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Home > Resume & Cover LettersHow to Write a Cover Letter for a Software Engineer's Position

How to Write a Cover Letter for a Software Engineer’s Position

  • 4 things to consider before you write your cover letter
  • Cover letter writing tips for software engineers
  • Subject line when emailing a cover letter
  • Common mistakes software engineers make when writing a cover letter
  • Sample cover letter for a software engineer


As is true of any job role, your search for the right job requires using the right techniques. Writing a cover letter is one of the least attended but most effective ways to expedite your job search. If you happen to be in the software field and are looking for software engineering jobs, stumbling for the right words in your cover letter, help is here. 


4 things to consider before you write your cover letter

  1. Don’t write the address as ‘To whom it may concern’. Make the effort of finding out the name of the recruiting official and if you can’t find out their name, send it out as ‘Dear HR/Dear Hiring Manager’.
  2. There are different reasons for writing a cover letter to someone such as job application, business networking, direct mailing, etc. So, make sure you state you are writing the cover letter in response to the software engineer’s job posting.
  3. Keep a track of how long your cover letter is. Ideally, it should be wrapped up in a page.
  4. Make sure you use a commonly accepted format for your cover letter such as PDF or Word before sending it out. 

Get a detailed analysis of a cover letter format here: Cover Letter Format: The What, Why and How of Writing One that Gets You the Interview

Cover letter writing tips for software engineers 

  • If you are applying to multiple roles and companies, make sure you customise your cover letter for each application.
  • Pick up and include as many keywords as you can from the advertised job description. This helps your application get noticed better by the recruiter’s tracking system.
  • Make sure all your communication with the recruiter, starting with the cover letter to every follow-up email/document has a consistent style. This helps make you more distinct and easier to recognise for the recruiter.
  • Proofread your cover letter and every other piece of communication you exchange with the recruiter/employer before you send them out. Good written communication skills go a long way in impressing your prospective employers.
  • End your cover letter with a call-to-action, such as ‘I look forward to hearing from you soon’ which lets them know that you are waiting for a response.


Subject line when emailing a cover letter

The subject line is the first thing your recruiter would notice even before they get to your cover letter. You don’t want to be tossed into the spam or trash folder in case your subject line comes across as a virus or unwanted email. So, make sure it is framed right.

  • Do not use casual phrases in the subject line of your job application email such as ‘Hey’ or ‘What’s up?’. 
  • Make sure you have the job title and the purpose of the email mentioned in the subject itself. Example: Application for the Post of ‘Job Title’.
  • Now, you might want to stand out in the inbox but that doesn’t mean you use all upper-case letters for the subject line. That would just seem like you are shouting through text. Do not use all lower-case letters either, as that is informal. The best cases to use are title case or sentence case.


Common mistakes software engineers make when writing a cover letter

  • Loud formatting: In the hope of wanting to stand out from the hoard of other applicants, you might get tempted to use bold decorative elements and colours when writing your cover letter. This would actually come across as unprofessional. Use formal font styles in a reader-friendly font size, and without too many bold, italicised or underlined or coloured words. This would help make your cover letter look clutter-free.
  • Repeating your resume: A lot of candidates may not really know what the purpose of a cover letter is. So, it is very easy to end up with the same information in the cover letter as the resume. But that just defeats the whole point of writing a cover letter. Remember, the cover letter is where you talk to them about your interest in the job role and your resume is where you state your competencies for the job.
  • Skipping proofreading: Reiterating the point covered earlier in this article, do not send out your cover letter without checking it for any possible errors. Get it checked by someone else if you are unsure of your grammatical skills. An email full of errors is a big turn-off.

Sample cover letter for a software engineer

Below is a sample cover letter for a software engineer’s job. You may use this after modifying it with your own details.


Dear HR [or name of concerned person],

I am writing in response to your job posting on [mention the source where you found the job listed] for the position of software engineer with your company.

Across [x] years of my work experience, I have worked with several firms as software engineer. During these stints, I have been involved in multiple projects, both individual and team. This has helped me grow and improve my technical as well as interpersonal skills. I have worked on a wide range of software platforms such as [mention software programs you have worked with], often while collaborating with product and marketing departments for improved user experience.

I find that the job description you have mentioned matches well with my current professional stage. I believe I would prove to be a valuable asset to your company’s software building objectives, and that in turn this opportunity could add greatly to my career objectives as well. For a detailed account of my professional background and accomplishments, please refer to the attached resume.

I look forward to a detailed discussion over a face-to-face interaction.

Thanking you,
[Your full name]
[Your contact number] 

The above cover letter sample for a software engineer is ideal for somebody who is looking to change for a bigger and better opportunity.

Highlighting your skills on the cover letter lets you catch the reader’s interest and lead them to your resume. Mentioning the company’s mission and objectives makes you a candidate who also understands the company values. This gives you an edge over other candidates. Showing how you and the company benefit from each other is a smart and effective way to catch the employer’s attention and improve your chances of an interview.

So, go ahead and build your ideal cover letter.  

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