With the rise of computer programming and IT degrees, the landscape for a job-seeker can look bleak. To make your application stand out, write a professional, customized cover letter for each job you are applying for.
A generic cover letter, especially for a job requiring technical skills, isn't going to help get your application noticed, and may even get you blacklisted in that recruiter's data bank.
A strong resume with quantifiable results like, for example, how much money you saved your company per quarter, can put you in the lead.
A well-written cover letter that expertly offers and defines the skills the employer is seeking will help secure that job interview.
Customize Your Letter
When you are writing cover letters for information technology positions, make sure that your letter includes the specific experience and skills you have that relate to the position. Your goal is to show the employer how good a match you are.
Use keywords and phrases from the job listing in your letter. This step is essential, especially for a position in IT. Circle significant words in the job listing—in particular, the qualifications of the job—and include them in your cover letter.
For example, did you increase traffic to a website by revising the layout? Did you reduce customer complaints by a certain percentage after fixing a bug in a software program? Even if you cannot explain an achievement using numbers, you can provide concrete examples of your work achievements.
Consider Using Bullet Points
Even though this is a letter, you still might want to use bullet points. You might begin with an introductory paragraph that explains why you are writing. Then you can include a bulleted list of reasons that you are ideal for the position. Begin each bullet with an action word. A bulleted list quickly shows the employer how your skills and experiences make you a good fit for the position and makes the cover letter easier to read.
Edit, Edit, Edit
IT jobs are competitive, so sloppy writing hurts your chances of getting an interview. Many IT jobs also require employees with strong communication skills, which of course includes written communication. Proofread your letter thoroughly before sending it, checking for spelling and grammar errors, as well as inconsistencies in your format. Consider asking a friend or family member to read through your letter as well, a writer or editor if you know somebody. You can also hire a professional resume editor.
Cover Letter Sample
You might also want to read a few examples to get ideas for what to include in your cover letter. Tweak samples to suit your needs, but they are a good place to start if you are feeling stuck.
Cover Letter Sample (Text Version)
123 Main Street
Anytown, CA 12345
September 1, 2018
Chief Web Officer
Acme Web Design
123 Business Rd.
Business City, NY 54321
Dear Mr. Lee,
I also have a minor in graphic design, so I have an eye for what a good website should look like. For the past five years I have worked for EndDesign.com, and while I was there, I converted their entire website to Bootstrap. The conversion made it much easier for my colleagues to manage the site.
I’ve attached my resume so that you can see more of the projects I worked on as well as a list of my certifications. Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to speaking with you soon.
Janet Applicant (signature hard copy letter)