You have looked around and located some software engineer jobs that interest you. While you may think you can just write a quick cover letter to go with your resume you may want to think again. A good cover letter takes time. You want your letter to stand out from the rest. Here are 8 tips for writing a winning software engineer cover letter.
Personalize — Each job you apply for should have its own personal cover letter. You want the hiring manager to know that you took time to research their company. You want to include the company’s address in the greeting, and if you are able to figure out the hiring manager’s name, you will want to include that too.
Length — Your cover letter should only be one page long. If it is longer the hiring manager may not read it. Most hiring managers have a limited time they are able to look over cover letters and resumes. If they have to flip a page to finish a cover letter they will probably not waste their valuable time reading that letter. Keep it short and simple.
Introduction — The first paragraph should be an introduction. Let them know who you are and where you are from. Give them a brief introduction to yourself in two or three sentences. Tell them your name, where you have worked, and/or your education.
Description — In the next two paragraphs you want to describe what you have done at your previous jobs. You also want to list any skills or results of your work. You can do this with bullet points that will emphasize your skills and draw attention to them. If you have any certificates or classes that were particularly suited to the position you can mention them here.
Design — You want your cover letter to stand out from the crowd. One way to do this is to place a design on the letter or use color or font to stand out. You should be careful with the use of color. Too much color can distract from the letter and your resume. You should go online and research resume examples to find a good design for your cover letter and resume.
Final paragraph — In your closing paragraph you should thank the hiring manager for taking time to read your cover letter. You should also include a link to your personal website and your current email address. You can also include your telephone number here. This way the hiring manager has your information if they want to ask you in for an interview.
Research — Find out about the company you want to work for. Research to learn if it is a small business or a large company. Find out where they are located and what the town is like. You can use this research in the body of your letter. If it is a small company in a small town with good schools you can tell them you would be willing to move your family to their town. “This will tell them that you have done your research and put time into your cover letter. The hiring manager will be more willing to read your cover letter and resume if you prove you have put time and effort into writing them,” suggests an expert at MintResume.
Proofread — This is one of the most important steps. You need to proofread your cover letter after you write it. You want to make sure you have addressed it correctly. You also want to look it over and make sure you have no grammatical mistakes. If you have a friend or family member who is willing to look it over, that would help. The more people who proofread it, the fewer mistakes you will have when you send it out.
Writing a cover letter can be time consuming, but it will be worth it when you get called for interviews. Make sure you personalize your cover letter and show them that you are interested in their company. Take the time to proofread your letter and resume before you send them to the company. If you follow these simple steps you will be more likely to be called up for an interview.