Professional Scientist Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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Your scientist cover letter must immediately grab the attention of the hiring committee. Highlight your most significant research accomplishments to showcase your expertise. Connect your scientific achievements with the goals of the team you're hoping to join. Demonstrate how your unique skills will contribute to their ongoing projects and future successes.

All cover letter examples in this guide

Crafting a scientist cover letter can be a daunting step in your job search. You've polished your resume and started applying, only to realize a powerful cover letter is required—one that doesn't just echo your resume. Focus on highlighting a pivotal achievement, weaving a narrative of your proudest professional moment without falling into clichés. Remember, brevity is key: a compelling, formal cover letter should capture your essence in just one page. Let's dive into making yours stand out.

Enhance your scientist cover letter writing experience; using our guide, you'll learn how to:

  • Create a scientist cover letter to persuade the recruiters you're the best candidate for the role;
  • Use industry-leading scientist cover letter templates and examples to save time;
  • Dedicate your scientist cover letter space to your best achievement;
  • Make sure your scientist cover letter meets recruiters' expectations and standards.

Avoid starting at the blank page for hours by using Enhancv's AI - just upload your resume and your scientist cover letter will be ready for you to (tweak and) submit for your dream job.

Scientist cover letter example

CHARLOTTE JONES

Chicago, IL

+1-(234)-555-1234

help@enhancv.com


Dear Hiring Manager,

I have closely followed the innovative strides your organization has made in the biotechnology field and admire your commitment to excellence. The contributions your team has made to scientific research resonate deeply with my professional philosophy and the impact I strive to make within the realm of biochemistry and cell biology.

During my tenure at GenTech Laboratories, my drive to enhance immunoassay accuracy led me to pioneer a cell staining protocol, which, through arduous research and development, advanced flow cytometry precision by 15%. This innovation not only strengthened our tumor cell isolation process but also provided a cornerstone for further methodological enhancements. The merge of adept technical skills and a precise, data-driven approach culminated in this achievement, showcasing my capacity to significantly contribute to assay development and quality improvement in laboratory settings.

I am eager to bring my expertise in cell culture and assay development to your esteemed team, and I am confident that my hands-on experience and dedication to improving cancer treatments will be a valuable addition. I would welcome the opportunity to discuss how my background, skills, and enthusiasms align with the goals of your organization.

Sincerely,

CHARLOTTE JONES

Biological Research Scientist
What makes this cover letter good:


  • Customization to the organization: The cover letter specifically acknowledges the employer's contributions to biotechnology, demonstrating that the candidate has researched the company and is genuinely interested in their particular work.
  • Key achievements: It highlights a significant professional achievement relevant to the role, such as the development of a cell staining protocol that improved flow cytometry precision, showcasing the candidate's expertise and potential benefits to the prospective employer.
  • Relevant experience: The cover letter cites specific experience with cell culture and assay development, which are likely to be vital for a role in biochemistry and cell biology, underscoring the applicant's suitability for the job.
  • Professional contribution: It implies a dedication to improving cancer treatments, which aligns with the hiring organization's goals and suggests that the candidate's personal and professional missions are a match for the role they are applying for.

Structuring and formatting your scientist cover letter

Here's what the structure of your scientist cover letter should include:

  • Header (with your name, the position you're applying for, and the date);
  • Salutation (or greeting);
  • Introductory paragraph (or your opening statement);
  • Body paragraph (or further proof of your experience);
  • Closing paragraph (with a call to action);
  • Signature (that is optional).

Use the same font for your scientist resume and cover letter - modern fonts like Lato and Rubik would help you stand out.

Your scientist cover letter should be single-spaced and have a one-inch margins - this format is automatically set up in our cover letter templates and our cover letter builder.

When submitting your cover letter, always ensure it's in PDF, as this format keeps the information intact (and the quality of your document stays the same).

On one final note - the Applicant Tracker System (ATS or the software that is sometimes used to initially assess your application) won't read your scientist cover letter.

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The top sections on a scientist cover letter

  • Header: This includes the candidate's contact information, date, and the employer's contact details, allowing the recruiter to easily identify and reply to the applicant.
  • Introduction: A strong opening paragraph that briefly explains the applicant's scientific background, passion for research, and the specific position they are applying for, engaging the recruiter's interest from the beginning.
  • Research Experience and Skills: This section highlights the candidate's most relevant scientific achievements, research projects, and technical skills, showcasing their suitability for the role.
  • Motivation and Fit: Here, the candidate should elucidate their reasons for interest in the organization's research focus, and how their goals align with the institution's mission and values, demonstrating personal and professional compatibility.
  • Closing Paragraph: The candidate should use this section to summarise their qualifications, reiterate their enthusiasm for the position, and express a desire for a personal interview, leaving a professional and memorable impression.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Expertise in a relevant scientific field: Recruiters look for candidates with specialized knowledge and a track record of research or projects in areas pertinent to the role.

  • Research experience: Having a strong background in designing, conducting, and analyzing experiments is crucial for a scientist role as it demonstrates the ability to contribute to knowledge creation.

  • Publications and presentations: A list of peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations validate a candidate's proficiency and recognition in their scientific community.

  • Technical proficiency: Knowledge of and experience with specialized equipment, laboratory techniques, and software relevant to the field indicate a candidate's capability to perform required tasks.

  • Collaborative skills: Science often involves teamwork. Demonstrating successful collaborations shows that a candidate can work effectively in a multidisciplinary team.

  • Problem-solving abilities: Scientists must be able to design experiments to test hypotheses and adapt when faced with unexpected results, showcasing critical thinking and flexibility.

How to address hiring managers in your scientist cover letter greeting

Goodbye, "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To whom it may concern!"

The salutation of your scientist cover letter is how you kick off your professional communication with the hiring managers.

And you want it to start off a bit more personalized and tailored, to catch the recruiters' attention.

Take the time to find out who's recruiting for the role (via LinkedIn or the company page).

If you have previously chatted or emailed the hiring managers, address them on a first or last name basis.

The alternative is a "Dear HR team" or "Dear Hiring Manger", but remember that a "Dear Ms. Simmons" or "Dear Simon," could get you farther ahead than an impersonal greeting.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],
  • Dear Prof. [Last Name],
  • Dear Search Committee,
  • Dear [Specific Role Title] Selection Team,
  • Dear [Department] Team,

The scientist cover letter intro: aligning your interest with the company culture

You only have one chance at making a memorable first impression on recruiters with your scientist cover letter.

Structure your introduction to be precise and to include no more than two sentences.

Here are some ideas on how to write a job-winning scientist cover letter introduction:

  • get creative - show off your personality from the get-go (if this aligns with the company culture);
  • focus on your motivation - be specific when you say what gets you excited about this opportunity.
Intro Paragraph
With a deep appreciation for the pioneering work XYZ Corp has done in biotechnology, particularly its groundbreaking approaches in gene editing, I am eager to contribute to the cutting-edge research that continues to push scientific boundaries.
RIGHT

Storytelling in the middle (or body) of your scientist cover letter

You've got your whole resume sorted, detailing your achievements and skills. What else can you write in your scientist cover letter?

For starters, take the time to re-assess the job requirements and re-discover the most crucial skills and requirements (or keywords).

After making a list of these important keywords, look back on your experience to select just one of your past accomplishments.

Choose the achievement that is the most noteworthy, relevant to the role, and matches the required skills.

Use the next between three and six paragraphs to narrate how:

  • you've grown your skill set, thanks to your achievement;
  • you'd use the know-how you've gained in your new role;
  • your accomplishment could help your potential employers grow.

Remember that recruiters don't need a retelling of your whole resume, but want to find out what makes you, you.

Body Paragraph
Leading a team at Genetech Solutions, I pioneered a CRISPR gene-editing project that increased crop resilience by 30%, directly contributing to a 20% boost in yield for partner farms. This achievement, underpinned by my strengths in biotechnology and strategic project management, underscores my ability to drive innovation and deliver tangible results in agricultural science.
RIGHT

Time to wrap up your scientist cover letter

Writing the closing paragraph of your scientist cover letter is just as important as the salutation.

You have to make it personalized to the job advert and recruiter.

Experienced professionals advise candidates to end with a request or reminder for follow-up. Write that you're grateful for the opportunity, and, at the same time, hint that you're available for the next steps of the process.

Otherwise, you could also conclude your scientist cover letter by facing the future. How do you see yourself, as part of the team? In particular, how would you settle in your new role in the first six months to a year?

Closing Paragraph
I am eager to discuss how my expertise aligns with your team's goals and would welcome the opportunity to interview at your earliest convenience.
RIGHT

What to write on your scientist cover letter, when you have zero experience

The best advice for candidates, writing their scientist cover letters with no experience, is this - be honest.

If you have no past professional roles in your portfolio, focus recruiters' attention on your strengths - like your unique, transferrable skill set (gained as a result of your whole life), backed up by one key achievement.

Or, maybe you dream big and have huge motivation to join the company. Use your scientist cover letter to describe your career ambition - that one that keeps you up at night, dreaming about your future.

Finally, always ensure you've answered why employers should hire precisely you and how your skills would benefit their organization.

Key takeaways

Writing your scientist cover letter doesn't need to turn into an endless quest, but instead:

  • Create an individual scientist cover letter for each role you apply to, based on job criteria (use our builder to transform your resume into a cover letter, which you could edit to match the job);
  • Stick with the same font you've used in your resume (e.g. Raleway) and ensure your scientist cover letter is single-spaced and has a one-inch margin all around;
  • Introduce your enthusiasm for the role or the company at the beginning of your scientist cover letter to make a good first impression;
  • Align what matters most to the company by selecting just one achievement from your experience, that has taught you valuable skills and knowledge for the job;
  • End your scientist cover letter like any good story - with a promise for greatness or follow-up for an interview.

Scientist cover letter examples

Explore additional scientist cover letter samples and guides and see what works for your level of experience or role.

By Role

Biology

Biology Research Assistant: When applying for an Entry-Level Biology Research Assistant position, it's essential to focus on any lab experience or scientific research exposure you've had. Showcasing your attention to detail and ability to conduct experiments methodically will bolster your application. If you have any experience with specific techniques like PCR, gel electrophoresis, or microscopy, mention these along with the span of time you've used them, reflecting proficiency and technique mastery. Illustrate how your analytical and observational skills have contributed to research findings or project advancements, adopting a 'skill-action-result' format to demonstrate applied knowledge and tangible impacts in your past roles or academic projects. Environmental Consultant: When targeting an Entry-Level Environmental Consultant role, stress the importance of any environmental science education or eco-centric volunteer work you've undertaken. Your ability to analyze data and understand environmental regulations is crucial. If you've engaged in any sustainability initiatives or environmental impact assessments, clarify these experiences and specify the duration to convey commitment and practical understanding. Describe the ways in which your evaluative skills have informed strategies or influenced policy changes, using a 'skill-action-result' method to convey your direct contributions to environmental stewardship and corporate social responsibility.

Chemist

Chemist: When applying for a Chemist position, highlighting your scientific expertise and laboratory experience is paramount. Illustrate proficiency in techniques like spectrophotometry, titration, or chromatography if they align with the job description. Emphasize any successful projects or research from your academic background, internships, or industry employment, specifically those where your analytical skills led to tangible results or improvements. Point out familiarity with industry-standard software and instrumentation, and any relevant certifications or safety training courses. Share concrete examples where you increased efficiency, solved complex problems, or contributed to published studies, using the 'skill-action-result' framework to demonstrate the value you can bring to the employer.

Lab Assistant

Lab Assistant: When seeking a position as a Lab Assistant, it's important to showcase any hands-on laboratory experience you have, along with familiarity with lab equipment like microscopes, centrifuges, and spectrophotometers. Highlight skills in data analysis, attention to detail, and adherence to safety protocols. Specific courses such as 'General Chemistry', 'Biology', and 'Lab Techniques' should be mentioned, along with any relevant workshops or internships. Illustrate how your precise lab work or research projects have contributed to successful outcomes in academic or internship settings, adopting a 'task-technique-impact' framework. Detail the processes you're proficient in, and if you've been a part of any published research, include those details, underscoring your collaborative and procedural expertise.

Lab Manager

Lab Manager: When targeting a Lab Manager role, emphasizing your leadership capabilities and proficiency in lab operations is key. Mention any hands-on experience with lab equipment and technology, noting specific devices or techniques you are adept with. Strong organizational skills and a record of maintaining safety standards are highly desirable. Detail any laboratory certifications, like 'Lab Quality Management' or 'Biosafety Handling,' including the time spent to attain them for proof of dedication. Illustrate how your expertise facilitated process improvements or safety enhancements, adopting a 'skill-action-result' format. Focus on instances where your management or scientific abilities have led to successful project outcomes or operational efficiencies in your past roles.

Lab Technician

Lab Technician: When seeking a Lab Technician position, highlight any laboratory experience, including internships or academic lab projects. Technical skills, such as proficiency in using lab equipment and understanding of lab safety protocols, are essential to this role. Demonstrate your attention to detail and ability to follow complex procedures accurately. If you've completed coursework in biology, chemistry, or biochemistry, detail these, along with any relevant workshops or certifications, such as OSHA Laboratory Standard training. Present specific instances where your technical skills led to meaningful outcomes or contributed to research advancements, employing a 'skill-action-result' structure in your examples.

Research Scientist

Research Scientist: When applying for an entry-level Research Scientist position, it is important to showcase any hands-on laboratory or field research experience you might have. Sound analytical skills and a robust understanding of the scientific method are essential. If you possess any specialized degrees or certificates such as 'Biochemical Techniques' or 'Statistical Analysis for Biology', include these in your application to demonstrate expertise and dedication to the field. In your cover letter, describe specific research projects or experiments you've conducted, ideally using a 'challenge-method-outcome' structure to highlight your problem-solving capacity and impact on scientific understanding.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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