How to Write a Data Analyst Cover Letter

FT Contributor  | 

Many people think their resume can stand on its own legs, but a strong cover letter will influence employers and affect how they view your application as a whole. With a good cover letter, you demonstrate your willingness to go above and beyond. Plus, a good cover letter gives you another opportunity to impress an employer with your experience.

Here’s how to write a convincing cover letter for a data analyst position.

Important Considerations for a Cover Letter in Data Analysis

A data analyst cover letter should detail how you collect and interpret data. Whether you’re an expert in reducing operating costs or proficient in maintaining databases, your cover letter should highlight the skills you excel at, as well as your educational background and any certifications you might have. The specifics of your cover letter will depend on which sector of data analysis you are applying for.

Market Research Analysts

For a market research analyst cover letter, most employers want to see that you have a bachelor’s degree in marketing, statistics, or social sciences. If you have certifications that are relevant to the role, such as a Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) or a Certified Market Research Analyst (CMRA) certificate, mention those in your cover letter, too.

Financial Analysts

In a cover letter for a financial analyst role, employers will want to see that you have a bachelor’s degree in finance or business. A license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is also helpful and should be mentioned. In addition, any certifications you have, such as a Financial Risk Manager, Certified Public Accountant, or Certified Financial Planner, should be highlighted in your cover letter.

Big Data and Machine Learning Positions

Careers in big data typically require a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematics, practical computer science, or statistical techniques from an accredited university. If you are a Cloudera Certified Professional or have taken any other certifications such as the MongoDB Certified Developer Exam, mention those to help your big data cover letter stand out.

Similarly, a bachelor’s degree is favorable for careers in machine learning, but not always required. In most cases, a Machine Learning Data Science Certification from a respected institution will catch the attention of a hiring manager.

Structure for a Data Analyst Cover Letter

Every cover letter should follow the same basic format. This makes it easy for the hiring manager — who has limited time to review your application — to understand your qualifications and what you’re hoping to get out of working for them.

Your cover letter should highlight your education, the experience and technical skills you possess, as well as professional references if the employer requests them. List your references and their contact information in a clear and concise way so that the hiring manager can reach out to them with ease.

To demonstrate that you’re a thoughtful and efficient communicator, format your cover letter using a 12-point font such as Arial, Times New Roman, or Calibri. Use left alignment and single spacing when crafting your cover letter, too.

Contact Information

Your contact information should be the first thing the hiring manager notices about your cover letter. This makes it easy for them to reach out to you for interview scheduling or follow up contact. Include the following contact information at the top of your cover letter:

  • Full name.
  • Address.
  • Phone number.
  • Professional email.

Avoid using a personal email, as this can come off as unprofessional. If you’re sending a hard copy of your cover letter, include the employer’s contact information at the top of your letter as well, just under yours.

Salutation

A salutation is how you will greet the person reading your cover letter. Always use a formal salutation to open your cover letter. If you know the name of the hiring manager, address them as Mr. or Mrs. with their first and last name. If you’re not sure of who the best contact is, use a generic salutation such as “Dear Sir or Madam,” “Dear Hiring Manager,” or “To whom it may concern.”  

Body

Use three to four body paragraphs to create your cover letter. Each body paragraph should highlight something about your background, education, or experience, while also expressing interest in the company.  

Use the first paragraph to introduce yourself and address the role you’re applying for. The second paragraph is where you can elaborate on your education and relevant experience. If you hold any special certifications, mention those in the second paragraph as well. Remember that your cover letter shouldn’t be a comprehensive breakdown of your qualifications — instead, it should highlight notable qualifications that set you apart from other candidates.

The third paragraph should reexpress the interest you have in the role and address what you hope to achieve while working for the company.  

Finally, close with a concluding paragraph.

Closing

Conclude your cover letter by thanking the hiring manager for taking the time to review your application. You should also express interest in the next steps of the hiring process.

Signature

Sign your cover letter with a formal signature. If you are sending a hard copy of your cover letter, use the three spaces between your closing and your name to physically print your signature. If you’re sending your cover letter digitally, consider including links to your portfolio, resume, or LinkedIn page in your signature.

Acceptable signatures include:

  • Sincerely.
  • Regards.
  • Thank you.

Data Analyst Cover Letter Example

Below is a sample cover letter for a data analyst position.

[Your Name.]
[123 Main Street.]
[123-456-7890.]
[first.last@email.com]

[Employer’s name.]
[456 Employer Avenue.]
[employer@email.com.]

[Date.]

Dear Mr. Anderson,

My name is [Your Name] and I am a data analyst with proficiency in data computing and critical thinking. I’m writing to submit my application for the Data Analyst role with Digital Numbers.

I believe I would make an excellent addition to your team. My 13 years of experience in the field will allow me to start accomplishing tasks immediately. I have worked for a variety of firms, helping them to better their output and improve overall efficiency. Throughout my experience, I have obtained my EMC Data Science and Big Data Analytics Certification — another aspect that will allow me to positively contribute to Digital Numbers’ efforts.

I feel confident in my ability to go above and beyond the needs outlined in the Data Analyst role. I look forward to working with you and helping Digital Numbers continue to succeed in the future.

Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I would love the opportunity for an in-person interview and am excited to hear from you in regard to the next steps.  

Sincerely,

[Your Name.]

Following these tips will allow you to craft a convincing cover letter that attracts the attention of hiring managers.


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