How to Write a Programmer Analyst Cover Letter
Programmer analysts do the work of both a systems analyst and computer programmer. Systems analysts develop and design software and computer systems. Computer programmers implement those designs by writing new programs along with updating and repairing existing programs.
Job Duties of a Programmer Analyst
The work of a programmer analyst begins by meeting with a team to determine a company's computer system needs and then designing a system to fulfill them.
They may also create cost analyses to determine the financial viability while working with project managers to create a timeline. After designing the software, a programmer analyst will test it for problems and debug as needed. Programmer analysts are expected to stay current with knowledge about new technology and trends to incorporate into their existing systems. Here's a more in-depth look at their duties and skill set:
- Requirements Analysis: During this initial phase, computer program specifications are developed. A successful programmer can also communicate well in terms of gathering and analyzing program requirements.
- Program Design: Sometimes a programmer will build a graphical view of the process flow so that the team can see and understand his thinking.
- Program Coding: Once the design is approved, a programmer analyst will proceed to write programs in one of several languages – COBOL for large applications running on mainframe computers, or Java, C++ or C# for smaller programs that run on personal computers.
- Program Testing: The programmer analyst tests the code to see if it functions according to plan. This “alpha” testing locates any obvious software bugs before the official testing team takes over.
- Program Maintenance: Maintenance may not be the most exciting part of programming, but it keeps programs running efficiently while offering a good learning experience for newer programmer analysts who can gain experience debugging code written by more seasoned programmers.
Sample Cover Letter - Programmer Analyst
Dear Mr. Smith:
I'm writing to express my interest in the Senior Programmer Analyst position posted on your company website. I believe that my strong technical experience and education makes me a competitive candidate for this position.
My key strengths that would be a good match with the position include:
- Successfully designing, developing and supporting live use applications.
- A self-starter and eager to learn new things. I continuously seek to build my skill set and thrive in high-paced environments.
- Striving for continued excellence. My contributions to the team during my senior year internship led to an offer with the company after graduation, and I’ve continued to assume new responsibilities and challenges during my tenure.
- Providing exceptional contributions to customer service. In my previous role, I improved first call resolution rates by 8 percent last quarter, while keeping talk time flat.
With an MS degree in Information Systems Management, I have a full understanding of the full life cycle of a software development project. I also have experience in learning and mastering new technologies. My experience includes:
- Customer service and support
- Programming both new applications and maintenance work
- Problem isolation and analysis
- Software quality testing
- Application and requirement analysis
- Process improvement and documentation
Please see my resume for additional information. I can be reached anytime at 555-555-5555 or email@example.com. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you about this employment opportunity.
More Cover Letter Tips for Programmer Analysts
- Be specific and results-oriented. Numbers, statistics, and percentages are more persuasive than vague claims. Whenever possible, provide concrete examples of your achievements.
- Write a targeted cover letter. Look closely at the job description in the listing before you start your cover letter, and target your message to the requirements advertised. A good cover letter is a sales pitch, not a biography. It shouldn’t regurgitate your resume or waste time and space on skills that are unrelated to the job listing.
- Write a new cover letter for every job, even if the roles are similar. It’s fine to work off a template. It’s not fine to send the same cover letter to every job, even if the duties and description are similar. Customize your cover letter each and every time.
- Sending your cover letter via email? Make sure you proofread and test your email before you hit send. Attention to detail is important for any job seeker, but it’s especially important for programmer analysts, whose jobs depend on their ability to bash bugs, not create them.
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.
- 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.”
- Computer skills: List languages, systems, and programs
- Language skills: Specify language and your level of proficiency
- 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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