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 on 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.