Sonam Choden (left) and Laine Takahashi (right), as part of HENNGE’s Engineering Talent Acquisition Team.

Crafting the Perfect Cover Letter: Tips and Insights Direct from HENNGE’s Engineer Recruiting Team

Jazman Barizi

In today’s competitive job market, the recruitment process can be daunting and feel a little impersonal as it becomes increasingly automated. However, the importance of a well-crafted cover letter cannot be overstated. At HENNGE, a leading cloud security provider company in Japan, the cover letter remains a vital part of what we consider to be a very human process, offering valuable insights into a candidate’s personality, motivations, and skills that can make or break your application.

In this episode of HENNGE Casual Talk, Jazman Barizi (Jazz), Laine Takahashi and Sonam Choden from HENNGE’s Engineering Talent Acquisition team delve into the significance of the cover letter, including what makes a standout application, and what you need to know about HENNGE’s culture before applying.

Meet the Experts

Before jumping into the intricacies of cover letters, let’s meet our experts.

Sonam Choden, with four years of experience at HENNGE, initially started as part-time before transitioning to full-time roles. bringing a wealth of insights into the recruitment process. Hailing from the scenic Himalayan landscapes of Bhutan, Sonam’s journey with HENNGE reflects the company’s commitment to nurturing talent from diverse backgrounds.

Laine Takahashi is originally from the Philippines, and now holds over five years of experience at HENNGE. Specializing in talent acquisition for engineering roles, she has fine-tuned an ability to identify top tech talent that can best fit HENNGE’s goal of fostering a community of curious minds and culture of excellence within the organization.


Why Cover Letters Still Matter

In an era increasingly dominated by applicant tracking systems and AI screening, Jazz began the conversation by asking the question: Why would a company like HENNGE still require cover letters?

In most cases, companies request cover letters to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate beyond what is outlined in their CV. While resumes provide a snapshot of a candidate’s professional experience, cover letters offer insights into their personality, motivations, and interests. It allows applicants to showcase their communication skills and articulate why they are a perfect fit for the role and the organization.
At HENNGE, cover letters play a crucial role in our recruitment process. This is a bit of a secret for readers, but let me share one of the reasons why it can take longer for our application review process. Unlike some companies that rely solely on automated systems for initial screenings, all cover letters submitted to HENNGE undergo manual review by a real human in our recruitment team.

This meticulous process allows us to gain a deeper understanding of the candidate’s attitude, communication skills, and coding capabilities. Moreover, it’s a chance for the candidate to demonstrate their genuine interest in joining HENNGE, and to what extent they are likely to align with our values and culture.
Yes, in addition to saying why they chose to apply for a position at HENNGE, it’s a chance to tell their wider story. For example, if the candidate is not from Japan, we’d like to hear why they want to come here, what’s the motivation that drives them? From this we can then gain a deeper understanding of any highlighted details, such as relevant skills and experience. This shouldn’t just be a list of coding languages used, but how have they been used? What were the results that made this experience really interesting or exciting?

What Makes a Good Cover Letter?

So what elements make a cover letter stand out in the eyes of the HENNGE’s recruitment team?
When it comes to crafting an impactful cover letter for HENNGE, clarity, conciseness, and relevance are paramount. It should effectively address the candidate’s motivations for joining HENNGE; highlight relevant skills and experiences not fully captured in their CV; and demonstrate a genuine interest in the company and its mission.

The cover letter should also show that the candidate has taken the time to get to know HENNGE and make it explicitly clear what position they are actually applying for instead of using a generic template.

Attention to detail is crucial here. For example, HENNGE is all capitalized, but applicants often miss this, misspell it – or even address it to a different company! These kinds of basic errors show a lack of research and effort, and will instantly detract from the application.
Yes. Always proofread and double-check everything before clicking submit! OK, so could you elaborate on the role of cover letters in terms of candidates’ expectations and aligning them with HENNGE’s culture?
Crafting a cover letter requires candidates to conduct research on HENNGE, its products, culture, and values. By delving into these aspects, candidates gain a better understanding of what to expect from HENNGE as an employer.

Typically, successful candidates have found a way to clearly align their personal expectations, motivations, and career aspirations with HENNGE’s vision as a tech company, fostering a mutually beneficial relationship. Candidates who demonstrate a genuine interest in HENNGE and a willingness to contribute to its success are more likely to thrive within our dynamic work environment.

HENNGE’s Culture: Are You a Fit?

So it’s about communicating why your hiring would be a win-win for all involved. And how would you describe the type of talent that would best fit HENNGE’s culture?
At HENNGE, we’re all about actively contributing to the development and improvement of Open Source Software, so we value individuals who possess a passion for technology and a relentless drive for learning and growth. Candidates who exhibit curiosity, adaptability, and a willingness to embrace challenges are well-suited to thrive in our fast-paced environment.

We also place a strong emphasis on diversity and inclusion, so candidates with experience working in diverse and international teams are highly valued. Ultimately, we seek individuals who embody our core values and are committed to driving innovation and excellence in everything they do.

I’d say a strong candidate is someone who can show how they are a “learnaholic”.

Somebody who is keen to keep learning and evolving. This is one important facet of the HENNGE way. In fact, the company name is derived from two words conveying transformation and challenge. Are there examples you can highlight that demonstrate how you would help HENNGE keep on transforming while continuing to challenge yourself?
Yes. And for senior positions, this also applies to how you’ve been able to encourage those around you to transform and challenge themselves. We definitely look for candidates who have experience with mentoring juniors or leading teams to drive forward a company culture in a positive way. This may not always be clear from your CV alone, so the cover letter is the perfect chance to tell us about it!

So there you have it, first-hand tips and insights into HENNGE’s culture from those on the receiving end of applications.

As you embark on your job search journey, remember the words of wisdom shared by HENNGE’s recruitment team. Tailor your cover letter to reflect your personality, motivations, and alignment with HENNGE’s culture and values. With attention to detail and a genuine passion for technology, you could be the next addition to HENNGE’s dynamic team of tech talents whether you’re a seasoned professional or a fresh graduate.

Are you ready to craft your standout cover letter and take the first step towards an exciting career at HENNGE?

If you’re keen to be part of a dynamic, collaborative, and innovative team, now is the time to take action. Search our current opportunities at today and begin your own adventure with us.

Put these tips into action and it could be YOU we’re interviewing next time. Your future awaits!

Jazman Barizi