How to Write a Programmer Cover Letter (With Example)

Learn how to write a programmer cover letter that effectively showcases your skills and experiences. This guide walks you through each step and includes a practical example, ensuring you leave a lasting impression on potential employers.

Getting a job as a programmer can be tough. Many people want these jobs, so it's important to make yourself stand out. One way to do this is by writing a good cover letter. A cover letter is a short letter that goes with your resume when you apply for a job. It tells the company why you want the job and why you would be good at it.

For programmers, a cover letter is extra important. It shows that you can write clearly, which is a big part of being a programmer. It also lets you talk about your coding skills and projects in a way that your resume might not.

Writing a good cover letter takes some work, but it's worth it. It can help you get noticed by companies and maybe even get an interview. In this article, we'll talk about how to write a great cover letter for a programming job. We'll go over what to include, what not to include, and give you an example to help you get started.

Remember, your cover letter is your chance to tell your story. It's not just about listing your skills – it's about showing how those skills can help the company. By the end of this article, you'll know how to write a cover letter that shows off your programming skills and makes companies want to hire you.

Programmer Cover Letter Example

Emma Thomas
(810) 611-3753
Darryl Armstrong
Hiring Manager

Dear Mr. Armstrong,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Programmer position at Google. As a passionate and innovative software developer, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Google's groundbreaking projects and cutting-edge technologies.

With a robust background in programming and a keen eye for detail, I have successfully developed and implemented various software solutions throughout my career. My experience spans multiple programming languages, including but not limited to Java, Python, and JavaScript, allowing me to adapt quickly to new technologies and frameworks.

What sets me apart is my ability to not only write clean, efficient code but also to approach problem-solving with creativity and strategic thinking. I have a track record of optimizing applications for performance and scalability, skills that I believe would be invaluable in Google's fast-paced and dynamic environment.

I am particularly drawn to Google's commitment to innovation and its mission to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The prospect of working on projects that have a global impact and push the boundaries of technology is incredibly motivating to me.

Furthermore, I am a strong advocate for collaborative work environments and have extensive experience in agile development methodologies. I thrive in team settings where ideas are freely exchanged, and I am always eager to learn from colleagues while also sharing my own insights.

I am excited about the possibility of bringing my technical expertise, problem-solving skills, and passion for innovation to Google. I am confident that my contributions would align well with Google's culture of excellence and help drive the company's continued success in the tech industry.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my skills and enthusiasm can contribute to Google's ongoing innovations and success.


Emma Thomas

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your programmer cover letter sets the tone for your application and provides essential contact information. A well-structured header ensures that hiring managers can easily reach you and creates a professional first impression.

Contact Information

Begin your header with your full name, followed by your current address, phone number, and email address. Ensure your email address is professional and appropriate for job applications.


Include the current date beneath your contact information. This helps maintain a professional appearance and provides context for when the letter was written.

Recipient's Information

After the date, add the recipient's details. Include the name of the hiring manager or recruiter, their job title, the company name, and the company's address. If you don't have a specific name, use a general title like "Hiring Manager" or "Software Development Team."

Subject Line

Conclude your header with a clear subject line that specifies the position you're applying for. This helps the recipient quickly identify the purpose of your letter, especially if they're reviewing multiple applications.

By crafting a comprehensive and well-organized header, you demonstrate attention to detail and professionalism, setting a positive tone for the rest of your cover letter. Remember to keep the formatting consistent with your resume to create a cohesive application package.

Emma Thomas
(810) 611-3753
Darryl Armstrong
Hiring Manager

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header for your programmer cover letter, the next crucial element is the greeting. This seemingly small detail sets the tone for your entire letter and can make a significant first impression on the hiring manager.

Choose the Right Salutation

Whenever possible, address the letter to a specific person. Research the company's website or LinkedIn profile to find the name of the hiring manager or department head. Use "Dear Mr./Ms. [Last Name]" if you know the recipient's gender. If you're unsure, use their full name: "Dear [First Name] [Last Name]."

When the Recipient is Unknown

If you can't find a specific name, opt for a professional, gender-neutral greeting such as:

  • "Dear Hiring Manager"
  • "Dear [Company Name] Recruiting Team"
  • "Dear Software Development Team"

Avoid Outdated or Overly Casual Greetings

Steer clear of outdated salutations like "To Whom It May Concern" or "Dear Sir/Madam." These can make your letter feel impersonal and outdated. Similarly, avoid overly casual greetings like "Hey" or "Hi there," which may come across as unprofessional.

Tailor the Greeting to the Company Culture

Consider the company's culture when choosing your greeting. For more formal organizations, stick with traditional salutations. For startups or companies with a more relaxed culture, you might use a slightly less formal greeting, such as "Hello [First Name]" if you've had previous contact with the person.

Remember, the goal of your greeting is to start your cover letter on the right foot, showing respect and professionalism while setting a positive tone for the rest of your letter.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your programmer cover letter sets the tone for the entire document. It's your chance to grab the hiring manager's attention and make a strong first impression. This section should be concise, engaging, and tailored to the specific job and company you're applying to.

Hook the reader

Start with a compelling opening line that highlights your enthusiasm for the role or showcases your most relevant qualification. This could be a brief statement about your programming expertise or a notable achievement in your field.

State your purpose

Clearly state the position you're applying for and how you learned about the opportunity. If you were referred by someone within the company, mention their name here.

Briefly summarize your qualifications

In one or two sentences, provide a high-level overview of why you're an excellent fit for the role. Focus on your most relevant skills, experiences, or achievements that align with the job requirements.

Express interest in the company

Demonstrate your knowledge of the company by mentioning something specific about their products, projects, or values that resonate with you. This shows that you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the organization.

Remember to keep your introduction concise and engaging, aiming for about 3-4 sentences in total. This section should pique the reader's interest and encourage them to continue reading your cover letter.

Strong Example

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a passionate software developer with over five years of experience in creating robust, scalable applications, I was thrilled to discover the Senior Programmer position at TechInnovate Solutions. Your company's commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI-driven software aligns perfectly with my professional goals and expertise. Having successfully led the development of an award-winning machine learning algorithm that increased user engagement by 40% at my current company, I am eager to bring my innovative approach and technical skills to your dynamic team.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it immediately establishes the candidate's relevant experience and passion for the field. The specific mention of 'five years of experience' quickly informs the employer of the candidate's level of expertise. Second, it demonstrates knowledge of the company by referencing their focus on AI-driven software, showing that the applicant has done their research. Third, it includes a concrete, impressive achievement (developing an award-winning algorithm that increased user engagement by 40%), which immediately showcases the candidate's capabilities and potential value to the company. Finally, the introduction expresses enthusiasm for the position and company, which can help to engage the reader and make a positive first impression. The language is professional yet personable, striking a good balance for a tech industry application.

Weak Example

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to apply for the programmer position at your company. I saw your job posting online and thought I would be a good fit. I have some experience in coding and am a fast learner. I am hoping to get my foot in the door and start my career in programming.

Why is this a weak example?

This introduction is weak for several reasons. First, it uses a generic salutation instead of addressing a specific person, which shows a lack of research and personalization. The opening sentence is vague and doesn't grab attention. The applicant doesn't mention the company name or specific job title, indicating a lack of tailoring to the position. The language used is passive and unconfident ('thought I would be a good fit', 'hoping to get my foot in the door'), which doesn't convey enthusiasm or capability. Additionally, the introduction lacks specific skills, achievements, or qualifications that would make the applicant stand out. It fails to demonstrate knowledge about the company or explain why the applicant is interested in this particular role. Overall, this introduction doesn't effectively sell the applicant's abilities or create a compelling case for why they should be considered for the position.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your programmer cover letter is where you can truly showcase your qualifications and passion for the role. This section should be concise yet impactful, highlighting your most relevant skills and experiences.

Highlight Your Technical Skills

Begin by emphasizing your programming languages, frameworks, and tools that align with the job requirements. Be specific and mention any notable projects or achievements that demonstrate your proficiency.

Showcase Your Problem-Solving Abilities

Programmers are valued for their ability to tackle complex challenges. Provide a brief example of how you've solved a difficult coding problem or improved an existing system.

Demonstrate Your Teamwork and Communication Skills

While technical skills are crucial, employers also seek programmers who can collaborate effectively. Mention your experience working in team environments and your ability to communicate complex technical concepts to non-technical stakeholders.

Express Your Passion for Continuous Learning

The tech industry evolves rapidly, so emphasize your commitment to staying current with emerging technologies and best practices. Mention any recent courses, certifications, or self-directed learning projects you've undertaken.

Connect Your Experience to the Company's Needs

Research the company and tailor your letter to show how your skills and experiences align with their specific projects or goals. This demonstrates your genuine interest in the role and your potential value to the organization.

Keep It Concise and Relevant

Aim for 2-3 paragraphs in the body, focusing on your most impressive and relevant qualifications. Use clear, professional language and avoid technical jargon unless it's specifically relevant to the position.

Strong Example

As a passionate software developer with over five years of experience in creating robust, scalable applications, I am excited about the opportunity to join your innovative team at TechCorp. In my current role at DataSystems Inc., I have successfully led the development of a cloud-based inventory management system that increased efficiency by 40% and reduced errors by 60%. This project showcased my proficiency in Python, Java, and AWS, as well as my ability to collaborate effectively with cross-functional teams.

I am particularly drawn to TechCorp's commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI and machine learning. Your recent work on natural language processing aligns perfectly with my keen interest in this field, and I believe my experience in implementing neural networks and deep learning algorithms would be a valuable asset to your team. Additionally, I am excited about the prospect of contributing to your open-source initiatives, as I have been an active contributor to several projects on GitHub.

Your emphasis on continuous learning and professional development resonates strongly with me. I am always seeking to expand my skill set and stay current with emerging technologies. Recently, I completed a certification in Kubernetes and container orchestration, which I believe would be beneficial for scaling your microservices architecture.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter body for several reasons. First, it immediately highlights the candidate's relevant experience and quantifiable achievements, demonstrating their ability to deliver results. The mention of specific technologies (Python, Java, AWS) shows technical proficiency. The letter then connects the candidate's skills and interests directly to the company's focus areas (AI, machine learning, open-source), showing that they've done research on the company and are genuinely interested in its work. The candidate also demonstrates initiative and a commitment to ongoing learning by mentioning recent certifications. Overall, the letter effectively balances showcasing the candidate's qualifications with expressing enthusiasm for the specific role and company, making a compelling case for why they would be a valuable addition to the team.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the Programmer position at your company. I have some experience in coding and I think I would be a good fit. I know Java and have used it in some school projects. I am a hard worker and eager to learn new things. Please consider me for this role.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example for several reasons. First, it lacks specificity and detail about the applicant's skills and experiences. The mention of 'some experience in coding' is vague and doesn't showcase any particular strengths. Second, it fails to demonstrate knowledge about the company or the specific role, which shows a lack of research and genuine interest. Third, the language is generic and doesn't convey enthusiasm or passion for programming. Finally, it doesn't provide any concrete examples of projects or achievements that would set the applicant apart. A strong cover letter should highlight specific relevant skills, show knowledge of the company, and provide clear examples of how the applicant's experience aligns with the job requirements.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

After crafting a compelling body for your programmer cover letter, it's crucial to end on a strong note. The closing section is your final opportunity to leave a lasting impression and prompt the hiring manager to take action. A well-written closing reinforces your enthusiasm for the position and sets the stage for future communication.

Express Gratitude

Begin your closing paragraph by thanking the reader for their time and consideration. This simple gesture demonstrates professionalism and courtesy.

Restate Your Interest

Briefly reiterate your interest in the position and the company. This reinforces your enthusiasm and reminds the reader why you're an excellent fit for the role.

Call to Action

Include a polite call to action, indicating your desire to discuss the opportunity further. This could be a request for an interview or a statement of your intention to follow up.

Provide Contact Information

Even though your contact details are likely in the header, it's helpful to include your phone number or email address again for easy reference.

Professional Sign-off

End your letter with a professional closing, such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name. If submitting a hard copy, leave space for your handwritten signature above your typed name.

By following these guidelines, you'll create a strong closing that complements the rest of your cover letter and increases your chances of securing an interview for the programming position you desire.

Strong Example

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]'s innovative projects and would welcome the chance to discuss how my skills and passion for programming can benefit your team. I look forward to speaking with you soon and demonstrating my commitment to excellence in software development.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter closing for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude for the reader's consideration, which is polite and professional. It then reiterates enthusiasm for the specific company, showing that the applicant has tailored the letter. The closing also highlights the applicant's skills and passion, reinforcing their qualifications. By mentioning 'innovative projects,' it demonstrates knowledge of the company's work. The closing expresses a clear desire for further communication, inviting the next step in the hiring process. Finally, it ends with a confident statement about the applicant's commitment to excellence, leaving a strong last impression. This closing is concise yet impactful, hitting key points that would appeal to a hiring manager in the programming field.

Weak Example

Thanks for reading my letter. Hope to hear from you soon. Bye!

Why is this a weak example?

This closing is weak for several reasons. First, it's overly casual and unprofessional for a formal job application. The use of 'Bye!' is particularly inappropriate. Second, it lacks enthusiasm and fails to reiterate interest in the position or company. Third, it doesn't include a call to action or next steps. Finally, it misses the opportunity to thank the reader for their time and consideration. A strong closing should be professional, express genuine interest in the role, thank the reader, and indicate a desire for further communication or an interview.

Cover Letter FAQs for Programmer


What is the ideal format and length for a programmer cover letter?


A programmer cover letter should typically be one page long, consisting of 3-4 paragraphs. Use a professional font like Arial or Calibri, 11-12 point size, with 1-inch margins. Start with your contact information, followed by the date and employer's details. Include an opening paragraph, 1-2 body paragraphs highlighting your skills and experiences, and a closing paragraph with a call to action.


What key elements should I include in my programmer cover letter?


Your programmer cover letter should include: 1) A strong opening statement that grabs attention, 2) Specific programming languages and technologies you're proficient in, 3) Relevant projects or achievements that demonstrate your coding skills, 4) How your skills align with the job requirements, 5) Your understanding of the company and why you want to work there, and 6) A clear call to action inviting the employer to review your resume or portfolio.


How do I tailor my cover letter for different programming positions?


To tailor your cover letter, carefully read the job description and highlight the specific skills and experiences that match the requirements. Mention relevant programming languages, frameworks, or tools the company uses. Research the company's projects or products and explain how your skills can contribute. Adjust your tone and focus based on the company culture and the specific role you're applying for, whether it's a front-end, back-end, or full-stack position.


Should I include code samples or links to my projects in my cover letter?


While it's not necessary to include actual code samples in your cover letter, it's beneficial to mention 1-2 significant projects and provide links to your GitHub profile, personal website, or online portfolio. This allows the employer to easily access examples of your work. Briefly describe how these projects demonstrate your coding skills and problem-solving abilities relevant to the position you're applying for.


How do I address lack of experience in my programmer cover letter?


If you lack professional experience, focus on your educational background, relevant coursework, personal projects, internships, or open-source contributions. Highlight transferable skills such as problem-solving, teamwork, and quick learning ability. Emphasize your passion for programming and willingness to learn new technologies. Mention any hackathons, coding bootcamps, or relevant certifications you've completed to show your commitment to the field.


What common mistakes should I avoid in my programmer cover letter?


Avoid these common mistakes: 1) Using a generic, non-tailored letter for all applications, 2) Focusing too much on what you want rather than what you can offer the company, 3) Repeating information directly from your resume without adding context, 4) Overusing technical jargon without explaining your impact, 5) Neglecting to proofread for spelling and grammatical errors, and 6) Forgetting to update the company name and position for each application.