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Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples
BrainStation’s Software Engineer career guide is intended to help you take the first steps toward a career in software engineering. Read on for an overview of how to write a great Software Engineer cover letter to help you get a software engineering job, with examples and templates.
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Job seekers often dismiss cover letters these days, treating them as a kind of relic of another time. And while it’s true that many employers do not require a cover letter as part of their application process, a great cover letter can be a significant tool during your search for a Software Engineer job, giving Hiring Managers a better sense of the context around your experience, as well as your personality, style, and ambitions.
So, what is a cover letter? Simply put, a cover letter is a personal letter that gives you the opportunity to outline the software development skills, work, and educational experience that make you a potential asset to their organization. A great way to think about it is to consider your cover letter as a complement to your resume; are there any potential questions your resume might not be able to address? Is there anything else you’d want prospective employers to know?
A well-thought-out software engineering cover letter can truly set you apart from other candidates, and given the competition for Software Engineer and Web Developer jobs, why wouldn’t you want to take advantage of that?
Software Engineer Cover Letters – a Step-by-Step Guide
To write a cover letter for a Software Engineer or Software Developer job application, you will want to focus on a few common ideas.
Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started on your cover letter:
- Write a strong introduction that captures the interest of prospective employers
- Highlight relevant skills and explain how they could benefit an employer
- Describe notable projects and achievements
- Explain persuasively why you want this particular software engineering job
- Edit the cover letter until your writing is polished and error-free
1. Write a strong introduction that will capture the interest of the prospective employer
The goal here should be to concisely list your years of experience and some kind of connection to the role or company, which would make you stand out. This could be as simple as stating, “I have over 10 years of experience as a Software Engineer, and I have been a power user of your product for much of that time. I’m confident I can be an asset to your organization.”
2. Highlight relevant technical skills and soft skills and explain how they could benefit the employer
Try to answer this question when writing your cover letter: How has your past experience prepared you for this job? Mastery of programming languages, and particularly the programming languages mentioned in the job description, would be a good addition as it clearly indicates your ability to step right into their role and the benefit you can bring them.
3. Describe notable projects and achievements
Completed projects are a great way to showcase your ability. Clearly outline the role you played on each project — software development team lead for instance — and add numbers that provide additional backstory and illustrate the success of the project (e.g. audience/user growth, increased engagement, etc.).
4. Explain persuasively why you want this particular software engineering job
You can’t assume that someone reading your cover letter has read the rest of your aThoroughly research the company you’re applying for and consider what makes it unique. Explain why you’re interested in this specific software engineering role.
5. Edit the cover letter until your writing is polished and error-free
Try to imagine the Software Engineer cover letter pile that a Hiring Manager is working This is maybe the simplest but most important guideline on this list. Nothing can disqualify you faster than a sloppy cover letter – one typo can put doubt in any hiring manager’s mind, and that can be hard to overcome when you’re competing with many other applicants.
How to Write a Great Cover Letter
Whether you’re writing a Software Engineer cover letter or trying to switch careers into product management, there are a few principles you can follow.
Here are a few general tips for writing great cover letters:
Personalize your Software Engineer cover letter
Recruiters and employers can quickly spot a generic cover letter that has been tossed around. Use what you know about a company’s culture or history to further make your case for why you’d be a uniquely good fit there. If you know the name of the Hiring Manager, include it in your letter for that added personal effect.
Highlight the skills that are in-demand
As mentioned above, take the time to carefully read the job qualifications and responsibilities in the job posting, and tailor your cover letter to show that you meet or exceed all the prerequisites. Show that you have all the technical skills necessary to do the job, but don’t overlook soft skills – again read the job description carefully to understand what they really value.
For jobs that have strict educational requirements, make it clear that you meet them. And it’s wise to highlight any continual learning or coding bootcamps you’ve pursued – that’s an attractive quality to any employer.
Showcase your work
You can’t assume that someone reading your cover letter has read the rest of your application package. It’s normal for a Software Developer cover letter to include links to a development portfolio or previously completed projects that now live online. If you have data or charts to show the success of past projects, don’t be shy about including that in your cover letter as well.
Try to imagine the Software Engineer cover letter pile that a Hiring Manager is working through and consider how to get your message across effectively in as few words as possible. If you write a cover letter that is concise and easy to read, the odds of it actually being read will go way up.
Prepare for any audience
You don’t necessarily know that the person hiring for a Software Engineer position is in software development or even in technology at all. It’s important to write your cover letter in a way that anyone could understand — not just other Software Engineers and Software Developers.
Triple check before hitting send
Read your cover letter, again and again. Show it to a trusted friend or colleague. Yes, we know that you’re not applying for a writing job, but as we said earlier, spelling and grammar mistakes are a big problem as they seem careless and sloppy, which are not goods trait for a Software Engineer to have.
How to Create an Outline for a Software Engineer Cover Letter
After you have carefully reviewed the job description, consider all your Software Engineer skills, experience, and knowledge that are relevant to the position.
When you’re ready to start drafting your cover letter, you can follow this general outline:
- Hiring Manager’s name and title
- Greeting (Dear …)
- Introductory paragraph with an overview of who you are
- Body paragraphs with more detail on your qualifications and experience
- Closing paragraph summarizing why you’re the right fit for the job
- Polite sign off
Let’s take a closer look at each component:
This should include your name, email address, and phone number, along with links to your web or software development portfolio and any professional social media accounts. Don’t forget to include the company’s name and address along with the hiring manager’s name, if you have it. You should also greet the hiring manager by name if you have that information.
Write your introduction as if it’s the only part of the cover letter that a potential employer might read. Don’t wait until the body of the cover letter to tout your professional achievements, programming prowess, or training milestones. Express right away why you want the job and why you would be an ideal hire.
Software engineering skills, experience, and accomplishments
In the ensuing paragraphs you can go into more detail on your years of experience and all the relevant skills you bring to any Software Engineer job. Highlight your education and training, the programming languages you understand, and any notable projects you’ve worked on. Include numbers and data that back up your success, like a huge traffic boost or notable user feedback.
Close the deal
Wrap up your letter by reiterating your interest in the potential job and how you can be an asset to the company. If a busy employer has made it this far in the cover letter, there’s likely some interest, so bring it home with a persuasive and well-written ending circling back to the points you made previously in the letter.
Software Engineer Cover Letter Samples
As you’re writing, search for other cover letter examples and use these as a comparison point. Are there any elements that you’ve overlooked? Is there any information that would make a good addition to your letter? Do you like the way another Software Engineer cover letter worded something? Take bits and pieces of these cover letter examples and combine them to make something of your own.
Let’s take a closer look at a couple of Software Engineer cover letter examples:
Sample Software Engineer cover letter example #1
Dear hiring manager,
As a passionate Software Engineer and long-time admirer of 123 Technical, I was excited to see an opening for a Junior Software Engineer role. Considering my significant programming experience, technical expertise, and the recent internship I completed in software development, I am confident I have the key skills to be an asset to 123 Technical.
During my internship with ABC Business, I gained hands-on experience coding under the direction of a team, collaborating on software projects, and testing systems and applications. One of my responsibilities was developing innovative solutions across a variety of software platforms. Some of my accomplishments include helping to create mobile-ready expense tracking software for clients as well as the creation of a new document management system.
I was also instrumental in building and implementing an automated bug tracking system that would spot issues in the development process, ultimately resulting in a 22 percent reduction in issues reported in the later stages of development.
I have attached a copy of my resume detailing my education and experience. I look forward to learning more about the Software Engineer position at 123 Technical. I can be reached anytime by phone at 555-555-5555 or email at [email protected] . Thank you for your time and consideration.
Sample Software Engineer cover letter example #2
Please accept my application for the Software Engineer position at Technology Resources. Over the course of five years in software engineering, I have attained significant experience coding with a variety of programming languages, working directly with corporate leadership and clients, and steering projects while leading software development teams. I believe I would be an excellent addition to the Technology Resources team.
I also have experience in Agile project management, data science, and creating and maintaining custom web and mobile applications.
Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I look forward to sharing more about my skills and experiences and how they could help me hit the ground running with Technology Resources. Feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 or [email protected] .
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- Tools and Samples
Software Engineer Cover Letter
If you are applying for a position in software engineering, a cover letter is a good way to showcase your skills and experience in a single page document that can be easily skimmed by the hiring manager. A cover letter should address specific job requirements and convey enthusiasm for the role. It typically also includes a brief overview of your education and top achievements.
A cover letter should highlight key skills such as an in-depth understanding of the entire software engineering life-cycle. Adding your most recent software engineering achievements would make you stand out from the crowd.
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Software Engineer — Free Cover Letter Template
Download our free software engineer cover letter template in MS Word format.
Software Engineer Cover Letter Example:
[ Full name ]
[ Physical address ]
[ Contact number ]
[ Email address ]
[ LinkedIn profile/website link ]
Re: Application for the position of software engineer at [ company name ].
Dear [recipient’s title and last name] ,
After recently discovering your job posting [ in/on ] [ source ] for a qualified software engineer to join your IT department, I was excited to apply for the position as I believe I meet all the requirements to excel in this role. I am an experienced, qualified, and motivated software engineer who will be a great addition to your team.
I graduated from [ university/college name ] in [ year ] with a [ qualification type ] in [ computer science/related fields ] and currently hold a certificate in [ specify ]. With over [ number of years ] years of software engineering and full-stack web development experience, I have been able to master my [ skill 1 ], [ skill 2 ], and [ skill 3 ] skills.
In my [ current/previous ] position at [ specify ], I was responsible for modifying software, identifying and correcting errors, directing software programming, and preparing reports on programming blueprints. This experience exposed me to the entire software engineering process, earning me recognition in [ year ] when I [ add a career achievement ].
As an experienced software engineer, I am impressed with [ mention notable characteristics or milestones you appreciate about the company ] and feel that my [ summarize core competencies, for example, extensive knowledge of the software engineering life-cycle, paired with excellent technical skills ], will make me the ideal candidate. Please find my resume attached.
Thank you for taking the time to consider my application. Feel free to contact me if you have any further questions you would like to discuss. I look forward to hearing from you.
[ Your full name ]
How to Write a Software Engineer Cover Letter:
A step-by-step guide to writing the perfect software engineer cover letter.
Address your letter.
Address the hiring manager directly..
Address your letter directly to the hiring manager, recruiter, employee, or whoever the person is that put out the job posting.
Avoid generic greetings.
If a contact name is supplied or if it is possible to find out a name, avoid using a general greeting such as "To whom it may concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam." Use the relevant title before the person's last name — for example, "Ms. Miller" or "Mr. Jones."
Write an introduction paragraph.
Keep your introduction brief..
In no more than three sentences , tell the person why you are writing and what position you are applying for.
Highlight that you meet the stated job requirements.
Your writing should reflect the exact job title and you should briefly mention key job advertisement requirements that you meet, for example, that you have five years' experience as a software engineer.
Indicate that feel you are the best fit for the job.
Use one sentence to point out that you feel you are a great candidate for the software engineer position.
Showcase your qualifications and competencies.
Briefly outline your qualifications..
Back your introduction up with tangible evidence. Scrutinize the job advertisement and directly address the stated requirements. Write a few sentences on your qualifications and training as a software engineer and where you studied.
For a software engineer position, employers usually look for at least a Bachelor's degree in software engineering, computer science, or similar. Related coursework or qualifications in, for example, business or project management will be beneficial, so don't neglect to mention it, if relevant.
Align your core skills to those mentioned in the job ad.
Lead into your list of skills by matching prominently featured duties and responsibilities mentioned in the job ad with core competencies from your resume. For example, if the job ad mentions full-stack web development, point out the extent of your proficiency in that regard.
Offer some insight into other relevant skills to give the hiring manager or recruiter a better idea of your abilities. This might include skills related to developing software system validation and testing methods, leading software engineering projects, and more.
Discuss your work experience.
Highlight your years of experience..
Mention how many years you've worked as a software engineer. Briefly go through your work history, naming only the most relevant roles. Keep this to a single sentence as you will be discussing your exact duties and work experience next.
Outline your most recent job.
In a few sentences , talk about your most recent role. Revisit the job description to ensure that you align your responsibilities with the key competencies they require.
Showcase major achievements in your previous role.
Highlight your biggest accomplishments in your previous job, for example, successfully integrating software systems for a merger and acquisition company, developing a call center application to track calls and capture metadata, etc. Don't neglect to name the websites or apps you designed or contributed to.
Add metrics to your job achievement descriptions.
If possible, include metrics to emphasize the impact of your contributions on the projects assigned to you, for example, creating a prediction model that resulted in an increase of 37 percent in website traffic, driving a 15 percent reduction in downtime, etc. The more specific you are, the better.
Celebrate the organization and add a call to action.
Point out a few things you know about the company..
Highlight two or three specific things that show your enthusiasm and admiration for the organization, for example, their accomplishments, corporate culture, reputation, community involvement, or positive employee feedback.
Reinforce that you would be a perfect fit for the job by adding desirable character traits, such as being a detail-oriented problem-solver with exceptional collaboration skills. Mention that you are eager to join their team.
Discuss the reasons why you want to work there.
Explain why being a software engineer at their organization appeals to you. This would typically include referring to their line of business and how you envisage adding value to their products or services.
End with a call to action.
Refer the reader to your attached resume and any additional documents that may have been requested. Encourage them to look at an online portfolio, your LinkedIn profile, websites, or apps that showcase your software engineering projects.
Invite them to contact you via email or phone should they need additional information. Let them know that you look forward to hearing from them and thank them for their time and consideration. End your letter by adding "sincerely" or an acceptable synonym and sign off with your full name.
- Front-end Developer .
- Java Developer .
- Web Developer .
- Software Developer .
- UX Designer .
Common Cover Letter Mistakes
How do I write a software engineer cover letter?
- Address your letter .
- Write an introduction paragraph .
- Showcase your qualifications and competencies .
- Discuss your work experience .
- Celebrate the organization and add a call to action .
What skills do I need to become a software engineer?
- Exceptional analytical, technical, and creative skills.
- Extensive knowledge of the software engineering life-cycle.
- Solid understanding of programming languages.
- Good written and verbal communication skills.
What is the format of a software engineer cover letter?
- Contact information.
- Opening paragraph.
- Call to action.
How long should a software engineer cover letter be?
Your cover letter should preferably not exceed one page. It should detail your qualifications, experience, accomplishments, and the reasons why you would be ideal for the role.
Software engineer job description, how to write a cover letter [a complete guide], 10 best cover letter tips for 2023, how to address a cover letter, how to ask for a letter of recommendation.
Sample cover letter for a software engineer
If writing a great cover letter for software engineer jobs seems harder than hammering out lines of code, it can help to have a prototype for a software developer cover letter to go by. View our sample cover letter for a software engineer below.
Additionally, you can learn about technology careers and search for software engineer jobs on Monster.
Software engineer cover letter template
MARTIN STEIN 15 Applegate Way Sometown, PA 19000 (215) 555-5555 [email protected]
March 21, 2017
Christine Smith VP Technical Services XYZ Company 1224 Main St. Anytown, PA 55555
Dear Ms. Smith:
Are you searching for a software engineer with a proven ability to develop high-performance applications and technical innovations? If so, please consider my enclosed resume.
Since 2015, I have served as a software engineer for Action Company, where I have been repeatedly recognized for developing innovative solutions for multimillion-dollar, globally deployed software and systems. I am responsible for full lifecycle development of next-generation software, from initial requirement gathering to design, coding, testing, documentation and implementation.
Known for excellent client-facing skills, I have participated in proposals and presentations that have landed six-figure contracts. I also excel in merging business and user needs into high-quality, cost-effective design solutions while keeping within budgetary constraints.
My technical expertise includes cross-platform proficiency (Windows, Unix, Linux and VxWorks); fluency in 13 scripting/programming languages (including C, C++, VB, Java, Perl and SQL); and advanced knowledge of developer applications, tools, methodologies and best practices (including OOD, client/server architecture and self-test automation).
My experience developing user-friendly solutions on time and on budget would enable me to step into a software engineering role at XYZ Company and hit the ground running. I will follow up with you next week, and you may reach me at (215) 555-5555. I look forward to speaking with you.
Martin Stein Enclosure: Resume
Fine-tune a winning resume
Now that you know what a great cover letter looks like, you want to make sure your resume is equally as impressive in order to get you noticed by companies hiring software engineers. Need help with your resume's mechanics? Get a free resume evaluation today from the experts at Monster's Resume Writing Service . You'll get detailed feedback in two business days, including a review of your resume's appearance and content, and a prediction of a recruiter's first impression. It's a quick and easy way to position yourself as the strongest candidate for the job.
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3 Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples & Guide—2023
- Software Engineer Cover Letter
- Python Software Engineer Cover Letter
- Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter
- Write Your Software Engineer Cover Letter
As a software engineer, you analyze the user’s needs and develop and test software to meet those needs. With communication and collaboration, you apply engineering principles to software development to make it happen—while integrating data and tucking it away for future problem-solving.
Your process includes recommending software upgrades, translating data into action, coordinating with software and programming teams, and documenting improvements to address clients’ concerns. You also do your share of planning, strategizing, and hands-on work with programming and database tools.
You’re ready for your next job, but first, you’ll need to write a software engineer resume and cover letter that attests to your job skills . Most dread writing cover letters, but we’ll ease the process with these software engineering cover letter examples and pointers.
Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
USE THIS TEMPLATE
Why this cover letter works
- Software engineers should be bought into the company’s values—make sure you demonstrate an interest in those values right away in your software engineer cover letter and show previous examples of how you’ve supported them.
- Even if the software engineer job description is brief, there are always specific requirements you can build upon, especially if you visit the company’s website to glean more details.
Python Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
- She references her experience as a gamer and a Python software engineer, both of which are focal points in the job description and the company as a whole.
- Python software engineers must meet specific job requirements, so dive into this stat. Show your interest by citing examples that support it!
- References to the “Twisted Treeline” and her “ultimate ability” show her experience with League of Legends, a Rushdown game, to reinforce her connection with the company.
- The company culture and vision aren’t always as obvious or boldly stated as Rushdown’s, but with some online digging, you can find a company goal, obstacle, or core value to tie to your experience when writing your Python software engineer cover letter.
Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
- Beverly follows up the initial overview of her skills by tying up her senior software engineer cover letter intro with a nod to UCLA Health’s mission statement—a perfect way to connect with the company!
- UCLA Health emphasizes two major points in its job description: technical skills and the ability to grow and create scalable products. Its website also focuses on cutting-edge technology, so Beverly leverages these points well.
- Remember that researching the company can uncover a gold mine if the job description is sparse.
Senior Software Engineer Resume
Need a resume to pair with your software engineer cover letter?
or download as PDF
Write Your Best Software Engineer Cover Letter
All in all, the best cover letter will demonstrate a strong understanding and connection with the company. A software engineer can do this by using their technical skills to relate to the role in the job description coupled with the company’s overall vision and goals—all with a winning tone and positive message, of course!
Use the following steps to guide your writing process so you can write your best cover letter yet.
Step 1: Know the company & understand the role
So many cover letters out there are snooze-fests that wind up in the recycling bin. To ensure yours isn’t one of them, pay attention to the details of the specific software engineer position you’re applying for and tailor your cover letter accordingly.
Read the software engineer job ad . Keep an eye out for things that set it apart—details like specific programming languages and software strategies, for example.
Research the company, too! Your software engineer cover letter must not only demonstrate a crystal-clear understanding of the role as laid out in the job description but prove that you’re a great fit with the company’s values, goals, and core missions. Just a handful of details showing that you know the company’s vision and software engineer role better than the average applicant will go a long way in setting you apart from other applicants.
Step 2: Align your successes with the company’s needs
Your software engineer resume offers recruiters a quick peek at your skills and professional history. Since it’s less than a page, you don’t have much space within your bullet points to give a more extensive explanation of how your skills and experience make you an ideal candidate for the specific position. That’s the job of your cover letter!
Touch upon the best points in your software engineer resume but expand upon them with descriptions of how you accomplished said achievements as well as the positive impact they had. Don’t just talk about what you created—talk about what it did to benefit others.
- Taking this a step further, your resume might list your Python and MySQL skills—but how did you apply them during your last job?
- Did you build an application that boosted profit margins and kept them growing after you departed?
- Did you engineer an analytical or testing application that significantly reduced bug and error reports?
- Maybe you singlehandedly optimized an application to skyrocket customer satisfaction rates: If you did, say so!
This is your opportunity to show off your greatest accomplishments anecdotally and tie them into what the job description requests.
Tip 3: Don’t underestimate your tone & message
As you can probably imagine, there’s a lot more that goes into a cover letter for software engineers besides technical information. The overall message of your letter should mirror the qualities that the job listing calls for and demonstrate the values and vision of the company as a whole. You don’t want to just convey that you’re a software engineer who can work wherever—your message needs to convey that you want to work there!
As a software engineer with a vast array of technical skills and fascinating professional experiences, it might be tricky—but keep your cover letter to a page. And within that space, consider your tone of voice.
Your tone should match the role: Senior software engineer candidates should convey confidence and experience, and all applicants (especially entry-level ones) should demonstrate enthusiasm and eagerness to contribute to the company.
Additionally, consider the company culture and vibes. Working for a healthcare company likely means you should take a bit more formal tone while employers at a gaming company will probably appreciate a little pizazz and a more conversational approach.
Software engineer candidates should convey confidence, experience, and demonstrate eagerness to contribute to the company.
Lastly, set aside time for editing and revising. It may take several tries to get the message and tone of your cover letter just right, but the extra effort is worth it! Ensure you clean up embarrassing typos or copy-paste mishaps in your cover letter, and be deliberate about word choice to refine your tone.
Start with Our Outline for Your Software Engineer Cover Letter
Outlining your software engineer cover letter is a great way to make sure you don’t forget any key points. And just as formatting your resume is important, format matters in your cover letter, too; we’ve got you covered.
How to start a software engineer cover letter
Your contact info: List your name, phone number, location, and email (if you’re using a templated cover letter).
- Formatting: Leave out your name here if you’re using a business block format for your address.
Date: Use the exact date that you submit your application materials
- Formatting: Write out the full date instead of shortening it, e.g., January 5, 2023.
Inside address: This is the recipient’s address. Include their name, company and position, and the company’s address.
Clive Russo, Hiring Manager UCLA Health Human Resources 4562 Larwin Ave Cypress, California 90630
- Formatting: Each part of the address should be on a new line. Remember to double-space between the inside address and your greeting, too.
Greeting: Your greeting/salutation is your crucial first impression! Do your homework and uncover the name of the hiring manager or employer, avoiding generic terms like “To whom it may concern,” and please, at all costs, never start with “Dear Sir or Madam.” Ick!
- Formatting: Use a colon instead of a comma after your greeting for more formal companies. Companies like Rushdown (see the Python software engineer cover letter sample) are far more casual; a comma will do just fine.
How to write your software engineer cover letter
Body: The body of your software engineer cover letter should be 3-4 paragraphs that demonstrate your interest, show off your credentials, and exhibit an appropriate level of enthusiasm for future discussion.
- Formatting: Lines should be single-spaced throughout the body but double-spaced between paragraphs.
Opening paragraph: Don’t be generic or vague. The last thing you want is for a potential employer to say “Boring!” and toss your cover letter aside.
Bad : I really like gaming, so it’d be great if I could work for your company. I’m familiar with plenty of technical tools that would help your company.
Why It’s Bad : Based on what we just discussed, this cover letter has already been tossed. It’s great that the applicant apparently loves gaming and has technical skills—but exactly how will they help the company . . .? What “technical tools” are they?
Good : As a Python software engineer with 5 years of experience alongside countless more as an avid gamer, I’m confident I would make a skilled and valuable addition to Rushdown’s team. Just as I live for each new gaming challenge in Twisted Treeline, I thrive in environments that challenge my strategic planning and creative use of skills such as PostgreSQL, AWS, and Docker.
Why It’s Good : This introductory paragraph dives into the applicant’s experience and demonstrates a strong personal connection with the company’s passion for gaming—all while exploring technical skills the job description specifically listed in its requirements section. Nice!
Paragraphs 2-3: These paragraphs are for you to shine the spotlight on your best achievements that align with the job ad and with the company’s goals, values, and mission.
It’s time to put your money where your mouth is—but remember to maintain a clear focus in each paragraph. You don’t have room for all your awesome achievements, so try to stick with one major point per paragraph and include only the most relevant metrics and results.
My talent in engineering and developing large, highly responsive UX-personalization applications that can scale with rapidly growing datasets empowered me to engineer algorithmic software that responded and adapted to customers’ individualized needs based on personal history. This boosted sales by 19 percent, and I’m confident that this experience would translate seamlessly from improving customer experience to streamlining workflow for medical staff to care for patients more effectively.
Why It’s Good : Beverly highlights something from the job description that she’s already done (engineering large-scale algorithmic software) and provides the number as evidence of her claim. She also clarifies exactly how this accomplishment will benefit the place where she’s applying now, even though her past experiences were applied within a very different type of company.
Closing paragraph: Finish strong with a concise but compelling statement of how your traits and abilities as a software engineer align with what the company or organization needs. And lastly, end with an enthusiastic call to action that encourages future contact with the company.
Bad : As you can see in my letter, I’m well qualified for this position and would do a great job with my skills. Call me anytime for more info and I can tell you more about the other stuff I can do.
Why It’s Bad : Where do we even start with this one? Your cover letter should be specific, adding more tidbits on why you’re an excellent fit whenever possible. This redundant first sentence and boring, informal call to action are inexcusable.
Good : The strong team culture at Chipton-Ross resonates with me as I enjoy thinking analytically to resolve questions of program intent and translating documentation and data into helpful operating instructions for my coworkers. I welcome further discussion, so please contact me for details on how my software engineering experience will benefit your team and maximize client savings.
Why It’s Good : This one works. You can see how the applicant’s traits and experience align with the company’s values, and there are several keywords that came straight from the job description. Additionally, the call to action is welcoming yet professional while reinforcing the candidate’s value to the company.
How to end a software engineer cover letter
Signature: Say “thank you” if you didn’t do that in your closing paragraph, and always use a professional close along with your real name.
Thank you for considering me to join your team,
- Formatting: If you’re handing out hard copies of your software engineer cover letter (anyone out there still doing this?), quadruple-space before your name. This allows space to sign by hand in blue/black ink.
Enclosure(s): This part of your cover letter is important since it signals the recruiter to look over any supplemental materials. Pay attention to the job description for requested materials like certifications or letters of recommendation.
Enclosures: Resume Application Letter of Recommendation
- Formatting: Make sure you use the correct singular or plural form of “enclosure” depending on how many items you’re enclosing!
Before You Land Your Dream Software Engineering Role
We know you’ve probably put a lot of thought into your cover letter as a software engineer—after all, analytical thinking and strategic planning are among your strong suits! However, while your cover letter is important to refine and perfect, you’ll need to write a winning resume , too.
Even if you already have a resume, chances are it’s gotten a bit dusty. Take the opportunity to check your resume over for a quick refresh. Browse through our software engineer resume examples or start editing this one here if you’re ready to knock it out.
Software Engineer Resume
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Software Engineering Cover Letter Examples
How to craft an impressive software engineering cover letter.
Software engineers are responsible for creating computer and digital programs used throughout all industries, from education to government and military uses. Earning a position as a software engineer requires not just the technical skills and talent but also a well-written cover letter that showcases these qualifications to employers .
In this guide, we teach you everything you need to know about writing a cover letter as a software engineer. Keep reading to learn how to:
- Craft a well-formatted cover letter header and headline
- Tailor your software engineering cover letter with personalized details
- Include attention-grabbing information in your cover letter introduction
- Describe your best software engineering qualifications properly
- Conclude your software engineering cover letter persuasively
1. Craft a well-formatted software engineering cover letter header and headline
Any great cover letter starts with a well-formatted cover letter header and cover letter headline .
The header is the block of text found at the very top of the page, containing your name and professional contact information, among other things. Making your header look visually appealing is key, as you want your name to stand out and be memorable to employers.
Here is an example of a well-formatted software engineer header
John Doe , Software Engineer (123) 456-7890 | [email protected] | linkedin.com/in/john-doe
To: Loganson Software Development, Inc. 1234 Street Address New York, NY 10001
A cover letter headline follows the header and often serves as a title for your cover letter. In this headline, key components to include are a relevant keyword , an attention-grabbing number or trigger word , and a powerful verb or adjective .
It is also wise to include a personalized statement — such as “your business”, “your company”, or “your clients” — that lets the employer know you will address their exact needs within your letter.
Here is an example of a great headline from a software engineer cover letter
My 4 Major Successes as a Software Engineer & How I Can Employ These Talents at Your Business
2. Tailor your software engineering cover letter with personalized details
All cover letters should be tailored to address the specific needs of each employer — or else they can end up sounding generic, boring, and invaluable to the reader.
Tailoring a cover letter requires you to sprinkle personalized details not just in the headline but throughout the entire letter. This can include references to the company’s values and goals, or explanations of how your skills can assist the company in its current projects or partnerships.
Additionally, you should always include a personalized greeting on your cover letter. This type of greeting addresses a specific person by name and lets them know that your letter is tailored for them.
Here are 3 examples of personalized software engineer cover letter greetings
Dear CEO Matt Smith,
- Dear Mr. Matt Smith,
- Dear Lead Software Engineer Damon Gary,
Find out your resume score!
3. Include attention-grabbing information in your cover letter introduction
In software engineering, you impress your clients and employers with well-written code — in a cover letter, you impress employers with a well-written introduction .
A strong introduction on a cover letter should include:
- A brief overview of your professional history (years of experience, specializations, etc.)
- A statement on why you are enthusiastic about applying to this company
- A mutual acquaintance (when possible) that can serve as a professional reference
Here is an example of a great introduction from a software engineering cover letter
I write to you today with great enthusiasm about the opportunity to join your team of talented software engineers. As a software engineer with more than 10 years of experience in both front-end and back-end development of financial mobile applications, I know I will be the perfect addition to your team. My former coworker, Mr. Damon Gary, now works as one of your lead engineers and strongly recommended I apply.
4. Describe your best software engineering qualifications properly
Now that you have hooked the employer’s attention with an impressive introduction, strive to impress them further with concise descriptions of your most relevant qualifications .
The best qualifications to discuss in a cover letter are your relevant skills and accomplishments. These types of qualifications are the easiest to relate back to the employer’s specific needs, as well as to demonstrate your professional value.
Here are 6 skills to describe in a software engineer cover letter
- Programming languages (Python, Ruby, etc.)
- Analyzing software systems
- Front-end development
- Back-end development
- Software testing processes
- Clear verbal and written communication
Finished projects are an excellent way to display your talent. Give a clear description of your position on each project, such as "software development team lead". Include data that give further context and demonstrate the project's success.
Here is an example of how to describe an accomplishment in a software engineering cover letter
As a software engineer for [Former Employer], I introduce the concept of DevOps to the development team and created a dedicated in-house DevOps department. After leading this team for just six months, we were able to reduce time-to-completion rates by 65%, resulting in 45% faster deliveries of software products.
5. Conclude your software engineering cover letter persuasively
The last crucial detail to include in your software engineering cover letter is a persuasive conclusion .
In this conclusion, an employer should find:
- How and when they can best contact you
- When you intend to follow up
- A formal sign-off
Here is an example of a persuasive conclusion from a software engineering cover letter
It is with great enthusiasm that I submit this letter and application for your consideration. I am eager to hear from you and hope to receive your call regarding this position within the next two weeks, after which I do plan to follow up if I have not heard back. The best time to reach me is between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at (123) 456-7890, Monday through Friday.
If you have ever wondered how a cover letter differs from a resume, this article will tell you everything about the key differences between the two .
Martin is a resume expert and career advice writer at Kickresume. In his five years at Kickresume, he has written nearly 100 in-depth, painstakingly researched resume advice articles and, as chief editor, he has also edited and revised every single article on this website. Tens of thousands of job seekers read Martin’s resume advice every month. He holds a degree in English from the University of St Andrews and a degree in Comparative Literature from the University of Amsterdam .
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Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
If you're an expert at writing code, but you could use a new job, then what you really need to write next is a software engineer cover letter.
Resume.io is the right place to turn for advice and help. Our job-winning resources include a wide selection of occupation-specific writing guides and free cover letter examples.
In this guide, we’ll explore in depth why a cover letter is a crucial part of a job application and how to prepare your own. Here’s what we’ll discuss:
- The job outlook for software engineers
- The purpose and goal of a cover letter
- The best software engineer cover letter structure and what sections it should include
- How to write each cover letter section for maximum impact: header, greeting, introduction, body and conclusion
- Design and formatting of your software engineer cover letter
- Common cover letter mistakes to avoid.
Job outlook for software engineers
Finding available job openings in your field should not be a problem. There’s an astonishing number published by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting job growth of 22% for software developers from 2020 to 2030. That’s nearly three times higher than the projected job growth for all occupations.
While there are some differences between software engineers and software developers, the two terms are often used interchangeably. Both design, build, test and maintain computer software, although engineers build the tools that developers use to create applications. Software engineers tend to address all issues of software function, while developers tend to work on smaller-scale projects.
Both jobs pay well, though estimates of average salaries vary widely. According to Glassdoor.com, software engineers earn around $108,249 a year, while software developers make $97,763. Payscale.com cites considerably lower averages, at $88,161 for software engineers and $73,031 for developers .
Yet the BLS , which does not list software engineers separately, says software developers earned median pay of $110,140 in 2020.
Given the salaries and job outlook for these related fields, you can expect both plenty of opportunity and plenty of competition as a job seeker. And to position yourself for the top jobs, you’ll need an outstanding resume and cover letter. The builder tool and resume templates at resume.io enable anyone to create a professional, field-tested resume that will get results.
Why software engineers need a cover letter
A cover letter is a hello, a handshake, a greeting from afar. It’s a first attempt to introduce yourself to someone who has the power to offer you a job, so it’s important. If you’ve identified a company you want to work for, sure, you could send them a random resume if you want, with no note to personalize it in any way. But what you really need with this company is a personal connection to a hiring manager, and a conversation that will continue in the future.
In one survey of hiring managers , 10% said one of the top reasons for rejecting job applicants’ resumes was their failure to include a cover letter.
Resumes tend to be somewhat dry lists of jobs, schools and skills. They don’t contain the word “I” or “you,” nor are they addressed to anyone. But a cover letter gives you the opportunity to address a hiring manager in your own voice. It’s a chance to showcase your personality, passion, creativity and personal warmth. A cover letter should be one page only, and a maximum of 400 words.
Occasionally an employer will ask to see a resume only with no cover letter, and if that happens you should obviously comply with the request. But unless specifically asked not to, always include a cover letter when sending a resume to a potential employer.
Resume.io’s comprehensive cover letter guide offers general advice about how to go about writing a cover letter.
If you’re looking for additional cover letter writing guidance, check out these cover letter examples and writing guides in our related IT category:
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Best format for a software engineer cover letter
A software engineer cover letter should generally follow this framework of components:
Let’s talk about what each of these contains.
Cover letter header
In the old days we called this a letterhead — a printed heading on a blank sheet of paper stating the sender’s name and contact info. And yes, we used to roll these into typewriters in order to write a business letter.
The technology has changed, but the purpose of the header remains the same — to quickly communicate to your correspondent who you are and how to reach you. It should be attractively designed, perhaps with a splash of color, to provide an eye-pleasing break from the solid paragraphs of text that follow. A header should generally include your name, address, phone number and email. It may also include what you do: “Software Engineer,” for example. Snail-mail addresses are considered less important now than they used to be, but it’s usually best to include one unless there’s a reason not to.
To review some examples of good headers that will work for resumes or cover letters, visit our template page.
Align document styles
Your cover letter and your resume should be prepared using the same fonts, font sizes and formatting styles throughout. In fact, you may want to use the exact same header for your resume and cover letter.
This consistency of style gives you a “visual brand,” demonstrates your attention to detail, and shows you understand that style matters. It should be obvious at a glance that your resume and your cover letter came from the same person.
If your resume is formatted in a different style than your cover letter, the recruiter may assume that you’re using an old, generic resume that you send to all employers, whereas your cover letter is written using your new favorite fonts and type styles. This suggests a lack of consistency and organization.
Goal of the cover letter header: Readily tells the hiring manager who you are and how to reach you, while demonstrating a visual brand and regard for detail.
Cover letter greeting
“Dear Mr. (or Ms.) Xxxxxxxx:” is the time-honored style for writing any business letter, including the formality of using the last name and ending the line with a colon.
The era of email has relaxed some of the rules, with a comma often replacing the colon, with first names considered more acceptable, and with more generalized salutations like “Greetings XYZ Team.” But beware of being too informal. Probably the best advice is to study the culture of the company you’re targeting and see what kind of language it uses to address the public. Then use the same level of formality or lack thereof in your letter.
Whenever possible, address your cover letter to a specific person. There are several reasons for this:
- One of the primary reasons for a cover letter is to establish a personal connection to a hiring manager. This is hard to do if you don’t even know this person’s name.
- It shows good initiative on your part if you’ve gone to the trouble of finding out the name of the appropriate person to contact.
- People like to read their own names, and people are more inclined to respond to a letter addressed personally to them.
If the job listing you’re responding to doesn’t include the name of the person seeking applications, it may well be worth your while to call the company and inquire. However, there are some hiring managers who prefer to obscure their identities for whatever reason. In such cases you’ll have to find a creative way to address the entire company or the appropriate department within that company in your greeting.
Goal of the cover letter greeting: Starts off in a professional manner that shows initiative in researching the recipient’s name and how formal or casual the tone should be.
Dear Mrs. Wanamaker,
Cover letter introduction
Your first paragraph should be a provocative opening that both identifies the job you’re seeking and offers a preview of your qualifications. It should be written in energetic, lively language that hints at your passion for what you do. Ideally it should make the reader say, “Hey, this person can write.” At the very least, it should make the reader want to read on.
After eight years of software development experience in the ecommerce operations of two leading online fashion retailers (averaging 11 million+ monthly visits), I hope to bring my web development and systems architecture skills to Banton.
Goal of the cover letter introduction: Focus the reader’s immediate attention on your most compelling attributes while sparking interest to keep reading.
Cover letter middle section (body)
Now that you’ve got their attention, it’s time to deliver. The two or three paragraphs in the body of your letter must make the case that you qualify for the job. This is the place to discuss your work experience, your achievements on the job and your qualifications in the field. This is the place to use that telling anecdote about how you once solved a major problem to everyone’s satisfaction.
Be specific when describing past accomplishments, using facts and figures where appropriate. Think of the symbols “$,” “#” and “%,” and try to provide dollar figures, numbers and percentages. If you have a college degree in a computer-related field, this would be a fine place to mention it. You can also turn from talking about the past to talking about the future. You may choose to describe to the employer how you believe your unique set of skills will help it solve its problems.
Goal of the cover letter body: Illustrate how this employer would benefit from your qualifications as an experienced, solution-focused software engineer.
The majority of my career has been spent maintaining ESB applications and ensuring the smooth operations of the ecommerce back end. I am proficient at understanding the needs of the business and putting the customer experience first while keeping an eye on budgetary constraints. After reinvigorating the supplier base in 2019, we achieved a 13% annual cost saving while decreasing website bugs and coding errors by 35%. My highest profile project came when I designed, developed and implemented the architecture of an award-winning virtual store that allowed customers to superimpose their image onto our products. From initial requirement gathering to design, coding, testing and roll-out, I project managed every aspect. The application increased LFL sales by 18%. Prior to my retail experience, I spent a decade in a software consultancy, so my technical experience is broader than just ecommerce. This has proved useful for many non-retail requirements. I am proficient in Windows, Unix and Linux platforms, as well as fluent in nine programming languages (including C, C++, VB, Java, Perl and SQL). My computer science degree from CalTech formed the foundation of my career, but I have taken every opportunity since to take over 60 online courses and certifications. You could say that I am somewhat addicted to improving my software skills.
Cover letter conclusion
One final paragraph of your software engineer cover letter should serve as both a summary and a call to action. You want to close on a confident and positive note, looking forward to further contact. For example: Given my decade of experience in software engineering and my love of gaming, I hope you would be interested in meeting with me to discuss how I could help fulfill your ambitions in this market. I’d love to show you some of what I’ve done in the past and also toss around some ideas about the future.
I look forward to hearing about your development plans and hope that an interview might allow me to expand on how my skills could contribute.
Aim of the cover letter closing: End on a self-assured note with a call to action encouraging an enthusiastic response from the hiring manager.
Your letter should usually close with a simple “Sincerely,” followed by a space and your typed name. There’s no harm in scanning your actual signature and inserting it if you can, though it’s not expected in electronic correspondence.
Yours sincerely, Steven Frost
Cover letter design and formatting
In your career as a software engineer, did you ever have a client who said, “I don’t care what it looks like as long as it works”? Probably not many!
Looks matter. So consider these points:
- Fonts: Use an attractive, modern, legible font that other people are likely to have on their computers. Avoid exotic fonts that call attention to themselves or that may turn into garble on someone else’s screen.
- Font size: Use a font size of 10 to 12 points for the body of your letter (though bigger is OK for parts of the header, including your name). If your letter doesn’t fit onto one page, avoid reducing the font size and instead trim your text.
- Margins: Use a one-inch margin on the left, right, top and bottom of your page. This creates essential white space on the margins of your page and keeps it from looking too dense and crowded.
- Text alignment: Text should usually be justified left, creating a “ragged right” style where the words on the right don’t align. This creates additional white space to the right, whereas paragraphs that are stretched out from the left margin to the right create big, unpalatable blocks of text.
- Paragraph spacing: Put a space between all paragraphs, and do not indent them. It used to be acceptable to deliver a single-spaced document as long as each new paragraph was indented, like in a book. But for most electronic communications today, that convention is long gone.
- White space: Never forget that some of the most important parts of your letter are those that are completely blank. White space is crucial because both the eye and the brain occasionally need a break. Good designers will tell you that you should avoid “trapping” white space inside your design and instead push it to the outside of the page.
- Send as PDF: Except in rare cases where an employer specifically requests a Word file, save your cover letter as a PDF. This file type will preserve all of your formatting so that your page looks the same on your correspondent’s computer as on yours.
- Use a template: The easiest, fastest and safest way to ensure that your cover letter meets industry standards is to download a professional, field-tested template from a service like resume.io. We’ll take care of the design, the fonts and the formatting — all you have to do is write the letter.
- The builder tool and cover letter templates at resume.io enable anyone to create a professional, field-tested resume that will get the right results.
Psychology, tactics and tips
Remember that your cover letter is written to a human being, and you should write like one too. Avoid the kind of language that will make you sound like a corporate robot.
Beware of clichés commonly used in cover letters. “I am writing to ...” “Please consider this letter my application for…” “I am a team player and a self-starter, and I’m passionate about thinking outside the box.” Kill all of this language. If it’s been said a thousand times before, do not say it again. Write something that your recipient has never read before.
Psychologists say the brain responds to stimuli with a mix of quick, emotional responses and slower, more rational responses. Both are useful to you in writing a persuasive cover letter. You should use a certain amount of emotional and personal language that appeals more to the heart than the head (“My greatest desire…” I would be delighted to…” etc.). And you should use a certain amount of rational language — for example, the facts and figures that illustrate your successes at past endeavors.
Also remember that everyone loves a good story, and try to include at least one anecdote. Bear in mind that the point of a cover letter is to establish a personal relationship with the recipient. So when you talk like a real person, make sure it's the kind of person the recruiter would want to meet.
System error: Some bugs to avoid
These are some of the most common mistakes that people make in writing cover letters:
- Errors in English. This is among the top reasons resumes and cover letters are rejected: Typos, misspelled words and bad grammar. If writing is not your long suit, find an editor to review your letter before you send it.
- Form letters. A cover letter is NOT a one-size-fits-all document that you send to all employers. Every cover letter should be unique, addressed to a specific recipient and based on the employer's specific needs.
- Bad formatting. The aforementioned problems about strange fonts, tiny text, missing margins or any other reason your letter is ugly (or doesn’t open in a normal application) can be an instant disqualifier.
- Irrelevant info. Whether you run three marathons a year or are an international master of Dungeons and Dragons, leave it out if it’s not relevant to your skills as a software engineer.
Key takeaways for a software engineer cover letter
- Software engineers can look forward to robust job growth and excellent salaries in the years ahead. But the competition for these jobs will also be substantial, and every candidate needs a top-notch job application including an excellent resume and cover letter.
- Unless specifically asked not to, you should always send a cover letter when submitting a resume.
- Understand the basic structure of a cover letter and write yours accordingly.
- Format your letter correctly to avoid deal-breaking mistakes in fonts, design and file types.
- Make sure your letter is error-free before you hit “Send.”
Best of luck!
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Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples
Software Engineers design, develop and install software for commercial or customer use. Essential job duties of a Software Engineer include analyzing development issues, designing system specifications and standards, communicating with users to identify areas that need improvement, conducting systems analysis and creating solutions for any problems the development team may come across.
Not exactly what you are looking for? Check our complete library of over 1000 cover letter examples .
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Improve your chances of getting noticed with a powerful cover letter. Take a look at our guide to create the best cover letter in 2023 .
Include These Software Engineer Skills
- Bachelor’s degree in software, math, computers or science
- Certification in a specific area of expertise
- Extensive and up-to-date programming knowledge
- Familiarity with one or more core programming languages
- Attention to detail
- Ability to work well with a team
- Ability to multitask
- Analytical and problem-solving skills
The cover letter below showcases similar skills and qualifications.
Dear Mr. Farias:
I am submitting my resume for the position of Software Engineer. With a bachelor’s degree in computer science, more than 4 years of experience designing and implementing software and numerous voluntary certifications, I am confident that I would be a strong asset to Trinity Technologies.
My professional experience includes overseeing team projects, designing software, analyzing data and solving complex problems on a daily basis to ensure a high level of quality for the software I help to create. I have been involved in several major software releases, and have learned that in order for a software release to be successful, the development team’s raw technical skill must also be accompanied by efficient coordination and open communication.
The following are some highlights of my qualifications and experience:
Earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Stanford University
Progressed through consecutive positions as a Trainee, Junior Developer and Technical Team Leader with increasing levels of responsibility
Became certified as an Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD), Project Management Professional (PMP) and Oracle Certified Professional (OCP)
Participated in two successful software releases as a Junior Developer
Led three successful software releases as a Technical Team Leader
Increased team efficiency and reduced wasted time by learning and implementing Agile methodologies which were later adopted company-wide
I hope to bring my passion for extraordinary software, knack for problem-solving and superior communication skills to the Trinity Technologies team.
Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to speaking with you further about this opportunity.
Michelle G. Carney
A professional cover letter is the first step toward your new job!
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- Cover Letter Examples
Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples [Also for Developer]
A software engineer cover letter is a one-page document showing your excitement about the job and proving that your experience and skills match the requirements of the position.
As seen in:
You’re ready to apply for the job of your dreams, but there’s a catch—the job posting asks candidates to also send a cover letter. Not adding one will result in an error 404.
Don’t look for a software engineer cover letter on GitHub—just sit down and start writing.
In this guide, I’ll show you:
- A software engineer cover letter sample better than 9 out of 10 other cover letters.
- Proven, effective templates and formulas for writing the best software engineer cover letter in the pile.
- How to write a software engineer cover letter step-by-step (even if you have no experience.)
- How to describe your experience in a cover letter for software engineering positions and get any job you want.
Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.
Create your cover letter now
Sample cover letter for a resume— See more cover letter samples and create your cover letter here .
Make sure your Software Engineer resume is up to par by reading: Software Engineer Resume Examples.
This guide isn't exactly what you were looking for? See other cover letter examples for jobs in this industry:
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Want to explore your options further? See our full selection of cover letter examples for every career: Best Cover Letter examples.
Here’s a sample software engineer cover letter written in response to a Software Development Team Lead position.
Sample Software Engineer Cover Letter
Tabitha Hirvanen Software Engineer 89 Coleman Avenue San Diego, CA 92103 619-633-0789 [email protected] linkedin.com/in/tabitha-hirvanen Mr. Francis Mallman Head of Technology XYZ Corp 4222 Driftwood Road San Diego, CA 90544 San Diego, 2/7/2018 Dear Francis, Two months ago, I shattered a record I had previously considered unbreakable. My solutions for developing and optimizing ABC’s flagship apps and online software helped increase annual mean NPS to a staggering 61.8 (37% increase.) Soon after that, I came across the opening for Software Development Team Lead at XYZ Corp. As a lifelong fan of your cutting-edge software solutions, I immediately knew that this post was the perfect match for my skills and expertise. I know your chief focus for the upcoming 18 months will be on developing new mobile apps for personal finance management. In my current position as IT Team Lead with ABC Inc., my primary challenge has been to supervise the development and design of our mobile and desktop applications for flawless user experience. Here are some of my most recent results:
- 3 out of 4 apps I developed in 2017 have been rated above 4.7 stars in both AppStore and Google Play.
- Upgraded premium versions of our products increased quarterly revenue by 86% in 2017 Q4.
- New Help Desk solutions cut Customer Effort Scores by 31%.
With more than 10 years of experience in software engineering, I am positive I can help XYZ Corp achieve similar results. End User Satisfaction has always been the single most important KPI for measuring my teams’ performance. I know that this value is also the cornerstone of XYZ’s mission and vision—that’s why I was so excited when I first saw your opening. When can we schedule a meeting and discuss how my success at ABC can translate into IT Happiness growth for you? Kind Regards, Tabitha Hirvanen P.S.—I would also value the opportunity to tell you how I optimized ABC’s beta-testing workflow to double the Timely Project Delivery scores.
I’ll tell you one thing —
Tabitha is going places. And so can you.
Let’s break down what makes the above cover letter for a software engineer so great and how you can make an equally great one yourself.
The Perfect Software Engineer Cover Letter Template
So you’ve seen a jaw-dropping software engineer or software developer cover letter.
What is it exactly that made the hiring manager’s jaw drop ?
Tabitha’s achievements? The writing quality?
Yeah, these are important. But not as important as an effective, reliable cover letter writing formula Tabitha’s applied.
And guess what?
You can make this template for a cover letter work for you as well!
The Best Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—Checklist
- Your names, professional title, and contact info.
- The addressee's details.
- City and date are optional and a tad old-school, but more conservative readers will appreciate them.
- “Dear Hiring Manager” is okay(ish.)
- “Dear [Hiring Manager’s name] is perfect.
- “Dear Sir or Madam” is stiff, boring, and really old-fashioned.
3. Main Body: The Three-Paragraph Software Engineer Cover Letter Format
- Begin with “the hook.” Tell your employers a quick story that shows how impressive your skills are.
- Make an offer. Emphasize how your expertise will help solve their problems. Use bullet points to outline your achievements.
- Explain your motivation. Once they understand they want you, they’ll want to know why you want them .
4. Call To Action
- Reiterate your offer and ask them to reach out to you.
- Gently remind them that you’re not going to be available forever.
- Don’t write the hackneyed phrase “Thank you for your time and attention.”
5. Formal Closing
- Use a “sincerely” synonym.
- Don’t get too informal.
- Sign-off with your full name
6. The Postscript
- It works like an eye magnet.
- Everyone will read it.
- In it, include something you can’t afford for your prospective employer to miss.
(For more information about different cover letter formats, check out this handy guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide )
And here’s the one piece of advice that you should apply to all sections of your software engineering cover letter:
Be specific and precise. Quantify whenever possible. Numbers pop!
So that’s what you should include in your software engineer or software developer cover letter.
Don’t know how long your cover letter should be for a software engineer position?
No longer than necessary to show off your best and most relevant wins.
Looking for an exact figure? This will depend on your experience.
Cover letter for a software engineer with 2 years of experience or less shouldn’t exceed 200 words. Experienced software developer cover letter? Not much longer. Aim for 300 words, tops.
That’s not a lot for, but it is the proper template for your software developer cover letter. It will deliver. Afraid that you’re missing something? Double-check with: What to Include in a Cover Letter (15+ Examples & A Complete Guide)
Writing an entry-level software engineer cover letter with no experience is rough. If you need a software engineer cover letter for an internship, you simply cannot afford to mess it up. Here’s a guide for all you future interns out there: How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples]
One more thing: it’s crucial that you send your cover letter directly to the hiring manager. If you’re not quite sure how to do it, here’s a guide that’ll clear it up: How to Address a Cover Letter: Sample & Guide [20+ Examples]
How to Grab Recruiters’ Attention with Your Software Engineer Cover Letter Opening
These few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter are critical.
Get the intro right, and the hiring manager will be excited to read on. Mess it up, and no one will even cast a glance at the rest of your letter.
How to make the most of your software developer cover letter introduction?
Follow these steps:
Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—Introduction
- Begin with Dear + the hiring manager’s name. If you’re applying to a company with relaxed office culture, first name will do; if your prospective employer is more traditional—go for first and last names.
- Mention your impressive achievement and tell a catchy story about it. Nothing too fancy—remember Tabitha? That’s how she did it: Two months ago, I shattered a record I had previously considered unbreakable .
- Make them realize how much they’ll benefit from hiring you.
- Personalize. Refer to an important company fact, show your enthusiasm and passion for the company’s values, mention current events, or use name-dropping if you’ve been referenced.
Want to have a look at how it works in practice?
Check out these very different examples of full-stack software engineer cover letter intros.
Sample Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter—Opening Paragraph
Perhaps not awful. But—
That’s as if Bill Gates started his cover letter with “I’m a successful entrepreneur with 40+ years of software engineering experience.” Who’d care? Instead, he should write…
Well, okay. In his case, I’m Bill Gates , would do the trick.
Since you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re not Bill Gates. Yet . So here’s an example of a software engineer cover letter intro that could help you move your career in the right direction.
That kind of cover letter opening is going to make the hiring manager call you in the middle of the night!
What makes it so great?
First of all, the initial storytelling part. It’s intriguing and, at the same time, super relevant to the job.
Secondly, this computer software developer cover letter intro is focused only on the employer’s benefits instead of the candidate’s gain. Remember—in your software engineer cover letter, show the employers that they need you . Not the other way around.
Finally, it refers to an important company fact. That shows that the candidate has done his research. It adds this precious personal touch.
Want to see more actionable examples of how to write a cover letter intro that pulls every reader in? In fact, there are many surefire ways to do it. Learn them here: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check . Start building a professional resume template here for free .
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
Software Engineer Cover Letter—The Main Body
Alright, so you’ve crafted the perfect intro. You’ve got their attention.
Time for the serious sales pitch —the central paragraphs. The make-or-break moment of your application.
How to get it right?
In a word: personalization.
You need to tailor every cover letter for software engineering positions to the particular job you’re aiming at.
Remember how our candidate, Tabitha did it?
She applied for a senior software engineering position with a company that planned to launch new mobile apps.
How did she convince the hiring manager that she’d be the perfect fit?
She went for a three-step formula that you should use in your software engineer cover letter too!
Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—The Main Body
- Point out that you’re aware of your prospective employer’s needs and upcoming challenges.
- Show how your past experiences match the position’s requirements. It’s a good idea to use bullet points here to make your message more concise.
- Reiterate the value you’ll bring to the company.
Have a look:
Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
I know your chief focus for the upcoming 18 months will be on developing new mobile apps for personal finance management (company’s needs.) In my current position as IT Team Lead with ABC Inc., my primary challenge has been to supervise the development and design of our mobile and desktop applications (your relevant experience) for flawless user experience. Here are some of my most recent results:
- New Help Desk solutions cut Customer Effort Scores by 31% (your measurable results outlined in bullet-points.)
With more than 10 years of experience in software engineering, I am positive I can help XYZ Corp achieve similar results (the value you’ll bring to the company.)
Don’t have Tabitha’s wealth of experience? No matter.
Whether you’re writing a junior software engineering cover letter with 2 year experience, or even a software engineer cover letter as a fresher, the central paragraph formula remains the same.
If your best asset is your education, lead with it. Success with freelancing projects? There you go. Even an impressive Github portfolio can sell you to potential employers.
Need a sample software engineer cover letter for an entry level position?
Entry Level .Net Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
Since you’re searching for an enthusiastic software engineer with the ability to develop highly innovative .net applications (company’s needs) , I’m happy to submit my application.
I’ve developed 10+ web and mobile apps, including an award-winning home security system using Raspberry Pi and a webcam (your relevant experience.)
I’m looking forward to leveraging my enthusiasm, phenomenal time management skills , and a strong user focus to achieve groundbreaking results with XYZ’s upcoming projects (the value you’d bring to the company.)
The key thing—
Identify the company’s needs and refer to them in your software engineer cover letter. Remember: personalization works wonders!
Briefly explain your motivation. This is where you’ll need to flatter them a bit. Tell your prospective employer what you find valuable in the way they run their business. Identify the company’s core values and say they’re important to you too.
Just like our candidate, Tabitha, did. Remember?
Sample Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter—Motivation Statement
End User Satisfaction has always been the single most important KPI for measuring my teams’ performance. I know that this value is also the cornerstone of XYZ’s mission and vision—that’s why I was so excited when I first saw your opening.
Long story short: ask yourself why you want to work there and say it in a concise sentence.
(But don’t write “I’d like to work with you cause I need the money and, rumor has it, your paychecks are sky-high,” even if it is the case.)
Hungry for more amazing cover letter tips and easy-to-use hacks? Check out this cool guide written by my friend Christian: 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines (With Examples)
How to End Your Software Engineer Cover Letter to Make It Unforgettable
So far so good. The hiring manager’s reading your cover letter. She’s getting more and more eager to call you in for an interview.
Don’t squander this opportunity. End your letter in a way that makes it impossible to forget your application.
Software Engineer Cover Letter Template — Closing Lines
- Include a “call to action:” tell your employers you’d like to meet in person to discuss how you can help them achieve their goals. Ask them to reach out to you.
- Close with a “sincerely” synonym and sign the letter with your full name.
- Include a postscript: give a sneak-peek of your impressive achievement and say you’d be happy to talk about it in more detail.
Like in our main software engineer cover letter example:
Sample Technical Software Engineer Cover Letter—Ending
When can we schedule a meeting (call to action) and discuss how my success at ABC can translate into IT Happiness growth for you?
Tabitha Hirvanen (formal closing)
P.S.—I would also value the opportunity to tell you how I optimized ABC’s beta-testing workflow to double the Timely Project Delivery scores (impressive achievement you’re eager to discuss.)
The gist of it?
Avoid coming off as needy. In your software engineer or software developer cover letter ending, don’t nag the hiring manager to call you. Make it irresistible for them to do it.
Need more examples? There you go.
Jr Software Engineer Cover Letter Example—Ending
Cringe overload, right?
The bottom line is basically: Please, please, please, give me this job!
Sample Embedded Software Engineer Cover Letter—Ending
Wow, this guy’s a live wire! I can’t wait to hear his ideas!
This software engineer cover letter ending would make Elon Musk himself say that.
Because it provides value. Simple as that.
Still worried that your software engineering cover letter closing won’t be good enough? Relax. You’ve got a whole lot of mind-blowing advice waiting for you. All it takes to get it is a single click. Go here and see for yourself: How to End a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]
Writing a software engineer or a software developer cover letter that gets you the job doesn’t have to be hard.
Just follow the key strategies we covered.
- Address the hiring manager by his or her name. Get them hooked in your first paragraph.
- Use bullet points to show off your best wins. Be specific and always choose numbers over descriptions.
- Highlight what you’ve got to offer, not what you want out of the job.
- Include a postscript after the formal sign-off.
And remember one last thing —
Even the most amazing software engineering cover letter will get you nowhere if you don’t know how to sell yourself with your software engineer resume. Luckily, you can learn how to make one in a flash. See our dedicated guides: Software Engineer Resume: Guide and a Sample [20+ Examples] or Senior Software Engineer Resume Examples .
Hungry for more cover letter writing advice? Still unsure how to describe your experience to come across as a software engineering rockstar? Give me a shout in the comments and I’ll get back to you!
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A full-stack guide to writing a software engineer resume that’d put Linus Torvalds to shame. With easy to code tips to make your next job application a cinch.
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How to write a software engineer cover letter that gets you noticed
Your resume doesn't speak for itself. Would you believe that a well-written software engineer cover letter can make a huge difference in landing an interview for your dream job?
It puts your resume into context — and it's where you get to show off your soft skills and demonstrate enthusiasm to possible employers. But if you're more comfortable writing code than talking about yourself, penning a cover letter can feel intimidating.
Below, you'll learn how to craft an effective software engineer cover letter and find tips to keep in mind.
Why do you need a cover letter for a software engineering role?
A solid cover letter is an essential part of any job application . This persuasive writing makes a case for what you can contribute to your prospective employer. The cover letter allows you to put the qualifications and achievements listed on your resume in context.
Put differently, a software engineer resume lists what coding languages you know, while a software engineer cover letter talks about the major projects of your career involving those languages.
How long should a software engineer cover letter be?
The ideal software engineer cover letter should clock in at slightly under a page and consist of three to four paragraphs. You don't want to test employers' patience by surpassing a page in length.
Strive to create a succinct business document.
What should I include in a software engineer cover letter?
All cover letters contain several key elements:
- Contact info
- The salutation
- A closing statement
For best results, you should not think of creating a cover letter as a templated, rote exercise. Genuine passion, curiosity, and thoughtfulness must shine through — don't phone it in!
Your contact info
Your contact info should go at the top of the page and include your:
Your ultimate guide to landing a job at a big tech company
Want to work for a big tech company? Our guide walks through everything you need to know to land a job at the tech giants.
- Street address
- City, state, and zip code
- Phone number
- Email address (for physical cover letters)
- Preferred mode of contact
Remember that your email address should be professional, not profane or jokey.
The most professional greeting for an engineer cover letter is "dear," followed by the hiring manager's name and a colon.
Finding out the hiring manager's name shows initiative and conscientiousness that they will likely appreciate. It's okay to use their first name, but if you're applying to a company with a reputation for formality, add "Mr." or "Ms."
If you cannot find the hiring manager's name, "dear hiring manager" will do.
Your software engineer cover letter's intro is where you need to make a good impression. It should include:
- Your profession
- What position you are interested in
Simply stating your interest or enthusiasm in the position is a great way to open. Avoid gimmicks, like defining a word or making an outsized boast about your qualifications.
You may also include how you found out about the job and your history with or interest in the company. Be friendly but polite.
The intro should be no more than four to five sentences.
Your cover letter's body is the meat of the document, and typically it should be one to two paragraphs long. The major points to hit include:
- Why you are interested in this position
- How the company's values, goals, and culture align with your accomplishments, goals, and attributes
- A rundown of your major accomplishments and impacts — demonstrate these with concrete numbers whenever possible
- What current projects of theirs interest you (if any)
- How your skillset connects with their requirements
Take care to put your work history in context. Show how your experiences make you suited for the role you want to fill in the company. You can do that by sharing anecdotes and summarizing projects that demonstrate key skills from the job listing.
But don't just restate your resume . Your resume is chronological, while the cover letter should discuss qualifications based on their relevance to the job listing.
Your tone should balance professionalism and friendliness. Avoid slang, but don't be stuffy. It may help to imagine that you're writing to a new work friend.
Your cover letter's conclusion should be confident and respectful. Keep the focus on the company's needs and not yours. Thank them for considering your credentials, express your enthusiasm for the company, and note that you hope to speak with them soon.
Do not demand they give you an interview or tell them you intend to call them. Assertiveness looks like pushiness — and it puts hiring managers off.
Close with a professional sign-off such as "best" or "sincerely."
Finally, congratulate yourself on a job well done and review our phone interview tips plus our lists of computer science interview questions and impressive questions to ask in an interview .
Tips on writing a software engineer cover letter
You don't need to rewrite an entire cover letter for every job you apply for.
You can make applying for jobs easier by using a software engineer cover letter template that you can adapt for different job postings, rather than starting from scratch every time.
Pick out projects and stories that demonstrate skills common among the listings you see. Then, write up summaries you can copy and paste into the body of a cover letter.
Plan on writing a custom introduction for each letter.
Put your tech skills in context.
Don't just list your skills. Talk about where and when you have used them in your career. For instance, rather than simply mention that you know Python, discuss a programming project you spearheaded that heavily drew upon coding in Python.
Put your soft skills in context.
5 soft skills for computer science careers
Soft skills can make or break a computer science career. Cultivating these critical soft skills will help tech professionals succeed.
Soft, or "people," skills do not exist in a void either. Talk about where they have come in handy across your employment history to give your story credence.
For instance, you could highlight your leadership skills by discussing positions where you delegated responsibility and guided teams of programmers working under you.
Be quantitative and specific.
When talking about your accomplishments, avoid vague language and quantify the results of your actions.
For example, don't just say you increased earnings or inspired your team. Note that you helped drive higher earnings for multiple periods during your tenure — and give specific numbers. Other concrete, quantifiable results of actions to discuss could include:
- New products
- Increased productivity
- Higher employee satisfaction reported
Show, rather than tell.
Lean towards showing employers who you are rather than telling them. It's important to show confidence, but let your accomplishments and projects speak for themselves.
Don't try to pitch yourself with adjectives. Rather than describing yourself as "innovative," talk about the different innovative projects you've worked on.
Show the company you're aligned with them and understand their successes and goals.
Discuss accomplishments and qualifications that line up with the company's goals and values. For instance, if the company has an innovation-centered workplace culture, discuss groundbreaking and first-of-their-kind software projects you've contributed to.
Proofread your writing and have someone else take a look too.
The last thing you want to do is hit send on a cover letter that contains typos and grammatical errors. This kind of mistake shows carelessness and instantly makes a bad impression.
Make sure to proofread your work before sending it. Getting a second pair of eyes can help even more.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I'm looking forward to learning more details about the Software Engineer position at River Tech. I'm
I have attached a copy of my resume detailing my education and experience. I look forward to learning more about the Software Engineer position at 123 Technical
How do I write a software engineer cover letter? · Address your letter. · Write an introduction paragraph. · Showcase your qualifications and competencies.
My experience developing user-friendly solutions on time and on budget would enable me to step into a software engineering role at XYZ Company and hit the
Body: The body of your software engineer cover letter should be 3-4 paragraphs that demonstrate your interest, show off your credentials, and
I write to you today with great enthusiasm about the opportunity to join your team of talented software engineers. As a software engineer with
For example: Given my decade of experience in software engineering and my love of gaming, I hope you would be interested in meeting with me to discuss how I
I am submitting my resume for the position of Software Engineer. With a bachelor's degree in computer science, more than 4 years of experience designing and
The only software engineering cover letter guide you'll need. See sample software engineer cover letters, actionable examples
The ideal software engineer cover letter should clock in at slightly under a page and consist of three to four paragraphs. You don't want to