Software engineer cover letters are your biggest opportunity to start off your job application on the right foot!
Use this one-page document to highlight to hiring managers why you are the best candidate for the role.
In effect, you'll increase your chances of getting a call back for an interview and also setg yourself apart from other candidates.
That’s only one of the many purposes cover letters serve.
Are you still wondering where to start?
Read our example of a software engineer cover letter below.
Read a real software engineer cover letter example
What to write in a software engineer cover letter
Software engineer cover letters are a good way to showcase your enthusiasm and key competencies - with a focus on both technical and soft skills.
Accompanied by a well-written resume, you'd be on your way towards getting your dream job.
Resumes and cover letters go hand in hand, the main reason being that resumes show fact, while your cover letter tells a story of your professional life.
Are you still worried about starting off your software engineer cover letter?
In this guide, you'll find out about the key sections of your cover letter and more specifically how to:
- write your salutation and introduction,
- describe your technical and soft skills,
- talk about your enthusiasm for the role or company,
- finish off your cover letter with a call to action.
We'll be sharing those and many more tips and tricks on writing software engineer cover letters.
So, here we go!
Choose the right salutation
Writing a software engineer cover letter is about showing that you've taken the special care to get familiar with the company you're applying to.
The generic salutations – "To whom it may concern," or "Dear Sir/ Madam," – are a bad way to start off your relationship with hiring managers.
Substitute these phrases with something more personalized, but refrain from using only the recruiter's first name.
- Dear Mr/Ms/Mrs [Last Name],
- Dear [First and Last Name],
Even if you don't know the name of the recruiter, you can still make a good impression by using the likes of:
- Dear [name of team or department you’re applying for a position in],
- Dear [company name] Recruiter,
- To the [name of the team you are applying for a position in] Department,
- Dear [position title] Hiring Manager,
Still looking for an alternative way to start off your cover letter? Read our in-depth guide on how to address a cover letter.
Craft a strong introduction
The introduction is the most memorable part of your software engineer cover letter - hiring managers may (sometimes) read just these first few sentences.
So, you need to make them count.
The introduction should reveal the reason why you are applying for the job - within a couple of brief and structured sentences.
Start writing your introduction by going over the job advert's key requirements - with a focus on technical skills and education.
So, if you need to understand various coding languages - e.g. HTML, CSS, Ruby, Python, Blockchain - use your introduction to list all that apply as keywords.
You can also mention the number of years of experience you have as a software engineer.
Emphasizing your software engineer skills in your cover letter
Now that you have written a strong (and solid) introduction, you need to go more into details about your technical skills.
Once again, we recommend you look at the job advert and showcase the required technical skills, education, and training.
This would help you pass any possible applicant tracking systems (ATS).
You may also use the skills section of your cover letter to tell stories about projects that you are most proud of.
Be specific about your achievements - focus on accomplished results and metrics that showcase success (e.g. 60% increase in customer engagement due to website's new functions that you implemented, etc.).
And if you want to look into how you could be telling your professional story with your cover letter, we have a detailed guide to help you.
Top software engineer soft skills for cover letter
- A keen eye for details - when writing code, one bracket amiss can turn your whole website upside down. Your ability to pay attention to small (yet, vital) details in any written language is one of the skills your potential employees would be looking out for.
- Diplomacy - you would be required to communicate with different departments, clients, and stakeholders. Negotiating ideas, resolving conflicts with a sense of tact would all be key skills to manage those relationships.
- **Fast learner ** - constantly adapting to new technology is vital for any software engineer. Use this as an opportunity to showcase your ever-evolving skill set (with a focus on implementing new knowledge).
Show that you did your research before applying
Use this paragraph of your software engineer cover letter to further emphasize your enthusiasm – with research about the company.
You can talk about their:
- winning projects and accomplishments,
- company culture,
- or some of the problems you deem they could be facing (and how you'd resolve them).
This is your shot to highlight the additional value you'd bring to their product, team, and organization.
The final call to action
The ending of your cover letter should be used to express your gratitude for the opportunity and to pinpoint any relevant links to your portfolio.
The last few sentences should serve as an open invitation for recruiters to get in touch with you if they require further information or wish to organize an interview.
Read our detailed guide for more ideas on ending your cover letter.
- Your software engineer cover letter should highlight why you’re the best candidate for the role you’re applying for within a single page.
- Always be specific when writing the different sections of your cover letter - from who you are addressing to listing your skills.
- Use the listed job requirements as a reference to write about your technical and soft skills.
- The ending of your cover letter should contain a bit of research about the company you’re applying for and an active call to action - following up on the next steps.
Sometimes, hiring managers may not have specific knowledge about the technologies you use as a software engineer. Your safe bet would be to focus on skills keywords and make sure you answer why you are the best candidate for the role.