Notes on Cover Letters for Software Engineers

My notes for Mayuko Inoue’s video on whether cover letters are worth it for software engineering jobs.

December 16, 2021


Here are some notes I took while watching Mayuko’s video on whether cover letters are worth it for software engineering jobs.

Probably Not Worth It

  • Cover letters are not that valued in the tech industry.
  • Recruiters are not going to take the time to thoroughly read it.
    • They want to higher the best people as quickly as possible
  • Operate of the assumption that recruiters and hiring teams will not look at a cover letter
  • The resume should tell recruiters everything they need to know
  • Caveat:
    • Resumes don’t always give the full picture
      • Example: Gaps in employment
  • It depends on the specific company whether it is important to communicate the things that would normally go in a cover letter.
    • Example: It can be very important to startups whether the mission resonates with you
  • It is less important for larger companies where their brand and values are established and well known
  • Do your research on companies of interest to get a better idea of what they are looking for
  • Hiring platforms
    • provide an opportunity to showcase who you are
    • Put effort into the about me sections
      • include different hobbies that you are interested in
      • bring in recommendations
  • Make sure grammar is on point
    • Grammar is used to weed out candidates early on
  • Make sure the writing flows and is consistent with the resume
  • The strongest way to get your foot in the door is through an inside referral.
    • Research and reach out