Professional Penetration Tester Cover Letter Examples for 2024

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In your penetration tester cover letter, highlight your ability to think like an attacker. Clearly showcase your proficiency in vulnerability assessment and risk management techniques. Your cover letter must also demonstrate a track record of ethical hacking success. Emphasize your up-to-date knowledge of security protocols and your commitment to continuous learning in the rapidly evolving cybersecurity field.

Embarking on the journey of a penetration tester often starts with the crucial step of applying for a job, but many stumble upon the challenge of crafting a compelling cover letter. It's not about repeating your resume; your cover letter is your chance to spotlight your proudest professional moment in a narrative that captivates. Strike a balance between formal tone and fresh prose, steering clear of clichés, and remember—brevity is key; your story must unfold in just one page.

Elevate your penetration tester cover letter game to impress recruiters with our helpful tips on:

  • Writing the essential penetration tester cover letter sections: balancing your professionalism and personality;
  • Mixing storytelling, your unique skill set, and your greatest achievement;
  • Providing relevant (and interesting) information with your penetration tester cover letter, despite your lack of professional experience;
  • Finding the perfect format for your[ penetration tester cover letter, using templates from industry experts.

Leverage the power of Enhancv's AI: upload your resume and our platform will map out how your penetration tester cover letter should look, in mere moments.

Penetration Tester cover letter example

Payton Webster

Sacramento, CA


Dear Hiring Manager,

Big Black Box Security Ltd. stands out to me as the pioneer in cybersecurity where innovative solutions meet real-world challenges. It's the work that your team is doing on critical infrastructure security that has captivated my attention and makes me eager to bring my proven track record to your esteemed company.

During my tenure at SecureBox Ltd., I spearheaded a team that delivered over 50 penetration tests, amassing more than $3 million in revenue for the year 2021. Perhaps most notably, I played a crucial role in winning and securing 12 Department of Defense cybersecurity contracts. This achievement underscored my dual strengths in practical cybersecurity application and strategy development, feeding directly into risk mitigation and business continuity for our high-profile clients.

I am keen to discuss how my background, skills, and certifications align with the needs of Big Black Box Security Ltd. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to your team and am eager to bring my expertise in vulnerability analysis and digital forensics to your operations. Please find enclosed my resume for your consideration. I am looking forward to the chance to discuss this exciting opportunity with you.


Payton Webster

Penetration Tester
What makes this cover letter good:

  • Emphasizing relevant experience, such as having led a team that executed over 50 penetration tests and secured substantial revenues, aligns closely with the responsibilities and goals of a cybersecurity firm.
  • Highlighting major achievements, like securing Department of Defense cybersecurity contracts, demonstrates capability and experience with high-profile clients which adds credibility and showcases a track record of success in areas likely valued by the targeted employer.
  • Specifying interest in the prospective employer's field of work, in this case, critical infrastructure security, and expressing eagerness to contribute, shows a genuine passion and alignment with the company's mission and objectives.
  • Including a mention of skills and certifications that pertain directly to the job (vulnerability analysis, digital forensics) implies a robust professional toolkit that is primed for immediate application in the new role.

Standard formatting for your penetration tester cover letter

Structure your penetration tester cover letter, following industry-leading advice, to include:

  • Header - with your name, the role you're applying for, the date, and contact details;
  • Greeting - make sure it's personalized to the organization;
  • Introduction paragraph - no more than two sentences;
  • Body paragraph - answering why you're the best candidate for the role;
  • Closing paragraph - ending with a promise or a call to action;
  • Signature - now that's optional.

Set up your penetration tester cover letter for success with our templates that are all single-spaced and have a one-inch margin all around.

Use the same font for your penetration tester cover as the one in your resume(remember to select a modern, Applicant Tracker System or ATS favorites, like Raleway, Volkhov, or Chivo instead of the worn-out Times New Roman).

Speaking of the ATS, did you know that it doesn't scan or assess your cover letter? This document is solely for the recruiters.

Our builder allows you to export your penetration tester cover letter in the best format out there: that is, PDF (this format keeps your information intact).

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The top sections on a penetration tester cover letter

  • Header: This should include your contact information, the date, and the employer's details, which is crucial for establishing a professional tone and facilitating easy communication.
  • Opening Greeting: Address the hiring manager by name if you can find it, as it personalizes the cover letter and shows attention to detail, which is vital in penetration testing.
  • Introduction: In this section, briefly introduce yourself and state your interest in the penetration tester position, mentioning how you learned about the job opening to provide context.
  • Professional Experience and Skills: Detail relevant security certifications, technical skills, and real-world experience that demonstrate your ability to identify and exploit vulnerabilities, as recruiters in cybersecurity value practical, hands-on expertise.
  • Closing and Call to Action: Conclude by summarizing your value proposition, expressing enthusiasm for the opportunity to contribute to the organization's security, and indicate your desire for a personal interview to discuss how your skills align with the company's needs.
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Key qualities recruiters search for in a candidate’s cover letter

  • Proven experience with a range of penetration testing tools and methodologies (such as Metasploit, Burp Suite, Nmap, OWASP ZAP, etc.), indicating hands-on skills in identifying and exploiting vulnerabilities.
  • Knowledge of various operating systems, networking protocols, and system architectures to understand potential security flaws and to be adept at both Linux/UNIX and Windows environments.
  • Certifications relevant to penetration testing, such as OSCP (Offensive Security Certified Professional), CEH (Certified Ethical Hacker), or GPEN (GIAC Penetration Tester), which demonstrate a standardized level of expertise and commitment to the field.
  • Strong problem-solving abilities and creativity in approach to simulating cyber attacks and thinking like an adversary, for the purpose of uncovering security issues that automated tools may miss.
  • Effective communication skills for articulating findings and presenting technical information in a clear and concise manner to IT teams, executives, and non-technical stakeholders.
  • An understanding of regulatory and compliance guidelines that affect security assessments and reporting, such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA, or GDPR, to ensure that penetration testing activities and documentation align with legal and contractual obligations.

How to address hiring managers in your penetration tester cover letter greeting

Goodbye, "Dear Sir/Madam" or "To whom it may concern!"

The salutation of your penetration tester cover letter is how you kick off your professional communication with the hiring managers.

And you want it to start off a bit more personalized and tailored, to catch the recruiters' attention.

Take the time to find out who's recruiting for the role (via LinkedIn or the company page).

If you have previously chatted or emailed the hiring managers, address them on a first or last name basis.

The alternative is a "Dear HR team" or "Dear Hiring Manger", but remember that a "Dear Ms. Simmons" or "Dear Simon," could get you farther ahead than an impersonal greeting.

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List of salutations you can use

  • Dear Hiring Manager,
  • Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team,
  • Dear [Department Name] Director,
  • Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name],
  • Dear [First Name] [Last Name],
  • Dear Dr. [Last Name],

First introductions in your penetration tester cover letter

Within your penetration tester cover letter introduction, genuinely state what you like about the organization.

Research the latest company projects, honorary awards, company updates, etc.

Write up to two sentences to let recruiters know what impresses you about the company,

This would help you to set a good tone for the rest of the communication.

Intro Paragraph
Delving into the intricacies of secure network architectures and the challenge of identifying vulnerabilities has been the cornerstone of my career, guiding me to a path where Ingenuity Tech's commitment to robust cybersecurity resonates deeply with my professional quests. I am particularly drawn to your innovative approaches and the proactive stance on protecting digital assets, which aligns with my track record of fortifying systems against ever-evolving threats.

The middle or body of your penetration tester cover letter body: a great instrument to tell a story

Now that you've set the right tone with the greeting and introduction of your penetration tester cover letter, it's time to get down to business.

Hear us out, the body of your penetration tester cover letter is the best storytelling instrument you have, in your job-hunting arsenal.

Writing the next three to six paragraphs, take the time to reassess the advert to discover job-crucial requirements.

Next, choose one accomplishment that covers those key skills and talents.

Use precisely that achievement to tell an exciting story of how you match the ideal candidate profile.

In the undertones of your story or penetration tester cover letter body, hint at the difference you'd make and sell your application as the perfect one for the job.

Body Paragraph
At TechSolutions Inc., I spearheaded a project that identified and mitigated a critical vulnerability in our flagship product's authentication mechanism, which serviced over 1 million users. This initiative not only reduced potential system compromise risks by 75% in subsequent penetration testing rounds but also streamlined user access protocols, enhancing customer trust and satisfaction.

Ending your penetration tester cover letter: a closing paragraph with a promise

If you're thinking of finishing your penetration tester cover letter with a "Sincerely yours" or "Thanks for the consideration," you need to read on.

End the final paragraph of your penetration tester cover letter with a twist:

  • a promise - of how you'd grow as a professional, part of the company, or improve organizational metrics;
  • a call to action - prompt interviewers with some follow-up actions if they are interested in your profile.

A personalized ending would surely help you to stand out by being a memorable candidate.

Closing Paragraph
Eager to further discuss how my skills align with your security goals, I welcome the opportunity for an interview at your earliest convenience.

Keep this in mind when writing your zero experience penetration tester cover letter

Even though you may not have any professional experience, your penetration tester cover letter should focus on your value.

As a candidate for the particular role, what sort of skills do you bring about? Perhaps you're an apt leader and communicator, or have the ability to analyze situations from different perspectives.

Select one key achievement from your life, outside work, and narrate a story that sells your abilities in the best light.

If you really can't think of any relevant success, you could also paint the picture of how you see your professional future developing in the next five years, as part of the company.

Key takeaways

Writing your penetration tester cover letter has never been easier, so remember to:

  • Select a penetration tester cover letter template that automatically meets industry formatting (e.g. has one-inch margins, is single-spaced, is in PDF, etc.);
  • Make your penetration tester cover letter personal by mentioning the recruiters' first or last name;
  • Within the introduction, describe what you like best about the company in no more than two sentences;
  • Use your penetration tester cover letter body to tell a story of your greatest achievement, backed up by job-relevant skills and technologies;
  • If you have no professional experience, be honest about it in your penetration tester cover letter, but also write about your unique talents.
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Volen Vulkov
Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.
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