7 tips on writing an effective software engineer cover letter

May 20, 2022
4
min read
7 tips on writing an effective software engineer cover letter
Madeline Miller
by
Madeline Miller

Calling all senior engineers! Tech leads! VPs! Looking for a new job in engineering? 

But hold on! Before applying to your next engineering job, have a quick look at your cover letter. Chances are, your cover letter might have typos, or it mentions a company and or position from your previous job search.

No matter the case, you still need to view your cover letter. 

This post will show you some tips on writing a great software engineering cover letter. But first, let’s discuss the problem:

The problem

“For people already in the software engineering industry, it’s imperative to have a winning cover letter for when they look for another job,” says Laura Jacoby, a career blogger at Lia Help and UKWritings. “A cover letter is what helps you get your foot through the door for your next interview. That means that the letter should do the following: Be more than just ‘okay,’ and advertise you as competent. Unfortunately, many software engineers ignore this step, either because they can’t take criticism, or they’re unaware of how outdated their cover letter might be.”

With that said, here are 7 effective tips on writing a great cover letter for software engineering:

1. Highlight in-demand skills

Software engineering is all about having in-demand skills. According to BCS, some of the skills needed for the software engineering are:

  • Coding
  • Testing
  • Communication, AND
  • Organization

If you mention these in your cover letter, then employers will see that you have in-demand skills for the job.

2. Follow this formula: salutation, body, and closing

While staying away from outdated templates is imperative, you’ll still need to have a salutation, a body, and closing for your cover letter. All cover letters, whether sent through the mail or via email, possess the same basic sections. 

  • A salutation normally includes the name of someone in your greeting. However, the usual name for your cover letter is “Hiring Manager” or “Hiring Professional,” unless you know the name of said hiring manager or professional.
  • The body should talk about why you’re writing to the company, and what qualifications you have. Here, you can showcase your work(s), and why you’re a great candidate for the job. 
  • The closing is like the opening: Be polite, and thank the employer for reading your letter.

3. Explain the “why”

As mentioned, the body of the letter should explain why you’re applying for the job. When explaining the why, be sure to follow these objectives:

  • Talk about what you look for in a company culture and values.
  • Talk about what you find interesting in software engineering.
  • Talk about what brought you to the company.
  • Describe your work (e.g. jobs, volunteer efforts, etc.)

This leads to the next tip… 

4. Don’t be afraid to showcase your work(s)

This is your time to shine! “When you showcase your work, employers can see how serious you are about their job, and how expert you are with your work. You may want to include links to your works. If you have a professional portfolio, include it in the letter,” says Barbara Logan, a writer at Big Assignments and Paper Fellows. Any previously completed projects? Add those. 

Here are some examples of what kinds of work to include in your cover letter:

  • The website you helped built
  • The coding that you’ve taken part in
  • Any relevant volunteer work that you’ve participated in

5. Stick to one page

While writing a great cover letter is nice, you’ll still need to stick to one page. In other words, a two- to three-page cover letter won’t cut it. As much as you want to tell your life story: don’t.

Again, stick to the formula: Salutation, Body, and Closing. Plus, showcase you. And then, thank the employer for their time. This should all be done on one page, and one page only

6. Proofread

It’s important for a software engineer to proofread their cover letter before sending it out. First, take the time to read the cover letter. Afterwards, read it again. You may want to read it aloud, so that you can listen to how it sounds. If something sounds off, then fix it. You can even ask a friend or a colleague to read your letter, so that they can spot any inconsistencies or errors.

In addition, proofreading tools and sites like these can help you make your cover letter free of typos and other errors:

7. Send it!

Finally, send the cover letter.

Yep! Sending the cover letter is the way to go! If you’re very serious about the software engineering job, you should send that letter! 

Plus, use a professional email address to send it. Don’t use an informal email provider like Yahoo, or one that you use with friends or family. Be professional!

Conclusion

As you can see, having an effective cover letter for your next software engineering pursuit can be beneficial. By following these 7 tips, your cover letter will help you get your next job!

Good luck, engineers! 

About the author:

Madeline Miller is a writer Boom Essays Reviews and Essayroo. She is a contributing writer for Write My Essay. As a content writer, she writes articles about cover letter writing, job trends, and business trends.

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