Going Deeper into Cover Letters

career advice cover letter Feb 11, 2023
data scientist writing cover letter

Cover letters are among the many topics I write about over on LinkedIn and via other platforms.

Recently, I posted on LinkedIn about cover letters. There were more comments than I expected, which is why I thought I would write a blog post addressing cover letters and how to use them to your advantage. 

As you know a cover letter is a document sent along with a resume or job application, usually offering additional information on the applicant's background that doesn't fit in the resume. Cover letters are an important part of the job search process, and can be the deciding factor between two equally qualified applicants. 

That said, a successful cover letter is more than just a generic introduction to your application. You need to use it as an opportunity to show the hiring manager why you are uniquely suited for the role, and how you can help solve problems or take advantage of opportunities for the company. 

The Basics of a Data Science Cover Letter

Below are the basics that every cover letter should have.

  1. Tailor your cover letter to the job you are applying for.

    Add keywords from the job description to your cover letter you increase your chances of getting your materials through the computerized applicant screening process. Finally, addressing the letter to a specific person, usually the hiring manager, will ensure your materials get to the right person.

  2. Keep your formatting simple.

    To prevent any computerized application system from changing your formatting I recommend sticking to one font, keep it simple by using common font like Times New Roman.

Going Deeper

Once you have the basics of your cover letter taken care of, there are a few ways to make it stand out against the crowd. Start with a well written opening paragraph. The hiring manager should want to keep reading. Write about your enthusiasm for the company's mission and how you are planning to use the role to work for that mission.

Use the body of your cover letter to tell a story. Rather than just listing previous relevant experiences, add personality to your writing by using specific examples to describe the lessons you learned and how they have made you a better employee, one that's a perfect fit for their role.

Close your cover letter with confidence and gratitude to make it stand out among the crowd. Showcase your soft skills and why they make you a unique candidate that is qualified to fill their position. Additionally, remember to thank the reader for their time.

Some specific language I like to close with:

I deeply appreciate the time and attention you and others afford me during your search and selection process. I sincerely wish you the best as you proceed through the applications. Should you require anything further of me I shall be at your service.

A cover letter that has been done correctly will showcase your writing ability, skill sets, and display your confidence.

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