Most positions aren’t advertised and you’re left fighting for the few that are. Work smarter by writing a cold cover letter that will get you the job no one else knows about.
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If you want to work at Boston Scientific or Eli Lily, your science cover letter must do one thing: show the team your past accomplishments fit the job like a theorem from Euclid. Oh—and you’ve got to do it fast. Your goal? To make them read your resume like it’s got a giant funding grant inside.
Below, you’ll see a sample cover letter for scientist jobs that lands interviews, with a clear process to fit it to your career.
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Science Cover Letter Sample
Donald K. Jackson
3177 Berkshire Circle
Springfield, IL 62701
Human Resources Director
1183 Spring Street
Springfield, IL 62701
Dear Ms. Simpson,
As an efficient chemist with 6+ years of specialization in synthesizing and characterizing material properties for product development, I was thrilled to see the chemist opening at Blayne Chemicals on LinkedIn. I know you need a chemist who can analyze product samples, who is trained in Six Sigma, and who can conduct process improvements in collaboration with your product development team. I think you’ll find my resume of interest, especially for a few reasons I’ve outlined below.
As a product development chemist at Zendron labs, I analyzed all final product samples (20+ per day for four years) for quality and specifications adherence. I used my knowledge as a Six Sigma Black Belt to spearhead seven product and test improvements, leading to a 10% drop in costs and a 15% drop in cycle times. I also worked closely with 30+ team members in our product development line to restructure our hazardous waste disposal process, resulting in a 30% drop in health & safety incidents and a 15% reduction in waste removal costs.
Beyond that, I know from reading the C&EN trade journal that your commitment to employee development is second to none, so I know a position at Blayne Chemicals would help me grow my skills and passion for chemistry and process improvement over the next ten years. I would be gratified to get the chance to speak with you about how my skills in organic synthesis, analysis, and OSHA guidelines can help create similar results at Blayne. Could we set up a time next week to chat?
Donald K. Jackson
That science cover letter sample works because it fuses the applicant to the job offer at an almost molecular level. But your resume has to deliver on the promise. See our guide: Science Resume Guide & Sample
Searching for specific science jobs? See these guides:
- Academic Cover Letter Sample
- Biology Cover Letter Sample
- Cover Letter for Graduate Assistantship
- Lab Technician Cover Letter Sample
- Research Assistant Cover Letter Sample
- Medical Assistant Cover Letter Sample
- Teacher Cover Letter Sample
- Mechanical Engineer Cover Letter Sample
- Engineering Cover Letter Sample
- Education Cover Letter Sample
- Postdoc Cover Letter Sample
- Cover Letter for Scholarship Application
- Graduate School Cover Letter Sample
- Best Cover Letter Samples for All Careers
Science Cover Letter Template
Here’s how to write a cover letter for a science job application:
1. Use a proven science cover letter format and layout
For a cover letter design that passes the chi-square test, follow these tips:
- Cover letter layout: one-inch margins on all sides will make your cover letter look professional and inviting.
- Cover letter outline: write 3–4 paragraphs. A longer cover letter can get you ignored, and a shorter one makes you look lazy.
- Cover letter line spacing: set the spaces between lines to 1.15.
- Cover letter font: use a professional-looking font like Cambria or Didot.
- Use a modern cover letter template, but avoid infographics (they are not ATS-friendly).
Read more: What Does a Good Cover Letter Look Like?
2. Write a clean-looking science cover letter header
- Write your name and your job title first, so the employer knows who you are and what job you’re applying for.
- Add your mailing address next, followed by your phone, email address, and your LinkedIn handle.
- Skip a line, then add the date and skip another line.
- Write the hiring manager’s name, job title, company name, and the business address.
- Let that cover letter heading do double-duty for your resume. A resume and cover letter that look similar create an obvious set.
3. Write an engaging first paragraph
- Start writing with a personal cover letter greeting like, “Dear [Hiring Manager Name],”. Using someone’s name is a great way to get attention.
- Mention the job you’re applying for in the first sentence, so they know you’re in the right department.
- Convey your understanding of the job. That’s as simple as listing off a few of the top job requirements from their online ad that fit what you can do.
- Showing you know the job duties makes your letter about them. That creates an Alnylam-level science cover letter and resume.
Read more: How to Start a Cover Letter
4. Show fitting science achievements
- In paragraph two, prove you have the qualifications they mentioned in the job ad. You can’t just say “I’m skilled in...” You’ll have to show a few resume achievements.
- Don’t add copious evidence, and don’t rewrite your resume in letter form. Just cite the best few science achievements that show you’ve already done the job.
- Include numbers in your accomplishments. Numbers add scale to what you’ve done.
5. Tell them why you want this science job
- In your final paragraph, explain why this science job is so important to you. That will make them see you’re a good investment, because you’ll stick around.
- If you’re not sure why the job is better than all the others out there, do some digging on the company’s website, in trade publications, and on the web in general.
- In a pinch, you can quote something you like about the organization from their mission statement or the home page of their website.
Not sure what salary makes sense? The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists median salary data for dozens of science jobs. Be careful with medians though, because they—who am I kidding, you could explain “median” better than I could.
6. End your scientist cover letter with an offer
- The final part of your cover letter structure should ask for a meeting. Make it specific by giving a finite time frame.
- Offer something. Promise to talk about how you can help improve their process, cut costs, or hit some other goal you know they’d like to reach.
- Mention 2–3 more of your skills to increase your value. That’ll give you one more shot at getting more reading-time for your resume.
Read more: How to End a Cover Letter
7. Close with a professional wrap-up
- Finish your resume cover page with, “Best regards,”.
- It’s a nice touch to add a digital version of your signature, if you have one.
- Include your contact information again at the end, without your street address this time.
Q.E.D.! Now take a peek at what a cover letter should say to get the job!
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
Questions? Concerns? We’re here for you. If you still have doubts about how to write a cover letter for science jobs that works, drop me a line in the comments.