How to Write a Data Analyst Cover Letter

Are you a recently qualified data analyst? If so, you’ve made a good choice. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, data analytics roles will grow by 23% between 2021 and 2031. For context, this is much faster than the national average for all occupations, which is just 5%. 

However, to get your foot in the door for any data analytics role means making a good impression. And that’s where a strong data analyst cover letter comes in.

A well-crafted data analyst cover letter will showcase your skills and get your resume noticed. In this article, we provide tips on how to write a data analyst cover letter, along with examples and a template to get you started. Whether you’re an entry-level analyst or a seasoned professional, you’ll soon be ready to produce a cover letter that pops!

Read on, or use the clickable menu to jump to the topic of your choice:

  1. Why do you need a data analyst cover letter?
  2. How to write a data analyst cover letter (step-by-step)
  3. Data analyst cover letter examples
  4. Data analyst cover letter template
  5. Summary

Ready? Then let’s get started!

1. Why do you need a data analyst cover letter?

Before getting into the nitty-gritty of writing your cover letter, it’s helpful to understand why you need one in the first place.

Besides being a front piece for any job application, the main benefit of a well-written cover letter is that it showcases your qualifications, skills, and experience in a way your resume cannot. You can introduce yourself and your skillset to an employer in a pithy paragraph or two.

Here’s a list of the benefits of sending a well-honed cover letter with your data analytics resume and portfolio:

  • A good data analytics cover letter establishes a connection with the hiring manager
  • It highlights the most relevant skills and experience for the job
  • You can use it to demonstrate your passion for the role
  • It’s an additional opportunity to show off your communication and writing skills
  • When executed well, it helps you to stand out from other applicants (especially those who don’t bother to include a letter at all, which is more common than you might think)

Now that you know why a data analyst cover letter is an essential part of your job search, let’s explore how to write one.

2. How to write a data analyst cover letter (step-by-step)

A data analyst cover letter shouldn’t typically include anything you haven’t mentioned elsewhere in your resume or portfolio. However, it’s an opportunity to zero in on the most salient aspects of your application, placing them front and center. 

In this section, we offer a step-by-step guide to writing your data analyst cover letter, exploring the basics of professional letter writing and the nuances of a letter for this specific role.

Let’s take a look.

Step 1: Layout your letter correctly

First up, structure! Don’t make your data analyst cover letter too wild or creative—save that for your portfolio. Instead, stick to the following standard professional letter format:

Top right

[Your contact details]

[A link to your portfolio/professional website]

[Date]

Top Left (below the date)

[Name of recipient]

[Their job title]

[Their contact address]

[Reference, e.g. ‘Re: Application for role X’]

Next, begin your letter with a professional greeting, using the hiring manager’s name if you know it. If you don’t know their name, simply write ‘Dear Hiring Manager’.

Step 2: Open with a strong introduction

The opening sentence or two of your data analyst cover letter should, in effect, be a punchy summary of what the letter will then cover. This means ticking a few standard boxes while also making a good impression:

  • Include the title of the job you’re applying for
  • Include the name of the company you’re applying to work with
  • Briefly highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role (picking one or two of your most distinguishing features—don’t make it too long, though, as you can go into more detail later)

Beyond that, what exactly makes an introduction ‘strong’? The strongest intros typically use confident, evocative, yet concise language and include specific details about the role to demonstrate that you’ve researched the company. 

You might also want to include a ‘hook’ that captures the reader’s attention, such as an intriguing element of your data analysis expertise that others might not have. For example, maybe you have skills using specific data tools or have experience in a relevant industry.

Step 3: Explain why you’re interested in the role

In the second section/paragraph of your data analyst cover letter, hone in on why you’re the ideal candidate for the role. To show that you’re genuinely interested in the company, aim to mention any specific aspects of the position mentioned in the job description that you find attractive or intriguing.

For example, perhaps you’re particularly excited at the prospect of using your data analysis skills to work on the organization’s flagship project. Or maybe you’re passionate about the company’s mission or potential for career growth. This can be a sentence or two—you don’t need to go wild.

Step 4: Showcase your skills, experience, and qualification

The third section of your data analyst cover letter is typically the longest. It’s your chance to show that you have the skills and abilities to excel and is the place to highlight why you’re uniquely qualified for the job.

While you should avoid listing every skill or qualification, don’t be afraid to get specific—list relevant data analysis techniques that you’re proficient in, for example, or qualifications and experience with certain types of software. Perhaps you’ve worked on a project that closely mirrors the work described in the job description. If so, mention it.

This is also the place to namedrop any professional achievements or awards you’ve achieved. Always keep them relevant to the role, though. Nobody needs to know that you won the pie-eating award at the local town fair. Employee of the month, however, is a different matter.

Step 4: End with a strong closing statement and sign off

In the final sentence or two of your data analyst cover letter, wrap up your application and thank the reader for their time. Include a call to action, such as asking for a meeting or a phone call, if appropriate. If in doubt, just say that you look forward to having an opportunity to discuss the position in person (this sounds confident without being too self-assured).

Finally, include a professional sign-off. Traditionally, if a letter’s recipient is unnamed (e.g. ‘Hiring Manager’) you’ll use ‘Faithfully yours’ as a sign-off. Meanwhile, if you know the person’s name, ‘Sincerely yours’ is better. However, if you find these terms old-fashioned, that’s OK. Just stick with something like ‘Kind regards’ or ‘Warm wishes’, and you won’t go too far wrong. The main thing is to avoid being too casual.

Step 5: Proofread, proofread, proofread!

Once you’ve finished your data analyst cover letter, it’s vital to proofread it for errors before sending it off. As a bare minimum, sleep on it and review it in the morning. 

Ideally, you should ask a friend or family member—or better yet, someone working in the industry—to read through it, to ensure you’re not missing anything or have made any spelling or grammar mistakes.

Some general tips for writing your data analytics cover letter

In addition to the steps outlined, here are some additional tips for writing your data analytics cover letter:

  • Use active rather than passive language, e.g. ‘I achieved’ rather than ‘achievements were made’ (people often use passive language under the misguided notion that it sounds ‘professional’ when plain English is fine)
  • Use fresh adjectives to describe yourself rather than tired, overused ones, e.g. ‘versatile’, ‘meticulous’, and ‘ambitious’ over ‘experienced’ or ‘motivated’
  • Avoid jargon and technical language, unless you know for sure the person you’re sending it to will understand it, e.g. ‘I used predictive analytics to identify patterns in customer behavior’ is better than ‘I applied advanced ML algorithms to CX insights’
  • Always tailor your letter to the job description, and make sure you address the requirements they’ve outlined
  • Keep it concise; your letter should ideally be two or three short paragraphs (about 250-300 words) and certainly no more than a single page. This is probably the most challenging part, so expect to write a few drafts and then edit them down

Now that we’ve covered the basics of your data analyst cover letter, let’s take a look at some examples to highlight the best approach.

3. Data analyst cover letter examples

In this section, we’ll get more specific, looking at how you might want to write each section of your data analyst cover letter. We’ve included a good example and a bad example for each of the points covered in section 2, before explaining why one is better than the other.

Example 1: Opening

Good example:

Dear Ellen,

I am writing to apply for the Business Intelligence Analyst role at Weyland-Yutani Corporation, as advertised on the Big Space Data Jobs Board. With 2 years of experience analyzing customer and business data, I have the necessary skills and qualifications to thrive in this role. I believe I would be a valuable asset to your insights team.

Bad example:

To Sir/Madam,

I am applying for the Data Analyst role at your company. I’m sure I’d be a great fit for this job, as I have a lot of experience in the field.

The first example is strong. It shows that the candidate has done their research (mentioning the job title, organization, and even the board where they found the role) and is confident in their skills and qualifications. It also shows respect to the recipient by addressing them by name.

Meanwhile, the second example is too generic. It doesn’t demonstrate any research or knowledge of the role. And while it’s not always possible to know the manager’s name, don’t open with ‘Dear sir/madam’ which presumes the recipient’s gender. It’s not worth offending the person that you want to give you a job!

Example 2: Explaining why you’re interested

Good example:

I am especially excited about the prospect of using my data analysis skills to assist with Weyland-Yutani’s flagship project, which I know explores the potential product applications of new biological discoveries. As a lifelong advocate of xenobiology, I am particularly interested in how this area of study can potentially intersect with the customer experience.

Bad example:

I have a great deal of experience in data analysis and I’m sure that I would be a great asset to your team. In addition, I’m interested in this role because it pays a lot of money.

The good example here offers more than just generic platitudes; it provides a real insight into the candidate’s motivations for applying for the role while demonstrating their knowledge and enthusiasm for the company’s work. Obviously, we’ve used an imaginary example here, but it highlights the point.

Once again, the bad example is too generic. It shows no real knowledge or understanding of the company and it lacks enthusiasm. And while there’s nothing wrong with being money-driven, think about what the reader will want to see. It’s much more appealing to the hiring manager to hear about your ambition (which benefits them!) rather than your desire to get paid well (which benefits you!)

Example 3: Showcasing your skills, experience, and qualifications

Good example:

My experience and qualifications make me an ideal candidate for this role. As a Business Intelligence Analyst at Hyperdyne Systems, I developed expertise in predictive analytics and machine learning, which I used to draw insights from large datasets about current product trends. I also lead a project to improve the accuracy of customer segmentation models, resulting in a 5% increase in marketing ROI.

Bad example:

As a data analyst, I have experience in data analysis, machine learning, predictive analytics, and working with large datasets. I am confident that I have the skills and experience necessary for this role.

The good example provides specific examples of the candidate’s accomplishments, demonstrating their expertise and passion for data analytics. This is much more effective than listing generic skills.

The bad example, on the other hand, gives no information about the candidate’s accomplishments or achievements. And while it is OK to list skills in your resume, it’s a waste of your data analytics cover letter not to dig deeper to showcase how you used these skills.

Example 4: Closing

Good example:

I look forward to discussing my experience and qualifications further and learning more about the opportunity on offer. I would welcome an invitation to discuss the position further.

Bad example:

I hope to hear from you soon.

The good example provides a strong closing statement. It’s polite and respectful, yet confident. It also shows that the candidate has done their research and is genuinely interested in the role.

The bad example is bland, lacks any genuine passion, and does nothing to demonstrate any knowledge of the role or company. Which one would you invite to an interview?

4. Data analyst cover letter template

Now that you’ve seen some examples of how to write a data analyst cover letter, here’s a template you can use to get started with your cover letter. This is, of course, a very generic template, and you should do more than simply fill in the gaps and send it off! 

Instead, use the template as a guideline, using the prompts provided to expand on the topics. Tailor the letter to each role you are applying for.

 

[Your contact details]

[Link to your portfolio]

[Date]

[Name of recipient]

[Their job title]

[Contact address]

[Reference, e.g. ‘Re: Application for role X’]

Dear [Name of recipient],

I am writing to apply for the [name of the job] role at [name of company], as advertised on [name of job board]. With [number of months/years] experience analyzing [type of data], I feel confident that I have the necessary skills and qualifications to become a valuable asset to your [team/department].

I am especially excited at the prospect of using my data analysis skills to [outline a specific task or project that the role involves]. As a [describe a personal/professional trait], I believe that this project has the potential to [outline a specific benefit that you think the project will bring].

My experience and qualifications make me an ideal candidate for this role. During my time as a [previous role] at [company], I developed expertise in [list relevant skills], which I used to [outline a project/task you’ve been involved in]. I was also able to [outline an accomplishment], resulting in a [describe the outcome].

I look forward to discussing my experience and qualifications further and hearing more about the opportunity that you’re offering.

Yours sincerely,

[Your name]

5. Summary

So there you have it, everything you need to know when writing a job-winning data analyst cover letter. Now that we’ve discussed how to write one, here’s a quick recap:

  • A data analyst cover letter is a great way to introduce yourself and your skillset to a potential employer
  • Structure your letter in a professional format, with a clear introduction and closing statement
  • Include specific details about the role and company in your introduction, and explain why you’re interested in the position
  • In the body of your letter, showcase your skills, experience, and qualifications, and explain why you’re the ideal candidate
  • Proofread your letter and get someone else to look it over before you send it off

Following this simple advice, you’ll soon have a data analyst cover letter that stands out. Before you know it, you’ll be preparing for that all-important interview!

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