Am I doing this wrong?

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Lebesgue Integreat, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    Maybe not for this specific job, but I have a cover letter template that I got from someone else, and then kind of edited a bit myself. This only said only to do a cover letter if you have to, but that's kind of weird. though i would do what they say

    for other jobs I'd recommend putting in the cover letter in every time they have a space for it. your cover letter is where your personality can come in. it's possible to make a form cover letter that doesn't sound like a form cover letter, even, so you don't have to spend a lot of time on each one for every job. it just has to look like you did ;P

    let me know if you want that template, i can try to write it up
  2. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    Yeah that is definitely what I do. I would've included a cover letter had they not specifically contacted me or had the thing not said "only include if unclear why applying". I would definitely appreciate the template, I have generally no clue what I'm doing in this area and am consistently bewildered by the things that are expected so anything would be much appreciated.
  3. Re Allyssa

    Re Allyssa Sylph of Heart

    Take this with a grain of salt, because this is just what I ended up doing and I've applied to a lot of jobs, but only a few got back to me, though who knows why exactly :P (I think that's par for the course right now, though)

    Hmm, I'm having trouble with this, so I'll just kind of put my last one here with details taken out.

    Hello there, (Greeting - a more personalized one is better if you have the info!)

    I am very excited to see [Company]'s posting for a [position]! I believe I am an excellent candidate for this position. (Interest)

    (Why you're a good candidate - overview)
    As a graduate of [school], I am confident in my work ethic and ability to adapt to new situations and learn things on the fly. [Or other skills relevant to the job] Not only did I complete my [Major] degree at [college], but I also completed a minor in [minor]. I am also incredibly detail oriented, well organized, and adept at problem solving. I ask a lot of questions during my quest to understand something, but once I’ve got a solid footing, I can soar. [more relevant skills]

    (Why you're a good candidate - Expanded)
    I have extensive computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Office programs such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as well as the Google Docs versions of these programs. I like both sets of programs for different things: Microsoft has a little more variety and functionality, but if I’m not doing anything extra fancy and I need to share my work with others, I tend to prefer Google. For internet browsing, these days I prefer Chrome, but I’ve spent years using Firefox and IE as well. Years of surfing the internet has given me a wpm of 55+ on a cold test. With a bit of practice, I can reach 70+. [This was answering a specific question they asked on the listing, but this info is also relevant to the position]

    (Another small paragraph of why you're interested and or more details of why you'd be good)
    [I cut out my paragraph here because it was very specific to the job -- I was applying for a promotion at the company I already work for]

    I’d love to speak to you about this tremendous opportunity and am available to interview immediately.

    Please have a splendid day. I look forward to hearing from you!


    I went ahead and left in some of my specifics, but that's so you can kinda see how to list things without sounding like you're listing them lol. Basically mix up and vary your sentences, I think. It's hard to explain?

    But yeah for the details section(s), I'd write up a paragraph or two that's a general listing of your skills that sounds good. Then, if the application asks specific questions, you can edit what you already have to hit the points they asked about. if they don't ask about anything, well you already have something that works
    • Useful x 1
  4. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    I really appreciate this. Thank you.
    • Like x 1
  5. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    Ok this is going to be a long one.

    So first of all, I got myself a new resume as suggested, so does this look better? There's just personal information at the top which I would've blacked out anyway, name, phone number, email.

    Also, I'm applying for this job and would like some advice on a few things because oh my god it would actually be perfect. For the record, if any of this goes too far, feel free to either just not acknowledge it or say "hey this is too much to ask".

    • As a member of the Sales and Operations Planning team, the Data Scientist will use large data sets to identify business trends and find opportunities for optimization within the business. This includes using a variety of data tools and mining/data analysis methods, building and implementing models, and using/creating algorithms and simulations. This role will find, interpret, and effectively communicate data findings to business partners.

      Essential Functions:
    • Ensures the actual adoption and value realization of the analytical solutions and models by developing the complex analytic models, proving the validity of these models, explaining them to the business partners, and driving continuous improvement to the models based on model results and business requirements changes.
    • Finds and integrates new internal or external datasets necessary to complete the analysis and improve the validity, predictability, and accuracy of models.
    • Ability to present highly technical information to business units not versed in such technicalities.
    • Interpreting data and analyzing results using statistical techniques, and providing on-going reports in a timely and professional manner.
    • Developing and implementing databases, data collection systems, data analytics, and other strategies that will provide efficient data and reporting solutions.
    • Responsible for identifying business trends from big data sources to enable faster and better decision making.
    • Employs statistical procedures (Logistic regression, Machine Learning).
    • Develops model tracking methodologies and reports to monitor model performance.
    • Utilizes statistical software (e.g., SAS, JMP, R, Python) to develop models.


    • • 3+ years of work or academic experience with statistical, econometric, and optimization methods (e.g., logistic, time series, seasonal adjustments, non-linear methods).
    • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant study area is required (e.g. computer science, mathematics, statistics, business analytics).
    • Master’s Degree in a relevant study area is preferred (e.g. computer science, mathematics, statistics, business analytics).

    So I wrote my cover letter.
    To whom it may concern,

    Good afternoon, I am writing to you today to state my interest in the job opportunity which you posted on your website and on for a data scientist. While I have not yet earned a Master’s degree, I am well on my way to obtaining a one in applied statistics from [x] online program and I believe that with the knowledge and experienced I have gained from my courses so far augmenting my experience in taking part in research as well as conducting analysis in research combined with my Bachelor’s degree in mathematics, that I would be able to perform quite well in this role. While I recognize that the methodological training which I do possess may not cover the entirety of those necessary in this role, I do believe it provides me with enough of a background to be useful to me as I learn about the methodologies which you employ, as such, making it easier for me to quickly grasp and apply the concepts than it would otherwise be for a person who lacks training of this form all together.

    I have, both in an independent and in a collaborative format, successfully designed and analyzed research studies, performed background research on those studies with such methods such as literature reviews and annotated bibliographies, developed and implemented plans for randomization of run order of experiments, developed figures and tables to aid in describing the results of those studies, developed, implemented, and conducted plans for the statistical analysis of the results of those studies as well as the discussion of the results of those analyses including but not limited to various forms of regression including but not limited to logistic and non-linear regression, T tests, and effect sizes. Furthermore, I have a background in multiple types of software designed for statistical analysis including but not limited to SAS, R, JMP, and Excel.

    I am also well known by my professors, and by my peers with whom I have collaborated to be not only a flexible and creative thinker in terms of finding different solutions to existing problems, but also timely and reliable in terms of producing and communicating results, as well as in replying to questions, concerns, requests for information, and so on. Additionally, I was often one of the most relied on people to competently and concisely explain the techniques used, their implications, and the conclusions of the research as a whole in such a way as to make any person who needed to know, able to understand to the best extent possible.

    Throughout my courses, I have received training in translating data models, mathematical analyses, methodological decisions, validation of those decisions, and so on and so forth. Additionally, while in undergrad I served as a tutor, both hired by the school, and occasionally simply as requested by a classmate or a friend, lending me more capability with this skill. Furthermore, in this coming semester I am expecting to take a course introducing me to the use of Python and a course providing more depth with regards to logistic regression, among others. Taken together, I believe that with only a small amount of extra training, I could provide exactly what you need as per your specifications in the job announcement.

    I hope you agree and look forward to hearing back from you.


    Also, I wrote out the experience I have as requested by the site.
    ["Please describe your experience or cut and paste your resume information:"]
    In 2016, my first semester Junior year in undergrad, I spent the semester collecting, entering, managing, and finally, analyzing data from a social survey which I had a hand in creating as a part of a project for a sociology course. My main jobs throughout the project, due to its collaborative nature, included providing the analysis for the data using statistical techniques grouping by various demographics through R, explaining proving the validity of the process I followed both to my classmates for the presentation, and to school administration, and providing a full report, in layman's terms, of the techniques which I employed as well as why I employed them.

    Then, in 2017, my second semester in Junior year of my undergraduate degree, I spent the semester familiarizing myself with SPSS and while there were no large projects as previously in this course, I did become rather comfortable with it as a tool and I do believe that while I certainly still have much to learn with it, I would be able to learn to use it in a more detailed and competent fashion on a very short timeline.

    In 2017, my first semester of Senior year during my undergraduate degree, I spent the semester acquainting myself more deeply with the R software, even going so far as to aid my professor in developing a course centered on it, aimed towards psychology students to get their first taste of data analysis and the methods therein. I specifically focused on various forms of regression modelling as well as model validation and diagnostics.

    During my final semester in my undergraduate degree, I constructed, in collaboration with my classmates and professor, a complete proof of concept research study. My main jobs centered again, around the analysis and discussion aspects in addition to the data entry and management, being careful to provide my discussion of the analysis in both technical terms and in layman's terms, in addition to assisting in the creation of a general script for certain members of the group to read at a conference which would be comprised of people with a wide variety of experiences; from advanced laymen to experts in the field. Due to available technology, I had to develop and validate a slightly different method of analysis to be used for the data which the group collected. I learned a great deal throughout this project, including that I had a lot still left to learn, and as such I eagerly took that with me into my graduate program.

    This past semester was my first semester in my Master's program. I spent it with two of my courses learning and using SAS, especially for regression modelling; including models such as logistic, polynomial, and non-linear regression. Additionally, I gained a significant level of experience using model selection criteria and model diagnostics in analysis and discussion of results. Additionally, I had a third course in which I began learning the ins and outs of JMP, using that to construct an experiment from proposal to discussion on paper of results. This project, unlike the two previously mentioned, was done completely independently with only occasional input from the course instructor with regards to his personal preferences on certain aspects of the experiment itself. While my final course of this semester did not itself grant any further experience in software which I am already familiar with nor introduce me to any new software, as a theoretical statistics course, it supported my understanding of the concepts which I was applying in my other courses.

    For both this and my cover letter, my main questions are the following.
    Does it read well and respectfully?
    Does it read like I'm bragging too much?
    Does it read like I am overqualified (because I know that's a thing and I don't at all understand how meeting necessary criteria makes me overqualified and so I'm scared that that would be an issue here)?

    Lastly, I am unsure of what to do with the salary requirement. Glassdoor says for this specific job with this specific company, I should expect 95-144k. That said, I recognize that I am inexperienced and new to the workforce and as such many people will look at a requirement that high and go "lol sure kid, go play a video game or something". But, I also know that going too low is bound to get me rejected too so I'm not really sure of how to play that game and would really really appreciate any kind of advice there.

    Again I really appreciate everyone's advice so far and I will understand if you say this is too much to ask, I just really really want to get this application as perfect as possible.
  6. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    The cover letter does read well, although I'd tweak it slightly so that rather than starting out "to whom it may concern", you're addressing the hiring manager (if you know who that person is). "To whom it may concern" is really vague, and makes it sound like you don't know who it's supposed to go to. (Of course, if it's just a word replacement for the person who'd actually be receiving it, then ignore me.) I'd also take out the reference to a specific time of day, although I'll admit I'm not sure what exactly it should be replaced with.

    As far as salary requirement goes - if Glassdoor's saying that market rate is 95-144k, then I'd go with that. Maybe on the low end of that, since you're new to the workforce, but going lower than market rate isn't going to make you look more experienced either.

    Since you mention in the cover letter that you're still in the process of getting your Masters, and you're learning other stuff that would make you more suited for the job, I don't think you sound overqualified? You sound like you're aware of the fact that you might not know exactly what they need and that you'll need to take some time to learn how the company does things, and like you're willing to do the work necessary to get up to speed.
    • Useful x 1
  7. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    Ok that is helpful, I will try harder to look for the hiring manager but I have no clue who that is so far.

    Would a more generalized greeting like "good day" or "hello" do better then?
  8. turtleDove

    turtleDove Well-Known Member

    "Hello" should work fine, yeah. If you can't find who the hiring manager is, maybe try "To Hiring Manager for [Company]"? That at least would make it look like you're not just reworking the same cover letter, which is one of the issues with a really vague opening.
    • Informative x 1
  9. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    I will do that, thank you.
  10. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    Ok, application is sent. God, if this actually works out I will be so fucking set....please work out.
    • Winner x 2
  11. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    As a note: Every piece of advice I've had about cover letters is that they should be short, sweet, to the point, and specific to the company you're applying to. Recruiters have to read tons of cover letters, and if they run into ones more than a couple paragraphs long, their eyes glaze over and they toss out the resume without looking.

    The general template I use is:

    Hello! Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I would love to come work for [Company name] because [reason you like their company]. I feel that my background in [primary and possibly secondary job skill/experience] would bring value to your team and costumers, and that we would be a great fit. Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have after reviewing my resume. I appreciate this opportunity to partner with you, and I look forwarded to further communication.

    Sincerely, [your name].
    • Informative x 1
  12. Lebesgue Integreat

    Lebesgue Integreat Lesbian Intrigue

    That's interesting because I was always told they should be roughly a single front page word document, single spaced, paragraphs broken up for easier reading.
  13. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Yeah, if I'm just sending an email, that's great, but when I was looking for undergraduates to hire we asked for a cover letter plus resume, and I was looking for about a page - I wanted more of a feel for who they were as people.
    • Informative x 2
  14. Lizardlicks

    Lizardlicks Friendly Neighborhood Lizard

    I think that may apply to different job types. More specialized work is going to want a more detailed cover letter. Entry level data entry is going to have every one and their brother and their brother's dog jockeying for a shot.
    • Informative x 2
    • Useful x 1
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