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Written by Anna MuckermanAnna Muckerman

Data Scientist cover letter example

The demand for data scientists is trending upwards. Here’s how to land that next job by writing a standout data scientist cover letter.
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Data Scientist cover letter example
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As a data scientist, you’re an expert when it comes to finding the overarching trends and translating them into meaningful insights — but what about when it comes to your own career achievements? A data scientist cover letter is the perfect place to share your strengths and show the employer why hiring you is the smart choice.

Data scientists are in high-demand, but to land your next position, you’ll need to break down your successes and the impact you’ve had in your previous position. A great data scientist cover letter gives you the chance to expand on experiences and qualities beyond a simple bullet point.

In this cover letter guide, along with the corresponding data scientist cover letter example, we’ll cover the following topics to help you write the best cover letter possible:

  • How to choose the best cover letter format and what paragraphs the cover letter should include
  • How to maximise the effect of each cover letter paragraph (header, greeting, intro, body and conclusion)
  • What approach to take when writing your cover letter
  • What mistakes to avoid when writing your data scientist cover letter.
Best format for a data scientist application letter.
Best format for a data scientist application letter.
Expert tip

With free cover letter examples and writing guides, Resume.io is an expert resource for job seekers in all fields and at all stages of their careers.

Best format for a data scientist cover letter

An effective cover letter should be clear and organised. That’s why it’s important to define the structure before you begin to write. The format of a data scientist cover letter should contain the following elements:

  • The cover letter header
  • The greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter intro
  • The middle paragraphs (body of the letter)
  • The ending paragraph of your cover letter (conclusion and call-to-action)

While you may keep a general cover letter that you return to when it’s time to apply for a new job, it’s important to update it and customise it for the exact position you’re applying to. 

Although your duties as a data scientist may be similar from role to role, make sure to read the job description carefully and determine what makes this position or company unique. Use this research to guide both the tone and content of your cover letter and make sure that your writing answers the question “What makes me the right candidate for this particular job?”

A cover letter should be no longer than one page, so make sure every word counts. Choose only the most relevant examples and achievements to highlight and make sure your experience relates to the company’s needs. The goal of the cover letter is not to repeat the resume, but rather expand on accomplishments that can’t be explained in a simple bullet point.

Below you’ll find a data scientist cover letter sample that you can use as a starting point for your own application:

Adaptable cover letter sample

Dear Dr Reed,

I am a data scientist with varied experience in the public sector. I believe my knowledge would be an excellent fit for your current vacancy at Prysm.

Since graduating with my Master’s in Data Science two years ago, I have been employed in data positions in various governmental departments. Most recently my work with the Department for International Trade saw me developing statistical frameworks to identify supply chain vulnerabilities.

My highlights in the role have included successfully finding an emerging risk to food imports from third countries. This was possible thanks to a Natural Language Processing project that I had advocated for and executed. The resulting methodology synthesises qualitative data from a range of intelligence sources to events that could affect critical supply chains.

Other important responsibilities in my most recent role have included automating report generation and building relationships across governmental departments to determine opportunities for new analytical products. This helped me to understand the importance of these products for the public sector. I know that governmental contracts are an important part of the work that Prysm does. I would love to use this insight to help in projects with a wider scope.

I am aware that this is the first data science role that Prysm is hiring. Across my time in governmental roles, I have worked on truly interdisciplinary teams. My colleagues and managers have ranged from statisticians and economists, to social researchers and more. I am well-versed in the communication skills required to make data science principles clear to professionals from different backgrounds. 

I hope that I will have the opportunity to demonstrate these communication skills and my enthusiasm about the role in an interview. I am confident my experience makes me a great fit for the team.

Sincerely,

Katarina

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Cover letter header

The cover letter header is the first section at the top of the page that captures your name, contact information, and professional social media like LinkedIn. Hiring managers can receive hundreds of applications for a single opening, so the header helps them identify the document and quickly contact you to set up an interview. An attractive header with a professional accent colour or another design element can also help to build a credible image and make your application more likely to stand out. Check out our adaptable cover letter sample for a model header.

Expert tip

One way to create a positive first impression is to choose matching resume and cover letter templates. By using a consistent look across your application materials, you’ll come across as a polished candidate who is serious about the position.

Cover letter greeting

The cover letter greeting is a short but powerful section. This is where you’ll address the hiring manager and set a friendly, yet professional tone for the rest of the cover letter. 

For data scientist roles, “Dear” followed by the correct salutation and last name of the hiring manager is the most appropriate choice. You may also use the hiring manager’s full name to avoid any mistakes with the salutation. 

If you’re applying to a large company and can’t identify the person who will read your cover letter, you may also opt to address it to the team leader or (Company Name) Hiring Team. Avoid casual phrases like “hey”, “hi”, or “hello”, and never address your cover letter using “To Whom It May Concern” as this phrase sounds impersonal and outdated.

Cover letter introduction

Get the cover letter introduction right and you’re off to a good start. Put the hiring manager to sleep, however, and you can guarantee you won’t be getting the interview. These one-to-three sentences are what entices the employer to read the rest of the document. Aim to begin with a strong statement that demonstrates one of your top skills. If you have a connection to the company, you’ll also want to mention it early on.

Before finishing the introduction, you’ll need to include the company name and the position you are applying for. While it may seem obvious, a hiring manager can read hundreds of applications in a day and there should be no confusion about which role you’re after.

As a data scientist, one of the best ways to begin your cover letter is with a relevant achievement. Give the hiring manager a sense of what you can do for their company by sharing a recommendation you made based on your research and the positive results that followed. See how this is done in our adaptable data scientist cover letter example.

Adaptable cover letter introduction example

Dear Dr Reed,

I am a data scientist with varied experience in the public sector. I believe my knowledge would be an excellent fit for your current vacancy at Prysm.

Copied!

Cover letter middle part (body)

The middle paragraphs of cover letters are the most freeform. While there are many ways to approach this section, it’s important to keep in mind the goal: highlight your best qualities and achievements in two paragraphs maximum. One way to do this is by using the STAR method. Start by describing a Situation and the Task required of you. Then explain your Action and the positive Result that followed. Two or three of these short anecdotes will allow you to create a convincing cover letter with ease. Check out our adaptable cover letter example below.

Adaptable cover letter middle part example

Since graduating with my Master’s in Data Science two years ago, I have been employed in data positions in various governmental departments. Most recently my work with the Department for International Trade saw me developing statistical frameworks to identify supply chain vulnerabilities.

My highlights in the role have included successfully finding an emerging risk to food imports from third countries. This was possible thanks to a Natural Language Processing project that I had advocated for and executed. The resulting methodology synthesises qualitative data from a range of intelligence sources to events that could affect critical supply chains.

Other important responsibilities in my most recent role have included automating report generation and building relationships across governmental departments to determine opportunities for new analytical products. This helped me to understand the importance of these products for the public sector. I know that governmental contracts are an important part of the work that Prysm does. I would love to use this insight to help in projects with a wider scope.

I am aware that this is the first data science role that Prysm is hiring. Across my time in governmental roles, I have worked on truly interdisciplinary teams. My colleagues and managers have ranged from statisticians and economists, to social researchers and more. I am well-versed in the communication skills required to make data science principles clear to professionals from different backgrounds. 

Copied!
Expert tip

As a data scientist, don’t forget to include numbers, statistics, and data that show how you’ve impacted your previous employers for the better and the outcomes you can take credit for. Concrete information is more likely to stand out in the hiring manager’s mind.

How to close a data scientist cover letter (conclusion and sign-off)

With the bulk of the cover letter out of the way, the last step is to create a conclusion that leaves a hiring manager wanting to set up an interview. One of the best ways to do this is to end with a call to action (CTA). This line expresses your enthusiasm for the position and invites the hiring manager to get in touch to continue the conversation further. While you don’t want to come across as presumptive, it’s okay to make a strong statement about the qualities that make you best for the role. A specific, thoughtful closing is more likely to be memorable. See our adaptable data scientist cover letter example for more insight.

Adaptable cover letter conclusion and sign-off example

I hope that I will have the opportunity to demonstrate these communication skills and my enthusiasm about the role in an interview. I am confident my experience makes me a great fit for the team.

Sincerely,

Katarina

Copied!

Data scientist cover letter with no experience

Are you new to the realms of data science? If so, you can still impress a hiring manager by writing a stellar cover letter. Here are some of the topics you may want to cover: 

  • Education. The training, courses, or qualifications you have under your belt. Where did you learn your data-related skills and how can you use them?
  • Industry knowledge. What do you know about data science and — for bonus points — the company to which you’re applying? Share what you already know here.
  • Enthusiasm and passion. What is it that draws you to this industry? What excites you about the future of data science? Don’t be afraid to spell it out for the reader.

Basic mistakes in a data scientist application letter (and how to avoid them)

Many candidates don’t fully understand the purpose of a cover letter and make basic mistakes that cause hiring managers to eliminate their application after a quick scan. If you can avoid the most common errors, you’ll be on your way to impressing the employer and landing on the interview short list. Here’s what to watch out for:

  • Generic cover letters: We offer an adaptable data scientist cover letter sample, but we always recommend that you customise your cover letter for every application you apply to. Hiring managers know when you haven’t taken the time to craft a cover letter specifically for them and it’s a big reason for them to pass on your application.
  • Jargon or too much technical language: The first pair of eyes to read your cover letter will likely be an HR expert who may not come from a science or data background. While you’ll still want to include key skills requested by the employer, make sure your cover letter is easy to understand for a general audience by focussing on the overall impact of your work.
  • Lack of concrete information: It may seem contradictory given the last bullet point, but numbers, data, and statistics go a long way in illustrating your impact. A data scientist who can’t effectively use numbers to argue for their employment won’t be perceived as credible.
  • Poor formatting: Once you’ve spent time and energy to craft the perfect cover letter, it’s important that your formatting send a message of professionalism. Make sure to keep a balance of white space to text and use an attractive header to help your contact details stand out. Consider using an expertly designed cover letter template to make formatting easy.

Key takeaways

  1. Demand for data scientists is sky high. Now is the time to prepare a great cover letter that speaks to your strengths.
  2. Get the greeting right by using the hiring manager’s name to create a personal connection. Always avoid “To Whom It May Concern”.
  3. Choose the most relevant examples of your experience based on the job description.
  4. Don’t let poor formatting hold you back. Our adaptable cover letter sample can help you get started.
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