How To Write a Software Engineer Cover Letter (With Examples)

Updated 26 January 2023

A software engineer cover letter is a useful tool that can demonstrate to recruiters how well you suit the advertised position. A good cover letter outlines your industry skills, work experience and educational background. Taking the time to get your cover letter right can bolster your application and let you outshine the competition, which improves your chances of securing the job. In this article, we provide a step-by-step guide to help you create a successful cover letter.

Related: How Important Is a Cover Letter?

How to write a software engineer cover letter

A software engineer cover letter outlines your career history, skills and education in a way that shows your suitability for the role. It must be captivating for the reader to keep them interested in your application and include any past achievements or projects relevant to the industry. To get you in the right mindset to create your own cover letter, we have created a list of tips that you can follow:

1. Make your cover letter personal

Recruiters sift through tens or even hundreds of applications a day, so be sure to personalise your cover letter to make it stand out from the other applicants. Include the company's values, projects and accomplishments if you can. You can then use these points to link to your own experience and explain why you want to work for this company.

Related: 6 Essential Software Engineer Skills

2. Match your skills with the job description

Use the information in the job advertisement to personalise your cover letter. Look at the qualifications, experience and key skills needed for a software engineer and tailor your cover letter to match these requirements. Outline your competency in key areas they're looking for and discuss any additional learning you're working towards that is relevant to the industry. For example, if the job posting asks for specific experience in a programming language, mention your proficiency in using that language.

3. Showcase your successes

A cover letter is a good place to include any achievements related to the industry in one way or another. For software engineers, that might be a portfolio of any projects that you have completed or successful teams that you have worked alongside. Include any hard data, statistics or charts that highlight your success to let recruiters know you are highly competent.

Related: Interview Question: How Do You Define Success?

4. Keep it brief

Try to make the process of recruiting easy for your chosen company by making a cover letter as concise and to the point as possible. A concise cover letter is more likely to be read in full. This improves your chances of securing an interview and making a strong impression, as recruiters can more readily remember the contents of your letter.

5. Double-check for grammar and spelling errors

Before sending your cover letter to recruiters, make sure you check for any grammar or spelling issues. If you can, ask a friend or colleague to read over it and check for errors. Correcting your cover letter of grammatical and spelling issues can help you appear professional during an interview.

Related: 5 Reasons Why Writing Skills Are Essential For Every Job

What is the purpose of a software engineer cover letter?

Cover letters show recruiters your suitability for the role. For software engineers, this needs to include your various skills, experience in the industry and education. A good candidate could have the experience, technical expertise and soft skills to succeed in this role. Your cover letter must show recruiters how you would fit into the business and help them achieve their goals. To give you an idea of what to include in your cover letter, think about answering these questions when you're writing:

  • What is your background in software engineering?

  • What skills or qualifications do you have?

  • What is your work history like in software engineering?

  • Have you worked on any major projects?

  • Why are you a good fit for the role of a software engineer?

Related: How To Write a Cover Letter

How to outline a cover letter

Once you have taken the time to review the job description, think about how your skills, industry experience and education you have relate to the role. Include this in your cover letter concisely, so consider outlining your cover letter before writing it. To help you get started, you can use the following steps:

1. Title

The title needs to include your personal information, such as your name and contact details, and any links to your portfolio and social media accounts. Make sure you mention the company name and address. If you know the recruiter by name, include it, but do not address them by only their first name, unless otherwise told.

Related: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be?

2. Introduction

The introduction is probably the most important part of your cover letter, as it is the first part that interviewers read. Try to cover the main aspects of the cover letter early on to give the recruiter the best chance to read your cover letter. Outline what interests you about the position and why you are a good candidate during the introduction. The introduction also sets the tone for your letter, so keep it concise and friendly.

Related: How To Write an Attention-Grabbing Personal Statement

3. Your experience and achievements

Once you have introduced yourself, expand on your experience in the industry and any relevant skills that would make you a better software engineer. Talk about your education, your time spent in the industry and any programming languages you have learned. If you have them available, include statistics and figures to show your successes tangibly. By showing evidence of how you have improved another company's performance, recruiters may be able to better picture you in the role.

4. Offer a concise conclusion

Keep your conclusion concise. Reiterate your suitability for the role of a software engineer and talk about your passion for the company. If a recruiter is reading your conclusion, they are interested in you. Use the last few sentences to persuade the reader to select you as a candidate.

Related: 8 Software Engineer Interview Questions and Example Answers

Cover letter examples

Templates can help you write an exceptional cover letter. Example cover letters allow you to consider the best way to format your letter. Below, we have included two cover letter examples for software engineers:

Example 1:

Dear Jasmine Greene,

I'm an experienced software engineer with a long-standing admiration for Bemo Techology, which is why I was so happy to see that you were recruiting for the role of Junior Software Engineer.

I believe I am an excellent fit for your company, thanks to my five years of industry experience and knowledge of the niche programming languages that you use. I would be the perfect fit for this role and could bring lots of value to the company.

I have spent a year working with Company A, learning about adaptive coding on the job as part of a larger team. We worked across departments on projects that designed, implemented and rolled out applications. The projects were a great success, and we improved efficiency by 22% over three months. My biggest achievement was implementing a mobile-friendly app that let staff communicate with one another remotely.

For your information, I have attached my CV, which outlines my core competencies and experience.

I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any further questions, please let me know.

Kind regards,

John Smith

Example 2:

Dear Craig Birken,

I have attached my CV to this email, alongside my application for the Software Engineer position at Techmore and Co.

I feel that I'm an excellent fit for this role and my experience and strong track record of success can help to highlight my software engineer abilities. I'm competent in several programming languages, have experience liaising with clients and senior staff members and guiding projects to fulfil goals as a team leader in software development.

My current position at Sonnersike Technology has helped me grow my experience in full-stack web development and quality assurance. My work here has helped develop two new websites that manage over one million unique visitors per month. I've also been working on HTML5 and Javascript, further enhancing my skills and suitability for this role.

Thank you for taking the time to read my cover letter. If you wish to know more about me or require any further documentation, please get in touch.

Kind regards,

Chrissy Seymore


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