How to write a chemist cover letter (plus an example)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 25 August 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're graduating with a degree in chemistry and looking for chemist roles, it's useful to know how to write an impressive CV and cover letter for chemist positions. Chemists possess various skills, including extensive knowledge of chemistry and science, lab skills and communication skills. Your cover letter is the perfect way to showcase these skills and impress potential employers when applying for roles. In this article, we explore how to write a chemist cover letter that demonstrates your passion, skills and experience to hiring managers.

What is a chemist cover letter?

A chemist cover letter is a formal letter that introduces you to hiring managers when you apply for roles in chemistry. It's usually addressed to a specific person and includes details of your background and work history, relevant skills and interest in the field. A cover letter is the first impression an employer has of a potential candidate, so it's a very important part of any job application.

Cover letters are unique to the role you're applying for. It's essential to write your cover letter while consulting the job advert for the role you're applying for. A strong cover letter highlights all the skills and criteria a job advert requests and leaves a memorable first impression on hiring managers.

Related: CV vs. cover letter: What's the difference between the two?

How to write a chemist cover letter

If you're writing a cover letter for a role in chemistry, it's essential to follow a professional format and structure for your letter. When writing a cover letter, use professional formatting and a clear, easy-to-read font, like Arial or Times New Roman. Follow a formal letter structure, including your contact details on the letterhead and signing off with your name and position at the bottom of the letter. Follow the steps below to write an impressive cover letter when you apply for a role in chemistry:

1. Start with a professional header

At the top of any cover letter, include a professional header. Include contact details that are up to date, including at least a phone number and an email address. Make sure you check your emails regularly after sending off your application, so you don't miss any correspondence from hiring managers.

Related: How to write an open cover letter (with a template)

2. Introduce yourself

After addressing the person you're writing to either by name or by using a placeholder like 'hiring manager', introduce yourself to the reader and explain concisely your background and work history. This is a brief professional introduction to yourself and is the first impression you make on a potential employer. You could mention your current or most recent professional role, how many years of experience you have, your interest in the field and your long-term career objectives.

Related: Why study chemistry? Jobs and careers for chemists

3. Explain why you want the job

Explain briefly why you're applying for the role and why you want to do this particular job. This is where it's important to demonstrate that you've done your research into the company you're applying for and that you understand the role and the field. Think about:

  • Why do you want to work at this organisation?

  • Are they known for being a good employer or particularly respected in their field?

  • Have you wanted to work for this organisation for a long time?

  • Why is the role a good fit for you?

  • Does it help you to achieve your long-term career goals?

  • Does it offer you valuable experience that you need?

  • What is the company culture?

  • Is it a good fit for your working style?

  • Do you feel you might thrive at this organisation?

Most employers want to hire people who feel passionate about working for their organisation and know they're a good fit for the role.

Related: 14 careers with math, chemistry and biology (with duties)

4. Outline your previous work history and skills

Once you've introduced yourself and explained why you're applying for the role, start writing the main body of your cover letter. In this section, it's essential to highlight all of your most relevant skills and experience from previous roles and studies.

Reference the job advert as you write this section to make sure you include information on all of the skills and experiences the organisation is looking for. Include details about your most impressive and relevant recent roles, current or previous responsibilities, technical skills, chemistry qualifications and soft skills. You could also use this section to highlight voluntary experiences or hobbies and interests that relate to chemistry and science.

Related: Technical skills: what employers look for

5. Invite the employer to contact you

Finish your cover letter with a call to action at the end of the main body of your letter, invite the hiring manager to contact you if they have any further questions or to discuss the role further. This is polite and confirms your interest in the role. If you have a preferred mode of contact, for example, phone or email, you could mention that here. Also, thank them for their time and consideration.

Related: How to become a biochemist (with definition and skills)

6. Sign off

Sign off with your name, signature and current job title if it's relevant to the role you're applying for. If you're writing a digital letter to send via email, you could use digital signature technology to sign your name or simply type it. Before sending your cover letter, proofread it to ensure there are no spelling or grammar errors.

Related: What is a digital signature in emails? (With tips and steps)

Cover letter template for a chemist

Follow the template below to learn how to structure a cover letter professionally:

[First name] [Last name], [Degree or certification if applicable]

[Phone number] | [Email address] | [City]

[This should mirror your contact information in your CV. A cover letter and CV are part of the same package of application materials, as they complement each other.]

[Date]

[Company name]

Dear hiring manager,

[Express excitement for the position, including the role title and the company name]. [Introduce yourself by explaining why you're applying for the job and how the job aligns with your career goals and what specifically draws you to the company].

[Explain your relevant experience and qualifications without repeating what's in your CV]. [Highlight one to two relevant achievements with facts and data when possible.] [Explain why you'd be a good fit for the company]. [Optional - address employment gap or career transition].

[Express gratitude]. [Summarise qualification]. [Restate interest in role]. [Call to action + availability and preferred contact method]

[Complimentary close],

[Signature]

Related: How to write a postdoc cover letter (with example)

Cover letter example

The cover letter example below uses the template above to create an impressive and concise chemistry cover letter:

John Smith

07826 78952 | john.smith@hotmail.com | Cambridge

July 2022

Black Laboratories

Dear Bob Cooper,

I am very interested in applying for the role of chemist at Black Laboratories. I have over five years of experience as a professional chemist and I'm confident I'm an excellent fit for this position. I have skills in chemical analysis and interpretation, lab safety and precise experimentation and I feel that this position would help me progress in my career towards becoming a senior chemist in medicinal chemistry. I feel strongly that I am an excellent fit for your organisation.

Black Laboratories has a fantastic reputation in the field of medicinal chemistry, and I've been increasingly impressed by some of the discoveries that your organisation has made in the past few years. I would be incredibly proud to work with a team who have achieved such amazing feats in this field. I currently work as a chemist at White Labs and have been in this role for three years. I feel strongly that I meet all of the criteria you're looking for, having both a master's degree in chemistry and over four years of experience working as a fully-qualified chemist.

I possess a wide range of technical skills in laboratory practice, including the use of lab equipment and methodical recording of experiment data. In my current role, I am also responsible for supervising three junior chemists. I am passionate about my work, and this role offers everything I'm looking for at this stage in my career. Please don't hesitate to contact me by email if you have any further questions.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for your time and consideration,

John Smith

Disclaimer: The model shown is for illustration purposes only, and may require additional formatting to meet accepted standards.

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