Software Engineer Cover Letter Example (w/ Templates & Tips for 2024)

27 December 2023
8 min read
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The days you learned how to write "Hello, World!" on a computer screen are long gone.

You've always been captivated by computers and learning how to speak their language, and now you're on the brink of turning your passion for programming into a full-fledged career as a software engineer.

It feels like you've debugged your way to this moment, but there's this one compile error you didn't anticipate: crafting the perfect cover letter.

Staring at a blank page that should be showing off your coding genius and technical know-how feels a lot like encountering an unexpected bug at 3 a.m.— and you just can't seem to find the right lines of "code" to introduce yourself.

But don't worry!

In this article, we're going to help you structure your technical expertise and professional journey, step by step.

Here’s what we’ll cover: 

  • Stellar Software Engineer Cover Letter Example
  • 5 Steps to Crafting a Memorable Software Engineer Cover Letter
  • 3 Must-Know Cover Letter Tips for Aspiring Software Engineers

...and so much more!

Let’s dive in!

Software Engineer Cover Letter Example

Software Engineer Cover Letter Example

5 Steps for the Perfect Software Engineer Cover Letter

Alright, you've just seen what a top-tier cover letter looks like in action. 

Now, follow these five tried-and-tested steps to write your own job-winning cover letter

#1. Put Contact Information in the Header

For starters, make sure you've got your contact details front and center. Slotting them into the header, just like you would on your software engineer resume, is the way to go.

Here’s your checklist:

  • Full Name: Pop your full name right up there at the top. 
  • Professional Title: Make sure the title on your cover letter is aligned with the software engineer role you're going for. Given that hiring managers might be swimming in a sea of applications for all sorts of roles, being precise about the position you’re passionate about really smooths things out.
  • Email Address: Opt for an email that’s clean and easy, ideally a mashup of your first and last names. And just a heads up: that funky email from your teen years? Might want to leave that in the past. While "" might be memorable, "" keeps things professional.
  • Phone Number: List a reliable number. And if you're eyeing a gig overseas, don't forget the dialing code.
  • Location: Your city and state or country usually hit the mark. But, if you're scouting for remote gigs or pondering a move abroad, be sure to mention that.
  • Relevant Links (Optional): Feel free to drop in links to your GitHub, portfolio, or LinkedIn profile if relevant.

Are your details in place? Awesome. Next, list the hiring manager's info.

Here's the rundown:

  • Company Name: Note the name of the firm or startup you're reaching out to.
  • Hiring Manager’s Name: If you can, jot down the name of the hiring manager or team lead. A quick glance at the job listing, the company's site, or even their LinkedIn might give you the intel.
  • Hiring Manager’s Title: If you stumble upon the right contact and notice they're, for instance, the "Lead Software Developer," then jot that down. It adds a personal touch compared to a generic "Hiring Manager."
  • Location: Typically, the city and state or country should do, especially if they're a household company. But if you want to get ultra-specific, you can include the street address too.
  • Email Address (Optional): If you happen to find the hiring manager’s email, slotting it in can be a neat addition.

#2. Address the Hiring Manager

Once you've typed in your key contact details, think about the best way possible to address your cover letter.

To start with, let's avoid the old-school “To Whom It May Concern." We can do better!

Your cover letter's greeting can set a positive tone for the hiring manager, but only if you hit the right note.

Begin with a bit of homework. Dive into the job posting, scour the company's website, or peek at their LinkedIn. Your mission? Uncover the name of the hiring manager for the software engineering role you've got your sights on.

Now, onto the greeting. A safe bet is to lead with "Ms." or "Mr.", followed by their last name. But if you're drawing blanks on their gender or marital status, simply roll with their full name. Like so:

Example Addressing Hiring Manager:
  • Dear Mr. Thompson,
  • Dear Alex Thompson,

If your detective skills don't pan out, don't sweat it! Direct your letter to the broader engineering team or the company:

Example Addressing Department:
  • Dear Software Engineering Team,
  • Dear Tech Recruitment Team,
  • Dear Head of Engineering,

#3. Write an Eye-Catching Opening Statement

Tech recruiters typically spend just about seven seconds glancing over a software engineer's application before determining its potential for a full review.

That's why nailing that initial impression is essential for an impactful software engineering cover letter.

Begin your letter by stating your name and talking about what draws you to the role. Illustrating your enthusiasm for the tech realm or the particular position can pique the recruiter's interest in you.

It pays dividends to dive into some research on the company. With a deeper understanding of the firm, you can accentuate how you align seamlessly with its ethos and objectives. This not only showcases your dedication but signals to the recruiter that your interest in this role isn't a fleeting whim.

If you've got a rich background in software engineering, consider highlighting a standout project or skill that positions you as the go-to candidate for the job.

Nevertheless, keep the opening statement brief. Your goal is to spark the recruiter's intrigue and get them to read the rest of your cover letter.

Check out these awesome cover letter examples to get inspired for your own opening statement. 

#4. Use the Cover Letter Body for the Details

The core of your software engineer cover letter is where you can expand on what truly sets you apart as a potential asset for the company.

Avoid the pitfall of simply reiterating your resume content. Instead, this is your golden chance to emphasize your coding expertise, project experiences, and technical qualifications. Aim to make the hiring manager believe that among a sea of applicants, you're uniquely suited for the position. Reference any significant achievements or projects that demonstrate your prowess in the domain, and always refer back to the specifics of the job posting.

Here, too, align your cover letter to the specific requirements of the job advert. If the role highlights proficiency in a particular programming language or framework, be sure to delve into your experience with it, rather than perhaps focusing on a general software development approach.

Your awareness of the company's software products, tech stack, or contributions to the tech industry can be a significant advantage. If you've used or are familiar with any of their software or tools, do mention it. This not only illustrates your interest but also how you resonate with their technological vision and company values.

Lastly, let your genuine interest in the role shine. Convey your eagerness and assure them of your potential contributions with your distinct technical talents and experiences.

And remember — avoid these common cover letter mistakes at all costs. 

#5. Wrap It Up and Sign It

Bringing your cover letter to a compelling end is just as vital as an attention-grabbing opening.

Ensure that your closing paragraph highlights the strong image you've projected so far. Use this space to affirmatively recap your suitability for the role, drawing attention to the coding languages, projects, or unique technical skills that differentiate you from the rest.

Then, add a call to action. By prompting the hiring manager to take a step forward, like diving deeper into your portfolio or discussing potential projects, you not only leave a lasting impression but also amplify your prospects of being shortlisted for an interview.

To conclude, it's essential to adopt a professional tone. Opt for a befitting sign-off, and then jot down your full name. For example:

Signing Your Cover Letter:

Should you wish to explore my application further or delve into specific projects I've undertaken, please reach out via the given email or phone number. I'm eager to discuss how I can contribute to your team's next groundbreaking software project.

Warm regards,

Alexa Turing

If "Warm regards" seems a tad cliché to you, you might want to consider these alternatives:

  • Yours sincerely,
  • With thanks,
  • Best regards,
  • Appreciating your time and review,
Software Engineer Cover Letter Structure

3 Essential Software Engineer Cover Letter Tips

Now that you've got a good grasp on cover letter basics, let's crank it up a notch with some cover letter tips:

#1. Match Your Resume

For your application to be perfect, your software engineer resume and cover letter should be uniform.

For a coherent and professional look, format your cover letter similarly to your resume. Otherwise, you may give off the impression of being disordered or unattentive to detail.

Your text, together with your contact details, needs to sit neatly on the page, and the font size and style should be the same in both documents. In addition, remember to adjust the page margins and line spacing equally and make sure that your cover letter neatly fits into a single page.

Last but not least, send out both documents in the same format - preferably, as PDF files. That’ll ensure they look the same regardless of the device or Operating System hiring managers use to open them. 

Or Use A Cover Letter Template Instead

Eager for a shortcut? 

Go with our free resume builder to create the perfect software engineer resume and then pick a matching cover letter template to save time and effort.

Our templates are crafted in collaboration with hiring managers globally, ensuring they hit industry standards right on the mark. You save time and get a matching cover letter for your resume that looks absolutely professional. Sweet deal, Isn’t it?

Software Engineer Cover Letter Examples

#2. Mention Skills and Keywords

As a software engineer, being technologically sound isn't enough; you also need to communicate your skills effectively. Here's where the role of mentioning skills and keywords in your cover letter comes into play.

Incorporating relevant skills and keywords from the job advertisement in your cover letter is a powerful strategy. It does more than show you are qualified; it also illustrates your attention to detail and that you have tailored your cover letter for the specific role.

These skills and keywords act like a map for hiring managers, guiding them to the information they're most interested in. As they skim through volumes of cover letters, yours stands out showcasing exactly what they're looking for; making their job easier, and thus improving your chances.

Including job-specific skills and keywords also shows your understanding of the industry and the role. By translating the job requirements into your own experiences and achievements, you're not only showing you're competent but also that you're a good fit for the company's culture and values.

However, do keep an eye on not overstuffing your cover letter with keywords. The idea is to weave them naturally into your skills and experiences narrative. Keep it authentic and reflective of your true professional story.

#3. Save It To The Right File Format

Now that you've written a stellar cover letter as a software engineer, it's time to hit the save button - but wait! Choosing the right file format can make a big difference in how your cover letter appears to the hiring manager.

When it comes to file formats, PDF (Portable Document Format) is your best friend. 

Why? Well, because it ensures that your formatting stays intact, no matter what device the hiring manager uses to open your cover letter. Whether they're viewing it on a computer, tablet, or smartphone, a PDF file ensures that everything looks just as you intended.

PDFs offer a consistent and professional-looking document that is easy to read and won't be distorted or altered. This is crucial because you want to make a positive visual impact that reflects your attention to detail and technical expertise.

However, there might be exceptions to this rule. Sometimes, the job ad explicitly asks for a different file format. In such cases, be sure to follow the instructions provided. C

Key Takeaways

And there you have it, the ideal software engineer cover letter! We hope our guide motivates you to craft one that propels you closer to your desired role in no time.

Before you start writing your letter, here are some main points to remember from our guide:

  • Begin your software engineer cover letter by listing your contact details and those of the hiring manager. Ensure all your information is correct so that the hiring manager can easily reach out to you.
  • Compose a captivating introductory paragraph in your cover letter to grab the hiring manager's attention, compelling them to continue reading.
  • In the main section of your cover letter, delve into your notable accomplishments and skills relevant to the software engineer role you're pursuing.
  • Add a call to action at the end, encouraging the hiring manager to get in touch or arrange an interview.
  • Finally, make sure your software engineer resume and cover letter have a consistent look and feel. If you're pressed for time, consider using one of our resume templates along with its matching cover letter template.