While many people invest their time and resources in producing a good CV, the cover letter often gets neglected. Needless to say, this is a mistake. A good cover letter offers applicants the chance to grab an employer's attention early. So, we have looked in to what you need to bear in mind when creating a cover letter for a data analyst job. We cover:
- what not to do!
Writing great data analyst cover letters
Firstly, a cover letter should be presented as professionally as possible, using the traditional format. There is a variety of tools available (as well as plenty of templates) to aid the applicant if they're unsure how to do this. The aim of the letter is to concisely explain what makes the applicant suitable for the role, so bullet points can help minimise excess waffle. Usually, applicants should aim to sum up their suitability for the role in around three or four shortish paragraphs.
What should be included?
The essential aim of the letter is for the applicant to set out why they should be given the role. This will usually include:
A summation of who the applicant is, what skills they can bring and how much experience they have. An example of this would be 'I am a data analyst with over ten years experience working on a variety of major projects, including 'x project' and 'x project'. I have a 1st class degree in Computer Science from the University of X, and have also obtained professional qualifications in X and X.' A summation like this will immediately grab the attention of the employer, and make them want to read the rest of the letter.
Following this paragraph, the letter should then include a couple of paragraphs listing in a bit more detail the applicant's most recent employment. This should note what the position was, what the responsibilities of the applicant were, and any notable successful projects they dealt with whilst working there. The letter should then move onto specific skills the applicant possesses
What skills does a data analyst need?
A data analyst is quite a skilled position, and any applicant should be able to highlight some (ideally all) of the following skills: the ability to interpret and work with large amounts of data, the ability to be methodical in their work, confidence using a variety of database software and methodologies, the ability to take wide-ranging data and present it in a clear way, the ability to work to deadline and the ability to communicate well with other team members.
Remember that the employer is seeking someone who can specifically demonstrate proven experience within the role. Therefore, the best way to sell yourself is to provide genuine examples of previous projects, with as much detail as possible on how they approached the project, how they went about completing the work and the benefits that the work had on their company overall. The more specific the examples given, the better.
What to avoid in a cover letter.
Overall the applicant should excise anything not relevant to the role. Cover letters and CVs can sometimes have a tendency towards straying from the point, and this should be avoided. It's also important to avoid presenting opinions, except where they show a demonstrable, verifiable enthusiasm for the role.