How to Write a Business Analyst Cover Letter

How to Write a Business Analyst Cover Letter

How to Write a Business Analyst Cover Letter

Updated 29 November 2020

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Writing an effective cover letter is a specific skill.

It’s a distinct type of writing that requires you to simultaneously tell a story whilst also highlighting your personality and giving a recruiter a reason to consider you for a job.

In this article, we examine what business analysts should include in their cover letters.

What Is a Business Analyst?

Business analytics is a relatively new phenomenon.

It’s a distinct job role that requires a person to analyze a wealth of data to make predictions and recommendations and identify how to improve efficiency in a business.

It involves looking at the immediate operations and understanding how to use data to identify and solve future needs.

Business analysts are often tasked with creating new ways of working. This is why they may also be known as:

  • Business architects
  • Enterprise analysts
  • Management consultants
  • Systems analysts

(amongst other job titles)

Although each job has unique differences, they broadly remain the same.

If you are applying for these similar job roles, you will also find this article about business analyst cover letters helpful.

What Is a Business Analyst Cover Letter?

Your cover letter will be an introduction to your resume. It will be the first opportunity for you to make an impression on the hiring manager.

As business analytics is a new role, you must use your business analyst cover letter to explain how you’ve helped businesses make substantial changes.

It’s important to remember that the recruiter reading the letter may be an HR representative rather than your prospective line manager, so you shouldn’t assume that they know the specific details of what you do.

Although many professions may encourage speculative cover letters, we anticipate that most business analyst cover letters and resumes will be submitted in response to a specific job application.

Therefore, your cover letter needs to explain who you are and why you are the right person for the job. You need to be able to demonstrate how you have previously made an impact on a company using your data insights and explain how you can make similar achievements for this prospective employer.

The employer is likely to receive many applications, so your business analyst cover letter needs to help you stand out from the crowd and entice the employer to invite you for an interview.

What Should a Great Business Analyst Cover Letter Include?

It’s important to remember that your business analyst cover letter shouldn’t replicate the skills section of your resume. It’s not a place to showcase which software you are adept at using.

Instead, it’s an opportunity to show how you can make a difference to a company’s financial success.

You need to clearly sell yourself to the hiring panel. Make them understand who you are and what you are capable of. You want the panel to feel excited about the prospect of working with you.

As part of your story, you need to showcase that you have the right skills which match their needs. You need to focus on your credentials and explain what you can do that is better than others.

Your business analyst cover letter should explain your approach to data analytics and assure the recruiter that you will lead them in the right direction.

What Are the Most Important Skills of a Business Analyst?

Before you write your business analyst cover letter, you should be well aware of what skills are required for the job.

You will need to highlight these skills within your letter to demonstrate your capability.

Communication Skills

Business analysts often bridge the gap between the IT department, the HR department, and the senior management team.

Therefore, successful business analysts know how to communicate effectively at all levels.

They understand how to explain data insights to those with less knowledge and understanding than themselves.

An Ability to Work Under Pressure

There’s no doubt that predicting trends and making recommendations for business growth is pressurized.

You need to feel confident in your decision-making processes and comfortable working on multiple projects simultaneously.

You’ll also need to feel secure in your recommendations and be able to sell your ideas to C-Suite executives who may be resistant to change.

Analytical and Technical Understanding

You need to have exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills.

You need to be able to use different types of technology to discover a wealth of data.

You’ll need to interpret and understand this data and establish solutions for newer, more efficient ways of working.

Effective at Change Management

Business analysts don't just make recommendations, they also implement solutions.

Therefore, you’ll need to be able to facilitate change management and ensure that your recommendations are put into place throughout the business.

This may involve creating new systems and policies, but it’s also about how you communicate these changes to all stakeholders.

How to Write an Entry-Level Cover Letter

If you are straight out of business school, your cover letter should focus on your academic qualifications and your theoretical knowledge.

Use the opportunity to discuss any relevant internships and explain what you’ve learned.

If you’ve had a mentor, explain how that person helped to shape your knowledge, and discuss how you plan to use this knowledge to help the prospective employer.

You should focus heavily on why you want to be employed as a business analyst, and what encouraged you to apply.

You should also showcase any key achievements from your business school (perhaps you’ve completed a Capstone project) and explain how you believe your skills match the employer’s job description.

If you are applying for an entry-level business analyst role, the recruiter will be aware of your inexperience. Instead, they’ll be looking for a candidate with the passion and drive to work extremely hard, and the potential to make a tangible difference to the company.

Updating Your Business Analyst Cover Letter

As you progress through your career, your cover letter will change dramatically.

Many experienced business analysts move into project management roles or they specialize in niche areas such as IT or even chief technology officer or management consultancy roles.

This means that you’ll have much more experience to draw upon to show what you are capable of.

At this stage of your career, it’s also likely that you may have completed an MBA specialization which you could refer to.

You should use your cover letter as an opportunity to discuss specific projects that you’ve worked on and provide quantifiable statistics to show the financial value you could bring to the company.

You may be nervous about providing financial figures; in which case, you should use percentages to demonstrate effectiveness.

If you’ve worked in a project management role, you should also highlight the link between behavior and business outcomes.

Have you been able to implement a specific scenario that changed the way that employees worked? If so, what was the financial outcome from that scenario?

You need to use your business analyst cover letter to excite the recruiter. Give them a sample of what they could expect if they were to hire you.

How to Write Your Business Analyst Cover Letter

Now you know what you should include in your cover letter, we’ll break it down into further sub-sections.

Great cover letters have a clear start, middle and end. They tell the story of your career history and leave the recruiter wanting more.

They are designed to entice the recruiter to want to meet you, so you must give them enough information to feel confident that they won’t be wasting their time during an interview.

You may wish to structure your business analyst cover letter in the following way:

  1. Personal contact information
  2. Addressing the right person
  3. An introduction to yourself
  4. Who you are and what you have previously achieved
  5. How you work with others/what the employer could expect
  6. The closing call-to-action

Let’s break this down step by step:

Section #1: Personal Contact Information

If a business is hiring a business analyst, they will almost certainly be using Applicant Tracking Systems to filter through any applications.

These use automation to sift relevant information and filter applications following pre-determined keywords.

You need to ensure that your cover letter can meet the parameters set by the ATS. Therefore, make sure that your contact details (name, address, phone number, email address) are featured within the header section of your document.

Before you start writing, make sure that you are aware of any specific jargon or terminology used within the job description. You should reference these terms within your business analyst cover letter as they are likely to set keywords used within the ATS to filter the applications.

Section #2: Addressing the Right Person

The business analyst cover letter is your opportunity to make a positive first impression. Therefore, you must address it to the right person.

We advise avoiding using the phrase 'To whom it may concern'. It shows a lack of commitment and attention to detail.

If the named contact isn’t referenced within the job description, use sites such as LinkedIn to establish who the HR representative is, or phone the organization directly for confirmation.

You should have a professional tone of voice and make it clear which job you are applying for, and where you saw the job advert.

For example,

Dear Mrs Bloggs

I am writing to apply for the position of senior business analyst at Pinewood Communications. I read the job advert on LinkedIn with interest and I believe that I am a good match for your organization. With more than 10 years’ experience in data analytics, I have the right credentials to transform your business, helping you to work far more efficiently.

Section #3: An Introduction to Yourself

This is your opportunity to make a good first impression. The initial greeting should have whetted the recruiter’s appetite to continue reading, now you want to explain more about who you are.

You don’t want to jump straight into your key achievements. Instead, take a softer approach – you should showcase your personality and flatter the recruiter by explaining what excites you about this particular role.

For example,

You are looking for a candidate with a proven track record in project management and the ability to use data-driven insights to make cost-savings. My previous experience translates well to this criterion as my approach is to establish the existing capabilities of an organization before using data analytics to make recommendations on how to make tangible improvements.

How to Write a Business Analyst Cover Letter

Section #4: Who You Are and What You Have Previously Achieved

This middle section is your chance to brag about what you have previously achieved. It’s not a time to be modest. You need to really wow the recruiter with some hard-hitting statistics and make them excited to meet you.

This section is your opportunity to discuss details of any projects that you’ve worked on. It’s also a chance to show off any details of specific training/certifications that you have which may help you stand out from the crowd.

For example,

During my most recent employment, I was responsible for leading an 18-month project which oversaw the transformation of the HR department through the implementation of a brand new HRIS.

Key achievements included:

  • Reducing repetitive administrative tasks by 19%, freeing up time for staff to work more strategically.
  • Installing an effective technology system that tracked the productivity of 180 staff members, identified training opportunities, and enhanced communications. This led to revenue improving by 22% and increased positive feedback from internal staff and external stakeholders.

I was also able to supplement my knowledge through the completion of the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) and Certification of Capability in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) certifications.

Section #5: How You Work With Others/What the Employer Could Expect

As you approach the conclusion of your business analyst cover letter, you need to help the recruiter understand what they could expect from you as an employee.

This is an opportunity to reiterate your personality and passion for the job role and showcase who you are. The employer is looking for a candidate who would fit well into the team culture.

For example,

I am extremely passionate about data analytics. I believe that when used correctly, data can drive significant business growth, but it’s important to understand how and when to use and interpret that information. My approach to business analytics is to understand exactly who you are as a company and where you see your future. This ensures that the data is being analyzed in the most effective way possible, helping me to make insightful recommendations that work.

I enjoy the challenge of working under pressure, and what sets me apart from other candidates is my ability to communicate complex data insights in a way which makes sense to people in separate departments, from sales and marketing through to HR and senior leadership teams.

Section #6: The Closing Call-to-Action

Now it’s time to draw your business analyst cover letter to a close. By now, you’ve explained to the recruiter that you have the skills that they need and shown them examples of your work. You’ve even explained how you would fit into the existing team.

To end a cover letter, you need to reiterate that you would like to be considered for the job role and request that they invite you in for an interview to meet face-to-face.

You could even use flattery to show why you would be excited to work for this specific company and suggest that you have some initial ideas which they may like to hear about.

For example,

I would welcome the opportunity to be considered for this role. You have a reputation for exceptional customer care, and I know that you are widely regarded as being a great employer. I would welcome the opportunity to join your team and work alongside such a talented group of individuals.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet face-to-face to learn more about your ongoing business strategy, as well as this specific job role. I believe that my credentials speak for themselves and I passionately believe that I can make a positive impact on your bottom line through a series of recommendations and a carefully coordinated change management program.

Please see enclosed a copy of my resume, outlining my core skills and career history.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Sincerely,

Jane Name

Sample Cover Letter for Business Analyst

Here is the sample cover letter for a business analyst in its entirety:

Name

Address

Phone number

Email address

Date

Application for the position of Senior Business Analyst

Dear Mrs Bloggs

I am writing to apply for the position of senior business analyst at Pinewood Communications. I read the job advert on LinkedIn with interest and I believe that I am a good match for your organization. With more than 10 years’ experience in data analytics, I have the right credentials to transform your business, helping you to work far more efficiently.

You are looking for a candidate with a proven track record in project management and the ability to use data-driven insights to make cost-savings. My previous experience translates well to this criterion as my approach is to establish the existing capabilities of an organization before using data analytics to make recommendations on how to make tangible improvements.

During my most recent employment, I was responsible for leading an 18-month project which oversaw the transformation of the HR department through the implementation of a brand new HRIS.

Key achievements included:

  • Reducing repetitive administrative tasks by 19%, freeing up time for staff to work more strategically.
  • Installing an effective technology system that tracked productivity of 180 staff members, identified training opportunities, and enhanced communications. This led to revenue improving by 22% and increased positive feedback from internal staff and external stakeholders.

I was also able to supplement my knowledge through the completion of the Certified Business Analysis Professional™ (CBAP®) and Certification of Capability in Business Analysis™ (CCBA®) certifications.

I am extremely passionate about data analytics. I believe that when used correctly, data can drive significant business growth, but it’s important to understand how and when to use and interpret that information. My approach to business analytics is to understand exactly who you are as a company and where you see your future. This ensures that the data is being analyzed in the most effective way possible, allowing me to make insightful recommendations that work.

I enjoy the challenge of working under pressure, and what sets me apart from other candidates is my ability to communicate complex data insights in a way which makes sense to people in separate departments, from sales and marketing through to HR and senior leadership teams.

I welcome the opportunity to be considered for this role. You have a reputation for exceptional customer care, and I know that you are widely regarded as being a great employer. I would welcome the opportunity to join your team and work alongside such a talented group of individuals.

I would appreciate the opportunity to meet face-to-face to learn more about your ongoing business strategy as well as this specific job role. I believe that my credentials speak for themselves and I passionately believe that I can make a positive impact upon your bottom line through a series of recommendations and a carefully coordinated change management program.

Please see enclosed a copy of my resume, outlining my core skills and career history.

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

Sincerely,

Jane Name

Final Thoughts

We hope that this article has inspired you to write a great cover letter. We have a variety of articles designed to help you throughout your job application – from writing cover letters through to interview hints and tips.

If you need any further help preparing for your next job application, why not take advantage of our helpful community forum?

By Amy Dawson Amy Dawson