Now let’s move on to the things that will make your cover letter stand out.
Choose the right salutation
Address your cover letter to the hiring manager whenever possible. If you don’t know who they are, try to find out. Look them up on company websites or social media pages. LinkedIn is a great source of information!
However, if there is no way for you to find the hiring manager’s name, you could use one of the following salutations:
- Dear Hiring Manager
- To the [the name of the department you’re applying for] Team
- Dear Human Resources Manager
- Dear [company name] Recruiter
- Dear [title of the person you’d report to]
No matter which one you go for, make sure to be polite. Overall, the language you choose depends on the position you’re applying for and the company culture.
Craft a strong introduction
Your cover letter’s introduction is the first thing the hiring manager will read. It’s your chance to get their attention and make it to the next stage of the application process.
For this reason, avoid focusing on where you found the job advert and how you decided to apply. It sounds a bit shallow and is what everyone else is doing anyway.
Instead, share what inspires you about the company and the whole data science field. What makes you the ideal candidate? How would having you on the team improve company operations?
You could also leave a sentence or two for your background and previous experience here, but without repeating the summary of your resume.
Emphasizing your Data Science skills in your cover letter
Although some experts advise leaving your hard skills for the resume and focusing on soft skills in your cover letter, this is not entirely valid for data science cover letters.
Don’t get us wrong, soft skills are extremely valuable and should definitely be present in your cover letter.
But they shouldn’t be the only skills you mention.
The best thing would be to combine soft and hard skills and show how they have helped you achieve your goals.
For example, you could mention how your time-management skills have helped you build an extensive statistical model using Python in just a couple of days. Or how your problem-solving skills have made it easier for you to help the PM team optimize project delivery times.
When it comes to cover letters for data science jobs, hiring managers want to see the depth of your industry knowledge, rather than its breadth. Listing skills aimlessly just wouldn’t work in this case.
Also, make sure to include the skills that are explicitly mentioned in the requirements section of the job advert. This will help you pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that screen cover letters for certain keywords before passing them on to recruiters.