Academic career laboratory 2 - How to write your academic CV and cover letter

Short description

This two-day intensive workshop prepares participants to enter the academic job market by learning how to analyse academic job calls, showcase their strengths through a well-crafted CV and write effective cover letters and statements of motivation. 

Target group

PhD researchers in their last year interested in obtaining academic positions (post-docs, teaching).



  • Gaining a better understanding of the entry-level academic job market in Europe and beyond
  • Having a well-designed CV that can be adapted to a range of academic opportunities and be quickly scanned (and appreciated!) by a busy selection committee
  • Becoming more aware of how the rhetoric and contents of cover letters and statements of motivation vary across different higher education contexts
  • Being able to write an effective cover letter or statement of motivation for an entry-level academic position of your choice


This two-day online workshop starts with a three-hour interactive input session on the first day. This session is designed to familiarise participants with the language, rhetoric and functions of academic CVs and cover letters or statements of motivation and to motivate them to take a strategic approach to 'making the match' for a specific type of entry-level academic position (post-doc, teaching). In the afternoon, participants will work individually to revise their current CV and draft a cover letter or statement of motivation for a position of their choice. A second session focusing on issues arising from participants’ own writing will take place several days later. Prior to it, participants will be expected to provide supportive peer feedback to at least two colleagues in order to support revision and refine their ability to ‘see’ application materials from a target reader’s perspective. The instructor will also be available for short individual consultations by appointment in the afternoon of the second day.  



  • Laurie Anderson (B.A., Stanford; Ed.D. Columbia) is Professor of English Language and Linguistics at the University of Siena (Italy) and Academic Skills Coordinator at the Max Weber Postdoctoral Programme at the European University Institute (Florence), where she also collaborates in the provision of training for PhD researchers. An applied linguist, her research focuses on the use of English as an academic lingua franca, with particular reference to the multilingual practices of internationally-mobile scholars. She has appeared in international journals (among others Language Policy and ELT Journal) and with specialised publishers (e.g. Routledge, Multilingual Matters). She is a founding member of the FIESOLE Group, an inter-university initiative sponsored by the EUI and designed to promote best practices in academic communication skills training for early-career researchers. Over the last 15 years she has worked with hundreds of early-career scholars gearing up to enter the academic job market.