Are you looking to land more job offers as a Project Manager?
A great cover letter will be key. This guide will cover everything you need for writing a job-winning Project Manager cover letter (including proven strategies, skills, templates, & examples).
All of the content in this guide is based on data from coaching thousands of job seekers (just like you!) who went on to land offers at the world's best companies.
If you want to maximize your chances of landing that project manager role, I recommend reading this piece from top to bottom. But if you're just looking for something specific, here's what's included in this guide:
- What To Know About Writing A Job-Winning Project Manager Cover Letter
- The Best Skills To Include On A Project Manager Cover Letter
- How To Address A Project Manager Cover Letter
- 3 Project Manager Cover Letter Examples
- The 8 Best Project Manager Cover Letter Templates
- 3 Tips For Writing A Job-Winning Project Manager Cover Letter
Here's the step-by-step breakdown:
Project Manager Cover Letter Overview: What To Know To Write A Cover Letter That Wins More Job Offers
What do companies look for when they're hiring a Project Manager?
When hiring a project manager, companies typically look for candidates with a combination of technical and soft skills. On the technical side, project managers should have a solid understanding of project management methodologies, such as Agile or Waterfall, and possess the ability to use project management software effectively. They should also have a strong understanding of budgeting, scheduling, and risk management, as well as experience in managing projects from initiation to completion.
Soft skills are equally important in project management. Companies seek candidates who possess strong leadership and communication skills, problem-solving abilities, and who are able to come up with creative ways to overcome challenges.
A track record of success in Project Management is also highly valued. Employers want to see that candidates can deliver projects on time and within budget.
Additionally, there are a few best practices you want to follow to write a job-winning project manager cover letter:
- Address the job requirements: Review the job posting and identify the key skills and requirements the employer is looking for. Incorporate these into your cover letter by giving specific examples of how you have demonstrated these skills in previous roles.
- Highlight your project manager experience: If you have previous experience as a project manager, highlight this in your cover letter. Share specific examples of how you managed a team, delivered a project within budget, and facilitated stakeholder communication.
- Use a professional tone: Your cover letter should be written in a professional tone, with correct grammar and spelling. Avoid slang, jargon, or informal language.
- Customize your letter: Avoid using a generic cover letter that can be sent to multiple employers. Instead, customize your letter for each job you apply for by tailoring your language to the specific company and job requirements. Add an extra personal touch by addressing the letter to the hiring manager, if their name is available to you.
- Demonstrate your enthusiasm: Show the employer that you are excited about the opportunity to work for their company and in the project manager role. Use language that conveys your enthusiasm and interest in the position.
- Use metrics and numbers: Whenever possible, use metrics or numbers to demonstrate your achievements in previous roles. For example, mention the percentage of projects that exceeded stakeholder expectations, or use specific numbers to illustrate the results of improvements you made on existing project management processes.
- Close with a call to action: End your cover letter by expressing your interest in an interview and providing your contact information. This shows your eagerness to move forward in the application process and makes it easy for the employer to get in touch with you.
- Proofread: Make sure to thoroughly proofread your cover letter for any grammatical errors or typos. A well-written, error-free letter can make a strong first impression. I recommend using Hemingway App to do this.
Let's dive deeper into each of these so you have the exact blueprint you need to see success.
The Best Project Manager Skills To Include On Your Cover Letter
Keywords are one of the most important factors in your cover letter. They show employers that your skills align with the role and they also help format your cover letter for Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS).
If you're not familiar with ATS systems, they are pieces of software used by employers to manage job applications. They scan cover letters for keywords and qualifications and make it easier for the employers to filter and search for candidates whose qualifications match the role.
If you want to win more interviews and job offers, you need to have a keyword-optimized cover letter. There are two ways to find the right keywords:
1. Leverage The 20 Best Project Manager Keywords
The first way to find the right keywords is to leverage our list of the best keywords and skills for a project manager cover letter.
These keywords were selected from an analysis of real project manager job descriptions sourced from actual job boards. Here they are:
- Project Management
- Interpersonal Skills
- Team Member
2. Use ResyMatch.io To Find The Best Keywords That Are Specific To Your Cover Letter And Target Role
The second method is the one I recommend because it's personalized to your specific cover letter and target job.
This process lets you find the exact keywords that your cover letter is missing when compared to the individual role you're applying for.
Here's how it works:
- Open a copy of your target project manager job description
- Head over to ResyMatch.io
- Select the “Job Description Scan” from the scan type selector in the upper right corner of the tool
- Copy and paste the job description into the field on the left
- Hit scan and review the results
ResyMatch is going to scan the target job description and show you the exact keywords and skills that are relevant for the role and that you should weave into your cover letter.
Here's a video walking through this whole process:
How To Address A Project Manager Cover Letter
Personalization is what makes a cover letter stand out. That starts from the very first sentence where you greet the person reading your cover letter! There are two ways to do this well:
1. Use The Hiring Manager's Name
The first, and best, is by including the hiring manager's name. Let's say that you discovered the hiring manager's name from a post on LinkedIn or via an informational interview.
This is the jackpot! All you need to do is use their name in the introduction, like this:
But we won't always have the luxury of knowing the hiring manager's name. Here's what you do in those cases:
2. Use This Formula: To The [Department] Team at [Company]
If you don't have the hiring manager's name, no problem! You can address your cover letter to the team that you're applying to.
For example, if you're applying to for a Product Marketing Manager role at Discovery Education, you might start you cover letter like this:
This shows the reader that this letter has been written specifically for them and the content inside of it will support that.
It's much more relevant and personal than “To Whom It May Concern!”
For more advice on writing a strong opening to your cover letter, check out this guide.
3 Project Manager Cover Letter Examples For 2023
Now let's take a look at all of these best practices in action. Here are three cover letter examples for different situations from people with different backgrounds that are all applying for project manager roles:
Project Manager Cover Letter Example #1: A Traditional Background
Our first example is a cover letter written by a candidate with traditional experience as a project manager. Here is what an example of their cover letter might look like:
Project Manager Cover Letter Example #2: A Non-Traditional Background
Our second cover letter example comes from a candidate looking to transition from event planning to working as a project manager. This cover letter illustrates how they identify and speak to their transferable skills:
Project Manager Cover Letter Example #3: A Senior Project Manager with an Advanced Degree & Certifications
Our third example highlights a candidate with over 15 years of Project Manager experience, a Master's Degree and a Professional Project Management Certification. Here is what their cover letter might look like:
The 8 Best Project Manager Cover Letter Templates
At this point, you know all of the basics you'll need to write a project manager cover letter that wins you more interviews and offers. The only thing left is to take all of that information and apply it to a template that's going to help you get results.
We made that easy with our CoverBuild tool. It has 8 proven templates that were created with the help of recruiters and hiring managers at the world's best companies. These templates also bake in thousands of data points we have from the job seekers in our audience who have used them to land job offers.
3 Tips For Writing A Job-Winning Project Manager Cover Letter
You're off to a strong start! But I've got a few more tips to help you take your cover letter to the next level:
1. Use ChatGPT To Write Your Cover Letter In <30 Seconds
All of these tips and best practices work, but you still have to implement them. Normally, that'd mean you sitting down and spending hours brainstorming ideas, typing, deleting, and typing again, and then feeling absolutely drained.
Now there's a way to work around all of that so you save your best energy for the writing and edits that matter most. Here's how it works:
- Head to ChatGPT (you'll need to create an account – it's free)
- Ask ChatGPT, “Please write me a cover letter for a project manager role. The role I'm applying for is [Job Title] role at [Company]. Here is the job description: [Paste Job Description]. And here is my resume: [Paste Resume].
- Watch ChatGPT write up a pretty darn good cover letter base!
Here's a video of me doing this with a real cover letter if you want to see the steps in action:
Note: I do not recommend or advise that you simply copy and paste the content from ChatGPT into your cover letter and submit your application. ChatGPT is great for doing 80% of the baseline work, but you still need to review, revise, and personalize the content yourself.
2. Include Measurable Metrics And Outcomes
Too many job seekers only focus on the actions that they took and not the outcomes that resulted from those actions. As a hiring manager, it's impossible to differentiate between a dozen candidates who were all “Responsible For Increasing Customer Satisfaction Rates.”
If you want to win, your cover letter should speak to the specific outcomes that you drove in previous roles. That could be:
- The percentage of projects you delivered within budget and timeframe
- The percentage by which you increased the efficiency of project management processes
- The average satisfaction rate of your clients
- The percentage by which you were able to reduce project management costs
These numbers will show hiring teams what you're capable of and make your value crystal clear!
3. Match Your Cover Letter And Resume Design
They're the exact same car, down to the year, make, and model. The only difference is the way the product was presented. Like I said, quality impacts perceived value.
One of the best ways to boost the quality of your cover letter is to make it look clean, professional, and have it match your resume. That's why the resume templates in our resume builder tool match the cover letter templates in our cover letter builder:
If you use both tools to create your cover letter and your resume, your entire application is going to be top notch.
Key Takeaways To Wrap Up Your Job-Winning Cover Letter
You made it! We packed a lot of information into this post so I wanted to distill the key points for you and lay out next steps so you know exactly where to from here.
Here are the 5 steps for writing a job-winning project manager cover letter:
- Start with a proven cover letter template from CoverBuild.io
- Use ResyMatch.io to find the right keywords and optimize your cover letter for each project manager role you apply to
- Start your cover letter with a personalized greeting for the hiring manager or team name
- Emphasize the measurable outcomes and value you drove in previous roles (include metrics!)
- Compare the draft of your project manager cover letter to the examples on this page to make sure you're on the right path
- Use a tool like Hemingway App to proofread your cover letter before you submit it
If you follow those steps, you're going to be well on your way to landing more project manager interviews and job offers.
Now that you've got your cover letter taken care of, be sure to check out our guide on writing a job-winning Project Manager resume (with examples!)