As it turns out, a well-crafted cover letter is still an important part of the interview and decision making process for 83% of hiring managers and recruiters.
With project management being as highly competitive as it is, it's so important to stand out from the crowd with your job application and showcase your unique skills and your mastery of project tools like RACI charts, stakeholder management, and team communication.
This article will help you craft a compelling and tailored cover letter that highlights your expertise, accomplishments, and passion for project management, and most importantly, lands you that new job you’ve been spying on.
So, whether you're a seasoned pro or an aspiring project manager, get ready to make a lasting impression on hiring managers and secure your dream job.
What’s the Purpose of a Project Manager Cover Letter?
The purpose of a project manager cover letter goes beyond just an introduction to your resume—it’s an opportunity to make a strong, lasting impression on potential employers. Think about first impressions when you meet someone—a handshake, eye contact, a smile—that’s what cover letters are.
And because project manager jobs are all about managing time and deliverables to ensure a successful project from beginning to end, it's important to have a professional cover letter that can effectively communicate your unique value proposition.
Your cover letter is where you’ll highlight your key strengths and experiences in project management, serving as the cherry on top of a standout project manager resume (get some more project management resume tips here).
Here's what a project manager cover letter aims to achieve:
- Showcase your skills: Your cover letter allows you to show off your project management skills, including your expertise in management methods, tools, and frameworks like work breakdown structures. Set yourself apart from other candidates by highlighting the most important and unique skills.
- Highlight relevant experience: Use your cover letter to emphasize your best project management performances, like an early finish on a project or completing a project under budget. Similar to social proof, this helps to establish your credibility and showcase your ability to deliver results.
- Demonstrate cultural fit: A cover letter gives you the opportunity to show that you did your research on the company you’re applying to. It’s your chance to discuss how you fit in with the company's culture, mission, and values. Make it easy for the company to see why you’re the best fit for their team.
- Express your passion: Your cover letter is the perfect place to express why you love what you do and how it relates to the job you’re applying to. People can sense passion from a mile away, so make it obvious from your cover letter, setting yourself apart from the other candidates and making you the most memorable one.
- Personalize your application: Unlike your resume, your cover letter is your chance to directly address the hiring manager and tailor your message to the specific job and company. This personal touch can help create a connection with the hiring manager from the beginning, increasing your chances of being considered for the project manager role.
What to Include in a Project Manager Cover Letter
A well-structured project manager cover letter should clearly and effectively explain your qualifications, skills, and reason for applying. Not sure where to start? While every cover letter can differ, especially if you're trying to land your first job in project management, here are some key elements to consider:
This is your chance to address the hiring manager by name whenever possible, which helps create a personal connection and demonstrates your attention to detail.
Try looking on the company’s LinkedIn or social media for a specific name, but if you really can't find one, use a professional and general salutation like "Dear Hiring Manager."
Begin your cover letter with a strong opening paragraph that grabs the reader's attention and briefly introduces you as a candidate.
Think about what would grab your attention after reading dozens of applications. Does it feel a little untraditional? That’s okay. If the company culture fits, add some flair or humor from the beginning.
Qualifications & Skills
Use the body of your cover letter to show your most relevant qualifications and skills that speak to the specific job description and requirements.
Focus on your expertise in project management methodologies, tools (ex. Gantt charts), communication skills with team members (part of soft skills), and software knowledge. This is where you can also mention any project management certifications or training that you have, like PMP or agile certifications.
Relevant Experience & Accomplishments
Highlight your project management experience by providing specific examples of your accomplishments. Think about a specific project that was successful and why. Then use quantifiable metrics whenever possible.
For example, you finished the project in 30% less time than anticipated or saved 10% of the allocated budget. These examples demonstrate your ability to deliver results and help the hiring manager envision you in the role.
Why You Applied/Want the Job
Explain your motivation for applying to the position and express your genuine interest in the company and the role. What makes this job different? Why do you want to work in this role? Does the company’s mission speak to you? Say that. Are you very aligned with their values? Talk about why that matters to you.
The more connections you make, the easier it is for the hiring manager to establish your fit within the organization and it always shows that you've done your homework.
Closing Statement & Call to Action
End your cover letter with a strong closing statement that reiterates your enthusiasm for this project management position and the value you bring as a candidate.
For example, ‘I’m looking forward to learning more about the company’s X, Y, and Z and how I can use my skills to make that happen.” Be sure to end your cover letter like you would a professional email or letter, with a closing like "Sincerely" or "Best regards," followed by your full name.
Using these essential elements into your project manager cover letter can help you create a persuasive and memorable story that sets you apart from other candidates and increases your chances of landing an interview.
Project Manager Cover Letter Template
To make your cover letter writing process as seamless as possible, we've created an easy-to-follow project manager cover letter template.
Use this template as a guide to craft a personalized and persuasive cover letter that effectively communicates your skills and enthusiasm for the project management role you’re looking at. Your cover letter format can be adjusted to fit the specific job you’re applying to, but be sure to include the main points.
[Salutation] (ex. Dear [Hiring Manager's Name]),
- Introduce yourself and mention the job title you're applying for
- Highlight your most relevant skills and qualifications
- Create a strong first impression with a compelling opening statement
[Skills & Accomplishments Paragraph]
- Showcase your most relevant project management skills
- Share specific examples of your accomplishments using quantifiable metrics
- Emphasize your expertise in project management methodologies, tools, and software
[Motivation & Fit Paragraph]
- Explain your motivation for applying to the position
- Express sincere interest in the company and role
- Demonstrate your alignment with the company's mission, values, and culture
- Reiterate your enthusiasm for the position and the value you bring as a candidate
- Express your interest in further discussing your qualifications during an interview
- Invite the hiring manager to contact you
[Sign-off] (ex. Sincerely or Best regards), [Your Full Name] [Your Phone Number] [Your Email Address]
How to Write a Project Manager Cover Letter
Writing a project manager cover letter can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be challenging. Follow these steps to create a standout cover letter that leaves a lasting impression on hiring managers and makes you feel confident when applying:
Step 1: Research the Company and Position
Research both the company and the role you're applying for. Be sure you understand the company's mission, values, and culture, and the key requirements and responsibilities of the project manager position. Including these details will show that you aren’t just sending out a generic cover letter to multiple job postings.
Step 2: Craft a Strong Opening
Write an engaging and attention-grabbing opening paragraph that shows your personality from the beginning and highlights your most relevant skills and qualifications.
Check out the company’s website beforehand and use similar language to what they have on their career page. This will help create a better connection from the beginning.
Step 3: Showcase Relevant Skills and Accomplishments
In the body of your cover letter, focus on your best performing projects and what made them successful. Use specific examples and quantifiable metrics wherever possible to add social proof to your claims of expertise.
If you saved a previous company money, mention it. If you used a specific hybrid methodology to successfully complete a project, this is where that information can shine.
Step 4: Express Your Passion and Fit
This is where you explain why you are applying and what makes you the most excited about it. Showcase how you fit into this role and within the larger company mission, value and culture. Are they a company that loves cheese? Well then you better too!
Step 5: Write a Compelling Closing Statement
End your cover letter with a strong statement that leaves no question in the hiring manager's mind about why you’re applying. This is where you can express your interest and excitement in discussing the opportunity during your interview and you can even invite the hiring manager to contact you for next steps.
Step 6: Proofread and Edit
Nothing is worse than spelling errors and grammatical mistakes in a cover letter. If you can’t even put enough time in to proofread a cover letter, a hiring manager will never feel confident in hiring you for project management.
Be sure to proofread your cover letter (and resume) more than once, and even ask someone else to give it a look. Show that you care about attention to detail by ensuring your cover letter is error free.
Cover Letter Examples for Project Managers
To help you craft a winning cover letter, we've compiled some expert examples for project managers. These project manager cover letter samples will serve as a valuable starting point, providing inspiration and guidance as you create your own standout cover letter.
Project Manager Cover Letter Example 1:
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
As an accomplished project manager with over 8 years of experience in delivering complex, multi-million-dollar projects on time and within budget, I am excited to apply for the Project Manager position at [Company Name]. My expertise in agile methodologies, risk management, and RASCI charts, coupled with my strong leadership and problem-solving skills, make me the ideal candidate to drive your company's projects to success.
Throughout my career, I have managed diverse teams and consistently achieved project goals in various industries, including healthcare, finance, and technology. In my most recent role as a Senior Project Manager at XYZ Corp, I successfully led a cross-functional team of 20 members to deliver a $5M software development project, achieving all milestones on time and 10% under budget. My ability to foster collaboration, maintain open communication, and anticipate potential risks has been instrumental in my success.
I am particularly drawn to [Company Name] because of your commitment to innovation and your impressive portfolio of projects. I am confident that my ability to adapt to new challenges, combined with my passion for delivering exceptional results, aligns perfectly with your company's goals and values.
Thank you for considering my application. I am eager to further discuss how my skills and experiences can contribute to [Company Name]'s continued success. Please feel free to contact me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to arrange a conversation.
[Your Full Name]
Project Manager Cover Letter Example 2:
Dear [Hiring Manager's Name],
I recently came across the Project Manager position at [Company Name] and was immediately drawn to the exciting opportunity to be part of your dynamic team. With a proven track record of delivering high-impact projects and a strong background in lean methodologies, stakeholder management, and process optimization, I am confident that my passion for project management and my results-driven approach will make a significant contribution to [Company Name].
Over the past 6 years, I have managed a wide range of projects, from software implementations to process improvement initiatives. In my current role as a Project Manager at ABC Solutions, I spearheaded a team of 15 professionals to implement a new CRM system for a major client, which resulted in a 20% increase in sales efficiency and a 15% reduction in customer support response time.
What truly excites me about [Company Name] is your focus on continuous improvement and your reputation for fostering a collaborative work environment. I believe that my ability to build strong relationships with cross-functional teams and my dedication to achieving excellence in project execution will enable me to thrive within your organization.
I would be thrilled to discuss how my experience and skill set can support [Company Name] in achieving its project objectives and driving growth. Please feel free to reach out to me at [Your Phone Number] or [Your Email Address] to schedule a conversation.
Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward to the opportunity to contribute to the success of [Company Name].
[Your Full Name]
Craft Your Winning Project Manager Cover Letter
Creating a compelling project manager cover letter is a crucial step in your job search journey. By following our expert cover letter tips and examples, you can create a standout cover letter that does the job at showcasing your unique skills, experiences, and passion for project management.
As you continue to explore the exciting world of project management, don't forget to check out our resources on interview questions and our comprehensive salary guide. Another good addition to your job application is a project manager portfolio.
To stay up-to-date with the latest trends, insights, and best practices in project management, be sure to subscribe to The Digital Project Manager newsletter. By signing up, you'll receive valuable information and tips that will help you excel in your career and land your dream project management job. Happy job hunting!