Computer Science Cover Letter & Writing Guide

A computer science cover letter can grab the recruiter's attention, show them more of your skills and accomplishments, and get you an interview.
Edit this cover letter
Computer Science

Getting a job in the field of computer science is a challenging endeavor. While the field is vast, the competition is higher than ever. That’s why you want to use every tool under your belt to grab the recruiters’ attention and secure an interview. One exceptionally potent instrument that can help you achieve this goal is a computer science cover letter.

This comprehensive guide will teach you everything you need to know about crafting an outstanding cover letter. It’s specifically designed for computer science professionals to allow you to showcase your skills and experience optimally.

So, whether you’re trying to write a cover letter for a fresh graduate in computer science or an industry veteran, you can refer to this guide for everything from tips and tricks to step-by-step instructions. Let’s get started!

Key Takeaways

  • The right computer science format ensures you’ve added all the information in an optimal order, while a strong layout makes your document look legible and professional.

  • Put your and the recipient’s contact information in the heading, along with the date and location of the writing.

  • You should open the letter with a catchy introductory paragraph and close it with a strong call to action.

  • When talking about your skills and achievements, make sure that they are tailored to the position that you’re applying for and not repeating the information stated in your resume.

How To Format Your Computer Science Cover Letter Like a Pro

computer skills

A proper format for your computer science cover letter ensures that your document features all the necessary information in the correct order. Composing a cover letter is, in many ways, similar to writing code. A messy code gets the job done, but properly structured work stands out and makes it easy for a reader to extract the necessary information.

This is especially important in the IT field, considering the unemployment rate is above average, at 7.8%, even though the demand for skilled professionals is on the rise. Here is the order in which you should arrange the sections of your cover letter:

Cover Letter Mandatory Sections

  • Contact information goes first in the document’s header.

  • A formal greeting serves to address the reader and introduce them to the letter.

  • The body of the letter comes in three parts, which are:

    1. An attention-grabbing introductory paragraph with your strongest advantages

    2. The middle portion made up of 1–3 paragraphs that feature your skills, qualifications, and experiences

    3. The closing paragraph with a compelling call to action

  • A formal closing with your signature that neatly wraps up the letter.

Optionally, you can include a catchy postscript that might entice the reader to pay more attention to your computer science cover letter. Recruiters and hiring managers sometimes glance over cover letters until one grabs their attention. A postscript might do the trick.

When it comes to the appearance or the layout of your cover letter, you should follow standard business letter writing practices. This includes:

Cover Letter Format Guidelines

  • A cover letter-friendly font that is professional and easy to read, such as Arial or Calibri

  • Font sizes that should be between 10 and 12 pt

  • Margins of at least one inch on all sides

  • Left-aligned or justified paragraphs

  • One-line spacing between paragraphs

Computer Science Cover Letter Overview

Before we delve into the intricacies of each section of your cover letter, here’s a concise visual overview to help you better connect the dots:

#1. Heading

The heading is reserved for contact information. Here are the details you should start with:

Cover Letter Heading Information

  • Your name

  • Job title

  • Address

  • Phone number

  • Email

Optionally, you can include other relevant information, such as LinkedIn or GitHub profiles, personal websites, portfolios, etc. After your details, you should include the date and location of writing before listing the recipient’s contact information.

Let’s see what that looks like in practice:

Cover Letter Heading Example

Rick Gunter Computer Scientist 3839 Vernon Street San Diego, CA 92123 760-621-9089 rick.gunter@example.com linkedin.com/ln/rickgunter Chicago, 15/09/2023 Evelyn Leon Hiring Manager SkySoft Solutions 3476 Cherry Camp Road Chicago, IL 60618

This is a straightforward section that should be the same whether you’re writing a computer science cover letter for an internship or a CEO position. It’s essential not to make a single mistake, as that can make recruiters unable to contact you.

#2. Greeting

A cordial greeting is a staple in correspondence letters. However, there’s one trick you can pull off to get ahead of the competition with this seemingly innocuous part—address the recipient by their name. It shows that you went the extra mile to learn about the company while creating a bond with the reader.

Here’s an example:

Cover Letter Greeting Example

Dear Ms. Leon,

If you have done your research but haven’t managed to find the name of the recruiter or hiring manager, you can address them by their title. One thing to avoid is generic “To Whom It May Concern” or “Dear Sir or Madam” greetings, as they might signal a lack of effort on your end.

#3. Introduction

The introduction is often the most important part of your cover letter. A good start can convince the recruiter to keep reading, while a poorly-written one can get them to skip your letter. That’s why you want to start strong and highlight your key strengths right off the bat.

If you’re writing a computer science cover letter with no experience, you should focus on your degree and academic accomplishments. If you’re a seasoned veteran writing a computer science cover letter with experience, emphasize your work-related prowess and achievements.

Here’s an example:

Cover Letter Introduction Example

I am writing to express my keen interest in the role of computer scientist at SkySoft Solutions. As a holder of a Master’s degree in Computer Science with more than 5 years in the field, I have extensive experience optimizing machine learning algorithms to improve their efficiency.

#4. Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences

The main part of your cover letter should capitalize on a catchy introduction by further impressing recruiters and hiring managers with your skills, qualifications, and experience. There are two main things to keep in mind here:

Skills, Qualifications, & Experiences Tips

  1. You want to be relevant with your skills and accomplishments. Research the company and the position that you’re applying for, and only list those qualifications that fit the role.

  2. You want to provide concrete evidence of your competence. That means mentioning skills in relation to suitable accomplishments as well as quantifying those accomplishments with stats and numbers.

Let’s take a look at a good example:

Cover Letter Skills & Qualitifications Section Example

As a lead computer scientist at [Previous Company], I managed a team of 7 to design 3 custom tools from the ground up and modify the existing 11 tools. Our efforts resulted in a 55% increase in application performance with up to 29% in downtime reduction. The end result for the client was a 35% increase in customer satisfaction rate.

#5. Reasons for Applying

A good way to stand out from the crowd is to point out the specific reason for applying to the company. That tells recruiters and potential employers that you’re already invested in their organization. That means you’re more likely to fit in with the team and projects better than the other applicants.

Let’s see that in an example:

Cover Letter Reasons for Applying Section Example

I’ve been following SkySoft Solutions and your recent strides in the field of AI. My passion for machine learning, as well as automation and creation by leveraging artificial intelligence perfectly aligns with your team’s endeavors, and I would be glad to contribute to your projects.

#6. Call to Action

A call to action (CTA) is a marketing term used to describe something that incites a response. In terms of cover letters, you can use a CTA to invite recruiters to check out your resume, look into your portfolio, or call you over for an interview.

Here’s an elegant way to prompt the reader to contact you:

Cover Letter CTA Example

I would be thrilled to discuss further how my skills and qualifications can help your organization in its groundbreaking work over an interview. I look forward to the possibility of assisting SkySoft Solutions in reaching new heights!

#7. Conclusion & Sign Off

Conclusion and sign-off—much like greetings—are a staple in business letter correspondence. You should keep it short and courteous, like in the following example:

Cover Letter Conclusion & Sign-Off Example

Best regards, Rick Gunter

Computer Science Cover Letter Example

Now let’s examine a complete computer science cover letter example to help you put into perspective everything that you’ve learned so far:

Rick-Gunter-Computer Scientist-1

4 Top Tips for Crafting a Computer Science Cover Letter

Let’s wrap up this comprehensive guide with four expert tips that will help you perfect your cover letter:

Computer Science Cover Letter Tips

  1. While hard skills are essential for a computer science professional, soft skills can be just as important. Don’t forget to talk about your communication, time management, leadership, or similar skills, as that can be the tipping point for getting an interview invite.

  2. Don’t overburden your cover letter with technical language. It’s essential to highlight your knowledge and expertise properly, but you also want to keep the letter concise and easy to read.

  3. Carefully proofread your cover letter before submitting it. That will give you the chance to spot any potential mistakes, trim unnecessarily long bits, or expand on other key points. You can even have a friend or a relative read it to help you point out areas for improvement.

  4. Make sure that your cover letter matches your computer science resume. The two documents are meant to complement one another. Your cover letter shouldn’t just repeat information already written in your resume; it should feature something new.

Final Thoughts

Making a compelling cover letter is about finding the right balance between personal and professional. You want to emphasize your most prominent skills and accomplishments, but you should also display passion and diligence.

Fortunately, doing that successfully is not that difficult once you understand the basic rules that we outlined in this article. Better yet, these rules stay the same whether you’re writing an entry-level computer science cover letter or if you’re applying for a C-level role.

Best of luck, and may your cover letters be as good as your code!

Henry Garrison
Henry Garrison
Senior Content Writer
Henry Garrison is a senior content writer, but he is also a guitarist, a baseball fan, and a family man. He has years of experience in the industry, and he loves challenging himself and thinking outside the box. His passion is writing high-quality content that helps thousands of people land their dream job! He has had his fair share of editing content too, and loves to help out everyone in the team.

Create your cover letter once, use it everywhere

Our easy-to-use technology helps you create a standout cover letter quickly. Easily create a mobile-optimized cover letter website in just minutes or download and share it as a PDF.
Build my cover letter
Join over 10,000 newsletter subscribers

Our experts gather the best career & resume tips every 2 weeks. It takes 15 minutes or less. They will be sent straight to your inbox!