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Software Engineer Cover Letter: Sample, Writing Guide & 15+ Examples

Michael Tomaszewski
Resume Expert at Zety
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You came to the right place to write your software engineering cover letter. Justs picture this first:

 

You’ve just found a software engineering job offer of your dreams.

 

Great pay, amazing benefits, exciting projects, and, oh God—look at the specs of their computers!

 

That’s what you’ve been waiting for your whole professional life. You know you’d be a great fit. You’ve got the skills and experience they’re looking for. You know they’d have to be crazy not to hire you.

 

“To apply for this opportunity, please submit your resume and a cover letter to jobs@co . . . “

 

Wait a minute! A cover letter?!

 

Right, so I’ll need to send the generic copy-paste software engineer cover letter I’ve written back in the day, and I’m good to go. Nobody’s gonna read that thing anyway.

 

That’s what most of your competition is thinking right now. And that’s why you’ll beat them.

 

How’s that?

 

Because you’re about to learn how to write a software engineer cover letter that gets every employer hooked and lands you that dream gig.

 

Think it’s hard?

 

Just give me 5 minutes, and you’ll see it’s not. In this guide, I’ll show you:

 

  • A software engineer cover letter sample better than 9 out of 10 other cover letters.
  • Proven, effective templates and formulas for writing the best software engineer cover letter in the pile.
  • How to write a software engineer cover letter step-by-step (even if you have no experience.)
  • How to describe your experience in a cover letter for software engineering positions and get any job you want.

 

Here’s a sample software engineer cover letter written in response to a Software Development Team Lead position.

 

Sample Software Engineer Cover Letter

 

Tabitha Hirvanen
Software Engineer
89 Coleman Avenue
San Diego, CA 92103
619-633-0789
tabitha.hirvanen@gmail.com
linkedin.com/in/tabitha-hirvanen

Mr. Francis Mallman
Head of Technology
XYZ Corp
4222 Driftwood Road
San Diego, CA 90544

San Diego, 2/7/2018

Dear Francis,

Two months ago, I shattered a record I had previously considered unbreakable. My solutions for developing and optimizing ABC’s flagship apps and online software helped increase annual mean NPS to a staggering 61.8 (37% increase.) Soon after that, I came across the opening for Software Development Team Lead at XYZ Corp. As a lifelong fan of your cutting-edge software solutions, I immediately knew that this post was the perfect match for my skills and expertise.

I know your chief focus for the upcoming 18 months will be on developing new mobile apps for personal finance management. In my current position as IT Team Lead with ABC Inc., my primary challenge has been to supervise the development and design of our mobile and desktop applications for flawless user experience. Here are some of my most recent results:

 

  • 3 out of 4 apps I developed in 2017 have been rated above 4.7 stars in both AppStore and Google Play.
  • Upgraded premium versions of our products increased quarterly revenue by 86% in 2017 Q4.
  • New Help Desk solutions cut Customer Effort Scores by 31%.

 

With more than 10 years of experience in software engineering, I am positive I can help XYZ Corp achieve similar results.

End User Satisfaction has always been the single most important KPI for measuring my teams’ performance. I know that this value is also the cornerstone of XYZ’s mission and vision—that’s why I was so excited when I first saw your opening.

When can we schedule a meeting and discuss how my success at ABC can translate into IT Happiness growth for you?

Kind Regards,

Tabitha Hirvanen

P.S.—I would also value the opportunity to tell you how I optimized ABC’s beta-testing workflow to double the Timely Project Delivery scores.

 

I’ll tell you one thing

 

Tabitha is going places. And so can you.

 

Let’s break down what makes the above cover letter for a software engineer so great and how you can make an equally great one yourself.

  

Want to write your engineering cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your software engineer resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

software engineer cover letter and resume templates

Software Engineer Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

1

The Perfect Software Engineer Cover Letter Template

 

So you’ve seen a jaw-dropping software engineer or software developer cover letter.

 

But

 

What is it exactly that made the hiring manager’s jaw drop?

 

Tabitha’s achievements? The writing quality?

 

Yeah, these are important. But not as important as an effective, reliable cover letter writing formula Tabitha’s applied.

 

And guess what?

 

You can make this template for a cover letter work for you as well!

 

Here’s how:

 

The Best Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—Checklist

 

1. Heading

 

  • Your names, professional title, and contact info.
  • The addressee's details.
  • City and date are optional and a tad old-school, but more conservative readers will appreciate them.

 

2. Salutation

 

  • “Dear Hiring Manager” is okay(ish.)
  • “Dear [Hiring Manager’s name] is perfect.
  • “Dear Sir or Madam” is stiff, boring, and really old-fashioned.

 

3. Main Body: The Three-Paragraph Software Engineer Cover Letter Format

 

  • Begin with “the hook.” Tell your employers a quick story that shows how impressive your skills are.
  • Make an offer. Emphasize how your expertise will help solve their problems. Use bullet points to outline your achievements.
  • Explain your motivation. Once they understand they want you, they’ll want to know why you want them.

 

4. Call To Action

 

  • Reiterate your offer and ask them to reach out to you.
  • Gently remind them that you’re not going to be available forever.
  • Don’t write the hackneyed phrase “Thank you for your time and attention.”

 

5. Formal Closing

 

  • Use a “sincerely” synonym.
  • Don’t get too informal.
  • Sign-off with your full name

 

6. The Postscript

 

  • It works like an eye magnet.
  • Everyone will read it.
  • In it, include something you can’t afford for your prospective employer to miss.

 

(For more information about different cover letter formats, check out this handy guide: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide)

 

And here’s the one piece of advice that you should apply to all sections of your software engineering cover letter:

 

Be specific and precise. Quantify whenever possible. Numbers pop!

 

So that’s what you should include in your software engineer or software developer cover letter.

 

Don’t know how long your cover letter should be for a software engineer position?

 

No longer than necessary to show off your best and most relevant wins.

 

Looking for an exact figure? This will depend on your experience.

 

Cover letter for a software engineer with 2 years of experience or less shouldn’t exceed 200 words. Experienced software developer cover letter? Not much longer. Aim for 300 words, tops.

 

That’s not a lot for, but it is the proper template for your software developer cover letter. It will deliver. Afraid that you’re missing something? Double-check with: What to Include in a Cover Letter (15+ Examples & A Complete Guide)

 

Writing an entry-level software engineer cover letter with no experience is rough. If you need a software engineer cover letter for an internship, you simply cannot afford to mess it up. Here’s a guide for all you future interns out there: How to Write a Cover Letter For an Internship [+20 Examples]

 

One more thing: it’s crucial that you send your cover letter directly to the hiring manager. If you’re not quite sure how to do it, here’s a guide that’ll clear it up: How to Address a Cover Letter: Sample & Guide [20+ Examples]

 

2

How to Grab Recruiters’ Attention with Your Software Engineer Cover Letter Opening

 

These few sentences at the beginning of your cover letter are critical.

 

Get the intro right, and the hiring manager will be excited to read on. Mess it up, and no one will even cast a glance at the rest of your letter.

 

How to make the most of your software developer cover letter introduction?

 

Follow these steps:

 

Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—Introduction

 

  1. Begin with Dear + the hiring manager’s name. If you’re applying to a company with relaxed office culture, first name will do; if your prospective employer is more traditional—go for first and last names.
  2. Mention your impressive achievement and tell a catchy story about it. Nothing too fancy—remember Tabitha? That’s how she did it: Two months ago, I shattered a record I had previously considered unbreakable.
  3. Make them realize how much they’ll benefit from hiring you.
  4. Personalize. Refer to an important company fact, show your enthusiasm and passion for the company’s values, mention current events, or use name-dropping if you’ve been referenced.

 

Want to have a look at how it works in practice?

 

Check out these very different examples of full-stack software engineer cover letter intros.

 

Sample Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter—Opening Paragraph

 

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To Whom It May Concern,

 

As a full stack software engineer with 8 years of experience in technical software development, I’d like to express my interest in applying for the position of Senior Software Developer with your company.

 

Perhaps not awful. But—

 

That’s as if Bill Gates started his cover letter with “I’m a successful entrepreneur with 40+ years of software engineering experience.” Who’d care? Instead, he should write…

 

Well, okay. In his case, I’m Bill Gates, would do the trick.

 

Since you’re reading this, I’m assuming you’re not Bill Gates. Yet. So here’s an example of a software engineer cover letter intro that could help you move your career in the right direction.

 

Sample Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter—Opening Paragraph

 

right

Dear Alisson (hiring manager’s name),

 

A year ago, if you told me I’d cut Cloud Wallop’s security breaches by 73% (your measurable achievement wrapped up in a compelling narrative), I wouldn’t believe you. But through resilience and drive for results backed up by thorough research, you can accomplish even the most uphill tasks. I’m sure that with my experience and insights I would achieve similar results for Uber (how they’ll benefit from hiring you.) We’d finally put an end to the recurring negative press coverage that follows the 2016 data breach (company fact.)

 

That kind of cover letter opening is going to make the hiring manager call you in the middle of the night!

 

What makes it so great?

 

First of all, the initial storytelling part. It’s intriguing and, at the same time, super relevant to the job.

 

Secondly, this computer software developer cover letter intro is focused only on the employer’s benefits instead of the candidate’s gain. Remember—in your software engineer cover letter, show the employers that they need you. Not the other way around.

 

Finally, it refers to an important company fact. That shows that the candidate has done his research. It adds this precious personal touch.

 

Want to see more actionable examples of how to write a cover letter intro that pulls every reader in? In fact, there are many surefire ways to do it. Learn them here: How to Start a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

 

Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you'll get tips and right vs. wrong examples while writing your resume. See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.

 

best software engineer resume sample

Software Engineer Resume Example - See +20 resume templates and create your resume here.

 

 

3

Software Engineer Cover Letter—The Main Body

 

Alright, so you’ve crafted the perfect intro. You’ve got their attention.

 

Time for the serious sales pitch—the central paragraphs. The make-or-break moment of your application.

 

How to get it right?

 

In a word: personalization.

 

You need to tailor every cover letter for software engineering positions to the particular job you’re aiming at.

 

Remember how our candidate, Tabitha did it?

 

She applied for a senior software engineering position with a company that planned to launch new mobile apps.

 

How did she convince the hiring manager that she’d be the perfect fit?

 

She went for a three-step formula that you should use in your software engineer cover letter too!

 

Software Engineer Cover Letter Template—The Main Body

 

  1. Point out that you’re aware of your prospective employer’s needs and upcoming challenges.
  2. Show how your past experiences match the position’s requirements. It’s a good idea to use bullet points here to make your message more concise.
  3. Reiterate the value you’ll bring to the company.

 

Have a look:

 

Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter Example

 

I know your chief focus for the upcoming 18 months will be on developing new mobile apps for personal finance management (company’s needs.) In my current position as IT Team Lead with ABC Inc., my primary challenge has been to supervise the development and design of our mobile and desktop applications (your relevant experience) for flawless user experience. Here are some of my most recent results:

 

  • 3 out of 4 apps I developed in 2017 have been rated above 4.7 stars in both AppStore and Google Play.
  • Upgraded premium versions of our products increased quarterly revenue by 86% in 2017 Q4.
  • New Help Desk solutions cut Customer Effort Scores by 31% (your measurable results outlined in bullet-points.)

 

With more than 10 years of experience in software engineering, I am positive I can help XYZ Corp achieve similar results (the value you’ll bring to the company.)

 

Don’t have Tabitha’s wealth of experience? No matter.

 

Whether you’re writing a junior software engineering cover letter with 2 year experience, or even a software engineer cover letter as a fresher, the central paragraph formula remains the same.

 

If your best asset is your education, lead with it. Success with freelancing projects? There you go. Even an impressive Github portfolio can sell you to potential employers.

 

Need a sample software engineer cover letter for an entry level position?

 

Have a look:

 

Entry Level .Net Software Engineer Cover Letter Example

 

Since you’re searching for an enthusiastic software engineer with the ability to develop highly innovative .net applications (company’s needs), I’m happy to submit my application.

 

I’ve developed 10+ web and mobile apps, including an award-winning home security system using Raspberry Pi and a webcam (your relevant experience.)

 

I’m looking forward to leveraging my enthusiasm, phenomenal time management skills, and a strong user focus to achieve groundbreaking results with XYZ’s upcoming projects (the value you’d bring to the company.)

 

The key thing—

 

Identify the company’s needs and refer to them in your software engineer cover letter. Remember: personalization works wonders!

 

What’s next?

 

Briefly explain your motivation. This is where you’ll need to flatter them a bit. Tell your prospective employer what you find valuable in the way they run their business. Identify the company’s core values and say they’re important to you too.

 

Just like our candidate, Tabitha, did. Remember?

 

Sample Senior Software Engineer Cover Letter—Motivation Statement

 

End User Satisfaction has always been the single most important KPI for measuring my teams’ performance. I know that this value is also the cornerstone of XYZ’s mission and vision—that’s why I was so excited when I first saw your opening.

 

Long story short: ask yourself why you want to work there and say it in a concise sentence.

 

(But don’t write “I’d like to work with you cause I need the money and, rumor has it, your paychecks are sky-high,” even if it is the case.)

 

Hungry for more amazing cover letter tips and easy-to-use hacks? Check out this cool guide written by my friend Christian: 35+ Successful Cover Letter Tips, Advice & Guidelines (With Examples)

 

4

How to End Your Software Engineer Cover Letter to Make It Unforgettable

 

So far so good. The hiring manager’s reading your cover letter. She’s getting more and more eager to call you in for an interview.

 

Don’t squander this opportunity. End your letter in a way that makes it impossible to forget your application.

 

Here’s how:

 

Software Engineer Cover Letter TemplateClosing Lines

 

  1. Include a “call to action:” tell your employers you’d like to meet in person to discuss how you can help them achieve their goals. Ask them to reach out to you.
  2. Close with a “sincerely” synonym and sign the letter with your full name.
  3. Include a postscript: give a sneak-peek of your impressive achievement and say you’d be happy to talk about it in more detail.

 

Like in our main software engineer cover letter example:

 

Sample Technical Software Engineer Cover Letter—Ending

 

When can we schedule a meeting (call to action) and discuss how my success at ABC can translate into IT Happiness growth for you?

 

Kind Regards,

 

Tabitha Hirvanen (formal closing)

 

P.S.—I would also value the opportunity to tell you how I optimized ABC’s beta-testing workflow to double the Timely Project Delivery scores (impressive achievement you’re eager to discuss.)

 

The gist of it?

 

Avoid coming off as needy. In your software engineer or software developer cover letter ending, don’t nag the hiring manager to call you. Make it irresistible for them to do it.

 

Need more examples? There you go.

 

Jr Software Engineer Cover Letter Example—Ending

 

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I would greatly appreciate if you gave me a chance to show how well I could fit into your company structure. I am sure I would make a great employee! Just give me a shot.

 

All the best,

 

Mike

 

Cringe overload, right?

 

The bottom line is basically: Please, please, please, give me this job!

 

Sample Embedded Software Engineer Cover Letter—Ending

 

right

Can we set up a meeting next week and have a chat about how my solar energy getaway solutions could cut Tesla Energy Software’s expenses by a quarter?

 

Sincerely yours,

 

John Eilers

 

P.S.—My embedded software solutions enhanced efficiency, stability, and scalability of Hubbell Inc. system resources by 35%. If it sounds interesting to you, I would love to tell you more about it.

 

Wow, this guy’s a live wire! I can’t wait to hear his ideas!

 

This software engineer cover letter ending would make Elon Musk himself say that.

 

Why?

 

Because it provides value. Simple as that.

 

Still worried that your software engineering cover letter closing won’t be good enough? Relax. You’ve got a whole lot of mind-blowing advice waiting for you. All it takes to get it is a single click. Go here and see for yourself: How to End a Cover Letter: Sample & Complete Guide [20+ Examples]

 

Key Takeaway

 

Writing a software engineer or a software developer cover letter that gets you the job doesn’t have to be hard.

 

Just follow the key strategies we covered.

 

  • Address the hiring manager by his or her name. Get them hooked in your first paragraph.
  • Use bullet points to show off your best wins. Be specific and always choose numbers over descriptions.
  • Highlight what you’ve got to offer, not what you want out of the job.
  • Include a postscript after the formal sign-off.

 

And remember one last thing

 

Even the most amazing software engineering cover letter will get you nowhere if you don’t know how to sell yourself with your software engineer resume. Luckily, you can learn how to make one in a flash. See our dedicated guide: Software Engineer Resume: Guide and a Sample [20+ Examples]

 

Hungry for more cover letter writing advice? Still unsure how to describe your experience to come across as a software engineering rockstar? Give me a shout in the comments and I’ll get back to you!

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Author
Michael Tomaszewski
Michael is a writer and a resume expert at Zety. When he's not busy passing on career advice, he's probably somewhere out there swinging a tennis racket, reading Russian poetry, or enjoying his triple espresso.