Top cover letter writing tips.
- Try and keep to one side of A4, two absolute max.
- Check spelling and grammar, then check it again.
- Make sure you address the letter to the decision maker.
- Find out their name and title if you can.
- Write a strong opening paragraph – make sure you explain why you’re writing to them straight away. You don’t want to lose their interest with a load of waffle.
Software developers have never been more in demand but if the idea of writing a cover letter instead of lines of code leaves you shaking with dread you needn’t worry. A cover letter is absolutely essential in the armoury of a software developer’s job search if you want to get ahead. But writing one is straight forward and a great way to highlight your software skills and experience.
Why do software developers still use cover letters?
What better way to showcase your best coding skills than in a cover letter? Sure, you’ll list all your qualifications and experience in your CV but a cover letter really gives you a chance to expand upon your most notable achievements and inject a little personality.
As a software developer keen to get ahead, using a cover letter is a no-brainer – it gives you a chance to tell a potential employer not only why you want the job, but all the specific tech skills and experience that make you the perfect candidate.
Everyone will be sending in a CV but a cover letter will allow you to differentiate yourself from all the other applicants. It lets you show off your development, testing, application and analysis skills as well.
What should I include in a software developer cover letter?
What software programmes have you developed? What tech problems have you solved? Have you spearheaded a project or are you a good leader? These are all things you can put in your cover letter. You should also include:
- Technical experience
Expand upon your technical qualifications and how they make you a good candidate for the role. What software have you worked with? Do you have a good understanding of .Net languages? Are you competent in data structures and algorithms? Have you got extensive experience working with Java, Perl and SQL?
- Softer skills
Most job descriptions will list skills the job requires so make sure your own skillset matches those of the job. For example, you might have experience leading a team and implementing Agile methodologies or you might be adept at explaining complex computer programming issues to colleagues without a technical background.
- Why you want the job
Don’t forget to explain why you want the job, what makes you the best candidate for it and what you can bring with you that will benefit the company.
- Commercial awareness
A lot of companies want to know you understand the commercial impact of your work. Can you work to a deadline and within a budget? Are you mindful of developing user-friendly software and can you create cost-effective design solutions? If so, pop them in your cover letter.