When writing your software engineer cover letter, focus on how you can design powerful applications for the company that posted the job. Also, emphasize your related skills, such as project management, user needs analysis, or software upgrades and maintenance. This guide will help you write a cover letter that gets you interviews for your next job as a software engineer.

Software Engineer Cover Letter Templates and Examples

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How To Write a Software Engineer Cover Letter

Your cover letter should usually have five sections in this order:

1. Heading

At the top of the page, include:

  • Your name and contact information
  • The date
  • The recipient’s name, title, company, and contact information (when available)

(Note: Feel free to omit this section if you send your letter by email and your contact details are part of your signature.)

Example


Melanie Alfaro
Software Engineer | [email protected] | (567) 890-1234 | 678 My Road, Pittsburgh, PA 76543

February 19, 2024

Ronald Spencer
Senior Hiring Manager
Humana
(876) 543-2109
[email protected]

2. Salutation

If you can’t find the recipient’s name, use a variation of “Dear Hiring Manager.”

Examples


Dear Mr. Smith,

Dear HMD International Hiring Manager:

3. “Hook” or introduction

Catch the reader’s attention by citing an achievement from your resume or a key qualification the company is looking for.

Example


As a technical and project manager for the Advanced Science and Technology Institute, I have successfully managed and led teams in developing software products and information systems, analyzing user requirements and processes. My outstanding problem-solving skills and proven expertise in software development life cycles allow my teams to follow through on projects with greater efficiency.

4. Body paragraph(s)

Explain why the job or employer interests you. Then, cite a few more of your key achievements or qualifications, possibly using bullet points.

Example


I find Humana’s goal to provide tailored health care support that enhances its customers’ physical and emotional well-being inspiring. I believe my previous accomplishments and three years of experience in the sector make me the ideal addition to your team. My proudest achievements include:

  • Successfully resolving a highly complex systems error in just two days that had been causing prolonged issues for clients
  • Receiving a workplace commendation for my work on a patient collaboration project that led to the company’s most lucrative software application of 2019
  • Mentoring two recruits to improve their working knowledge of .NET frameworks

5. Closing

Finally, request an interview for the position.

Example


I’d like to set up an interview time so we can discuss how my past experience can help HMD International achieve its long-term goals. Please feel free to contact me with a time that suits your schedule.

Best regards,

Simon Taylor

Software Engineer Cover Letter Tips

1. Show you can develop powerful applications

Start your letter with an example of your success as a software engineer. Cite one of the key programs or applications you’ve created, and spell out how that helped users engage with a company’s products or services.

Example


Last year, I developed a groundbreaking application that matched users with the most appropriate health services for their symptoms, location, and needs. This application became one of the top five highest-reviewed iOS App Store downloads in 2023. I hope to help Humana provide similarly innovative solutions to help even more people access high-quality health care in 2024.

2. Explain why you’re drawn to the opportunity

On a separate document or sheet of paper, take 10 minutes to brainstorm why this software engineering job or employer interests you. For instance, maybe you have a strong background in designing similar computer systems or applications. Or maybe you’re applying to one of the many software development jobs in insurance, and that’s a sector you’d like to return to. Also, consider what the posting says about the team or work culture – maybe the role partners closely with quality assurance, something you’d like to do more of in your next job.

When you’re done brainstorming, review your notes: Do any stand out as important or persuasive? Take another 10 minutes to brainstorm and elaborate on them. Repeat this process until you have at least two or three concise sentences that speak to the job opening. By adding these to your cover letter, you can show hiring managers you read their job posting and are responding to it directly.

Example


I know HMD International is planning to expand its e-commerce sector in the European market, and I believe I have the expertise to help you achieve your goals. I am fluent in 13 programming languages.

3. Highlight your other strengths

Add a short list of bullet points to show your success in areas related to software engineering, such as project management, process streamlining, or technical troubleshooting. This is also a great place to name some of the programming languages you’re versed in and would use in your next job.

Example


My major accomplishments include:

  • On-time completion and smooth implementation of all software development projects handled as team lead/project manager
  • Development of unique client/server systems using programming languages, such as C#, PHP, Perl, Python, Java, MySQL, PostgreSQL, and other proprietary and open-source languages and tools
  • Leading by example to instill enthusiasm and project ownership among team members

Software Engineer Text-Only Cover Letter Templates and Examples

  • Entry-Level
  • Mid-Career
  • Senior-Level

Simon Taylor
Software Engineer | [email protected] | (123) 456-7890 | 123 Main Street, Portland, OR 12345

February 2, 2024

Micheal Smith
Senior Hiring Manager
HMD International
(987) 654-3210
[email protected]

Dear Mr. Smith,

I am the lead developer for six high-traffic e-commerce websites that currently have over 18 million active users. I have personally increased the company’s profits by over 17%, and I am looking to improve on these figures at HMD International. I was also responsible for structuring and developing several internal software systems to track production workflow.

I know that HMD International is planning to expand its e-commerce sector in the European market, and I believe that I have the expertise to help you achieve your goals. I am fluent in 13 programming languages.

Some of my past successes include:

  • Developed two apps with my team that were rated at 4.8 stars on both Google Play and the AppStore
  • Devised new help desk solutions that cut IT callouts by 27%
  • Created a new production workflow tracking system that increased productivity by 21%.

I’d like to set up an interview time so that we can discuss how my past experience can help HMD International achieve its long-term goals. Please feel free to contact me with a time that suits your schedule.

Best Regards,

Simon Taylor

P.S. I was on a Millenium Technology Prize-winning team!

Software Engineer Cover Letter Frequently Asked Questions

What traits should I emphasize in my cover letter? -

Desired qualities in software engineers include precision, focus, innovation, diligence, and collaboration. Consider which of these traits best describe you, then give an example or two of how you’ve shown them in a work setting.

What’s the most important part of a cover letter? -

Any explanation you give for why the specific job opening or employer interests you. These details distinguish the cover letter from your resume and other application materials and can help you get past applicant tracking systems. They also set the stage for a good interview discussion about how you fit the role and the office’s work culture.

How long should a cover letter be?-

No more than one page, or around 250 words. Resist the urge to tell your whole career story, even if you have an extensive background as a software engineer. Give just enough detail to pique hiring managers’ interest so they take a closer look at your resume.

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Jacob Meade

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Jacob Meade is a resume writer and editor with nearly a decade of experience. His writing method centers on understanding and then expressing each person’s unique work history and strengths toward their career goal. Jacob has enjoyed working with jobseekers of all ages and career levels, finding that a clear and focused resume can help people from any walk of life. He is an Academy Certified Resume Writer (ACRW) with the Resume Writing Academy, and a Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) with the Professional Association of Resume Writers & Career Coaches.

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