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Academic advisors provide guidance to college students in choosing courses, majors and minors, as well as making sure they fulfill all the requirements of the degree. Long story short—you talk. They listen.
It’s time to make some money out of what you do best. Here’s how to put being wise and being listened to in an academic advisor cover letter.
In this guide:
- An academic advisor cover letter sample that aces any examination.
- How to format your cover letter.
- A fill-in-the-blanks template that will produce your cover letter for academic advisor jobs within 15 minutes.
See why this example comes top of the class:
Academic Advisor Cover Letter Example
This academic advisor cover letter sample comes from Joyce, who already has some experience in the field.
Let’s see how she does.
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Margarita W. McGee
1134 Gorby Lane
Barlow, MS 39083
San Jose, Sept 5, 2020
Professor G. Clarke
San Jose State University
1 Washington Square
San Jose, CA 95192
Dear Professor Clarke,
Being an alumna of San Jose State University, I was elated to find an opportunity for an academic advisor such as myself. With 8+ years of experience at Notre Dame, I can boast a track record of reducing dropout rates by 75% and improving the average GPA by 8%. I am eager to leverage my experience to improve the outcomes of students at SJSU, which I once was.
At Notre Dame, I have advised 80+ students a year, usually mentoring 4-6 at-risk or gifted students more closely. My advisee dropout rate is the lowest of any advisor at SJSU, at 2.2%. I have maintained a rate below 3.5% for all of my years at Notre Dame, in spite of the general drop out rate being 9% when I arrived. Having spent my whole academic career in the field of psychology, I am routinely assigned, and also exercise initiative in mentoring at-risk students. On average, such student’s GPA improves by 0.3 after a year’s mentorship. In the past 8 years, these mentorship schemes as well as a strong mental health early prevention program have helped decrease the number of students seeking crisis help or interrupting their studies to almost zero. I have supported 15 students in obtaining external grants and scholarships based on their circumstances.
I believe my tenure and experience makes me perfectly equipped to help guide the next generation of SJSU students towards success, as I once was. It was Professor Chandler’s kindness and mentorship that not only allowed me to finish my studies, but implanted a deep motivation to help guide the next me.
When would be a good time to schedule a call or interview to discuss how we can improve retention rates and student outcomes at SJSU?
Margarita W. McGee
Let’s hit the books. Here’s how to write a cover letter for academic advisor jobs.
How to Write an Academic Advisor Cover Letter
1. Use a Professional Cover Letter Format
Have you ever received a college application with typos in it? A grant application with blatant errors? What did you think of that person? Not much, I bet. You can’t afford to send a sloppy cover letter. For peace of mind, apply these cover letter formatting rules before and after you finish writing.
Don’t lose points on your cover letter format:
- Match your resume font—go for the classics such as Arial or Calibri.
- ‘Align Left’ the text, and don’t use justification.
- Set even margins of 1 inch on all sides.
- Use 1.15 line spacing. Leave a line between each section, and between paragraphs.
- 1-page is always enough for a cover letter.
Here’s what to include in your cover letter for academic advisor jobs.
2. Address Your Academic Advisor Cover Letter
Copy over your resume header. Do not skip your physical address—some institutions still favor the traditional methods of reply. Underneath, write down the date and city. Below, the details of the department head or person handling your application.
Make sure you get all the positions, academic and honorary titles correctly, as well as the exact physical address. You don’t want to send your cover letter and all the attachments to the right campus.
Check against this template:
Academic Advisor Cover Letter Header
[ Your Full Name]
[ Academic Advisor Title ]
[ Physical Address ]
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ Date ]
[ Department / School Head ]
[ Academic Advisor / Honorary Titles]
[ Academic Advisor Department ]
[ College Name ]
[ Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Expert Hint: When emailing your cover letter, put your name and job title in the subject line. It will make it easier for them to find you later.
3. Identify The Post You’re Applying To and Introduce Yourself
Address the head of the relevant faculty by their proper title and surname. Don’t waste time, start your cover letter by clearly identifying the academic advisor post you want to take. Right away introduce the biggest reason someone might have for employing you.
What are the two biggest metrics for an academic advisor? GPAs and retention rates. They both equal money and prestige for the college. This is why you should lead with them. Wanting to help students is noble, but it’s not the students deciding to hire you.
You can just replace the [blanks] with your information:
Academic Advisor Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [proper academic title] [surname]:
As an academic advisor with [X]+ years of experience at [Institution Name], I am excited to apply for an open position at [Target Employer Name]. With a proven track record in [Skill / Achievement 1] and [Skill / Achievement 2], I am confident I can improve retention rates and student outcomes at [Target Employer Name].
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4. State Your Case
In the body of your academic advisor cover letter, you should devote up to 120 words to 2-3 of your biggest achievements. Once again, numbers do a better job of illustrating your efficiency to your new employer.
Research every institution independently and focus on their principles and goals for the next few years. Think about how you can help them meet those challenges head on, and what achievements of yours prove that you can handle it.
Academic Advisor Cover Letter Sample: Middle Paragraph
At [Previous Employer], I have advised [X]+ students each year, predominantly in the [department] faculties. I have advised [level of education, i.e. Master’s] level students, and managed to [an improvement you made]. I have maintained [Result / metric] consistently, and I am committed to [area for further improvement]. I am ready to meet your [Specific Employer requirement], as I have extensive experience in [skill / responsibility backed up with result].
Expert Hint: Don’t write a general cover letter. But how to determine what to focus on? Reach out to the faculty through an informational interview, and you’ll be much more certain on what angle to take.
5. Tell Them Why It’s Them
There is a finite amount of colleges in this country. There is also a good number of colleges where you never want to work personally. Unfortunately, that’s not going to be enough justification for Ivy League employers.
Explain in no uncertain terms what you understand about the institution you’re applying to and how it informs your decision. Make them feel like they’re the only place you’re applying to.
Fill in the [blanks]:
Entry-Level Academic Advisor Cover Letter Sample: Third Paragraph
I am extremely excited to even be considered for this position at [target organization name], as I believe the [college’s/faculty’s/department’s] focus on [principle / value / goal] will allow me to [desired effect for the employer]. I would be glad to bring my expertise in [Skill / Achievement] to improve student outcomes at [target institution name].
Expert Hint: Did you know that BLS data shows that advisors employed in colleges and universities earn an average of $54,000, but in junior colleges, that figure averages out at $63,000?
6. Request the Interview & Leave a Call To Action
You don’t ask, you don’t get. A piece of advice you’ve probably given a thousand times. Applies here, too. Don’t wait for their decision, ask for a call or interview explicitly to discuss an improvement or benefit you can make happen for them.
End your cover letter with a formal closing, such as ‘Best regards’.
Sample Academic Advisor Cover Letter: Call to Action & Closing
Could we have a call or a meeting to discuss how my [your best, most relevant skill/their most important requirement][skills/experience] can help [target institution name] achieve [something important to this institution]?
[Digital copy of your handwritten signature]
[Your full name]
You now know all cover letter dos and don’ts. Good luck!
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Before you send your cover letter for academic advisor positions, make sure to:
- Format it properly: elegant font, even margins, spacing, a legible header with all the information.
- 1st paragraph—60-80 words. State the position you are hoping to take, and your credentials in this regard.
- Main Paragraph—120-200 words. Explain in detail that you are the best match for them by referencing your relevant skills and achievements.
- 3rd paragraph—40-60 words. Explain your motivation for applying to this particular institution.
- Sign off and ask for an interview.
Do you have any more questions about writing a cover letter for academic advisor jobs? Did you find our academic advisor cover letter sample helpful? Leave us a comment, I’ll be more than happy to hear from you!