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Tech Ladies Guide to Cover Letters

Everything you need to know to create a great cover letter and make a great first impression!

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Sep 15, 2023
 min read
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Tech Ladies Guide to Cover Letters

Cover letters are important to help you stand out from the crowd of other applicants. They say, "Hey! I’m interested. Let me tell you why I can do the job AND why you want to talk to me."

Your resume (as well as your LinkedIn profile) is meant to be a rundown of all your relevant experience, skills, and education. Your cover letter, on the other hand, should be a concise explanation of how your background makes you a great candidate, and it should show your personality and enthusiasm for the role.

It might feel intimidating to sum this up in a few sentences, but don’t worry! This article will walk you step by step through writing an outstanding cover letter to land that tech job you’re dreaming of.

(By the way, we’re using the term “cover letter” here, but it’s more likely you’ll be sending this text as an email or attaching it as a PDF. Or, you can even use it to answer a question on an application form about why you’re the right person for the job.)

#1 Do your research

You need some background info to tailor your cover letter for the company and role you’re applying for.

Check out the company

You can usually learn a lot from the company’s own website, especially their about page and careers page. Then you can dig deeper by looking at their LinkedIn and other social media, as well as doing a Google search, of course.

Some areas you’ll want to find out about include:

  • Company and team culture‍
  • Products/Services‍
  • Recent news‍
  • Future plans

Analyze the posting

Now go through the job description carefully. Look at the skills and qualifications the employer names in particular and take notes on your own that match. Read about the responsibilities of the role and think of when you’ve done the same or similar work..

Also look at the “nice to haves” and see which ones you have - Highlighting these can be a great way to catch a hiring manager’s attention in your cover letter!

BONUS: By doing research on the company and the role, you’ll already be well prepped for your first interview for the job!

#2 Get Your Structure Straight

Your cover letter should be short and to the point. Use the structure below to make sure you get your point across quickly and clearly.

Paragraph 1

You want to make a memorable - and good! - first impression. To do this:

  1. Show your enthusiasm for the specific role and the company
  2. Explain why you’re interested in this job in particular (be specific!)
  3. Share how you heard about the job (for example, via the Tech Ladies Job Board)

This means avoiding the cookie-cutter (and, let’s face it, boring) starting line “I am applying to the position,” or the dreaded (and SO outdated), “Please find enclosed my application.”

You don’t have to be super cute or clever. Just try addressing each of the points above like you were talking to a colleague you look up to or someone you met at a fun networking event. In other words, tell your story in a professional but personable way.

Paragraph 2

Here’s where you’ll explain why you’re the best candidate for the role. In other words, explain why you can do the job. A great way to start your second paragraph is by saying directly how you fulfill the top requirements for the role by saying, “I’m confident I can do XYZ because ABC.”‍Pick a few key requirements and tie in your relevant skills and experience. Be specific about how you’ve used the skills or done the work successfully in previous roles and how that will let you contribute in this role. Avoid just repeating what your resume says though. Instead reframe that info as it applies to this job, giving context or details not in your resume.

When possible, quantify your achievements to show your impact. For example, if you reduced your company’s page load times, include the percentage you cut it by. Or, if you led a project that finished early and under budget, share the numbers around that. The goal here is to be brief but convey your value.

Paragraph 3

Wrap it up by letting them know about your resume (whether it’s attached to the email as a pdf, submitted to the system, etc), list the best way to reach you, and say that you look forward to hearing from them about next steps.

And, if you want this structure in an easy-to-reference PDF, you can download the free Tech Ladies cover letter template here.

#3 Put on the Polish

Now that you’ve done your background work and found the framework, here are some important points to remember for a top cover letter.


Every role and company is different. Your cover letter should match the one you’re applying for so that the hiring manager can see you’re genuinely interested and qualified for the exact position.

Stay Concise

Your cover letter is a unique opportunity for a hiring manager to notice you. By sticking to three short paragraphs or so, you’ll up your chances of it being read and you moving forward for the role.

Match Your Tone

Just like “reading the room” when you’re talking with someone, you’ll want to adjust the tone of your cover letter to fit the kind of company you’re applying with so the hiring manager immediately sees that you understand the culture there.

For a small startup, you can probably be more casual while you might want to be more formal in your cover letter to a large corporation. (HINT: Try to follow the tone of the job posting and/or company website.)


No matter how excited you are about the job, typos and grammatical mistakes can cause the hiring manager to think you’re uninterested or unprofessional. Double check your text several times. You can even read it backwards to get the mistakes to stand out and have a friend look it over too.

A well-written cover letter can seriously up your chances of being considered for a particular role. It's your chance to showcase your qualifications, and enthusiasm. 

By following the three steps above, you can create a compelling cover letter that sets you apart from the competition and opens the door to your next exciting opportunity.

You can find more tips on how to land your dream job in tech with our free Job Search Crash Course. And, if you’re actively looking for a role in product, design, engineering, or marketing, you can apply for the Tech Ladies Talent Network to have our hiring partners reach out to you about open roles on their team.

Kelli works with our hiring partners, helping them connect with Tech Ladies interested in joining their great teams. She’s an expert in customer success and has worked in tech, including recruiting and hiring, for the past ten years. Kelli lives in southeastern Finland and loves dancing, podcasts, and productivity apps.
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Job Searching

Tech Ladies Guide to Cover Letters

Kelli Smith
Kelli Smith
Sep 15, 2023
 min read
Tech Ladies Guide to Cover Letters