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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:
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:
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.
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.
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.
[Job Seeker’s Full Name]
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.
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.
There are two things you should keep in mind when writing the opening paragraph:
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.
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.
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.
For more cover letter writing tips, read our detailed How to Write a Cover Letter article.
Is your software engineer resume up to par? Update it using our resources!
Before you write your software engineer cover letter, let’s quickly go over the major points:
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:
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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