how to start a cover letter

Hiring managers have to sift through hundreds of CVs and cover letters every day, after a while, they can all start to look the same.

If you want your CV and cover letter to stand out from the crowd you need to make sure they're unique and interesting. You might be wondering - what's the purpose of a cover letter and why is it important? Well, hiring managers tend to use cover letters to find out more about your personality.

Young scientists are great at filling their CV's up with experience and qualifications but they sometimes lack information about their character - that's where a good cover letter comes in!

Why is it important to grab their attention?

Cover letters aren't always the most important thing when it comes to job applications, in fact, if your CV is good enough, the hiring manager might not need to read your cover letter at all. That being said, if your CV isn't quite enough to secure you an interview, a strong covering letter might just clinch the deal.

Your cover letter should say something about your personality without coming across arrogant or gimmicky. Consider your cover letter as the employer's first impression of you. What do you want them to think about you and the way you work? 

Knowing how to start a cover letter is often the trickiest part. You need an opening line that grabs the reader's attention and leaves a lasting impression - otherwise, your application will simply merge in the hundreds of others they've read that day.

Tips for the start of your cover letter

Here are a few tips you can follow if you've got a bad case of writer's block and you need a bit of direction. 

  • Mention someone you know who works in the business

"I'm a friend of Jane Doe's and she advised me to contact you about this role because she thinks I'm a great fit."

  • Don't waffle, be direct

"What drew me to this position is the opportunity for personal growth and development."

  • Share how you're feeling about the job

"I've been passionate about (industry) for as long as I can remember, and I'd love an opportunity to show you what I can bring to the role."

  • Make sure you include relevant keywords

"During my time at (current company) I've developed strong presentation skills and I'm great and staying organised and working to deadlines."

What about the rest of my cover letter?

The rest of your cover letter should be written in an appropriate manner for the job, while still allowing parts of your personality to shine through.

You can use the main body of your cover letter to explain more details about your qualifications, to share insights into your hobbies and interests and to show the hiring manager exactly why you're a great fit for the role. We've created a CV and cover letter checklist to help guide you through your draft, you can take a look at them here:

CV and Cover Letter Checklists >

If you're interested in applying for professional science roles, we have a wide range of science vacancies available. We work tirelessly to help candidates like you find their dream roles. 

Contact the HRS Recruiters >

environmental science

Environmental science is one of those fields that everyone secretly wishes they could work in. It's a science that draws on physics, biology, chemistry and geology to study our Earth and it's natural processes. People who work in this field use their academic knowledge to find new ways to protect our environment, prevent the extinction of animals and reverse the effects of climate change.

Why should you study environmental science?

If you've been paying attention to the media in 2020, you'll know that (besides coronavirus) conservation and climate change have been very prominent topics. This is because scientists have identified a very small window, of about 10-years, that we have left to significantly change our way of living if we want to save the planet. 

Environmental science has not always been a subject you can study, in fact, it's a relatively new subject that only really gained popularity in the '60s and '70s.

If you're not sure whether you should study environmental science at university, ask yourself this. Do you want to help create an eco-friendly world? If the answer is yes - environmental science might be the perfect degree for you!

What are the 5 main sectors of environmental science?

Like most scientific disciplines, environmental science covers a broad range of topics. The five major sub-sections of environmental science are:

  • Ecology - living organisms and how they interact with each other
  • Environmental Chemistry - chemical processes and the way they change our environment
  • Social Sciences - the relationship between humans and nature
  • Geosciences - the Earth's crust and the different phenomena that occur there
  • Atmospheric sciences - the Earth's atmosphere and how it relates to other natural processes

Are environmental scientists in demand?

Yes! Environmental scientists are very much in demand at the moment. There is a huge push for people to start creating new, environmentally-friendly technologies to clean up our land, oceans and air.

You might have noticed in the news recently that David Attenborough & Prince William have joined forces to create the Earthshot prize, a "Nobel Prize for environmentalism" that will award people £1m for new, environment-preserving ideas. Their goal is to find 50 solutions to our worst environmental problems by 2030 by giving people working in environmental science and other related fields an incentive to innovate.

So, now is a great time to get involved in environmental science and put your best ideas forward. You never know, you might end up working on a project that lands you one of the first Earthshot prizes!

What environmental science jobs are there?

Environmental science is a really broad subject, which is why there are hundreds of different roles you can choose from. During your environmental science studies, you might find that your interests lie in one particular area, like conservation, for example. In that case, you might look for a job as a nature conservation officer. Other jobs that are directly related to environmental science include:

  • Water quality scientist
  • Recycling officer
  • Minerals surveyor
  • Commercial horticulturist

If you're looking for a career in environmental science, get in touch with the HRS recruitment team today. We'll help you find a job that will help you turn your dreams of a cleaner, greener world into a reality!

Data science

Data scientists take copious amounts of data and turn it into meaningful, easy-to-digest information for organisations to use. These skilled professionals can be found across a huge range of industries, and they have a huge influence over the way in which businesses operate.

As things stand, data scientists are in high demand because they're able to analyse customer behaviours, purchasing trends, and scientific research and turn it into actionable outcomes. However, with automation on the rise, some data scientists are starting to worry that their jobs may be in jeopardy.

But is this really the case? Today, we're going to take a look at the different factors that may tell us whether these data science jobs will be automated.



Lots of jobs have been replaced by machinery over the past few centuries. Industries like agriculture and manufacturing were changed forever during the Industrial Revolution, when workforces of 100+ people were replaced by machines that could do their jobs more efficiently. Farmers and factory owners realised that paying hundreds of workers to do the job of one machine was neither time- nor cost-effective, and so many jobs were lost to automation.


Which jobs are most likely to be automated?

Some jobs are far easier to automate than others. The most automation-prone jobs...

  • Are based on repetitive manual labour
  • Don't require human interaction
  • Do not involve creativity or persuasion

Looking at these criteria, it becomes fairly obvious that data science is not at immediate risk. Data science is a very highly-skilled job that requires a deep understanding of very complex data sets - and every data set is completely different. Data scientists have to work creatively to show different kinds of data in appropriate formats, and they are often asked to present their findings so that questions can be answered accurately.

SEE ALSO: Jobs Least Likely to Be Automated

So, to answer the question 'Will data science jobs be automated?' - our gut feeling is no. At least, not any time soon; data science is the kind of job that benefits from the creativity and understanding of the human on the other side of the screen. An AI or automated approach to data science may produce accurate results, but will they be user-friendly? That's another question.


Finding a data science job

Finding a data science job is not as hard as you may think. There is still a high demand for professional data scientists who can translate swathes of data into user-friendly insights. As such, there are data science job vacancies in lots of different industries. Financial businesses, healthcare services and research companies are just some of the employers who rely on data scientists.

More on Data Science   Browse Data Science Jobs

how to get a pharmaceutical job

Working in the pharmaceutical industry is so rewarding. Every day, you'll be developing new life-saving drugs that will change people's lives. 

Today we're going to take a look at a few different things that will help you get a pharmaceutical job. Whether you're a recent graduate or someone looking for a career change, these hints and tips should make you feel more prepared for pharmaceutical job applications and interviews.

What kind of pharmaceutical jobs are there?

The first step in getting a pharmaceutical job is determining what's out there, what you're interested in and what you're qualified for. From pharmaceutical analysis to quality control, there are job roles throughout the different stages of drug research, development and creation that are sure to appeal to any budding scientist. Exploring current pharmaceutical job vacancies can give you a good idea of the types of roles out there, and the skills required to get them.

Some of the pharmaceutical job vacancies we currently have on offer are:

  • Senior Solid State Scientist - Pharmaceutical (Essex) - "You will be responsible for supporting Medicinal Chemistry, ADME and Pharmacology in solid-state chemistry, crystallisation science and pre-formulation to provide expert input on our drug discovery programs."
  • Laboratory Support Technician (London) - "You will be supporting the research and development laboratory teams and scientists with all aspects of running safe and efficient laboratory operations."
  • Raw Materials Analyst (Blaenau Gwent) - "You will be responsible for analysing incoming raw materials against current pharmacopoeia."

Looking at the responsibilities of different pharmaceutical jobs is a great way to decide which area is the right fit for you. Once you've got a better idea of what's out there, you can concentrate on getting your dream job. 

What do I need to get a pharmaceutical job?

As will all science jobs, having the right qualifications and work experience under your belt is paramount if you want your job application to be successful. Here are the basic things you need if you want to get a pharmaceutical job.


Most pharmaceutical jobs require you to have a degree in a relevant subject, such as:

  • Pharmacology
  • Medicine
  • Biochemistry
  • Neuroscience

Some bigger pharmaceutical companies may even require you to have a postgraduate level qualification like an MSc or a PhD in your chosen scientific field. There are very few pharmaceutical jobs that you can do without degree-level education, so if you haven't already, consider enrolling in a relevant course.

Work Experience

Along with relevant academic qualifications, some pharmaceutical jobs will expect you to have relevant work experience under your belt. This could be anything from volunteering in a laboratory alongside your studies to doing a 'year in industry' placement at university. Any work you can undertake to show your passion for pharmacology will put your job application miles ahead of other applicants. 

How to get into pharmaceutical research

Pharmaceutical research is one of the most sought after roles in pharmaceuticals because it gives people the opportunities to (you guessed it) research and test new drugs and medications. This is where major medical breakthroughs are made which can often lead to innovative new treatments that save hundreds of lives!

The average salary for a research scientist is £32,000, which makes these roles very appealing! To make yourself stand out in the crowd when applying for pharmaceutical research jobs, we'd recommend getting plenty of research work experience under your belt, carry out research in your own time, and work hard to achieve a 1:1 in your degree.

Pharmaceutical Jobs


Employee morale

Richard Branson once said: "If you look after your staff, they'll look after your customers." Wise words indeed.

He also once tweeted the following words of wisdom: "Train people well enough so they can leave. Treat them well enough so they don't want to."

Based on these quotes, it's clear that Sir Richard knows just how important morale can be to the success of a company.

While high morale may not turn your business into the next Virgin Group, it will surely help to keep your business firing on all cylinders.


Smells Like Team Spirit

In order to maintain a high level of morale in your workforce, you must understand how to measure staff morale. Follow these simple steps to help keep track of your office morale and raise team spirits accordingly.



It's widely agreed that productivity and morale go hand-in-hand with one another. The higher the morale, the better the quality of work.

This theory is difficult to argue with. After all, an unmotivated worker who feels overworked, undervalued and / or disinterested is unlikely to knock it out of the park on a daily basis.

If productivity is down, it may be worth addressing the situation and making a conscious effort to boost morale. It could be rewarded in kind with profitable results.


Staff Reviews

Conducting regular sit-down reviews with staff periodically throughout the year is perhaps the most effective way of gauging the most accurate evaluation of employee morale.

Getting accurate feedback that's specific to your business, straight from the horse's mouth, is about as good as it gets in terms of workplace commentary.

While some staff may be less open to expressing their true feelings due to fear of repercussions, reassurance to the contrary can help build an accurate evaluation of what works and what doesn't.


Employee Turnover

If your company has a revolving door of employees, it's often a glaring neon sign that staff aren't happy.

While there are many reasons for people to move on from a job and seek alternate employment, two of the most common are better pay and better circumstances.

If staff are leaving in their droves, chances are that the wages or the working environment simply aren't worth it.

Address this by offering fairer wages, better incentives and a more enjoyable atmosphere to create a valued workplace where employees will want to remain.


Sick Record

Anyone who's ever worked in a job they hate will be all too familiar with 'Sunday Night Syndrome', the 'Monday Morning Blues' and the wave of melancholy that comes with both.

It's no surprise that Monday morning is a prime offender for sick days, with a whopping 61% of call-ins taking place on a Monday, according to an AXA PPP Healthcare study.

In another telling stat, figures published by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also show that work-related stress, anxiety and depression accounts for over half of all sick days.

Employees are far more likely to 'pull a sickie' if they are not enjoying their job or it's causing them undue stress and mental anguish, costing your business money in the process.

If Mondays are a ghost town in your office and employee sick rate is sky high, it could be a sign that morale is suffering severely.

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