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Ben Halpern for CodeNewbie

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How Do You Ace Your Tech Job Cover Letter?

Landing your first tech job is an exciting adventure, and nailing your cover letter is key to making a strong impression. But how can you tailor your cover letter to showcase your coding skills and boost your chances of success?

Let's dive into this discussion and share our best tips and tricks for crafting a killer cover letter that shines the spotlight on your coding prowess.

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Top comments (5)

jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel πŸ•΅πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Fayard • Edited

That one is easy: you don't write a cover letter.

I will sound like an old grand pa, but when I was looking for an internship, we still sometimes sent CV in a postal mail. And receiving a letter with just the CV would have been weird. So we added a cover letter in the letter.

But today we send the CV via email.
And the object and the body of your email is the new cover letter.

So I would reframe your question in:

"How do I write a good email"?

Hint: if it speaks much more about you than about them, it's a bad email.

danbailey profile image
Dan Bailey

Definitely this. And I'd add that in our attention-span economy, keep it short and sweet. Tell them you're apply for the job, give them three bullet points showing why you're a good fit, and then wrap it up. Succinctness is an underrated skill.

steveblue profile image
Stephen Belovarich

I always write a cover letter and the last few times I’ve been up for employment I had multiple offers. I consider cover letters part of the reason. Just because people seldom do it isn’t a reason not to write one yourself. A cover letter may help you stand out.

I don’t use the cover letter to show off my coding skills as much as my soft skills. I demonstrate why I’m interested in the job, how my experience can help the team, and possibly point someone to code examples relevant to the job. A cover letter should help others connect the dots on your resume / CV and sell your abilities to the potential employer.

theaccordance profile image
Joe Mainwaring • Edited

I typically don't write a cover letter but I do have a process today if I needed to write one:

  1. Write my initial draft
  2. Run it through ChatGPT for editorial
  3. Sprinkle back in more of my style with the output
  4. Sit back and wait for the call for the interview
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy πŸŽ–οΈ • Edited

My experience is much the same as Jean-Michel's...

I only ever wrote one cover letter - back in 1995, when did a cold mail shot (yup, a written letter) to all technical companies within a certain radius of my home to try and land a job. Most didn't reply, but a few did - and it landed me my first real programming gig.

Ever since then, I've only ever sent my CV (everything started moving online, so no more physical letters) - and have never once written, or been asked for a cover letter. Obviously, a small email accompanies the CV, but it's generally little more than a couple of sentences ("Please find my CV attached, as requested during our recent call" etc.)

I've also never received a cover letter from a job applicant.

Are cover letters really still a thing? Maybe it's just in the US/specific countries? My experiences are drawn from being a job applicant and hiring developers - both in the UK and in Thailand.