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Your cover letter also serves as a sample of your organizational and communication skills.

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We love having examples. A little less worried? Maybe not sold on the idea but now know why you need to spend time on it? Cover letters are a little like puzzles. Please hire me!

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Not a MyNAP member yet? Register for a free to start saving and receiving special member only perks. As mentioned in the preface, this chapter discusses a wide range of educational questions, beginning with those of interest primarily to undergraduates and ending with the transition to full-time employment.

For quick reading, you can use the headings to pick out particular topics. However, we feel that most of the themes discussed in this chapter will be of interest to students at all levels, as well as to faculty advisers and administrators. Many students start thinking about the possibility of a career when their interest is ignited by a high-school or undergraduate teacher or some other role model. This is the time to start meeting and talking with scientists and engineers in fields that interest you. These early contacts can be crucial in helping you to navigate the terrain of science and engineering as you move through your career.

For example, a mathematics major who takes ing is better equipped to do actuarial work. An ecology major would gain perspective from classes in environmental engineering or environmental policy that can have lifelong benefits. Classes in economics, sociology, history, philosophy, English with emphasis on compositionforeign language, and psychology, spread through the undergraduate years, are immensely useful in helping you to acquire understanding, different experiences, and maturity.

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As science and technology become more central in our society, scientists and engineers become more involved with other, nonresearch domains of human experience. An effective way for students to learn about graduate education is to or form a study group to discuss homework and share concerns.

Why bother with a cover letter at all?

In a university setting, you can meet with graduate students and postdoctoral researchers and gain insights about specific graduate programs, possible careers, and the current job market. You can student chapters of scientific and engineering disciplinary societies, both general such as the Society of Women Engineers and specific such as the American Chemical Society.

These can help you gain leadership and communication skills and can often assist in networking with senior members who can provide advice and possibly employment opportunities once you graduate.

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Work with your undergraduate adviser not only to plan the science or engineering courses you will need, but also to ensure a well-rounded experience in this, your last general educational experience. Ask your adviser to provide guid. Remember that you are partly responsible for building a helpful relationship with your undergraduate adviser. Prepare for meetings with your adviser by thinking about where your interests and talents lie; think of four or five points you will make.

In addition to reading online, this title is available in these formats:

The more you take the initiative and pose carefully thought-out questions, the more likely it is that your adviser, a busy faculty or staff member with a heavy workload, will take the time and effort necessary to be an effective mentor. He or she cannot divine your concerns; you must express them.

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This is a test required for admission to most graduate schools. Discuss with your adviser your potential for advanced study.

What is an entry-level cover letter?

The of the GRE, your grade point average, and your adviser's opinion will help you to decide whether you have the potential for graduate school. As an undergraduate, you might find it hard to get a clear picture of the graduate environment. This is where an effective faculty adviser, as someone who has ''been there," can provide invaluable help. Seek out your adviser or another mentor and learn what you can as early as possible.

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You do not necessarily need a graduate degree to have a career in science or engineering. For example, engineers with a bachelor's degree can often move upward quickly in. Chris is a biology major in her junior year.

The elements of a perfect cover letter

Her faculty adviser thinks that she is capable of doing well in graduate school and urges her to try for a PhD at the university he attended. At the same time, a pharmaceutical firm near her home has offered her a well-paying technician's job. Chris's dilemma: she is interested in going on to graduate school, but she would like to remain near her family. She is also reluctant to lose several years' salary. See Appendix A for a discussion of this scenario. However, if your goal is to direct research or to teach at the college or university level, you will probably want a PhD Bailey and Leavitt In undergraduate school, you learn what is already known; in a master's program, you build your knowledge to a higher technical level; in a doctoral program, you learn to add to the body of scientific and technical knowledge.

At all levels, graduate education is both rigorous and focused. It is not simply a bigger and more-advanced version of undergraduate schooling, where you meet a wide range of subjects and acquire general skills.

How to write a cover letter with minimal experience

As a graduate student, you pursue at much greater depth knowledge that. Four years ago, Shankar Vedantam had mapped out a career in management. He was about to take his final examinations in electronic engineering at Bangalore University, in India, and then enter an MBA program. But at that moment the country's prime minister was assassinated, his examinations were postponed, and he was prevented from entering the management school for another year.

How to write an entry level cover letter (with examples)

To pass the time, he accepted a job as a newspaper reporter with The Times of India —a decision that changed his life. He was quickly hooked on the realism of his new job, and he relished the responsibility of helping people to understand current events. A year later, he earned a master's in journalism at Stanford University and soon moved to a big-city job at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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He is now a medicine-science reporter for Knight-Ridder's Washington bureau. I moved into science journalism because it seemed like a very neat way to capitalize on knowledge that I already had. In modern culture there is a huge knowledge base, but we haven't spread.

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I feel that spreading it may be as important as generating it or acquiring it. As with science and research, the market is competitive and may even be shrinking. Still, there will always be a demand for people who have technical skills and who can write about science clearly. Many people feel intimidated by science; they will always welcome someone who can explain it to them. By that I don't mean so much the specific information I learned in school; that's changing all the time. What counts more is familiarity with the language of science.

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People who are not familiar with that language tend to pull away from something they don't understand. When I find something I don't understand, I just go out there and ask some questions. The same pattern of questions and answers tends to repeat, whether the subject is computers or medicine. Vedantam advises that the best way to get into science writing is "just to do it.

Write stories for a university newspaper, take a course in writing.

Writing the cover letter

Like most skills, it's learned by practice. Even if you don't become a science writer, you'll always benefit from having stronger writing skills. It requires a love of your subject and a new depth of commitment. Obtaining an advanced degree, especially a PhD, entails sacrifice. It requires delaying your entry, by many years, into a "real" job. Starting a family might also be difficult, and graduate students will probably be unable to buy a house or perhaps even a car.

You might at times envy colleagues who went straight from a bachelor's degree into the job market and are already well advanced in their careers. Your love for your subject might be your best guide in deciding whether to go on to graduate school.

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There is no simple formula to use to decide whether you should attend graduate school; your love for your subject may be your best guide. For a discussion of more of the issues involved, see the scenario "Deciding Whether to Attend Graduate School," and the related discussion in Appendix A. In general, if you are excited by studying, problem-solving, discovering new facts, and exploring new ideas, you are likely to find graduate school a rewarding experience.

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Or you might have more practical goals: to enhance your job satisfaction, level of responsibility, earning power, and freedom to make your own decisions CGS If you feel at home in mathematics and science and want to dig deeper, graduate experience can provide a powerful introduction to a professional life in science or engineering. Some students choose to work full-time for a while after receiving a bachelor's or master's degree and then return to school.

That might be a good strategy if you are "burned out" by courses and examinations and need a break from. You might also learn a great deal and see your field from a new perspective. In some fields, such as engineering, it is common to begin work immediately after college. Later, students might take graduate courses while working; many employers financially support continuing education. That approach can increase your skills and job opportunities and allow you to work at the same time.

Moving directly into employment might not suit everyone. But it can be difficult to give up a full salary later to return to school, and it can be a struggle to regain the momentum and intensity of full-time study. Similarly, attending school part-time or at night does not provide the same intense learning experience as ing a group of your peers for concentrated, full-time work in an academic setting Bailey and Leavitt Some students might consider part-time graduate study because of family or financial obligations.

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But graduate work can be very demanding, especially at the doctoral level, where few programs accept part-time students. For a PhD program, it might make better sense to borrow money for living expenses and pay it back later from your increased earnings. Seek guidance from your faculty adviser or another knowledgeable person about how much debt it is reasonable to assume.

Remember that the apparent costs of graduate education are usually larger than you have to pay.