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Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples and Tips You Can Use

Follow these examples and tips to create a great software engineer cover letter that will get you the right job.

Donna Wright Profile
By Donna Wright 3 minute read

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Software engineer cover letter example

Software engineer cover letter example

Software engineer cover letter sample

Use the cover letter samples below as a foundation for your software engineer cover letter. You can easily select the cover letter template of your choice and edit it with our user-friendly Cover Letter Builder.

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Why use software engineer cover letter examples?

As technology advances, software engineers continue to be in high demand. Software engineers are responsible for designing and developing effective computer software solutions, be it in web applications or content management systems, to solve clients’ problems.

In an incredibly competitive industry, a great cover letter that accompanies a job application can make all the difference. A cover letter is your opportunity to address key points in your resume, provide context and make a strong case that you are the best person for the job. On this page, we’ll provide:

  • Insights on how you should approach your software engineer cover letter
  • Professional software engineer cover letter examples you can use as a foundation for your cover letter
  • Step-by-step advice for writing your software engineer cover letter

Skills and qualifications to focus on in a software engineer cover letter

As a software engineer, you might possess many important hard skills and technical skills, however, the key to writing a good cover letter is highlighting skills and experiences relevant to the new job you want. Take a look at this example of a software engineer job description and its bullet points:

Essential duties and responsibilities: 

  • Design, code and test features, functionalities, enhancements and defects
  • Execute test plans and protocols for assigned portions of code
  • Document and communicate complex technical topics inside and outside development team
  • Collaborate with internal and outsourced development partners on software application designs and development
  • Optimize software design to leverage platform capabilities

Requirements:

  • Three or more years of experience in software systems design tools
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills
  • C# / .NET Framework
  • Windows, Linux Operating Systems
  • SQL, SQL Server / DB Developer
  • HTTPS / REST-based APIs, web development / HTML5, IIS
  • Scripting languages (PowerShell, Python, Perl, etc.)
  • DevOPs and automation experience
  • Understanding of basic testing, coding and debugging procedures
  • Strong communication skills

You might know scripting languages outside the ones mentioned in the job posting or possess soft skills that extend beyond good collaboration skills and interpersonal skills, but you should use your cover letter’s space to focus on the requirements mentioned in the job ad. Remember, a cover letter is a tool to convince potential employers you’re the right candidate, so use the job description as a guide.

Be sure also to feature past experiences and skills relevant to that of a software engineer, not a software developer. While the jobs are similar, they do have differences that are worth noting.

  • Software engineers tend to be collaborators. They work with different team members, including software developers and people outside the team to design, develop and test entire computer systems and applications.
  • Software development stems from software engineering. These professionals work on designing specific computer systems and applications, and they may interact with other developers or programmers. For more on how to create a software developer cover letter, check our software developer cover letter example page.
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Cover letter sample: software engineer

Check out this software engineer cover letter sample to use when writing your own cover letter:

Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name],

With 6 years of experience as a full-stack developer and a total of 15 years in various roles as a senior software engineer, I am confident that I will be a great fit for the role of [job title] at [company name]. My experiences have instilled the technical and soft skills required to lead large and small teams in the undertaking of complex projects as well as completing individual tasks to a high standard. 

At [current employer], I have been instrumental in the completion and long-term management of four high-traffic websites, two of which are e-commerce websites. These websites have a combined user base of over eight million. In managing these sites, I have developed innovative features and systems using Laravel framework, HTML5, JavaScript and Python. My innovations have improved the response time of the largest website by 10% and increased customer satisfaction by 35%. 

I would relish the chance to learn more about [potential employer name] and the unique needs of this position to show how I can be of value to your team and improve functionality and revenue generation. Thank you for considering my application for this role. I hope to hear from you soon. 

Yours sincerely, 

[Job Seeker’s Full Name]

How to write a software engineer cover letter

There are three focal points to keep in mind to write your perfect cover letter: the introduction, highlighting your top achievements and the final call to action. If you include these features and target them to fit what the employer is looking for, you will catch a hiring manager’s attention and increase your chances of a successful job search.

  1. Header and contact information

Your header should look similar to the design of your resume template. These two documents will be submitted simultaneously, so make sure they look the same or complement each other in both the design and content. Include your full name and contact information.

  1. Opening paragraph

There are two things you should keep in mind when writing the opening paragraph:

  1. You want to grab the hiring manager’s attention right away with a specific skill or career highlight that will set you apart from the other candidates.
  2. You should avoid using generic salutations like “Dear Hiring Manager” or “To Whom It May Concern,” as they’re outdated and impersonal. Instead, search for the hiring manager’s last name and address the letter to them (e.g. “Dear Mr. Smith,” “Dear Dr. Smith,” or “Dear Ms. Smith.”)

For example:

Dear Mr. Jones,

It was with great interest that I came across your company’s job posting for a front-end software engineer. After reading the job description and learning more about the company, I jumped at the opportunity to apply and hope that my four years of experience with different programming languages, rapid prototyping and developing web pages will be of interest to you. 

  1. Body paragraphs

Once you’ve hooked the recruiter or hiring manager, it’s time to dive into your expertise and sell your skills. Give background information on your career and training, bring up specific achievements (using metrics when possible), explain what excites you about the company and position, and show how your particular skills and knowledge can make a positive impact on the job.

Take some time to research the company before you write your resume and cover letter. Read through the website and social media profiles to learn more about their mission, clientele, goals and culture. You can bring these subjects up in your cover letter, and make connections with your own background. For example:

As a software engineer, I have experience working with teams in-house and outsourced to create responsive UI that performs well across browsers. I have been responsible for developing customer-facing portions of 2M dollar projects, leading teams with over 20 marketers, programmers, engineers and designers. I understand that collaborative work is crucial to meet your goal of improving people’s lives and I am certain that I can use my project management skills, problem-solving skills and solutions-driven approach to contribute to your company’s growth directly.

  1. Closing paragraph

To sign off your software engineer cover letter, reiterate your interest in the job and provide a call to action for the prospective employer to reach out for an interview. For example:

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to hearing from you and discussing how I can use my skills and experience to fulfill the front-end software engineer role.

Sincerely, 

Alba Johnson

For more cover letter writing tips, read our detailed How to Write a Cover Letter article.

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Write a software engineer resume to accompany your cover letter

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The big takeaways

Before you write your software engineer cover letter, let’s quickly go over the major points:

  1. Avoid writing a generic cover letter and tailor it to the job.
  2. Don’t repeat the same information that’s on your resume.
  3. Your cover letter template should complement your resume’s design.
  4. Research the company to learn more about its goals and culture.
  5. Address the cover letter to the hiring manager.
  6. Hook the hiring manager with a strong opening paragraph.
  7. Sell your top skills and experience in the body paragraphs.
  8. Explain what interests you about the company and the job.
  9. Close your cover letter with a call to action for the hiring manager to contact you.
  10. Use our templates to create a professional cover letter easily.

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FAQ: Software engineer cover letters

Have questions? We’re here to help.

Yes, even if the job description doesn’t ask you to submit a cover letter. Cover letters are a great way to fully market yourself to the hiring manager and recruiter by talking about things that are not in your software engineer resume. You can further expand your skills, work experience and reiterate your interest in the position.

Software engineering is a highly competitive job market, so writing a strong and professional cover letter might give you an edge over other candidates.

There is no real difference between the format of a software engineer cover letter and any other. Any cover letter template will be fine, so long as it’s similar to your resume template and appropriate for the company’s culture; the difference will be in the information you give.

Cover letters are formatted similarly to business letters, so they will look more or less the same regardless of the job or industry.

Our software engineer cover letter sample works great to see how a professional cover letter should look like. If you’re a software engineer, you can use the contents as inspiration for writing your cover letter but remember that each software engineer position will have different requirements and associated keywords, so it’s important to customize it accordingly. You can use the strategies on this page to find those keywords.

A software engineer cover letter should include: 

  1. An appropriate header with your phone number and professional email address
  2. An opening paragraph that clearly states the position you’re applying for
  3. Body paragraphs that mention key skills from the job description and touch on your professional experience
  4. A closing paragraph that thanks the hiring manager for their time and invites them to reach out to you for a job interview

When you have no experience, writing a cover letter goes from a “should” to a “must.” Focus your entry-level cover letter on why you want to become a software engineer; talk about personal projects, internships or coursework achievements while you obtained your college degree or certifications. You should also highlight why you want to work for that prospective employer and point out skills and knowledge that show why you’ll be a good addition to the team.

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Donna Wright Profile
WRITTEN BY Donna Wright

Donna is a career expert with extensive experience in the fields of Marketing, Publishing, Direct Mail and Communications. She’s witnessed firsthand the importance of a powerful resume and cover letter to a job search, so she takes great pride in helping change the lives of job seekers by sharing expert career advice and tips to help land the perfect job.

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