For past applications I've prepared a separate cover letter, research statement and teaching statement. I'm working on one now that asks for a cover letter describing research and teaching interests. So would you really combine it all? Can't imagine sending a 5 page "cover letter" so I'd probably cut things down a bit, but don't want to skimp too much on details. Or perhaps asking for a combined statement means they aren't looking for a lot of detail, just a general picture of the applicants? So confused!
Date: 12 Dec 2010 01:32
Number of posts: 4
RSS: New posts
I'd do what the ask for. I have sent a 5 page "cover letter" to places. It felt really weird, but they later commented it was just what they were looking for.
The bottom line is that the content is what carries the day, but don't let some techinicality put your application off on the wrong foot. The only exception is that I always send a cover letter introducing my materials even if they don't ask for one. I think it just is a nice organizing point, but who knows how they feel about it.
I sent one like this once. I think I cut it down to three or four… but yeah, it was basically a combo of me research and teaching statements.
My regular cover letter that I send with every application is 2 full single-spaced pages, and includes summaries of my research and teaching interests (1 substantial paragraph each). If they don't ask for statements, I figure they want a broad overview, so I just send my cover letter.
Based on PHD's experience that people liked the 5-page thing, maybe I am doing it wrong. I did, however, get a phone interview at a place that only wanted a cover letter, CV, and recs, so it can't be a terrible approach.