Apply for a Research Position
Applications typically ask for a variety of supporting materials. Here are tips and links to websites to help you prepare the elements most often requested—cover letters, resumes, personal statements or essays, and abstracts.
- Ask for recommendation letters early
- When a professor agrees to write a letter for you, provide the professor with:
- Your Resume
- A Draft of your Personal Statement
- A Copy of your Transcript (unofficial or official)
- A List of the Programs to which you are applying and the application deadlines
- A Copy of the Major Research Paper/Poster/Project you completed in his/her course (if applicable)
- Remind your professors one to two weeks before the letters are due that they promised to write you a letter. They will not take offense at being reminded- they are very busy and will appreciate the reminder.
Cover Letter or Letter of Interest
- Before you begin writing your resume, write a list of every task you can remember performing at each job you have held. If you are currently working, you may want to keep a running list of what you do and update it on a regular basis. Write down everything you can remember doing- you may realize that something you considered unimportant may help in the position to which you are applying. For example, if you cleaned beakers in a lab, you were likely “responsible for disposal of chemical materials and maintenance of laboratory equipment.”
- After you have a draft of your resume, show it to people. Take it to the career center, your adviser, etc.
Personal Statement or Essay