Statistical Programmer Cover Letter

Trisha Heredia, Senior Director of Staffing Solutions at Clinovo, has more than 20 years experience in business development and recruiting within the Biotechnology, Medical Device and Pharmaceutical industry. Trisha has a genuine passion for developing win-win partnerships and providing the right staffing resources for sponsors.

Tip 1: Make your best first impression

A resume is typically the first thing employers will see in your job application process. It will form their initial opinion of you and serves as the indicator of whether you will progress to the all-important next stage, the interview. Remember, there is no second chance at a first impression so it is imperative that you present yourself in a professional manner. A well-written, properly formatted, resume that succinctly and effectively communicates how your professional history is relevant to the role in question is the goal here.

Tip 2: Adapt to the position

While the Life Sciences industry continues to boom, with many positions available, competition remains steep. The number of skilled candidates looking for long-term work remains high and in order to enter, or further your career in this industry, you must be ready to compete. The most effective resumes are the ones that are targeted to a specific position. It is imperative that those in the hiring seat see the connection between your skills and qualifications to the job in question. Many people fall down because they simply send the same resume to every employer and fail to highlight the projects that are more directly applicable to the role. Avoid trying to cover too many bases, customize your resume for the position you want, and you’ll see better results. In the same vein, limit the length of your resume to 2-3 pages. It can be tempting to list every job or project you have ever done, thinking that the more you convey, the more likely you are to impress. Remember that the aim of your resume to secure an interview, not a job. Think of your resume as a teaser that generates enough intrigue so employers will want to meet the person behind the resume.

Companies are looking for the resume to specifically match the needs of the opening, so the more you can design your resume to the job, the better your chances. This does mean that each job you apply for may require minor edits. You should insert keywords taken from the job description and re-order your experiences to place the most relevant first on the list. All of these steps mean that the person in the hiring seat doesn’t need to get to page two before they see anything relevant to their role.

Companies are looking for the resume to specifically match the needs of the opening, so the more you can design your resume to the job, the better your chances.

Tip 3: Hierarchize your achievements by relevance to the position

My advice is to write your resume with a focus on achievements, goals, and skills supplemented with a separate section listing your technical skills and expertise. This is especially true if the job posting specifically mentions that candidates with certain skills are preferred. Don’t just list the project titles and goals as this might not be sufficient information for an HR manager to know whether you fit the requirements of their job. Try to imagine sorting through a pile of Biotech resumes without having a Life Sciences background or understanding a project by title but you do know what keywords you are looking for in terms of techniques and skills. With 20 years in the industry, this is not the case for my team and I, but don’t assume other staffing agencies or HR departments have the knowledge that you think they might have.

Tip 4: Write a tailored cover letter

Particularly in the Life Sciences industry, the cover letter is extremely important aspect of the application. It was a way to tell your employer exactly why the skills and qualifications in your resume are relevant to the job at hand. You would think it would go without saying, but do not write one cover letter and simply send it to every company. This is a sure fire way to tell an employer that you haven’t researched their company, you were too lazy to write them a tailored cover letter, and that you likely didn’t care enough to do so. Ipso facto, you’re out of the running. A cover letter needs to touch on why you are the best candidate or a good fit for the job, what skills you can bring to the organization, and why you want to work for them. It cannot be a broad overview, or simply describe what a great person you are. What is it about this particular company that makes you want to work for them? Have you always loved their approach to research and development? Do you feel that the company is breaking ground drug discovery? Do you want to work with the leaders in research in Oncology and think that our company will allow you to put your passion into your work?

A final point: Keep your resume clear, concise and specific. Avoid a lot of “fluff” or “filler.”

I’ve included a resume template to get you started.

Resume Template:

Qualification summary

  • Highlight your strengths and how they are relevant to the job you are applying for.
  • Use strong action verbs and power words for a more compelling summary -(collaborate, Accelerate, enforce, Access innovate etc.)
  • This section should consist of a minimum of three to ten bullet points each describing an accomplishment in terms of results. For example, instead of “Successfully carried out over 50 study builds”, try “bullet points”

“Implemented a trade match system which reduced processing time by over 50%, and resulted in the elimination of overtime expenses for the entire business unit, saving in excess of 10K per month.”

Technical/tools summary 

  • Computer skills: List languages, systems, and programs
  • Language skills: Specify language and your level of proficiency

Professional/Job History 

  • Start with most recent
  • Job title
  • Employer name and location (city and state)
  • Dates of employment. Years are ok
  • Active description of your responsibilities and accomplishments, therapeutic area, phases, main/key function


  •  List most recent degree first.
  • Name of institution, city and state.
  • Degree, major


  • Any additional information: conference presentations, lectures, etc. Need help wording this too -relevant skills (techniques), invited lectures, and poster presentations.
  •  All important because communication skills can be very important.  For example having lectures and posters tell us you are willing and able to put yourself out there for better communications.

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Phineas Grig
G & B Research
99 Whistle Stop Way
Ridge, CA 96666
(555) 398-2882

RE: 9/8/14 ad for a SAS Programmer

Dear Mr. Grig,

Are you ready to hire a skilled professional who can ensure accuracy and streamline your programming process? If so, I’m the candidate you’ve been seeking.

With nine years of experience as an SAS Programmer in the research field, I have the know-how to provide you with the best reporting.

Along with providing excelling QA testing, I can use SAS on PC, Mainframe or on Linux. While a list of my capabilities appears in the attached resume, here are some skills I will bring to the table at G & B Research.

Transforming, and loading data in multiple platforms.

Ensuring data accuracy and completion.

Developing SAS code and macros to generate summary tables, alerts, charts, and reports.

Collaborating with IT to design, develop, and automate production reporting

Leading programming tasks using software other than SAS to support specialized data analysis requirements.

You can reach me at the phone number or email listed above. I look forward to hearing from you.


Katherine Ross

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