Picture this: after completing your education, you’re trying to get a job as a data analyst with your dream company. You’re aware of the job requirements, which include analyzing raw and unstructured data and creating meaningful reports for higher-ups. You know all of the basics, and you’ve got all the data analysis skills you need to take the company to the next level. You’ve drafted a professional-looking resume and you’re ready to rock the interviews. But after submitting a few applications with no reply, you realize that sending off a polished resume just isn’t enough.
Most people spend a lot of time building a good resume. What they don’t realize is that companies are more likely to shortlist candidates who submitted a cover letter, too. Think of it this way: a cover letter is the preface to your professional life. Employers usually make a first impression of a candidate once they’ve read their cover letter. So it becomes extremely important for you to have a well-written cover letter to pair with your resume.
Don’t forget that a cover letter is a medium to showcase your knowledge, experience, and skills to the employer right away. Unlike a CV which provides information in bullet points, a cover letter gives you a great opportunity to express yourself. It’s a way that you can explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the desired role.
Since a cover letter is the first document that will draw in the attention of an employer, you should know what information to include. One typo could negatively impact your prospects of getting hired. In this article, we'll help you ace your cover letter and land your dream data analyst job.
There are quite a few important points to remember when writing a cover letter for any data analyst position. Refer to the list below when you start writing to make sure you’re giving yourself the best shot at getting an offer letter:
- Your cover letter should sound professional from start to finish, emphasizing all the aspects of your experience and work ethic that make you a great data analyst.
- Make sure that your intentions behind the cover letter are clear.
- Make sure that your cover letter is only two to three paragraphs long. You don’t want to overwhelm your reader, but you want to have enough information included to get your point across (and showcase your data analysis chops).
- All of your paragraphs should refer back to why you are the most suitable data analyst for the role.
- It’s important that all of your paragraphs flow together well. For example, you may want to begin by explaining why you’re interested in this particular role. Then in the next paragraph, discuss your skills and experience related to the specific job. Lastly, you could sum up your points and explain how the employer can reach you for an interview.
If writing isn’t your strong suit, you can hire a professional writer to write your cover letter for you. The letter should be clear, with short sentences and no fluff. It is also vital that your letter is free of any spelling or grammatical errors.
What To Include (And What Not To)
Remember, you’re using this cover letter to capture the positive attention of your potential employer, and you’re competing against hundreds of other qualified data analysts. You want to reiterate why you’re the best person for the job. To do this, you should include all of your skills and any work experience that’s relevant to the data analysis field. You should also elaborate on your educational credentials and years of experience, as well as your professional accomplishments.
For example, “I have more than five years of experience and recently worked on project A and project B. The skills and knowledge I acquired during this period could be utilized for the growth of the company because...”
Such a well-summarized cover letter will allow the employer to see your strengths and your professional career as a whole. It would also be useful to include details of what you’ve learned from your recent projects. This will let your employer know that you’re willing to learn as you go. When you’re ending your cover letter, encourage the employer to connect with you and discuss setting up an interview.
In terms of what you shouldn’t do, never make any false claims. If an employer finds out you lied you’ll likely get rejected. But, what’s worse than being rejected is that you may also get blacklisted from other companies too. Secondly, you shouldn’t put too much emphasis on your passions or interests if they are not relevant to the job you’re applying for; it’s important to keep the information simple and relevant. Lastly, slandering your previous or current company is also a big NO! You never want to put any negative emotion into your cover letter.
Present Your Skills
As a data analyst, you are engaged in extracting and analyzing data through several methods like data conversion, data cleansing, and data modeling. Like any other job, data analysts require a set of skills that you should not fail to include in your cover letter. Some of these skills may be your ability to promptly handle massive data quickly along with your profound understanding of mathematical models. You should also cite examples of successful projects you have worked on in the past, where the company was able to predict future conditions based on the model you created. If you are an expert at cleansing corrupted data, mention that too.
In the skills section, you can add your skills related to programming, such as R and Python. Highlight only those languages that you are proficient in. Additionally, you should mention that you are a team player with good communication skills. Moreover, being systematic and methodical are other skills worth highlighting.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at a sample cover letter.
Sample Cover letter
Dear Mr. XYZ, (the hiring manager)
With five years of work experience, I am eager to apply at XYZ (Company’s name) for the data analyst position. I have always been fascinated by relational mathematics and pattern recognition. This fascination has helped me handle complex sets of data, thereby enabling me to create insightful strategies. My goal is to use my number skills and technical acumen to provide meaningful strategies that benefit the growth of the organization.
At ABC Pvt. Ltd., I am responsible for analyzing business data and forwarding it to the marketing team who further examines market volatility. The recent model I built for predictions has helped ABC forecast the market with high-level accuracy, leading to improvement in cash flow cycles. I have also developed models for business intelligence and consequently got promoted as a senior data analyst.
Despite my success in many areas of data analytics, my biggest strength is programming. I have been able to provide close to one hundred and fifty solutions to my current company, which they’ve found innovative. I am confident that your XYZ will benefit from my skills in data analytics and from my hunger to work with challenging projects.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my candidacy for this role . If you have any questions before the interview, please do not hesitate to ask. Otherwise, I look forward to discussing the position with you in more detail soon.
How Can You Become A Data Analyst?
To become a data analyst, you’ll probably need to take a data analytics course. You should have a good grasp of math, which will help you develop your data skills. Throughout your education, you’ll need to keep practicing programming in R, Python, and SAS to cleanse, gather, and visualize data. A data analysis career doesn’t happen over night, so you establish a consistent schedule for practicing your new skills and honing your craft.
Most job profiles related to computer science and programming, including data analysts, are anticipated to grow by 11% by 2024 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics). The need to exploit big data has encouraged many companies to hire more experts in this field. For you, this translates to increased job opportunities. As a data analyst, the likelihood of you getting hired at the company of your dreams is high.
Start Your Data Analysis Career
As you can see, cover letters are extremely important - even in a highly technical field like data analytics. By following the suggestions in this article and tailoring them to your unique situation, you’re so much closer to getting a job that you’ll love.
To kickstart your career as a data analyst while having 1-on-1 mentorship and tailored support, Thinkful’s Data Analytics bootcamp is the course for you. And if you’d like more information on the world of data analytics, these data analytics articles are a great place to start.