How to Write a Great PhD Cover Letter - Deepstash

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What is a cover letter?

  • first opportunity to explain to the committee why you should be selected to study for a postgraduate doctorate
  • it should complement your CV
  • should tailor the content to your chosen Ph.D. topic
  • your personal statement should be separate from the cover letter

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cover letter vs personal statement

  • personal statement focus upon your interests and your ambitions
  • cover letter will look at your tangible achievements such as your academic and professional experience

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Key points to include in the letter

  • Who you are?
  • Your Skills and achievements
  • Your research
  • Your understanding of your research projection 
  • specific skills

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How to write a cover letter?

  • Start of cover letter: address the necessary person of contact
  • Introduce yourself: who you are, why should committee continue to read your application letter, why you want to study further, what Ph.D. you are applying for
  • show skills and achievement: follow the STAR method
  • the end of cover letter: reiterate why you want to study at this specific institute, reasons why you are a good fit, also mention what you plan to do with your research upon it completion

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STAR method to explain skills achievement

  • Situation: explain the situation
  • Task: What was your responsibility in the situation
  • Action: How did you solve the problem
  • Result: What was the outcome?

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Tips to improve

  • keep it concise
  • don't iterate what has already been written on your CV
  • provide evidence
  • check for errors

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Tips for writing PhD cover letter

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