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Students often apply for positions whence graduation. During the process, s/he is asked to write on how the candidate thinks about the position and is willingness to perform good for the position which is called as 'covering' letter. I, myself was at the receiving end of comments from the steering committee and as well as an analyst in checking some of the covering letters we check while mentoring graduate students at Bioclues.org. Hence, I felt I needed to provide some tips to the students on how to write a covering letter.DOs1. Please understand and read the requirements of the position. Position yourself in it and ask yourself what would be the challenges you see as a Scientist/Researcher.2. Ask yourself whether or not any requirements mentioned in the form of expertise match to that of yours. Detail them in your covering letter.3. Use simple English and ensure that the letter is addressed to the head or the addressee mentioned in the advertisement. You may also start with "To Whom It May Concern:"4. In the first paragraph, provide details of your current/past experience followed by your willingness or the passion you bore for the position. You may also explicitly write how you are going to do justice, if rendered the position. End the letter detailing the list of references you may give and the approximate date of joining.5. There is nothing wrong in making a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis of yourselves. It is a good way of briefing your Curriculum Vitae to the reader.DONTs1. Please do NOT make a lengthy covering letter. Stick to either one page or direct your addition details to your CV.2. Do NOT add references in the CV if you mention in the covering. It is, however not a good idea to add in CV as well. You can simply say "The list of references shall be provided upon request." 3. Do NOT use declaration forms in the covering letter or declaration statements. It is not at all a good idea.4. DO NOT boast yourself in the letter. Remember, the assessing committee members are experienced and your covering letter would tell you on how good you fare in the preliminary selection.All the best Just my two cents :-)Prash
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