Application guidelines

Thinking about applying but need a little help? Read through our guidelines to make sure that your cover letter, and your application as a whole, meet all of the requirements.

What your application needs to include

There are three things that your application needs to include.

Writing your cover letter


Your reasons for pursuing a career in technology.

  • What interests you about technology?
  • Was there a particular project or activity that sparked your enthusiasm?

What inspires or motivates you?

  • This might include activities or hobbies, either in the school environment or outside, that represent your interest in technology.

If possible, include the universities you are considering.

Please mention the course you are interested in.

How to write

Begin with an introduction - this should inform the reader what the letter is about.

Use relevant examples to highlight your experiences.

End with a conclusion paragraph - this should remind the reader of what your letter contains.

Check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation.

Start early. Give yourself plenty of time to reflect on the content, and make any changes, before submitting your application.

Technical details: your cover letter should have a word count of between 800 - 1000 words.

Take care of your emotional and mental well-being

If you have any questions, are struggling with your application, or would like to speak to a member of the PortSwigger team for any other reason, just send us an email.

We are here to support you in case you need any help or clarification.

taking care of your well-being

Do's and don'ts for your application

After you've done a couple of drafts of your cover letter, and your application, take a few minutes to go through this checklist to make sure you've met the requirements.


  • Do - take some time to articulate your thoughts and make drafts as you go along.

  • Do - ask trusted people around you to provide feedback.

  • Do - show your enthusiasm.

  • Do - use formal language.

  • Do - check for grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors.


  • Don't - exaggerate your experience, as during the interview stage you may be asked to elaborate.

  • Don't - leave proofreading to the last minute.

  • Don't - use abbreviations. Your cover letter, and your whole application, should have a formal tone.

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