, 24 tweets, 7 min read Read on Twitter
Last twitter thread for this job with me, @AutisticaUK & @turinginst! Because the deadline is THURSDAY 17 JAN! Just two days to get your application in 😱🤗🤩

I’m going to give you my opinions on how to write a good cover letter. I hope they’re helpful!

Let’s start by saying these are only my opinions. I’ll justify them so I hope they make sense to you. But different selection committees will have different requirements. Don’t over generalise to different positions :)
Here’s a screenshot of the application procedure from the job ad. It asks for a CV, contact details of your referees, and a covering letter.

Not much, right?

I think this makes the application pretty freaking hard! Let me explain why.
Let’s start with the CV.

No one is going to read this in depth until the interview.


Make sure that it is incredibly easy to scan your CV and pull out key achievements.
The reason I ask for a CV is because I want to see where you’ve been.

Your cover letter is going to tell me where you want to go (and maybe draw some attention to highlights of your past) but the CV tells me what you’ve done so far.
Make sure that the most relevant pieces of experience are on your CV!! Don’t follow a standard template without thinking about it.

This job ad has a HUGE list of requirements. You do not have space to address all of them in your cover letter. So make sure they’re in your CV!
If you try to say you have a great “ability to communicate clearly and effectively” in your cover letter you’re just wasting words.

SHOW ME that you can do this! Given talks? Got any teaching/training experience? Written blogs? Made YouTube videos? Links please! Screenshot of job description
Your CV and cover letters themselves will tell me if you can communicate clearly!

The same goes for being able to code. Give me links to your GitHub/GitLab repositories. Tell me what you’ve built. Even if it’s just for fun make sure it’s on the CV. Screenshot of job descriptionScreenshot of job description
My biggest piece of advice is HELP ME HELP YOU.

I WANT to hire you.

Advocate for yourself in the CV.

Go through the job description and make sure that every piece of experience that provides evidence for why you can do this job is IN THE DOCUMENT!
Imagine I have to go and justify why I want you to a big senior person. (This isn’t the case, but imagine!)

Which lines in the document am I going to point to?
And now let me transition to the cover letter by reiterating that formatting in your CV is SO SO SO important.

It takes too much cognitive load to trawl through big paragraphs of text.

I don’t mind how long your CV is. (Academic CVS can be pages and pages. This is NOT the case in most areas!)

But it has to be easy to scan.

Bullet points and links are lovely.
On the other hand, if your cover letter is more than 2 pages I’m going to be suspicious.

With effort & a lot of thought, you CAN write a shorter letter.

I don’t think with all the requirements in this job ad that you can submit 1 page (KUDOS if you can though!) but 2 is enough.
This is the place to communicate that you UNDERSTAND THE JOB.

Read the values document.

Think about why this position aligns with your career goals.


An essential requirement is that you have an understanding of #Autism, #Neurodiversity, and the barriers faced by members of traditionally underrepresented groups.

This is difficult to show on your CV. But there are SO MANY WAYS you can tell your story in your cover letter. Screen shot of job description
What are you excited about? Why would this position be a useful stepping stone on your career path? Why are you a great fit for the goals?

What do you bring that the team doesn’t have? What will I learn from you?
As with “I’m a clear communicator” saying “I’m a good collaborator” doesn’t carry much weight.

TELL ME of your collaborative successes. Model best practice by celebrating others in your teams. Make me excited to work with you!
You don’t have much space 😱😱😱

You can’t tell me your whole life story.

Use the cover letter to focus my attention on aspects of your CV, but don’t repeat them!
(I’ve just realised how ironic it is that I’m writing a massive tweet thread about being brief. Whoooops!)
Let’s try to wrap up.

DO link your CV and cover letter to the requirements and the responsibilities of the role.

DO NOT go through the items on the job ad one by one in order.

CURATE your application.
Show me that you’ve thought about it. Show me that you share our values (or how you’d prefer to enhance them).

Tell me who you are and what you’d like to do.

Make it easy for me to check the box that says YOU are the best fit for the role.
As I’ve said over and over in all my various tweet threads over the last few weeks:


Specific technical experience is not as important as your ability to learn new skills and to communicate across diverse communities.

Thank you to everyone who has shared the job ad and these various twitter threads.

One last big share before the deadline on THURSDAY 17 JAN!!

I’m SO EXCITED to read your applications. 🥳🤩🥰😍🤪🙀👾
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