In order to find a great job as a software engineer, you will need to submit a complete, and professional-looking application packet. One very important part of this is your cover letter. Your cover letter is the perfect place to highlight the skills and other personal qualities that make you a strong fit for the job.
One of the best ways to do this is to think from the perspective of the person in charge of hiring. You can do that by considering the tips below. Then, read further for a software engineer cover letter sample.
Consider Cultural Fit
Whether or not you will be a good fit at a new job doesn’t only depend on your coding skills. It’s also important that you fit into the company culture. This determines whether or not you are likely to get along well with your co-workers, support and understand the company mission, and that you will be happy in your position if you are hired. For hiring managers, this is important because poor cultural fit leads to employee turnover.
To show that you would blend in, speak about the company in your cover letter. What is it about this particular employer that interests you. Mention something you know about the business, and tie that into your own personality or work style.
Career Consultant, CPCC, CPRW
Show Your Soft Skills
While you should definitely highlight your most relevant hard skills in your cover letter, keep in mind that you cover a lot of this ground in your resume as well. What you might want to do is show your soft skills. After all, there’s still a prevalent myth that tech workers are often lacking in communication skills, social graces, and the ability to handle conflicting opinions. Use your cover letter to show that you have these skills, and will be a real team player.
Address Your Letter Personally
Spend a few minutes doing a bit of online research to find the name of the hiring manager. It is always preferable to begin your letter with a name if you can find that information. If you can’t find it, then it is okay to use a more generic salutation.
Unless you are absolutely certain, it is better to use gender-neutral terms in your letter. This means firefighter not fireman, a police officer not policeman, and nurse not ‘male nurse’. Pronouns in a business letter in which you don’t know the identity of the reader should also be ‘they/them’. This is especially the case when your letter may be read by multiple people.
Focus on Readability
Imagine being a hiring manager who has read dozens of cover letters and resumes. Would you want to read one that used a small font with serifs, large block paragraphs, and poor contrast? Of course not!
Don’t be the person who submits an attractive yet difficult to read a cover letter. Instead, be a considerate applicant and make sure you have done all of the following:
- Selected a highly readable sans serif font.
- Used plenty of white space in your cover letter.
- Chosen a font size that is large enough for comfortable reading.
- Use bullet points to make things stand out.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
Remember That Your Reader May Not be a Tech Guru
The person who reads your cover letter may not have any real understanding of software design and web development for example. They still have quite a bit of a say-so over whether or not you will continue on to an interview. Remember to speak to a general audience in your cover letter.
Use keywords to show that your skills match the job listing, but avoid using too much jargon and vernacular. It’s a real turn off, and it can appear as if you are trying to talk over the heads of your target audience.
Cover Letter Sample For a Software Engineer – .docx Format
Download example (Word version)
Software Engineer Cover Letter Example – Text Format
Dear Michael Hughes,
My name is Frank Ninja, and I am applying for the position of Junior Software Engineer at General Developers Inc. I am aware of your casual, supportive, and creative work environment, and believe that I will be a great fit. In addition to that, I have all of the skills listed in your job posting online. This includes:
- Ruby on Rails
I am a recent graduate of Regional Tech with a degree in Software Engineering with a minor in Data Security. I have recently completed an internship at IBM in Rochester, NY. I was part of a team that developed internal software solutions for IBM corporate users. Now, I am working as a freelance developer for several small businesses in the area. However, I am more than ready to take on full-time employment with an exciting and growing organization like yours.
Let’s meet for an interview! I am available during the day, and on Thursdays and Fridays in the evenings.
Don’t forget to close your letter with confidence. Write cheerfully and positively. Show that you are confident that you will land the interview, and there’s a good chance that you will do just that.