A well-crafted cover letter can be a powerful job search tool. Your Adjunct Professor cover letter should be brief and highlight some of your skills, experiences and accomplishments that are most relevant to the job. Check out the Adjunct Professor cover letter sample below for a bit of inspiration.
Dear Mr. Sidney Harris:
I am writing to express my interest in the position of Adjunct Professor for the SHRP Department of Interdisciplinary Studies. I currently hold a PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies from Union Institute and University, and have over 15 years of experience as a professor and administrator in health policy development. I completed an interdisciplinary doctoral dissertation utilizing elements of ethnomusicology, public policy, thanatology, and liturgical practice to explore HIV policy.
I offer a unique combination of undergraduate and graduate level teaching in both traditional and online settings, as well as Health Administration and Consulting background in the healthcare profession. I believe this combination of professional and academic experience ensures I am an excellent fit for this position.
Currently, I serve as Program Director of Management and Assistant Professor of Management for the Accelerated Studies for Adults Programs for Keuka College. I have incorporated elements of interdisciplinary research in the Masters of Management program at Kekuka College, where I have been instrumental in revising the curriculum. I coordinate administration for the management degree programs, develop online instruction and certificate programs, as well as design and facilitate online courses in Management. In addition, I direct 100+ adjunct and 6 full time faculty serving 350 students in 11 sites across central New York State. My work as online faculty extends to assisting students as Doctoral Dissertation Mentor and Committee Chair for the MBA Healthcare Administration program at Capella University. I have previously served as Executive Director and Program Administrator for Westchester County AIDS Council.
I have a passion for initiating, revamping, and redesigning programs in health sciences, health care management, health leadership, and health advocacy. I am able to leverage my previous experience as Executive Director of Westchester County AIDS Council to advise students on real world scenarios and situations. I have a proven background designing and implementing a health sciences research agenda and creating successful curriculum programs for online students.
I would enjoy discussing the Adjunct Professor position with you in the weeks to come. In the meantime, I am enclosing my Curriculum Vitae; letters of recommendation and references will arrive under separate cover. If you require any additional materials or information, I would be happy to supply it. Thank you for your consideration.
If you aspire to be an adjunct professor, don’t believe for a minute that saying about “those who can’t do, teach.” Colleges and universities prize teaching experience, but they also aspire to hire adjuncts who bring “real-world experience” to the classroom to round out the theoretical and research strengths of full-time professors. If you can encapsulate both your teaching and professional experience in a cover letter and exhibit a genuine enthusiasm for teaching, you should open the door to an interview and, ultimately, an adjunct position.
1. Compile a list of colleges and universities in your area and, from there, a list of the people who head departments that are most closely aligned with your field of study. Most colleges and universities require that you possess at master’s degree to become an adjunct, and accreditation rules often require that adjuncts stay within their discipline. In other words, if you have a master of business administration degree, you may be highly qualified to teach a number of MBA courses but would be ineligible to teach graphic design, no matter how skilled you may be after years of self-study and practice.
2. Open your letter with a straightforward but enthusiastic declaration of who you are and the adjunct position you seek. Accentuate in which pursuit you have the most experience, professional or educational. For example, you might say: “I am a full-time marketing consultant with 15 years of professional experience and two semesters of teaching experience who would love to share my knowledge of the industry by joining the adjunct faculty at … starting in the fall semester.”
3. Follow an orderly progression of ideas in the second -- and perhaps third -- paragraphs. In this example, you would provide highlights from your professional experience first. Include the positions you have held and the companies you have worked for. Underscore your accomplishments, any industry awards you have won and any other professional “claims to fame.” Allude to your master’s degree in this section, perhaps in the form of a clause: “I supervised a staff of 14 people in this executive position until 2010, when I left to earn an MBA from ABC University.”
4. Cite the courses you have taught and where you taught them. Be sure to include the full names of the courses rather than simply “business” or “marketing”; specificity will help the department head get an idea of where you might fit in. Mention any positive teaching evaluations, if you have them. If you do not have teaching experience, explain why you believe you would make a good instructor. Be honest and sincere, and not only because you probably will be asked this question in an interview. Maybe you have led training seminars at work and were buoyed by the experience and the positive feedback you received. Or maybe you finally have the time to indulge an interest you’ve harbored since your undergraduate days. Whatever you say, be sure to be genuine and express why you enjoy teaching or why you believe it would be a natural fit for you.
5. Focus on your personal qualities and attributes in the next paragraph, being sure they paint a picture of the type of instructor you are or aspire to be. You might say, for example, that you work hard to (or see the value in) bringing real-world problems and issues to the classroom. Or you might focus on your enthusiasm and engaging personality, saying that you believe students learn best when they actively participate in class discussions and projects. Invoke third-party sources as a prompt for the department to call upon the references you should include with your cover letter.
6. Close the letter with a pledge to follow up within a few days. Thank the department head for her time and consideration.
- Even though an adjunct position may not be advertised, it may be in your best interest to send a letter anyway since turnover tends to be high and openings can occur at any time, especially right before the beginning of a term.
- Be sure to keep track of the academic calendars at the colleges and universities you apply to and call the respective department heads a week before classes begin. This crucial period is often when openings occur, and your ability to “save the day” by filling a teaching slot may put you in good stead at the college or university.
- Don’t count yourself out of competition for an adjunct position if you lack prior teaching experience. Professional work experience and a passion for teaching tend to be more important.
- Be prepared to accept a course that is offered at less than an ideal time, such as first thing in the morning or for four hours on a Saturday, if you really want to teach. Full-time professors almost always get first pick at courses, then regular adjuncts and then new adjuncts.
About the Author
With education, health care and small business marketing as her core interests, M.T. Wroblewski has penned pieces for Woman's Day, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal and many newspapers and magazines. She holds a master's degree in journalism from Northern Illinois University.
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