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How to Become a Software Engineer

Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples

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A software engineering cover letter should outline the relevant software development skills, career background and educational experience that make you a good candidate for a Software Engineer job.

Treat your cover letter as an opportunity to answer the questions left by your resume. Given the competition for software development and Web Developer jobs, a good cover letter can be the best opportunity to set yourself apart from other job candidates and prove you have the skills and training necessary to thrive.

Software Engineer Cover Letters - a Step-by-Step Guide

To write a good Software Engineer cover letter, you will want to:

  • Write a strong introduction that captures the reader's interest
  • Highlight relevant skills and explain how they could benefit an employer
  • Describe notable projects and achievements
  • Explain persuasively why you want this particular software engineering job
  • Edit the cover letter until your writing is polished and error-free

Here are a few more general tips for writing a good cover letter:

Personalize Your Letter

Recruiters and employers can quickly spot a generic cover letter that has been tossed around. Use what you know about a company's culture or history to further make your case for why you'd be a uniquely good fit there. If you know the name of the Hiring Manager, include it in your letter for that added personal effect.

Highlight the Skills That Are In-Demand

Take the time to carefully read the job qualifications and responsibilities in the job posting, and tailor your cover letter to show that you meet or exceed all the prerequisites. Show that you have all the technical skills necessary to do the job. For jobs that have strict educational requirements, make it clear that you meet them. And it's wise to highlight any continual learning you've pursued – that's an attractive quality to any employer.

Showcase Your Work

You can't assume that someone reading your cover letter has read the rest of your application package. It's normal for a Software Developer cover letter to include links to a development portfolio or previously completed projects that now live online. If you have data or charts to show the success of past projects, don't be shy about including that in your cover letter as well.

Be Brief

Try to imagine the Software Engineer cover letter pile that a Hiring Manager is working through and consider how to get your message across effectively in as few words as possible. If you write a cover letter that is concise and easy to read, the odds of it actually being read will go way up.

Prepare for Any Audience

You don't necessarily know that the person hiring for a Software Engineer position is in software development or even in technology at all. It's important to write your cover letter in a way that anyone could understand what makes you so special as a Software Engineer.

Edit, Edit, Edit

You can't be too thorough when it comes to editing your cover letter. Read it over again and again. Show it to a trusted friend or colleague. Even though you're not applying for a writing job, spelling and grammar mistakes show a lack of attention to detail.

Getting Started - What Is the Purpose of a Software Engineer Cover Letter?

A cover letter can show an employer that you are the best candidate for a software engineering job through a customized explanation of your skills, training, and professional experience. To succeed as a Software Engineer requires an elusive set of technical and soft skills, the right educational background, and a significant amount of training. The cover letter is your opportunity to explain what makes you a great Software Engineer and how you would benefit their business.

Some of the questions you may want to address in your Software Engineer cover letter include:

  • What relevant skills and training do you have?
  • Why do you feel you would thrive in this role?
  • How has your past experience prepared you for this job?
  • What professional accomplishments are you most proud of?
  • What makes you a good Software Engineer?

How to Create an Outline for a Software Engineer Cover Letter

After you have carefully reviewed the job description, consider all your skills, experience, and knowledge that are relevant to the position. When you’re ready to start drafting your cover letter, you can follow this general outline:

  1. Heading
  2. Date
  3. Hiring Manager’s name and title
  4. Greeting (Dear ...)
  5. Introductory paragraph with an overview of who you are
  6. Body paragraphs with more detail on your qualifications and experience
  7. Closing paragraph summarizing why you're the right fit for the job
  8. Polite sign off

Heading

This should include your name, email address, and phone number, along with links to your development portfolio website and any professional social media accounts. Don't forget to include the company's name and address along with the name of the hiring manager, if you have it. You should also greet the hiring manager by name if you have that information.

Introduction

Write your introduction as if it's the only part of the cover letter that a potential employer might read. Don't wait until the body of the cover letter to tout your professional achievements, programming prowess or training milestones. Express right away why you want the job and why you would be an ideal hire.

Software Engineering Skills, Experience, and Accomplishments

In the ensuing paragraphs you can go into more detail on your years of experience and all the relevant skills you bring to any Software Engineer job. Highlight your education and training, the programming languages you understand, and any notable projects you've worked on. Include numbers and data that back up your success, like a huge traffic boost or notable user feedback.

Close the Deal

Wrapping up your letter by reiterating how you can be an asset to the company while emphasizing your passion for the potential job role is recommended. If a busy employer has made it this far in the cover letter, there's likely some interest, so bring it home with a persuasive and well-written ending circling back to the points you made previously in the letter.

Software Engineer Cover Letter Sample

As you're writing a Software Engineer cover letter, use other cover letter examples as templates.

Let's take a closer look at software engineering cover letter examples:

Sample Software Engineer Cover Letter Example #1

Dear hiring manager,

As a passionate Software Engineer and long-time admirer of 123 Technical, I was excited to see an opening for a Junior Software Engineer role. Considering my significant programming experience and the recent internship I completed in software development, I am confident I have the skills to be an asset to 123 Technical.

During my internship with ABC Business, I gained hands-on experience coding under the direction of a team, collaborating on software projects, and testing systems and applications. One of my responsibilities was developing creative solutions across a variety of software platforms. Some of my accomplishments include helping to create mobile ready expense tracking software for clients as well as the creation of a new document management system.

I was also instrumental in building and implementing an automated bug tracking system that would spot issues in the development process, ultimately resulting in a 22 percent reduction in issues reported in the later stages of development.

I have attached a copy of my resume detailing my education and experience. I look forward to learning more about the Software Engineer position at 123 Technical. I can be reached anytime by phone at 555-555-5555 or email at me@mywebdeveloperwebsite.com. Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely, [Name]

Sample Software Engineer Cover Letter Example #2

Dear hiring manager,

Please accept my application for the Software Engineer position at Technology Resources. Over the course of five years in software engineering, I have attained significant experience coding with a variety of programming languages, working directly with corporate leadership and clients, and steering projects while leading software development teams. I believe I would be an excellent addition to the Technology Resources team.

Working in my current job at 123 Technologies, I have three years of experience with systems architecture and full stack web development. Working with a Senior Software Engineer, I have been responsible for developing two new web sites serving three million users monthly. I also oversee the building of systems architecture via Kohana frameworks, HTML5 and JavaScript. I have also recently gained experience in DevOps, providing solutions in programming and database technology, programming, operating systems.

I also have experience in Agile project management, data science, and creating and maintaining custom web and mobile applications.

Thank you for taking the time to review my application. I look forward to sharing more about my skills and experiences and how they could help me hit the ground running with Technology Resources. Feel free to contact me at 555-555-5555 or me@mywebdeveloperwebsite.com.

Sincerely, [Name]

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