Looking for cover letter tips and advice to really stand out? Want cover letter mistakes to avoid and other dos and don'ts? You've come to the right place.
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The robots and the algorithms running them will soon take over the world.
As a computer scientist with a glowing resume, you stand a chance of working on these projects—
And making bank for yourself before the world descends into a robotic Armageddon.
To make it before the clock strikes apocalypse—
You need a computer science cover letter that would make Terminator develop human feelings.
In this article, you’ll get:
- Two computer science cover letter examples: for experienced and entry-level candidates.
- Step-by-step tips on how to write a cover letter for computer science that will land you more interviews.
- A cover letter sample you can copy, adjust, and have ready in 15 minutes.
With great opportunities, comes a great volume of applicants. Let’s observe what factors work best when writing a cover letter by analyzing two samples.
Here are two standout computer science cover letter examples:
1. Computer Science Cover Letter Examples
The first computer science cover letter example comes from a candidate with several years of computer science experience, Natasha.
The job posting calls for experience with machine learning packages in languages such as Python, R, and C++, as well as expert technical writing and documentation skills.
See how well this computer science cover letter shows she’s the right match:
Example #1: Mid-Level Computer Science Candidate
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Anytown, September 29, 2019
Head of Computer Science
25 Robot Street
Anytown, NY 23423
As a long-term follower of your progress in building algorithms for the manufacturing industry, I was elated to see an opening for Computer Scientist within AlgoRhythm Inc. Due to my 5+ years of experience in working with machine learning packages in Python, R, and C++, I am positive I can help your neural networks learn more efficiently.
You state that you’re looking for candidates experienced in machine learning. During my time with AI-tomation Inc, I was a key part of the sales prediction algorithm Python project for Client X, which was able to cut 7% of the annual stock losses in the first year by limiting producing, buying or delivering unnecessary products, as well as reducing freight and storage costs by 14%. I am confident I can apply my skills to AlgoRhythm’s projects in the manufacturing industry.
I am a long-time admirer of the way you share your know-how through your publications and your commitment to continuous improvement. Joining your team and learning from the best in the industry would be a priceless milestone in my development as a computer science professional.
Can we schedule a meeting or a call to discuss how I can apply my skills to your manufacturing projects, or perhaps even help you expand to the retail industry?
With a computer science cover letter like Natasha’s, she can be sure she will not get an automated reply.
Was this overwhelming? Do you feel like you don’t have as much experience as Natasha?
You can still write a computer science cover letter that will impress even the coldest of neural networks, let alone the recruiter.
Here’s another candidate, Jim. He’s applying for a computer science internship which calls for experience in Python or Java, as well as familiarity with Agile methodologies, code repositories like GitHub and team tools such as JIRA.
Jim doesn’t have work experience to describe on his computer science cover letter, but the letter still clearly displays the skills he will need to make a great intern.
Example #2: Entry-Level Candidate (Computer Science Internship)
Anytown, September 29, 2019
Head of Computer Science
25 Robot Street
Anytown, NY 23423
I was thrilled to finally see an opening for Computer Science Intern within AlgoRhythm, Inc.
I am a final-year Computer Science student at the University of Illinois, with a 3.7 GPA so far. What’s more, I spend most of my free time developing my coding skills, especially with machine learning packages.
Always striving to improve, I have created several side projects in Python and Java, which you can find on my GitHub, linked in the header. The one I am most proud of is the Instarecognize, which is an image recognition app based on the Giphy and Instagram APIs. What’s more, I have real IT frontline experience as a Help Desk Operative, where I am used to dealing with 200+ tickets a day, as well as working with Agile methods and workflow software such as JIRA. I believe these experiences will enable me to smoothly and rapidly integrate myself into your team and be a valuable asset right away.
Working at AlgoRhythm Inc. would be the perfect environment for me to grow and develop, and not only something to put on my resume. I value the data-driven approach and the commitment you make to constantly disrupting established methods.
Can we set up a meeting or a call to discuss how I can translate my experiences and enthusiasm into excellent results for AlgoRhythm?
There it is.
Now, let’s compose your own computer science cover letter that’s even better than those.
If you don’t have much time, there will be an easy-to-fill template for each paragraph of your computer science cover letter that you can adapt with your information.
Don’t have a resume ready yet? See a dedicated example and expert hints on getting it right: Computer Science Resume Sample
Expert Hint: If you are about to graduate, don’t stress. The National Association of Colleges and Employers reports that 76.4% of computer science graduates find a job within 6 months after graduation (and another 9% continue education).
2. How to Write a Cover Letter for Computer Science, Step by Step (Template)
Here’s how to ace your computer science cover letter:
1. Follow the Rules of Cover Letter Formatting
Sometimes, the people with the messiest desks produce the cleanest code—
But first, you need that desk.
Not only is a cover letter necessary for you—it must be presentable, elegant, but most of all: readable.
These are the key things to keep in mind when formatting your cover letter:
- Always use equal margins on all sides—at least 1 inch.
- Pick a professional looking font without being fancy—Verdana, Helvetica, Georgia.
- Use “Align Left.” Indentation is okay for paragraphs, but not doing it will save space.
- Use 1.15 line spacing, and a space between each section and each paragraph.
- 1 page is king for a cover letter. Respect people’s time.
Expert Hint: The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that in the next ten years, Computer and Information Research Scientist jobs will grow at 16%—over 3 times the average growth rate for all sectors. Of course, Software Development is still king, with over 1.3m jobs and a projected growth of 21% until 2028.
2. Use a Neat Cover Letter Header with Your Contact Information
Use the header you used for your resume—containing your full name, job title and contact info.
Leave a space, and enter the city and date, another space, and the company address of the recruiter.
Use this template:
Computer Science Cover Letter Header Template
[ Your Full Name]
[ Your Job Title ] (Optional)
[ Phone Number ]
[ Email Address ]
[ LinkedIn Profile ]
[ City and Date ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Full Name ]
[ Hiring Manager’s Position, e.g. Computer Science Team Leader ]
[ Company Name ]
[ Company Street Address ]
[ City and Zip Code ]
Expert Hint: Of course, as a computer scientist, there is a wide range of things you could be doing with both hardware and software. However, if applying for a position that involves a lot of coding, GitHub links are becoming more and more expected by recruiters. This is even more key for candidates with not much professional experience—having a few interesting projects there will show passion and enthusiasm for your craft.
3. Make an Introduction and Identify the Job to Which You’re Applying
First of all, you need to assure the hiring manager of your purpose—
You don’t want to look like you just used ‘Find and Replace’ to produce 50 cover letters.
Do not “To whom it may concern” the hiring manager.
Now, here’s a few key aspects to include in your cover letter.
Kick off your cover letter by identifying which position your application is for, with a brief description of the skills and experiences that make you perfect for it.
Use this template if you’re in a rush. Just adapt the blanks with your information.
Computer Science Cover Letter Sample: Introduction
Dear [Hiring Manager’s Name]:
When I discovered that you’re looking for [Position Name] at [Target Company Name], I was most excited. As a computer science professional with [number of years] years of professional experience, and considerable skills in [Coding Languages/Project Management/Software Development/Information Systems Design/SQL/other relevant skills you have], I am ready to step up to the challenges you are facing.
4. Explain Why It Should Be You
The best way to ace the second paragraph of your computer science cover letter is to reverse engineer the job posting that you have in your sights.
Of course, they may have a very long list, and the space here is limited. Plus—you don’t want to randomly pack your cover letter full of whatever’s expected of you. (Yes, I’m subtly suggesting that you don’t lie.)
Pick the most key requirements and give examples of your past achievements that show you can handle those aspects of your new job.
Use this fill-in-the-blank example:
Cover Letter for Computer Science: Middle Paragraph
The job description calls for a person experienced in [refer to the requirements of the job]. During my time at [Name of Your Current or Most Recent Company], I have been used to excelling at [responsibilities, duties, projects, achievements, supported by metrics, if possible]. I am confident that these experiences will enable me to succeed at [Target Company Name].
5. Explain Why It Should Be Them
The last paragraph of your computer science letter should run along the lines of the answer to an interview question that will surely crop up later—
“Why do you want to work here?”
Believe or not, they want you to be satisfied, too.
Show them you know what you’re getting into, and that you’re there to stay.
You can fill out this template:
Computer Science Cover Letter Example: Your Motivation
I really admire that at [Target Company Name], you focus all your work around [something you genuinely admire about the company]. This approach is a perfect match for my personal way of working. Joining your team would be a unique opportunity for me to develop while helping [Target Company Name] reach its goals.
6. Sign off With a Clear Call to Action
When wrapping up your cover letter, don’t be passive.
Be confident in asking for a meeting or a call, after all, you have just shown you are the perfect candidate.
This is a strong computer science cover letter closing you can use:
Sample Cover Letter for Computer Science: Call to Action & Formal Closing
Can we set up a call or a meeting to discuss how my [Skill/Experience] can help [Target Company Name] keep delivering world-class solutions?
[Digital Copy of Your Handwritten Signature]
[Your Full Name]
If you want an interview invitation, not an automated response, keep this in mind when writing a computer science cover letter:
- Find the name of the recruiter and address the computer science cover letter accordingly.
- Identify the position you are targeting, and give a short overview of how you’re the perfect match in the introduction.
- Address the job requirements directly with your achievements in these aspects in the second paragraph.
- Answer “Why do you want to work here?” in the third paragraph—show enthusiasm and interest in the company.
- Sign off with a confident request to set up a meeting or call.
Are any of your questions left unanswered? Need further help with writing your cover letter for computer science jobs? Let me know in the comments, I’ll be more than happy to help!