5 Tips for Writing a Cover Letter for a Biotech/Pharmaceutical Job
When applying for a position within the biotech/pharmaceutical industry, you should always include a cover letter with your CV, even if you are not specifically asked for it. A cover letter gives the hiring manager or a recruiter a glimpse of who you are and what you can do, and it is the first stepping stone to securing your dream role.
These are some tips for writing a cover letter for a scientific job.
Research the Company
The first step to writing a great cover letter for a scientific job is to conduct as much research as possible about the company, and if possible, the hiring manager. If you have an understanding of the company you are applying to, you will be in a better position to portray yourself as professional and serious about the role. This will help you to stand out from the other candidates. There are various ways you can research the company. You can look on LinkedIn and find out more about the hiring manager and the company, including their history and values, science publications are also a great resource for researching key information and of course, the company website. When you have conducted your research, you can then tailor your cover letter to suit. If a company has recently had a major take over, for instance, and you fail to mention this, it may come across that you don’t have a genuine interest in the company.
Focus on Achievements
Your cover letter should only be a page in length and therefore, it is vital that you keep to the point and make an impact as quickly as possible. Focus on the achievements that are likely to make the hiring manager sit up and take notice. For instance, if you are a Quality Manager who has spent 10 years working overseas with a large technology company, this is something to focus on. Stick to the key points of your skills and expertise that are most relevant to the role and the company you are looking to work for. Your opening sentence should make an instant impact. Your cover letter will be brief so don’t waste any space!
For example, a wasteful opening sentence may look something like this:
“I would like to apply for the role of Clinical Research Physician, as advertised on your website”
Whereas, an impactful opening sentence may be:
“With 10 years’ experience working in both small and large biotech business as a clinical research physician, having GMC registration and a strategic long term outlook, I feel that my past experience combined with my education make me an asset to your business.”
Support with Examples
If you are making any quantifiable statements, make sure you support these with examples – this also applies to writing your CV. It is very easy to say you have good communication skills, but it is much more enticing if you can quantify this by saying something like “I have 5 years’ experience in delivering presentations to audiences of over 100 people.”
The more you can back up your statements, the better.
Let Your Personality Shine
Candidates that are applying for positions in the biotech/pharmaceutical industry quite often forget to let their personality shine through on their cover letter. Your skills and expertise are of course, important but don’t neglect to get your personality across in your cover letter. The hiring manager will want a glimpse of what kind of person you are. It may be some charity work you are involved in or hobbies or interests you have. If you can tie it in with the job you are applying to, all the better! For example, ‘I have a keen interest in astronomy and attend an astronomy group every week.’ You don’t need to go into a lot of detail but a glimpse of what you enjoy can be a good way to build rapport with the hiring manager.
Don’t forget to include keywords in your cover letter. These are important, especially if the company you are applying to is using an ATS (applicant tracking system.) According to statistics, 95% of Fortune 500 companies are using an ATS. The best way to get your application through an ATS is by using relevant keywords. For example, if you are applying for a Marking Director role, the words ‘Marking Director’ would need to be present on your cover letter. You would also need to sprinkle some keywords for the job description.
If you are looking for a new role within the biotech/pharmaceutical sector, you can get in touch with us and we will be happy to assist you with securing your next job!