Things Dr. C. Riley Nelson needs from you for a job application:
1. Some kind of professional relationship beyond merely being in my class or meeting briefly in a hallway. Tell me what month and year we met and the grades you may have got or special projects (assignments) you completed with my help, or how you came to know about jobs in my lab.
2. Curriculum Vitae or Resumé.
3. Transcripts (pdfs or photocopies will do, don't pay extra money for "official" ones).
4. Statement of Purpose (for example: Letter of intent, essay, why I want to be a blank, what I want to do when I grow up). I prefer lively and personal ones compared to mere lists in prose of accomplishments (lists work well in the CV or resumé, not here).
5. Recent digital photo, with your name in the file name something like: nelson mongolia 2009.jpg. A nice, semi-formal but pleasant head on view is best.
6. Cover letter explaining briefly what your career goals are and how your talents could add to the team working in my lab. Include as well what position your are applying for, what interests you in our work.
7. Demonstrate some knowledge of what we do as a team in my lab.
8. For future reference, I expect all my letters of recommendation to be private, written to the requesting institution, not to you (my friend) the requested. Thus you should waive your rights to view my letters of recommendation, please.