Crafting a Cover Letter for Alt Protein

  • Career Resources
  • Published on August 23, 2023

Applicants often see cover letters as a cumbersome formality, when they should see an opportunity to showcase one’s story, motivation, and unique value. If you weren’t able to establish a relationship with the recruiter or another contact at the company to which you’re applying, a well-crafted cover letter can be your golden ticket to standing out.

So, how do you ensure your cover letter doesn't just get a quick skim but instead, a thorough read? Here's a step-by-step guide:

1. Get personal from the start

Generic salutations like 'To Whom It May Concern' are a thing of the past. Take a few minutes to research the company and identify the hiring manager's name. Addressing them directly shows initiative and genuine interest.

2. Open with a Bang

Your opening sentence should grab the reader's attention. Rather than the cliched "I'm writing to apply for X position," dive into why you're passionate about alt-proteins or share a brief anecdote that showcases your connection to the field.

Example: "After a decade immersed in the fossil fuel industry, I've gained a deep appreciation for the power of individual career choices to influence climate change. Recognizing the substantial environmental impact of animal product consumption, I'm now resolute in pivoting my career towards championing alternative proteins.”

3. Showcase Your Value

Remember, your cover letter complements your resume—it doesn't reiterate it. Highlight experiences or skills that align with the job description, but offer deeper insights or stories that your resume doesn't capture.

4. Demonstrate Industry Knowledge

This industry is at the intersection of science, sustainability, and food innovation. Highlighting your understanding of market trends, challenges, or recent breakthroughs can set you apart. It showcases not just your knowledge but your commitment to staying updated.

5. Tailor, Tailor, Tailor

One-size-fits-all doesn't work here. Customize your cover letter for each role, emphasizing different aspects of your experiences or motivation based on what the company values the most. Dive into the company's mission, ongoing projects, or recent news to find elements that resonate with your journey and aspirations. And as always, use keywords! Applicant Tracking Systems (ATSs) scan cover letters as well as resumes, so using keywords pulled straight from the job description will help get your application to the top of the pile. 

6. Show Genuine Enthusiasm

Conveying genuine enthusiasm can make a significant difference. Companies in the alt-proteins sector are looking for individuals driven by passion and purpose. Highlight how your personal and professional goals align with the industry's mission.

7. Conclude with Confidence

Your closing statement should leave a lasting impression. Express gratitude for the consideration, and indicate a proactive approach.

Example: "I am eager to discuss how my background in food science and my passion for sustainable solutions can contribute to [Company's Name]'s exciting journey. I look forward to the possibility of contributing."

8. Proofread and Edit

A cover letter riddled with errors can undo all the effort you've put in. Read it multiple times, use spell-check tools, and consider having a trusted friend or mentor review it. It's essential to strike a balance between being comprehensive and concise. An effective cover letter typically ranges from 250 to 400 words, fitting comfortably between half a page to one full page. While it's crucial to convey your key points, brevity ensures that your message remains impactful and engaging to the reader."

9. Include a call to action

End by indicating a next step. This could be as simple as expressing your eagerness to discuss further in an interview.

Example: "I look forward to the opportunity to discuss in greater detail how I can contribute to your team and the exciting projects on the horizon."