You may think “Why do I need to spend time on writing a cover letter when recruiters already have my resume and/or my portfolio?” or “Are cover letters necessary for IT jobs?”
Well, the cover letter is your chance to tell a story. It’s the one thing you can do to prove you’re a real IT professional and not just someone who has passed a few courses.
It’s your opportunity to share some of your personal qualities and success stories. But most importantly – your motivation to apply for the position. And this is essential to getting your dream job.
But what are the things you need to include in your IT cover letter? Let’s see…
Read a real IT cover letter example
What to write in an IT cover letter
A question we often get asked – “What’s the difference between a cover letter and a resume?”
Well, the resume includes all your hard skills, a detailed history of your education and experience, and all your work-related achievements.
The cover letter, on the other hand, is your chance to prove that you’re the ideal candidate for the position. It’s the place to show your personality and make the right impression.
Overall, your IT cover letter should include:
- Your top soft skills and how they’ve helped you succeed in the past
- Several reasons why you’ve decided to apply for the position
- Why you think you’d fit well with the team and the company culture
- Your knowledge of common industry issues and your readiness to tackle them
- What your personal contribution to the IT team would be
Focus on how your skills have helped you gain expertise and reap the fruits of success.
Pro Tip Applying for your first job in the IT field? Check out our extensive guide on what to write in your cover letter if you have no experience for some valuable tips.
Now, it’s time to make sure that your cover letter stands out from the crowd. Here’s how.
Choose the right salutation
Although writing “Dear Sir or Madam” in your IT cover letter might be easier, it’s always better to stick with the hiring manager’s name. If you’re not sure who they are, try to find out by doing a quick LinkedIn search.
This will show that you are attentive to detail and are willing to go the extra mile when necessary. And these are some qualities hiring managers look for in IT professionals.
If finding the person’s name proves to be too difficult, you could use some of the following instead:
- Dear Human Resources Manager
- Dear Hiring Manager
- Dear IT Team
- Dear [company name] Recruiter
- To the IT Team
In general, sounding formal and polite is your safest bet. However, it all depends on the company culture. So if you want to get creative, make sure the language you use to write your cover letter matches the position and the company.
Craft a strong introduction
As Harvey S. Firestone once said, success is the sum of details. And the introduction of every IT specialist’s cover letter is one of the details that deserve your undivided attention.
You should begin your cover letter with the reasons why you’re the ideal candidate for the job. Share why you find the job exciting and what value you can bring to the table.
You can also include a brief sentence or two about your background and previous experience. However, don’t forget that the hiring manager will learn more about that from your resume.
The most important thing to remember about your cover letter’s introduction? It must be clear.
Emphasizing your IT skills in your cover letter
While the resume is the place to list hard skills and details about your experience, the cover letter should tell your story and prove your enthusiasm for the job and the sector.
This is why we advise you to focus on soft skills and results here.
For example, you can mention times when your time-management skills have helped you meet extremely tight deadlines. Or you can share how your strong sense of responsibility and your ability to work with other people has helped the whole team succeed. You decide.
A couple of hard skills and relevant software tools could also be mentioned here, especially if they are listed as part of the requirements section of the IT job advert. This will help you pass Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) that screen cover letters for certain keywords.
In short – it’s important to make sure that you don’t just re-write your resume. The cover letter should complement it and offer additional value to the recruiter.
Show that you did your research before applying
Having a paragraph that shows you’ve researched the company is always a good idea. It proves your motivation and excitement to join the team and makes a great impression.
You could also mention how some of your skills can help resolve current company or general IT industry problems. This will show hiring managers that you’re aware of the issues at hand and are ready to help tackle them!
The final call to action
Using the right words to end an IT cover letter is essential for two reasons. First, you don’t want to ruin the great first impression you’ve just made. Second, it’s a way to express gratitude for the hiring manager’s time and consideration.
The phrase you use at the end of your cover letter depends on the company culture. If you want to be on the safe side, go for traditional lines such as “Looking forward to your reply” or “Looking forward to hearing from you”.
- Make sure the language you use matches the company culture
- Focus on soft skills and results
- Use keywords to make sure you pass ATS
- Show that you’ve done your research and can handle key industry problems