After completing your education in data science, chances are you’ll be looking to land a job. As a new data scientist, you understand how to analyze big data for understanding, prediction, intervention, and exploration. You also know that you’ll have to coordinate and work together with different teams in the company to get results. But is that enough to get a job?
Usually new grads spend a lot of time building a strong resume, and preparing a portfolio that highlights all of their new skills. But unfortunately that’s usually not enough to land a job in data science. Your cover letter is what actually introduces you and your skills to the company. It’s through the cover letter that you can demonstrate your knowledge and catch the attention of your potential employer.
A cover letter is sometimes even more important than a resume or CV because it conveys your personality and communication skills. So we’re going to guide you through the process of creating a strong data science cover letter. We’ll discuss what information to include and what to leave out to give you the best shot at getting hired.
Even in a highly technical field like data science, the writing style of your cover letter is extremely important. The way you write your cover letter should be professional while also revealing your personality. Keep the style of your writing consistent from greeting to sign-off. Most importantly, your writing should reflect your communication skills and your ability to express your thoughts - two soft skills that are vital in any data science role.
After you’ve taken a stab at writing your cover letter, take a look at the below list of writing tips before clicking Send.
- Make sure your letter is an appropriate length: not too long or too short. A short letter won’t do justice to your full range of skills and experience. If it’s too long, you’ll lose the attention of your hiring manager.
- Two to four short paragraphs will do. Each paragraph should have different content, but it should all be relevant to a data science position. Take out repeated statements and trim down your writing to the most relevant points.
- Add transition statements so each paragraph flows together. Make sure every paragraph supports your end goal: to land the job. For example, you might begin the letter by writing about your interest in data science and the reason behind your interest. This idea could then be related to your next short paragraph, which could be about your specific credentials.
- After a short paragraph about your qualifications, mention any professional experience in the field.
- Make sure to discuss all of your skills, and why they’re relevant for a data science role. For example, you could describe your efficiency in optimizing algorithms and handling the tradeoff between speed and accuracy.
Once you’re happy with your letter, do a final check for spelling and grammatical errors. After putting all that time into writing the perfect letter, the last thing you need is a busy recruiter overlooking your application because of a typo.
What Information Should You Include?
Your primary goal should be to explain why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. To do this, you need to frame your letter by summing up all your skills and experiences that would help you to excel in the role.
- Elaborate on your educational qualifications along with your data science work experience.
- Mention the specific aspects of the role or company that attracted you to the job.
- Mention the specific skills that are mentioned in the job description. Remember, this is your chance to show the company why they should interview you instead of another qualified data science candidate.
- Begin your paragraphs with strong, direct statements. For example, you can begin with something like, “I have three years of experience as a data scientist and recently worked on project X and project Y. This experience has taught me A and B skills that could add value to your company.”
- Be sure to include your knowledge about the company. You should genuinely believe that the needs of the company and your skills would merge to produce beneficial results for both of you.
- Don’t forget to include your recent projects and achievements.
- As a data scientist you should mention that you don’t shy away from a challenge and value consistent learning.
- Lastly, at the end of your cover letter you’ll want to encourage the employer to get in contact with you to schedule an interview.
Describe Your Data Science Skills
This point is so important that it’s worth repeating. Elaborate on all of your relevant skills, even if they’re also listed in your resume. Along with technical skills like programming and creating data, you should also mention the many soft skills that make for a great data scientist. For example, in addition to mentioning your expertise at helping business stakeholders meet their goals through data manipulation, you should also mention your teamwork and communication skills.
Now that you have a better understanding of what goes into a data science cover letter, let’s take a look at a sample.
Cover Letter Sample
Here’s an example of a thoughtful cover letter written by an aspiring data scientist.
Dear Mr. XYZ, (the hiring manager),
I am Mr. ABC, and I am here to apply for the open position as a data scientist at PQR Tech--one of the most renowned organizations in the field of advanced technology. I have three years of professional experience as a data scientist, and recently worked on project X and project Y. This experience has taught me valuable skills that could benefit PQR Tech.
I have always been deeply interested in statistics, analytics, and mathematics, which led me to study data science. As a data science student, I was required to be skilled at understanding algorithms, MatLab toolkit, and be well-versed with SQL and applied statistics. Immediately after completing my education, I joined Jenkins Tech. It was there where I first used my academic knowledge and handled multiple projects independently.
The requirements of your job profile perfectly match my experience and skill set in mathematics. Besides my academic strength, my three years at Jenkins has sharpened my ability to communicate with people and various team leaders. This practical knowledge has also allowed me to understand what it takes to achieve big company goals. With my latest success in project X and Y, I am confident that I will be a valuable addition to your firm.
I would like to express my gratitude for your time and consideration. I look forward to further discussing working with your prestigious organization soon. I hope that my education and experience will be able to serve your company well.
When you’ve completed your education to become a data scientist, you’ll be well-versed in areas like SQL, command line and cloud tool. Once you’ve got that under your belt, and understand how to write a great cover letter and resume, chances are you’ll be able to land a job you love. Data science positions are expected to rise in demand by 27.9% by 2026, as reported by BLS. With that being said, there will be plenty of job openings for you.
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