1. Examples
  2. Programmer

Programmer Cover Letter Example

Use this Programmer cover letter example to finish your application and get hired fast – no frustration, no guesswork. This cover letter example is specifically designed for Programmer positions in 2022. Take advantage of our sample sentences + expert guides to download the perfect cover letter in just minutes.
4.9
Average rating
31 people’ve already rated it
Programmer Cover Letter Example
Edit This Cover Letter

Whether you’re a graduate fresh out of a computer science program or a seasoned coder ready for your next challenge, landing your next programming dream job is not as hard as you might think. A winning programmer cover letter can make all the difference.

Programming positions often come with comfortable salaries, flexible hours and the ability to work from anywhere (even working from home). Landing a job with these perks isn’t impossible — it just takes patience, motivation and a great application.

But how do you make yourself stand out when so many of the other candidates have the same technical skills — and sometimes, even more knowledge of programming languages that you have?

It all comes down to a great cover letter. This document is the perfect sidekick to your resume, allowing you to express your motivation, personality and skill set. With the right attributes, you could be even more desirable than a candidate with years of experience. Remember that a cover letter covers all the inevitable gaps in your personal and professional image that a resume has, giving you a huge advantage compared to other job seekers!

This guide, along with an effective programmer cover letter example will:

  • Explain why a cover letter is a vitally important companion document to your programmer resume
  • Recommend the best cover letter format and what sections it should include
  • Advise how to maximize the effectiveness of each cover letter section: header, greeting, introduction, body and closing
  • Explore tips and tricks to make your programmer job application stand out to hiring managers and recruiters
  • Help you avoid the biggest mistakes made by other programmer job candidates.
Expert tip

Job seekers in more than 180 other fields can find similar tips and tools in Resume.io’s collection of occupation-specific writing guides, paired with corresponding cover letter examples .

Now it’s time to create the perfect cover letter that takes your application to the next level. Get your dream job!

Why you need a programmer cover letter

Primary purpose

While writing your resume, you probably noticed it was great for conveying certain pieces of information — namely your education, skills and previous work experience. While these qualifications are important, they’re certainly not the only thing today’s companies are looking for when it comes time to hire their next programmer. 

That’s why a cover letter is one of the most requested application materials. This one-page document (roughly 200 to 400 words) allows an employer to get a sense of your personality, greatest achievements, and work style before you ever set foot in the door for an interview. 

When you’re a fresh graduate and your resume is thin, your cover letter also gives you a chance to highlight the qualities that matter most — like willingness to learn, motivation, and passion for the field. 

Expert tip

What if the programming job application doesn't require a cover letter?

Occasionally, job postings will fail to mention whether a cover letter is a required part of a job application. It might even be listed as an “optional document.” So is that a free pass to submit your resume without an accompanying cover letter?

While some applicants might think they’re saving time by not submitting a cover letter, this decision is likely to prolong their job search. Your cover letter is your biggest chance to create a personal connection with an employer and to prove why you’re the right fit for the company. Unless a job application specifically asks you not to submit a cover letter, the time spent writing one is a small investment compared to the potential rewards of landing your dream position in programming.

Secondary purpose

Let’s imagine a hypothetical programmer job where 28 candidates apply. Less than half the applicants, including you, are both proficient with Java and have a bachelor’s degree. Now you’re in the top 10. The skills and education on your resume got you this far, but are they enough to land you the interview?

When job seekers have similar technical skills, a hiring manager is likely to turn to the soft skills conveyed in a cover letter to make the decision about who would be a better fit for the workplace. 

In other words, a great cover letter is essential to maximize your chances of landing any given programmer position. 

This document, sometimes called an application letter, can even put you ahead of other candidates with more impressive on-paper qualifications, such as a master’s degree. 

In today’s workplaces, a good programmer is not just someone who can code efficiently. Soft skills like willingness to learn, along with an interest in the employer company's goals, are increasingly sought-after since they directly contribute to workplace success. Problem-solving is also often the preferred approach in the coder mentality.

Expert tip

Tailoring your cover letter for success.

One of the most important things you can do to make your cover letter as effective as possible is to tailor it to the exact needs of any position or company you apply to. That means a developer cover letter will look different than a software engineer’s. 

A quick Google search and information from the job description can help you highlight the most relevant skills and personality traits needed for the position. Then, weave in relevant anecdotes that show how you’ve demonstrated these skills.

Best format for a programmer cover letter

Some applicants fear the cover letter writing process because they think it lacks structure. In this section, we’ll break down the parts of a great programmer cover letter into manageable steps so you can finish writing and submit your application in no time.

The format of a programmer cover letter should include these key components:

  • The cover letter header
  • The cover letter greeting / salutation
  • The cover letter introduction
  • The cover letter middle section (body)
  • The conclusion / call to action
  • The signature / sign-off.

Learning to write a great cover letter is a skill that can benefit you for the rest of your career since these sections don’t change much between industries or positions. For even more specific guidance on each of these sections, check out our comprehensive guide to writing cover letters .

Here is an adaptable cover letter example for a programmer that you can customize for your own employer-tailored version.

Adaptable cover letter example

June 3, 2022

Dear Mr. Felsted, 

The ideal stepping stone for my dream role as a History  game programmer has been the last three years I’ve spent programming the locomotion and combat mechanics of Bpex Legends and Story Wars characters. The opportunity to thrive in your collaborative and welcoming culture is very exciting.

I played a leading programming role in the industry-acclaimed motion arcs and animation timing of the NME award-winning Story Wars Jedi: Rise Up Order game. My online multiplayer experience with Enough Inc. will bring unique insights to the collaboration with your writers and designers. Realism comes when balance and tuning are meticulously scripted.

After receiving my MS in Computer Science from UCB, I attained relevant software experience including UE4, Visual Studio and Perforce. I am fluent in C++ and eight other programming languages, including Python and Java. 

The following experience would make me a great addition to your Fort9 team:

  • Coded three of the most popular “living” in the Blame game
  • Play-tested and debugged over 22,000 lines of C++ code in existing games
  • Pushed the boundaries of the Unreal Engine — I understand its full potential

Collaboration and communication are integral to my work ethic, as I relish solving problems with my colleagues to deliver the best assets. I have played Fort9 since its launch, and am currently perfecting my box fighting skills with the best of them in Arena Division 8.  You can’t be a programmer without being a player – you have to know what fun feels like.

If you need a gameplay programmer who combines a mathematical mind with a limitless imagination, I would love to discuss how I might be able to contribute.

Best regards,

Taylor Cook

Copied!

Cover letter header

Your programmer cover letter header serves two important roles. The first is to help recruiters and hiring managers associate a specific document with your name. By tying visual design and passionate text with the necessary personal data, the hiring manager will remember who you are and how to contact you. In medium to large organizations, hiring is often done by an entire HR or recruiter team, so your header ensures that no matter who reads your cover letter, they know how to get in touch should they want to schedule an interview.

The second purpose of your cover letter header is to provide polished formatting that catches the hiring manager’s eye and gives your application an attractive and professional edge.

Expert tip

Align document styles!

A hiring manager might receive dozens of applications for a software developer position, so how does a candidate stand out? One of the best things an applicant can do to create a professional image is to align the document styles of his or her cover letter and resume. This quick step will help to create a “personal brand” (or professional brand) — a unique look and feel that visually identifies the documents and ties them together.

Before deciding on a document style, it’s important to take into account the company culture and image. Do they take themselves seriously, or do they prefer bright colors and a youthful tone? These are good hints as to what kind of style would work best. Resume.io's matching resume and cover letter template designs can make aligning document styles a breeze.

The goal of the cover letter header: Label your document with your name and contact information, featuring attractive and professional formatting to catch a hiring manager’s attention

Cover letter greeting 

Your cover letter greeting (salutation) is the first place you have the chance to establish that all-important personal connection with the hiring manager. The right greeting is equally important in creating a respectful tone to get your letter off to a positive start. 

In general, “Dear” followed by the correct salutation and last name of the hiring manager works well as a formality. If you already know the employer well or if the company values a casual workplace culture, you may opt for “Hi” or “Hello” and even a first name (though we advise being very careful and sure that’s appropriate). If in doubt, use a more formal approach.

Expert tip

The importance of names and addressed greetings.

When people remember our names and use them, it makes us feel good. And the evidence behind that is more than just anecdotal — studies have actually shown that hearing our own name elicits a positive neurological response in the brain.

You can use this fact to your advantage by making sure to address the letter recipient by name. With this small gesture, you’ve effectively demonstrated both interest in the position and attention to detail.

However, in some companies, hiring teams are large and there may be multiple HR managers who read your letter. Tracking down the right name for the greeting can be near impossible. Furthermore, some companies have policies in place or simply prefer not to publicly identify their hiring managers. If you get the feeling that too much digital “sleuthing” may cross the line of propriety, err on the safe side.

If this is the case, you have options. “Dear (Company Name) Hiring Team” works well (in fact, it’s  often the best option). “Dear Sir or Madam” and “Dear Hiring Manager” can also be appropriate. If at all possible, try to avoid the impersonal “To Whom It May Concern.”

The goal of the cover letter greeting: Establish a personal connection and a respectful tone by using the hiring manager’s name and an appropriate greeting based on the work environment.

Cover letter introduction

Hiring managers are busy people, often with many applications to evaluate. To give your cover letter the best chance of making an impact, you’ll need to grab the reader’s attention from the very first sentence. Luckily, this is easy to do with an interesting anecdote, exciting statement or relevant fact. Just make sure to keep any story short so that your introduction quickly flows into the body section.

The goal of the introduction: Hook the hiring manager’s interest with an exciting fact or statement that encourages reading further into the body section.

The greeting and introduction from our programmer cover letter sample appear below.

Adaptable cover letter greeting and introduction example

June 3, 2022

Dear Mr. Felsted, 

The ideal stepping stone for my dream role as a History  game programmer has been the last three years I’ve spent programming the locomotion and combat mechanics of Bpex Legends and Story Wars characters. The opportunity to thrive in your collaborative and welcoming culture is very exciting.

Copied!

Cover letter middle section (body)

The body of your cover letter is where you can finally dive into all the relevant skills, achievements and milestones that make you the perfect candidate for the position your are targeting. Since this is the longest cover letter section, you can simplify the writing process by breaking it down into two subsections.

In the first, you can use the STAR method to describe: a Situation, the Task you were given or undertook yourself, your Action and the positive Result you created. Make sure to choose the most relevant examples based on the job description for the position. Alternatively, you can provide a more general description of your career following a similar principle. Just make sure to provide specifics, even if you don’t use the STAR method exactly.

The second section can get into your most noteworthy skills and personality traits, and describe any potential contributions you could make to the company.

The goal of the cover letter body: Use the STAR method or a similar approach to discuss relevant achievements and potential contributions based on the specific job requirements.

Our programmer cover letter sample illustrates what you might include in the middle part.

Adaptable cover letter body example

I played a leading programming role in the industry-acclaimed motion arcs and animation timing of the NME award-winning Story Wars Jedi: Rise Up Order game. My online multiplayer experience with Enough Inc. will bring unique insights to the collaboration with your writers and designers. Realism comes when balance and tuning are meticulously scripted.

After receiving my MS in Computer Science from UCB, I attained relevant software experience including UE4, Visual Studio and Perforce. I am fluent in C++ and eight other programming languages, including Python and Java. 

The following experience would make me a great addition to your Fort9 team:

  • Coded three of the most popular “living” in the Blame game
  • Play-tested and debugged over 22,000 lines of C++ code in existing games
  • Pushed the boundaries of the Unreal Engine — I understand its full potential

Collaboration and communication are integral to my work ethic, as I relish solving problems with my colleagues to deliver the best assets. I have played Fort9 since its launch, and am currently perfecting my box fighting skills with the best of them in Arena Division 8.  You can’t be a programmer without being a player – you have to know what fun feels like.

Copied!

Cover letter conclusion and signature

Now that you’ve laid out the best arguments for your employment, it’s time to close your letter with a respectful and positive conclusion. To increase your chances of hearing from the recruiter or hiring manager, you’ll want to create a call to action. This sentence expresses enthusiasm for the position and encourages the reader to get in touch. You might even choose to repeat your contact information here, space permitting.

Then, close out your letter with the appropriate signature / cover letter sign-off phrase. Like the conclusion, this might vary based on your familiarity with the employer or the company communication style. In general, “Sincerely,” “Best regards” or “Thank you for your consideration” are all good options.

The goal of this section: Create an effective call to action that encourages a hiring manager to get in touch, while finishing your letter with a respectful signature / sign-off phrase.

Below is the closing section of our programmer cover letter.

Adaptable cover letter closing example

If you need a gameplay programmer who combines a mathematical mind with a limitless imagination, I would love to discuss how I might be able to contribute.

Best regards,

Taylor Cook

Copied!

Writing psychology — cover letter tools and strategies

Whether you work in software development, information technology or computer programming, there are a few key traits you’ll want to convey in your cover letter.

  • Willingness to learn: Employers are looking for candidates who are ready to learn new skills and new programming languages and adapt their knowledge to new situations. A willingness to evolve as technology does is one of the most important attributes to highlight in your cover letter.
     
  • Problem-solving: Troubleshooting and solving almost creative challenges is likely going to be a big part of your day to day tasks. Employers often put programmers through tests to see how well they handle problems, but you could also highlight experiences like competitive programming to show how you’re committed to tackling issues.
     
  • Passion: Somebody who loves what they do almost always makes for a better employee. Make sure to explain where you get your drive for your respective field and how it pushes you to improve your abilities.
     
  • Determination: Coding can be frustrating. Finding and fixing problems can be time-consuming. In order to succeed in this field, you’ll need the determination to keep going until the job is done right. Examples of perseverance can go a long way in proving to an employer that you’re the ideal candidate.

Influencing your outcome

During the job search, it can feel like all the power rests in the employer’s hands. You apply, you wait, and it can feel like there’s not much you can do to influence your outcome. However, there’a one principle you can incorporate to maximize your chances of landing an interview, and hopefully, the job itself soon afterwards.

The power of liking is a simple physiological phenomenon: we are more likely to help people who we think like us. It seems simple, but it can be used to great effect in your cover letter. In programming or information technology, you’re likely to be hired by a company that has its primary activities in another domain. Many candidates tend to ignore those other activities and focus only on why they’re the right programmer for the situation.

One way to maximize your chances of making a great impression is by putting in some effort to explain why you’re the right employee for that particular company. What about their work environment, mission or products draws you to them? What experience do you have with similar work environments? How could you use your programming knowledge to better their business for their clients and employees? 

There’s no need to go overboard with the compliments or dive into personal stories about what a fan you are. But pointing out concrete, professional ways in which your mission aligns with theirs can help a hiring manager or recruiter better imagine you in their workplace.

Expert tip

Writing for HR managers

If you live and breathe code, it’s only natural that you’d want to show off your abilities in your cover letter. But before you go filling your letter with your most impressive skills, remember that the first person who will likely be reading your letter is a hiring manager. Most HR staff and recruiters hire for all positions across the company. That means that they’re likely not technical experts. There’s no way they can understand all the terminology across all the positions they’re recruiting for. That’s another good reason to focus your cover letter as much on soft skills as on hard skills and leave the emphasis on technical knowledge for your resume.

If you’re not sure whether your cover letter strays too far into technical jargon, simply have a friend who’s not a programmer (but is aware of the world of IT in general) read it. If they can’t understand what you’re trying to get at (at least the general gist), it’s likely the hiring manager won’t either.

Formatting tips for a good-looking cover letter

The structure and writing of your programmer cover letter are not all that counts. In fact, making a good visual presentation can be just as important to your success. With Resume.io’s cover letter templates and builder tool , great formatting doesn’t have to be difficult.

As a general rule, fonts that emphasize readability like Arial, Georgia or Helvetica offer the best result for visual comprehension. The ideal font size is 11 point, but you may choose to go up or down one point to make your writing fit comfortably on the page. For more specific formatting tips, check out our guide on fonts for cover letters .

Common mistakes to avoid in a computer programmer cover letter

To land your perfect job as a computer programmer, you’ll want to watch out for these major pitfalls.

  1. Typos and grammar mistakes: A cover letter riddled with spelling and grammar mistakes not only suggests poor communication skills, it can actually dissuade a hiring manager from reading your cover letter at all. Luckily, you can easily solve this problem by using spell check and asking a friend to proofread your application before you submit.
     
  2. Generic letters: A copy-paste letter might seem like it’s saving you time, but hiring managers can quickly pick up on the lack of effort. Invest a bit of extra time into making sure your skills and experiences are the right ones to highlight for each company and position.
     
  3. Too much focus on hard skills: Yes, your hard skills are important in this technical field, but they’re not everything. In fact, you’re likely to face candidates who know the same languages and have even more experience in coding. Make sure your cover letter dedicates enough space to the personality traits and workplace habits that make you stand out.
     
  4. Formatting errors: Poor formatting makes you look like a disinterested and disorganized candidate. Make sure to pay enough attention to the overall look and style of all your materials. Our cover letter templates can help you create professional formatting in just a few clicks.

Key takeaways

  1. Writing a cover letter is one of the best things you can do to maximize your chances of landing your dream programmer position. Unless asked not to, it’s always a good idea to write and send one with your application.
     
  2. The trusted cover letter structure will help give organization to your document and simplify the writing process.
     
  3. Make sure to tailor your cover letter with the necessary skills and experiences for each individual position and company. Just as you did with your resume, always remember to analyze the job listing / job description.
     
  4. Don’t forget that many hiring managers don’t have vast programming knowledge. By focusing on soft skills you can be sure your letter will be easily understood.
     
  5. Formatting errors can ruin your professional image. Online tools like Resume.io’s cover letter and resume builder can help you create a polished look in just a few clicks.

With Resume.io, you can create a perfect cover letter in just a few minutes. No uncertainty, no hassle. Go out there and win!

Build your cover letter in minutes
Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Create Cover Letter
Build your cover letter in minutes
Build your cover letter in minutes
Stand out and get hired faster with our collection of free cover letter templates expertly-designed to land you the perfect position.
Create Cover Letter

Free professionally designed templates

With over 10 million resumes and cover letters created, Resume.io is the leading online career builder that land you interviews
4.5 out of 5
based on 43,055 reviews on Trustpilot
Use This TemplateStockholm cover_letter template
Stockholm
790,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateNew York cover_letter template
New York
220,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateVienna cover_letter template
Vienna
51,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateSydney cover_letter template
Sydney
74,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateLondon cover_letter template
London
90,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateDublin cover_letter template
Dublin
76,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateMoscow cover_letter template
Moscow
26,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateAmsterdam cover_letter template
Amsterdam
79,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateMadrid cover_letter template
Madrid
65,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateSantiago cover_letter template
Santiago
53,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateSingapore cover_letter template
Singapore
23,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateOslo cover_letter template
Oslo
23,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateCape Town cover_letter template
Cape Town
2,300+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateParis cover_letter template
Paris
16,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateBerlin cover_letter template
Berlin
47,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateGeneva cover_letter template
Geneva
930+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateVancouver cover_letter template
Vancouver
17,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateTokyo cover_letter template
Tokyo
31,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateMilan cover_letter template
Milan
27,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateLisbon cover_letter template
Lisbon
7,700+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateBarcelona cover_letter template
Barcelona
15,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateCopenhagen cover_letter template
Copenhagen
9,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateChicago cover_letter template
Chicago
8,500+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateRio cover_letter template
Rio
12,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateRome cover_letter template
Rome
1,400+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateBoston cover_letter template
Boston
4,000+ users chose this template
Use This TemplateToronto cover_letter template
Toronto
16,000+ users chose this template
This website uses cookies to improve user experience and perform analytics and marketing. By using our website, you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Cookie Policy and Privacy Policy.
Accept Cookies