worked with them on thesis or culminating project? Have you worked with Masters or Doctoral students and if so in what ways? In this section you can also include experiences with group advising like a student club.
1 Space
Closing Paragraph: Include two or three of your skills that relate to the position and how the population will benefit from these skills. If you're still working on your dissertation, you should mention somewhere in the letter when you expect to be awarded the Ph.D/EdD., even being as specific as to mention how many chapters have been completed and accepted, how many are in draft version, and what your schedule for completion is. Mention if you will be attending an upcoming major professional conference in your field, such as the MLA convention for language and literature professionals and indicate that you will be available for an interview at the conference. If you have some special connection to the school, type of institution, or region, such as having attended the school as an undergraduate or having grown up in the area, you may wish to mention that information briefly at some point. In addition, you should highlight your willingness to forward upon request additional materials such as writing samples, teaching evaluations, and letters of recommendation. Let the employer know that you are available for questions about your background and experience.  Thank the employer for his/her consideration.  Include your phone number and email address (same contact information listed on your resume).

2 Spaces

3 Spaces
Your Name Typed


Sources: Adapted from Perdue’s Academic Cover Letter, University of Virginia’s Academic Cover Letter and University of California Berkley’s Academic Cover Letter

Return to Top