Every time I've hired programmers, there have been 3 things I was looking for.

First, will I like working with this person?

Second, can they do the work I need done?

Third, do they learn new things quickly? Keep in mind that no programmer is going to know everything they need to in order to do the job. So, the question "Can they learn?" is pretty important.

Your resume is all about the second thing I look for.

The first and third are a little hard to put into a resume. However, if I can get some idea about those things, I'm more likely to pull you in for an interview.

So, how do you get that leg up before the interview? In your cover letter.

Resumes are fairly structured and are meant to be skimmed.

What you want is the opportunity to tell the employer that you're a quick study, what you're like to work with, and what you hope to accomplish working for them.

The cover letter is your chance to tell your story and let them know who you are, how you work, what you like about their company, and what kind of person you are to work with.

Most employers are just as interested in the type of person they're hiring as the kinds of things they can do. The cover letter gives them that other half of the equation.

In my Get a Job course, we walk through how to structure your cover letter and how to do research on the company and hiring manager to find out what they're looking for and highlight your strengths based on that insider knowledge.


If you've got specific questions about cover letters, let me know! I'd love to do more blog posts and emails about them.