The Ultimate Software Engineer Cover Letter Sample (with Writing Guide!)

Sep 11, 2019 | Samples & Examples

A graphic with an alternative title of the article "The Ultimate Software Engineer Cover Letter Guide," being written on a notepad next to Let's Eat, Grandma's yellow pencil logo.

Applying for a software engineer position and having trouble with the cover letter? Check out this software engineer cover letter sample from a real client we worked with, along with some tips to write one that’s just as awesome.

By: Daniel Lorenzo | Content Marketing Manager at Let’s Eat, Grandma

As a software engineer, we know you have an awful lot of talent. To make it to this level, you’ve had to learn programming languages and excel at projects that a writer like me can’t even wrap my head around!

If you’re in need of a new job, however, the cover letter can seem like an impossible obstacle. Writing about yourself is hard for everyone – especially when a job is on the line!

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That’s why we’re here with this helpful software engineer cover letter sample. Here at Let’s Eat, Grandma, we’ve written over a thousand successful cover letters for job seekers across every industry and experience level. Our professional business writing consultants know a thing or two about cover letters, and we’re happy to share our winning formula with you.

Christian (name changed) came to us with around 20 years of experience, but still wasn’t getting interviews with his application materials. While his cover letter was short, simple, and solid, it didn’t quite sell him as a candidate. We collaborated with him on a rewrite and gave him a new cover letter that made his qualifications shine through.

Check out the following “Before” and “After” images of our software engineer cover letter sample, then read on for helpful tips to make yours just as awesome:

Software Engineer Cover Letter Sample 

Before

An example of a cover letter prior to a rewrite from Let's Eat, Grandma, which can be viewed in the following software engineer cover letter sample image.

After

A software engineer cover letter sample, professionally written by Let's Eat, Grandma.

Let’s walk through a few elements of this great cover letter so you can learn how to include them in your own…

#1: Bolded Headings

You may have been thrown off when you saw those three bolded headings. Aren’t documents like this supposed to be formal?

They are, but while you should never forgo industry-standard formatting conventions, separate, bolded headings can be an effective and readable alternative way to structure your cover letter.

Each of these three headers focuses on one of Christian’s specific strengths. This approach not only makes the cover letter easy to read but laser-targeted to the skills required in the job description. It shows, item-by-item, why Christian is the best candidate for this job

#2: Focused on Soft Skills

You’ll also notice that these three headers only mention “soft skills,” rather than “hard skills” like specific programming languages, concepts, or software.

Why did we do this? Because his hard skills are already explained on his resume!

Your cover letter gives you more room than your resume to elaborate on your skills in full sentences. That makes it the perfect place to emphasize your highly transferable soft skills like problem-solving and communication, which employers value highly when considering candidates.

Plus, it’s been stated that Christian has had 20 years of software engineering experience. It’s pretty clear that he has the technical skills required to get to this point in his career.

So, rather than elaborating on his programming chops, we wrote about his professional philosophy and focus on individual clients’ needs. We also made sure to back them up with specific examples.

#3: Condensed Header (DISSENTING OPINION ALERT)

Now, take a second and prepare to read this section carefully. We’re about to give you some advice that might conflict with what you’ve heard. Ready to not jump to conclusions? Okay, so…

…you’re probably familiar with seeing cover letters that start with a large header. That header includes contact information for both you and the addressee.

They look something like this:

A screen shot of a hypothetical cover letter filled with extensive contact information, one of the factors to discern when deciding how long a cover letter should be.

Here’s the thing. Headers like this are still a convention, as they look official, polished, and professional. They lend a degree of credibility to your cover letter.

They also, however, take up a ton of space and are largely irrelevant. Think about it – unless you’re one of the 2 people still applying for jobs through paper mail, why do you need to include the address of the company? You’re applying either online or through email, so this information is useless.

It’s ultimately a matter of situational preference. If you want to lend a degree of extra credibility (especially if you’re applying for a large, formal corporation) and believe you still have enough space to write an effective letter, then use this full formal header!

However, we believe you get the job done and save a ton of space by just including:

-The Date and “Re: *Position Title* with *Company Name*”

-The actual name of the Hiring Manager

Our heading showed that Christian was professional and serious, while still ensuring we had space to brag on him.

(Don’t agree with us about cover letter headers? Let us know in the comments!) 

You’ve engineered plenty of programs. Now get out there and engineer a cover letter that’s ready to land you your dream job!

For even more cover letter help, sign up for a FREE phone consultation to see how our business writing experts can get your materials in shape.

(And, be sure to check out the Career Warrior Podcast for more answers to any and all of your job-search questions!)

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