The Job Cover Letter

Is it ever done? At what point do you say, “Okay, you freak, stop revising and just send the damn thing!!”?

Clearly, not yet.

The thing is, it gets better with each little piece of revision. I haven’t started cannibalizing it yet, and each little tweak gets it stronger.


By the way–some aspects of it may not apply as much to music jobs, but I have taken great inspiration and assistance from the Professor’s infamous blog post, “Why your Job Cover Letter Sucks (and what you can do to fix it).” I still have terminal list addiction, but I have successfully played some of it down, and de-adverbed most of it, and simplified where possible…definitely read the comments as well, they contain a pretty valuable number of caveats from other academics who say, “Nope, not in this field you wouldn’t do that” and so forth.

Are we there yet?

Will I eventually actually write the dissertation and stop farting around with job letters that say “I anticipate finishing my dissertation by such and such a date,” that date getting farther into the future with every job letter I send?

Another sigh. My brain hurts.


  • Kirin

    You might have seen my post on FB on the 15th, which was in fact the 15th anniversary of my successful dissertation defense. (Hiiiii–yah!!) The day after the defense I was offered the college teaching position that I took in Wisconsin. So sometimes things are in synchrony.

    You probably have spent time nosing around the columns about jobhunting and careers in the Chronicle, but if not, I encourage you to do it. People have shared useful and encouraging information there a lot; I haven’t checked it out for several years, but read it online for a long time when I was searching.

    so… back to the diss, miss! 🙂


    • chickwithastick

      OMG, I spend way too much time nosing around the columns and blogs, obsessing over every detail, when I should just stay focused on writing the paper that will hopefully get me into the actual job market. I loved your dissertation defense post–gave me hope that there is life ahead! In the meantime, I just have to keep on doing what I’m doing…sigh…

      I tend to over-function. One of my many character flaws.

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