An IT cover letter is an exercise in presenting a balanced view of your high-level technical experience as well as your ability to work collaboratively with a range of different staff, clients and stakeholders. In an IT role you are often tasked with explaining complex ideas and systems to those with significantly less knowledge or understanding, so it’s important that this element is captured as well.
Here’s how to write an IT cover letter that shows off all your strengths, and helps you secure an interview.
IT cover letter do's
- Do keep it short. One page is the maximum for cover letters, with the ideal length between 250 - 350 words, or around four paragraphs
- Do ensure your technical skills and proficiencies with relevant software and systems are detailed clearly in your IT cover letter
- Do show that you’re constantly learning, improving and updating your skills
- Do detail any side projects or start-up work you’re doing
- Do show your passion for the work you do and for the industry at large
- Do customise your cover letter for each IT role you apply for
- Do always run a thorough spelling and grammar check before submitting your cover letter
IT cover letter don'ts
- Don’t use outdated or unprofessional contact details
- Don’t use company-specific language or terminology. Stick to what is known and understood at an industry level
- Don’t neglect to mention your communication and people-based skills to highlight only the technical. Consider the other qualities that are useful in IT roles, and desirable from an employer’s perspective
- Don’t exaggerate about your level of experience of competency. Refined technical skill is a critical part of IT roles, so it’s important you’re honest about what you can do, and what you can’t
IT cover letter example
This cover letter for an IT role is strong because overall it follows cover letter writing best practice. The cover letter runs no longer than a page and is within the optimum work length, the contact details for both candidate and employer are neatly presented and professional, and links to both websites links are included - an important component in IT job applications.
The cover letter is also strong because it lists the core software and programming abilities desired by the industry, another key element for any IT cover letter. He also details the industries and types of clients he is experienced with, giving an assurance that he has strong communication skills and experience translating the technical into the practical on a regular basis.
This IT cover letter sample also exhibits passion, and the candidate’s reference to working with a start-up in his own time shows he has ambition, determination and purpose.
The way in which you write and communicate key messages in your IT cover letter is just as important as the actual experience and content you include, so make sure yours is suitably formatted, neat, and easy to read for every role you apply for.
Take a look at our cover letter guide page for more cover letter writing tips and examples.