how to nail your software developer cover letter

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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 developers 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. 

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.

top cover letter 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.
 

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