How to Write a Software Engineer Cover Letter (With Example)

Discover the steps to write a strong software engineer cover letter. This guide presents a clear method to improve your application. An example cover letter is also provided.

Writing a good cover letter is a big part of getting a software engineer job. It's the first thing a company sees about you, so it needs to be strong. A cover letter helps you show why you're a good fit for the job and why the company should pick you.

Many people think cover letters aren't important, but they really are. They give you a chance to talk about your skills and experience in a way your resume can't. You can explain why you want to work for that company and how you can help them.

In this article, we'll look at how to write a great cover letter for a software engineer job. We'll talk about what to include, how to make it look good, and what mistakes to avoid. We'll also show you an example of a good cover letter.

Remember, your cover letter should be short and clear. It should make the company want to learn more about you and invite you for an interview. By following the tips in this article, you can write a cover letter that gets noticed and helps you get the job you want.

Software Engineer Cover Letter Example

Caleb Woods
(833) 352-6469
Wade Adams
Hiring Manager

Dear Mr. Wade Adams,

I am writing to express my strong interest in the Software Engineer position at Google. As a passionate and innovative technologist, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to Google's mission of organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.

With a robust background in software development and a keen eye for emerging technologies, I believe I would be a valuable asset to your team. My experience includes developing scalable applications, implementing efficient algorithms, and collaborating on diverse projects that align with Google's commitment to excellence and innovation.

What sets me apart is my ability to not only write clean, maintainable code but also to approach complex problems with creative solutions. I am particularly drawn to Google's culture of innovation and the company's emphasis on fostering an environment where ideas can flourish. My adaptability and eagerness to learn make me well-suited to thrive in Google's dynamic and fast-paced atmosphere.

I am impressed by Google's recent advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning, particularly in projects like DeepMind and TensorFlow. My passion for these areas, combined with my software engineering skills, positions me to contribute meaningfully to such cutting-edge initiatives.

Furthermore, I am aligned with Google's commitment to user-centric design and believe in creating products that positively impact people's lives. I am excited about the prospect of working on projects that reach billions of users worldwide and make a tangible difference in how people interact with technology.

I am confident that my technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and enthusiasm for innovation make me an excellent fit for the Software Engineer role at Google. I look forward to the opportunity to discuss how my background and aspirations align with Google's goals and how I can contribute to your continued success.

Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to bring my passion and skills to Google and be part of shaping the future of technology.


Caleb Woods

How to Write & Format a Cover Letter Header

The header of your software engineer cover letter sets the tone for your application and provides essential contact information. A well-crafted header ensures your letter looks professional and makes it easy for hiring managers to reach you.

Key Components of a Cover Letter Header

Your header should include:

  1. Your full name
  2. Phone number
  3. Email address
  4. LinkedIn profile (optional)
  5. City and state (optional)
  6. Date
  7. Recipient's name and title
  8. Company name and address

Formatting Tips

Keep your header clean and easy to read. Use a professional font and ensure proper spacing between elements. Align your contact information to the left or center, depending on your preferred style. The recipient's information should be left-aligned below your details.


Whenever possible, address your letter to a specific person rather than using a generic salutation. Research the company to find the hiring manager's name or the head of the engineering department. If you can't find a specific name, use a title like "Software Engineering Hiring Manager" or "Engineering Team Lead."

By crafting a well-organized and informative header, you'll demonstrate attention to detail and professionalism right from the start of your cover letter. This sets a positive tone for the rest of your application and increases your chances of making a strong first impression.

Caleb Woods
(833) 352-6469
Wade Adams
Hiring Manager

Greeting Your Potential Employer

After crafting a professional header, the next crucial element of your software engineer cover letter is the greeting. This section sets the tone for your letter and demonstrates your attention to detail and professionalism.

Use a professional salutation

Always begin your cover letter with a formal salutation. "Dear" followed by the recipient's name is the most common and widely accepted greeting. If you know the hiring manager's name, use it: "Dear Mr. Smith" or "Dear Ms. Johnson." This personal touch shows you've done your research and are genuinely interested in the position.

When the recipient's name is unknown

If you can't find the hiring manager's name, use a general but professional greeting such as "Dear Hiring Manager" or "Dear Software Engineering Team." Avoid outdated or overly formal phrases like "To Whom It May Concern."

Avoid gender assumptions

When using a person's name, be careful not to make assumptions about gender. If you're unsure, it's best to use the full name: "Dear Alex Smith" rather than guessing "Mr." or "Ms."

Research the company culture

Some tech companies have a more casual culture. If you're applying to a startup or a company known for its informal environment, you might consider a slightly less formal greeting like "Hello" or "Greetings." However, err on the side of formality if you're unsure.

Remember, the greeting sets the stage for the rest of your letter, so make it count by being professional, respectful, and, when possible, personalized.

Introducing Yourself in a Cover Letter

The introduction of your software engineer cover letter is crucial for making a strong first impression. This opening paragraph sets the tone for the rest of your letter and should immediately capture the reader's attention.

Begin by stating the specific position you're applying for and how you learned about the opportunity. This shows that you've taken the time to tailor your application to the company. Next, briefly mention your most relevant qualifications or experiences that make you an ideal candidate for the role.

Consider highlighting a key achievement or skill that aligns with the job requirements. For example, you could mention a successful project you led or a programming language you're particularly proficient in. This gives the hiring manager a compelling reason to continue reading.

It's also effective to express your enthusiasm for the company and the role. Research the organization and mention something specific that excites you about working there, such as their innovative products or company culture. This demonstrates your genuine interest and helps you stand out from other applicants.

Keep your introduction concise and focused, aiming for about 3-4 sentences. Remember, the goal is to pique the reader's interest and encourage them to delve deeper into your qualifications in the subsequent paragraphs.

Strong Example

Dear Hiring Manager,

As a passionate software engineer with over five years of experience in developing scalable web applications, I was thrilled to come across the Senior Software Engineer position at TechInnovate Inc. Your company's commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI-driven solutions aligns perfectly with my professional goals and expertise. Having successfully led a team that increased system efficiency by 40% at my current role at DataDynamics Corp, I am eager to bring my skills in Python, Java, and cloud technologies to contribute to TechInnovate's groundbreaking projects.

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 opening sentence grabs attention by mentioning specific years of experience and area of expertise. Second, it shows that the candidate has researched the company by mentioning TechInnovate's focus on AI-driven solutions, demonstrating genuine interest and alignment with the company's goals. Third, it provides a concrete achievement (increasing system efficiency by 40%) which adds credibility and showcases the candidate's impact. Finally, it mentions specific technical skills (Python, Java, cloud technologies) that are likely relevant to the position, immediately highlighting the candidate's qualifications. The tone is confident and enthusiastic, which leaves a positive first impression.

Weak Example

To whom it may concern, I am writing to apply for the Software Engineer 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 I'm a quick learner.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak cover letter introduction for several reasons. First, it uses a generic salutation instead of addressing a specific person, which shows a lack of effort in researching the company. Second, it fails to grab the reader's attention or demonstrate enthusiasm for the role. The language is vague and uninspiring, using phrases like 'thought I would be a good fit' without providing any compelling reasons. The mention of 'some experience in coding' is underwhelming for a Software Engineer position and doesn't highlight any specific skills or achievements. Overall, this introduction fails to make a strong first impression, differentiate the candidate, or show genuine interest in the company or position.

Writing the Body of Your Cover Letter

The body of your software engineer cover letter is where you can truly showcase your qualifications and enthusiasm for the position. This section should expand on your most relevant skills, experiences, and achievements, demonstrating how they align with the company's needs and the job requirements.

Highlight Your Technical Skills

Begin by emphasizing your strongest technical skills that are most relevant to the position. Mention specific programming languages, frameworks, and tools you're proficient in, especially those listed in the job description.

Showcase Your Projects and Achievements

Describe one or two significant projects or accomplishments that demonstrate your problem-solving abilities and technical expertise. Quantify your achievements whenever possible to provide concrete evidence of your impact.

Demonstrate Your Soft Skills

Software engineering isn't just about coding. Highlight your soft skills such as communication, teamwork, and adaptability. Provide brief examples of how you've used these skills in previous roles or projects.

Express Your Knowledge of the Company

Show that you've done your research by mentioning specific aspects of the company that interest you. Explain how your skills and experience align with the company's goals or current projects.

Convey Your Passion for Technology

Express your enthusiasm for software engineering and your commitment to staying current with industry trends. This demonstrates your dedication to continuous learning and growth in the field.

Conclude with a Call to Action

End the body of your cover letter by reiterating your interest in the position and expressing your eagerness to discuss how you can contribute to the company's success. This sets the stage for the closing paragraph of your letter.

Strong Example

As a passionate software engineer with over 5 years of experience in developing scalable web applications, I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]'s innovative projects. My expertise in Java, Python, and React.js aligns perfectly with your tech stack, and I have a proven track record of delivering high-quality code on time. In my current role at [Current Company], I led a team that reduced application load times by 40% through optimized database queries and implemented a microservices architecture that improved system reliability by 99.9%. I am particularly drawn to [Company Name]'s commitment to leveraging AI in software solutions, as it resonates with my recent work on integrating machine learning models into user-facing applications. I am eager to bring my technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and passion for cutting-edge technology to your team and help drive [Company Name]'s continued success in the software industry.

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong example of a cover letter body for a Software Engineer position because it effectively demonstrates the candidate's qualifications and enthusiasm for the role. The content is tailored to the specific company and position, showing that the applicant has done their research. It highlights relevant technical skills (Java, Python, React.js) and quantifiable achievements (40% reduction in load times, 99.9% system reliability). The candidate also mentions their leadership experience and aligns their interests with the company's focus (AI integration). The paragraph is concise yet informative, providing concrete examples of the applicant's capabilities and how they can contribute to the company's goals. This approach helps the candidate stand out and makes a compelling case for why they would be a valuable addition to the team.

Weak Example

I am writing to apply for the Software Engineer position at your company. I have a degree in Computer Science and know how to code. I think I would be a good fit for this job because I like computers and want to work for a big company like yours. I am a hard worker and can learn new things quickly. Please consider me for this position.

Why is this a weak example?

This is a weak example of a cover letter body for several reasons. Firstly, it's overly generic and doesn't demonstrate any specific knowledge about the company or the role. The language used is casual and unprofessional, lacking the formality expected in a business communication. The content fails to highlight any specific skills, experiences, or achievements that would make the candidate stand out. There's no mention of relevant projects, technologies, or how the applicant's skills align with the job requirements. The motivation for applying ('I like computers') is superficial and doesn't convey genuine passion for software engineering. Overall, this example fails to make a compelling case for why the applicant would be a valuable addition to the company, missing the opportunity to showcase unique qualifications and enthusiasm for the specific role.

How to Close Your Cover Letter

As you conclude your software engineer cover letter, it's crucial to end on a strong note that leaves a lasting impression. The closing section is your final opportunity to express enthusiasm for the position and prompt the hiring manager to take action.

Reaffirm Your Interest

Briefly restate your interest in the role and the company. Emphasize how your skills and experience align with their needs.

Express Gratitude

Thank the reader for their time and consideration. This simple gesture demonstrates professionalism and courtesy.

Call to Action

Encourage the hiring manager to move forward with your application. Express your eagerness to discuss the opportunity further in an interview.

Professional Sign-Off

Close with a professional salutation such as "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.

Contact Information

Include your phone number and email address below your name, even if they're already in the header. This makes it easy for the employer to contact you.

Remember, the closing should be concise yet impactful. It should leave the reader with a positive impression and a clear understanding of your enthusiasm for the position. Keep it professional, confident, and forward-looking to increase your chances of securing an interview.

Strong Example

Thank you for considering my application. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to [Company Name]'s innovative projects and am confident that my skills in full-stack development, cloud computing, and agile methodologies would be valuable assets to your team. I look forward to discussing how my experience aligns with your needs and learning more about how I can help drive [Company Name]'s continued success. I am available for an interview at your convenience and can be reached at [phone number] or [email address].

Why is this a strong example?

This is a strong cover letter closing for several reasons. First, it expresses gratitude and enthusiasm, which shows professionalism and genuine interest in the position. It also specifically mentions key skills (full-stack development, cloud computing, agile methodologies) that are relevant to software engineering, demonstrating that the applicant has tailored the letter to the job. The closing confidently states how the applicant's experience could benefit the company, showing initiative and value proposition. It also expresses a desire to learn more about the company, indicating a collaborative attitude. Finally, it provides clear next steps and contact information, making it easy for the employer to follow up. The tone is professional yet engaging, striking a good balance for a software engineering position.

Weak Example

I hope you will consider me for this position. Please let me know if you need any additional information. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Why is this a weak example?

This closing is weak for several reasons. First, it lacks confidence and enthusiasm, using phrases like 'I hope' which can make the candidate appear unsure. Second, it's generic and could be used for any job application, showing no specific interest in the software engineering role or the company. Third, it doesn't include a call to action or next steps, missing an opportunity to propel the application process forward. Finally, it fails to reiterate the candidate's qualifications or express genuine excitement about the possibility of joining the team, which are important elements in a strong cover letter closing for a competitive field like software engineering.

Cover Letter FAQs for Software Engineer


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


A software engineer 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 the employer's details. Include a salutation, opening paragraph, 1-2 body paragraphs highlighting your skills and experiences, a closing paragraph, and a professional sign-off.


What key elements should I include in my software engineer cover letter?


Your software engineer cover letter should include: 1) A strong opening statement that grabs attention, 2) Specific examples of your relevant technical skills and projects, 3) How your experience aligns with the job requirements, 4) Your knowledge of the company and why you're interested in the role, 5) Soft skills that make you a great team player, and 6) A call-to-action closing that expresses your enthusiasm for an interview.


How do I tailor my cover letter for different software engineering positions?


To tailor your cover letter, carefully read the job description and company information. Highlight the skills and experiences that best match the specific role. Use relevant keywords from the job posting. Showcase projects or achievements that demonstrate your expertise in the required programming languages or technologies. Also, research the company's culture and values, and explain how you would be a good fit.


Should I mention my GitHub profile or portfolio in my software engineer cover letter?


Yes, mentioning your GitHub profile or portfolio in your software engineer cover letter is highly recommended. It provides tangible evidence of your coding skills and projects. Briefly highlight one or two significant projects that are relevant to the position you're applying for. Include a link to your GitHub or portfolio, making it easy for the hiring manager to review your work. This can set you apart from other candidates and demonstrate your passion for coding.