A project manager cover letter represents the opportunity to dazzle potential employers with your skills and personality. However, creating one feels like navigating a brand-new and rather complex project.
You’re familiar with the basics—meticulously using written words to craft a compelling demonstration of your abilities and experiences. Yet, when the time comes for you to put pen to paper, you feel stuck.
How should you start? What should you include in your project manager cover letter? How long should it be?
We’ll answer all those questions and many others, give you a full writing guide, and even show you a complete cover letter example. Let’s jump in!
The body of your cover letter should start with a catchy introduction, continue with a description of your skills and achievements, and end with a call to action.
Try to find out the hiring manager's name to address them personally.
Only talk about those skills and accomplishments that are relevant to the job that you’re applying for.
Display a strong interest in the position by highlighting your knowledge of the company.
Proofread and edit your cover letter to polish it to perfection.
How to Format a Project Manager Cover Letter
Knowing how to format your project manager cover letter is vital to ensuring it optimally conveys valuable information to hiring managers. By following a proven format, you’ll ensure you’ve included everything a cover letter needs in an adequate order.
The good thing is that the best format for your cover letter is a standard business letter format. That means you should structure the sections in your document like this:
Cover letter Structure
Your contact information
Date of writing
Recipient’s contact information
Body of the letter:
A formal greeting
An attention-grabbing first paragraph
1–3 informational body paragraphs
A closing paragraph with a CTA
A formal closing
(Optional) A postscript with an impressive accomplishment or detail about you
Cover Letter Layout
To make your project manager cover letter truly stand out, you need a visually appealing layout in addition to a strong format. Fortunately, that’s easy to achieve by following a couple of simple guidelines:
Cover Letter Layout Guidelines
Your cover letter should be one page long.
The body of the letter should have 3–5 paragraphs and 250–400 words.
You want a clean and legible font (e.g., Arial or Calibri); avoid stylized and script typefaces.
Your font size should be 10–12 pt.
Use 1.0 line spacing and double that between paragraphs.
Set your margins to 1 inch.
How to Write a Project Manager Cover Letter
Writing a cover letter will become second nature once you go through this comprehensive set of instructions, where we’ll individually explore every section. Moreover, here’s a template that we created to help you visualize how to craft the best project manager cover letter for 2023:
#1. Add Contact Information in the Header
Your cover letter heading should provide your contact information, the date of writing, and the recipient’s details.
Regarding your details, here’s what you should include:
Optionally, you can add:
Link to a portfolio or a personal website
When it comes to the receiver’s information, you should include the hiring manager's name in addition to the company’s name and location. By going to such lengths to find out their name, you show dedication, create a personal connection with them, and increase your chances of getting called for an interview.
Now, let’s see what a contact information section for a project manager cover letter should look like:
William Hart Senior Project Manager 834 Broadcast Drive Herndon, VA 22070 703-948-3661 email@example.com
Derek Dube Hiring Manager Foundation Co. 3940 Despard Street Atlanta, GA 30305
#2. Greet the Hiring Manager
A brief, polite, and professional salutation is all you need before you start writing the body of your cover letter. Here’s an example:
Dear Mr. Lawrence
Lastly, here are a few things to keep in mind regarding a formal greeting:
Formal Greeting Tips
Avoid a blanket “To whom it may concern” greeting as it’s too impersonal.
Use the recipient’s title if you don’t know their name.
Use “Ms.” instead of “Mrs.” or “Miss.”
#3. Emphasize Your Qualifications in the Introduction
Chances are that there will be plenty of other candidates applying for the same position as you. That means countless cover letters for busy hiring managers to go through. So, how do you make sure that they stop at yours and give it a closer look?
The answer is simple: you write a highly effective first paragraph that emphasizes your key strengths. If you have a rich work history, include some of your most impressive achievements. However, if you’re writing a project manager cover letter with no experience, you should underline your skills and motivation.
Let’s check out an example:
I was thrilled to discover an open position for a senior project manager at Foundation Co. With more than 7 years of work history and a proven track record of delivering B2B software products for enterprises valued upward of $2 million, I believe that my skills and experience make me an ideal candidate for this role.
#4. Elaborate on Why You’re the Right Fit
What separates good project manager cover letters from great ones is relevance. Most candidates who apply for jobs are competent individuals with plenty of skills and lots of valuable experience. To stand out in such a crowd, you want to show that you’re the right person for the specific job you’re applying for.
That means that instead of haphazardly listing all your project management skills, you want to focus on those potential employers want to see. After all, a creative project manager cover letter should be vastly different from that of an electrical project manager. By researching the company and reading the job ad, you’ll find out the requirements for the role.
Then, in 1–3 paragraphs, you want to highlight those abilities and experiences that will portray you as the best candidate for the role. Let’s see that in an example:
During my tenure at ValueSoft, I led a team of 25+ professionals to develop a content prediction engine for a client, which helped them increase their annual revenue by $1.3 million. Through meticulous planning, scheduling, and resource allocation, we completed the project three weeks ahead of schedule and with a cost savings of 13%.
One more thing you can do that can vastly improve your chances with hiring managers is to show how they are the right fit for you too. If there’s a particular reason that you want to work with them, be sure to mention it to demonstrate your drive and motivation further.
Here’s an example of that:
I’ve been following the work of Foundation Co. for years. I am particularly drawn to your commitment to innovation and dedication to delivering high-quality, polished products and services. Your company’s reputation for excellence aligns perfectly with my professional values.
#5. Add a Call to Action
The most effective way to finish your cover letter is with a strong call to action. Don’t forget to thank the hiring manager for their time before proposing they contact you for further discussion over an interview. It’s a simple but effective way to increase your chances of getting to the next stage of the hiring process.
Check that out in the following example:
Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing my suitability for the role further.
#6. Write a Formal Closing
Formally closing a cover letter should be similar to opening it—brief and polite. Let’s see an example:
Use one of the professional business letter closings before adding your name or signature, and that’s it!
#7. Proofread and Edit the Cover Letter
Proofreading should be the final and crucial step in the process of writing a cover letter. First off, proofreading allows you to spot and correct any mistakes. Even a single typo can detract from the overall quality of the document.
Furthermore, proofreading allows you to edit your writing and check whether you’ve properly tailored it to the job ad's requirements. You might end up trimming unnecessary parts of your letter or including additional content in certain sections.
Project Manager Cover Letter Example
Here’s a complete senior project manager cover letter example:
Project Manager Cover Letter Writing Tips
Let’s finish this comprehensive guide on a high note by checking out a few expert tips:
Cover Letter Writing Tips
An easy way to make your work-related achievements pop is to quantify them. Simply include numbers, statistics, or percentages to add measurable value to your accomplishments, and you’ll make them substantial in the eyes of potential employers.
Your project manager cover letter and your project manager resume are two different documents that should complement each other. Instead of repeating details from your resume, you should use your cover letter to add more valuable information and represent yourself as an even more qualified candidate.
It’s not uncommon for a candidate to use a Word template of a project manager cover letter to make their document. However, you should still export it to a PDF file and submit that when sending a soft copy. That’s because a PDF sample of a project manager cover letter will retain its format and layout across any device.
You can add a postscript to your cover letter after a formal closing. A postscript is highly likely to grab the reader’s attention. Even if a hiring manager skims your cover letter, they might read this part. By including a particularly impressive achievement, you can convince them to take a deeper look at the document.
As a project manager who thrives on learning new things and adapting to new situations, you can now add another skill to your ever-expanding collection—crafting professional cover letters!
And don’t forget to let that innovative spirit shine through in your writing. After all, one of the easiest ways to stand out in a crowd of equally skilled candidates is to be authentic. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should forget to portray yourself as a competent and knowledgeable candidate.
A healthy mix of achievements and aspirations will go a long way toward presenting you as a driven person and a potentially valuable member of their organization. May your project manager cover letter be the spark that launches your career to new heights!