Cover letters are an opportunity to showcase your experiences and accomplishments as a project manager, and share your professional goals.
Cover letters are often the first thing that hiring managers see in your application. Though some might argue that cover letters are obsolete, employers still use cover letters to learn more about candidates. Plus, it can indicate that you’re serious about the job, and give yourself another chance to convey who you are. It’s a good idea to take them seriously, especially if a job application asks for one.
For a project management position, a cover letter can be an opportunity to expand on the skills, motivations, and past successes you have under your belt that didn’t fit into your resume. Let’s take a look at what that might look like.
Reading through a sample cover letter can be a good way to jog your creativity and inspire your own.
Here's the cover letter in text format:
October 4, 2021
123 Animal St
Chicago, IL 60290
Dear Mr. Harland Sanders,
My name is George Lee, and I am excited to be applying to the Junior Project Manager position at Animax. I am currently a Project Coordinator at Square Paws, where I have supported several projects successfully to completion. I have long admired Animax’s work to improve animal adoption processes and would be delighted to contribute my skills to the team.
At Square Paws, I oversaw multiple aspects of running numerous projects. I worked closely with the project manager to develop project schedules, ensure team members had the resources they needed to complete their tasks, and coordinated communication with stakeholders on project updates. I am particularly proud of a project to roll out a feature on our app that users could use to book appointments with veterinarians. As a complex project that involved multiple stakeholders, it was important to be mindful of the details and listen continuously to feedback from users. My efforts to coordinate an early feedback system in a trial period led to the discovery of several bugs and pain points that we fixed for the launch. We were able to reduce customer concerns by 80% and ultimately completed the project under budget by $3,000.
I have long been familiar with animal adoption centers and believe wholeheartedly in Animax’s mission. I have volunteered consistently at animal shelters since high school and am familiar with their processes. In college, I took several courses that I believe can be useful to the project manager role, including zoology and business administration. Working as a project manager in this field will allow me to expand my knowledge of the industry, and assist in my ultimate goal to make the world a more livable place for shelter animals.
I believe that my past experience, skillset, and passions make me a strong candidate for Animax’s team. I hope to hear from you soon. Thank you for your time.
Hiring managers might be inundated with job applications. You’ll want to give the hiring manager a reason to keep reading right away by stating your qualifications in the introductory paragraph. State who you are, and what relevant experience you bring in opening your cover letter.
Even if you haven’t held the title of project manager before, chances are you’ve done some elements of project management. Have you led meetings, assembled a team, or helped improve a process on your team? Those are project management skills. If you’re still hoping to build out your project management skills, you can consider applying to more entry-level project management jobs like project coordinator or assistant project manager. Learn more about how to become a project manager.
Templates or old cover letters you’ve used in the past can help get your cover letter started. But don’t forget to tailor them specifically to each job. Companies like to see that you’re genuinely interested in the job and company, and that you’ve done your research.
Look over the job description to see what kinds of qualities and skills the organization is looking for. If you’re applying to a large organization, think about what keywords an automated system might scan for. In project management roles, these might include Agile, mitigation, change management, or risk management. The job description is usually a good way to gauge what qualities and skills might be keywords.
A cover letter can be a place to expand on your resume, and then some. You can elaborate on one or more of your accomplishments, but don’t simply rehash what your resume already says.
Think about what you can include that showcases your value beyond the accomplishments listed in your resume. How can you connect the cover letter to your personal experiences, or your personal story? What made you interested in this field? What in particular excites you about the job or company, and why? How does this job fit into your goals for the future? Your cover letter should both connect your experiences to the qualities the company is looking for, and show why you, as a person, are good for the job.
Concrete numbers can help illustrate your success in past jobs. If you worked on projects, what metrics made them successful? Did customer satisfaction improve by a percentage, or did you complete the project under budget?
Project management is a profession that demands big-picture understanding and a keen awareness of the details. Make sure your cover letter is formatted correctly and free of spelling and grammatical errors. If you can, have a trusted friend or colleague look through your cover letter to catch anything you may have missed.
Need more structure in your job search process? Try creating a job search plan. Learn what they are in the video below.
Starting a cover letter can be daunting. Don’t worry if you feel stuck—that’s normal. Try pulling up a template or past cover letter you’ve used and tweaking it until it feels right. You might also start by making a list of qualities the job description asks for, and building your letter around those.
Need a refresher on project management concepts? Online courses can help you review the basics, or get you up to speed with the latest project management practices. If you're looking for a place to start, take a look at the Google Project Management: Professional Certificate. The first week is free.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.