Crafting A Strong Cover Letter for IT Jobs

Use your cover letter or cover email to highlight relevant skills and experience to potential employers.
Ivy Simon
Editorial Writer
Use your cover letter or cover email to highlight relevant skills and experience to potential employers.

IT employers often still request a cover letter and CV as part of the job application process. Whether it’s attaching it with your CV as an add-on, writing your cover statement in an online application form, or sending a cover email to a smaller IT employer; this is an additional chance for you to demonstrate your abilities and interest in the job while highlighting particular qualities that might not have been immediately apparent on your CV.

The maximum length of a cover letter shouldn't exceed one side of an A4 sheet. If you’re uploading a cover statement on an online form with a word limit, that might be even shorter. So, how do you promote your expertise and skills and persuade recruiters in just a few paragraphs? Here are some tips:

Research the employer

Spend some time learning about the company you are applying to before you begin drafting your cover letter. You should learn about the company's business strategy, culture, and beliefs, as well as the range of products and services it offers. You can do this by checking an employer’s website or their company social media accounts.

Don’t just rely on desk research, though. If possible, find the employer at career fairs or networking sessions and chat with their staff members and recruiters. Attend presentations or talks that they give on-campus, or ask friends who have gotten work placements there for advice.

The more you know about your target employer, the easier it will be for you to identify what points would be most relevant to them in your cover letter.

Be selective and don’t overwrite

While it may be tempting to list all of your technical abilities and accomplishments from university, internships, and elsewhere in your cover letter, don’t go overboard. A cover letter should not go longer than one page, or three to four paragraphs. 

Be selective about the information that you include in your cover letter. Firstly, identify the top three or four qualities that the employer is looking for. These qualities can include your passion for technology, your technical or programming knowledge, and your soft skills. Then, focus your cover letter around those qualities while writing it.. 

Provide examples

It doesn’t hurt to give recruiters examples from your academic, professional, and personal life to demonstrate that you possess the abilities, attributes, and experience they are looking for. 

For instance, anyone can just claim that they are passionate about staying up to date on the latest tech trends. But to illustrate that, you can write about the times that you attended IT conferences or webinars regarding the latest tech developments, and then blogged about it on LinkedIn afterwards. This can prove to recruiters how passionate you truly are about staying up-to-date in tech, and that you’re not all just talk! 

As a rule, don’t repeat examples already listed in your CV. Use your cover letter to highlight separate examples/experiences which you couldn’t include in your CV instead.

Why did you choose this employer?

Remember to explain why you choose this particular organisation. Avoid clichés such as "you are a world-leading corporation." Your employer research is essential in this situation since it will enable you to give specific points about the company's culture, strategy, or potential for career advancement, and how this appeals to you personally.

For instance, it could be because the company consistently pursues technological advancement in an area of tech you are personally interested in. So working for them will allow you to put your technical skills to good use by contributing to the development of something you are passionate about. 

By including details like this, you show recruiters that you are genuinely interested in the company, and not just blindly applying for jobs.

Final check

Once you've finished writing your cover letter, always remember to check your work before handing it in to recruiters or employers. Have a friend, family member, or careers services staff  proofread it for grammatical errors, ease of reading, and style. 

Having typos in cover letters can give recruiters and employers the wrong impression, and raise questions about your professionalism and attention to detail. Just like with coding, it’s important to be thorough in your pre-deployment checks.