As you consider applying for Web Developer jobs, you may be wondering whether you need to write a cover letter. While it is true that hiring managers for some technical positions tend to disregard cover letters in favor of focusing on the resume and portfolio, there are also some managers for whom a good cover letter can make a big difference. A cover letter is your chance to show your personality and provide a narrative of your career journey that would logically culminate in your getting that job. You want to help the hiring manager imagine you as the specific person who is the best fit for the role the job posting describes.

How to Write a Web Developer Cover Letter

If you’ve ever written a cover letter for a job before, you’ll know that there are certain universal items that belong in a cover letter. These include the name of the job and the specific company you’re applying to work with. You’ll also want to make sure you include success stories from your previous career that demonstrate how you make excellent use of the skills included in the job posting. However, there are also items that are more directly related to web development that you’ll definitely want to have in your cover letter.

Discuss Specific Projects

In your cover letter, include the specific projects you completed in your past experience that you consider the biggest successes of your career. Avoid simply listing the companies you’ve worked for and job titles you’ve held. Your resume already has that information. Your cover letter is your chance to highlight your biggest successes. Focusing on your accomplishments allows you to show not only the skills you have, but also what they can lead to if you are given the opportunity to use them. If you can show that you created a finished product, whether a website or an app, that will give the hiring manager a concrete idea of why they should bring you on board by making it easier for them to imagine you accomplishing something similar on their time.

Showcase Relevant Skills

On the other hand, you do want to make sure that your cover letter draws attention to the specific skills you possess that meet the requirements in the job posting. It’s good to say that you created this site or that app, but even better to include which specific languages, technical skills, technologies, and tools you made use of in that accomplishment–--if, of course, those languages, skills, etc. are listed in the job posting. Otherwise, you can have them on your resume or LinkedIn, but there’s no reason to highlight them in the cover letter. You want to make sure that you make the most efficient use of the space a cover letter allows you to include only the most important items.

Demonstrate Your Impact

Building a website or app is impressive, but it’s even more impressive when you can show that your project solved a real-world problem or helped your client accomplish a specific goal. If the website you made helped increase business for a local restaurant by making it easier to order online, give that information and, if possible, provide an exact percentage for the increase in business. Numbers that show impact are highly compelling to hiring managers. Seeing a specific number provides a concrete idea of what you are capable of doing with the skills you possess, which makes the argument that you can optimize those skills for this company more convincing.

Be Aware of Your Audience

When choosing what language to use in your cover letter, you will want to think about who the hiring manager is, and what industry they are in. Are they a fellow Web Developer in a tech company? If so, you’re probably safe to use a little industry jargon if you think it’ll help make it clear what you can. But if your hiring manager is a district superintendent for a water utility, you might have to hold back a little on the acronyms and specialized language. It’s all about knowing your audience and choosing the language that works for them. 

You’ll also want to consider the industry the company is in when you think about the formality level of your language. Cover letters within the tech industry tend to be brief, punchy, and informal. However, if you’re looking to use your web development skills in a traditional industry, like finance, education, or government, you’ll need to make your cover letter more formal and serious than you would otherwise.

Show What You Care About

Your cover letter is a chance to show why you are passionate about web development and what specific aspects of the career are attractive to you. You can also discuss what you want to do in the future and why this particular company is relevant to your personal goals. All of this will form a narrative that can convince the hiring manager why you are the right fit and why you will be passionate about your work once they hire you.

5 Web Developer Cover Letter Tips

Get Their Attention

Sometimes, the hardest thing to do in a cover letter is just getting the hiring manager to keep reading. Some hiring managers have to look at hundreds of applications for a single position, so they may only have a few minutes per application. A dull opening to your cover letter will weaken their attention and may even make them pass it by without reading the rest. You need to include the most compelling item in your argument within the first few sentences, or they may pass it by.

Use Your Space Well

The absolute maximum length for a web development cover letter is one page, and it’s better if it’s even shorter. As such, you’ll want to use that space efficiently. Decide what skills and accomplishments are the most important, and be certain that you foreground them within your letter. Then edit your writing for efficiency multiple times, making sure that every word is strictly necessary, so that you have room to include all of the most compelling reasons to hire you within that single page. 

Editing is an area where asking an experienced person for feedback can make a huge difference in including the right things and only the right things—more on that below. Since you live inside your own head, it may be hard for you to see where your writing would be unclear or confusing to someone else. In addition to expert readers, having a peer read your writing can be helpful in this respect, especially if they are a peer in your certificate program or bootcamp.

Be Specific

One of the most important aspects of a successful cover letter is specificity. This can be true in multiple ways. For one thing, you’ll want to make sure you customize your cover letter to the specific position you are applying for. This doesn’t mean merely putting in the right company name and job title. Your cover letter needs to address the specific qualifications required in the job posting and demonstrate how you fulfill them. The hiring manager needs to know that you’re not just sending them the same cover letter as you send everyone else, and, more importantly, that you have the requisite skills and knowledge for the position you’re applying to.

Your cover letter must also be specific about the accomplishments you choose to include. Being able to quantify your accomplishment with a number or show its quality with an accolade you received gives the hiring manager concrete knowledge of why you would make an excellent addition to their team. Also, make sure you give the basics of “who, what, how, and why” for the projects you choose to highlight. The hiring manager will have difficulty understanding the nature of your accomplishment if they don’t know the context in which you achieved it.

Close On A Strong Note

Your attention-getting opening is a vital part of the letter, but it’s just as important to end it in a strong place. You want to leave the hiring manager with a strong sense of who you are and what you would contribute to their company. One great way to do this is to share why you want to work at that particular place. This is a classic interview question, of course, but here you can actually anticipate that question and answer it ahead of time. This leaves a good impression because it shows that you have thought about that particular company and can see yourself there, which helps the hiring manager see you there too.

Get Feedback

Once you’ve written a cover letter, you’ll want to make sure to ask for feedback. The best people to ask for feedback are trusted teachers or advanced web development professionals. It’s even better if they have experience as hiring managers in the specific industry that you’re aiming at. When you choose a certificate program or bootcamp for web development, you should make sure that they provide the kind of career support you need. The certificate programs at Noble Desktop include 1-on-1 career mentorship and review of your job materials. Noble’s certificates include software engineering, front end web development, JavaScript, full stack development, and Python development

Learn the Skills to Become a Web Developer at Noble Desktop

To become a Web Developer, you must learn specific skills critical to the job. Noble Desktop can help you build these skills through in-person or live online instruction. Either way, you’ll have access to expert instructors who can clarify issues when you are confused, provide feedback on your work, and guide you through becoming a Web Developer. Small class sizes and the option to retake any course for free once you’ve completed it are additional incentives for studying with Noble Desktop.

Noble offers several relevant certificate programs demonstrating your Web Developer skills and qualifications to share with potential employers and support you in your job search. Completing the software engineering certificate gives you the broadest qualifications and career path options. If you are primarily interested in developing for the front end, consider the front end web development certificate. JavaScript is becoming increasingly popular for web development, so completing the certificate in Javascript will boost your resume. Opt for the full stack development certificate if you're interested in front end and back end programming. And if you prefer behind-the-scenes programming, pursue the certificate in Python development.

If you’re a beginner in web development, Noble’s hub of articles and resources on web development is a great place to start and plan your learning path. Noble’s web development courses are excellent if you’re eager to start learning but not yet ready to commit to a full certificate.