A project manager cover letter should showcase the applicant’s ability to measure up to two core PM skills: being organised and being concise. That means getting every essential point on no more than one side of A4 paper, preferably in no more than three paragraphs.

Project manager cover letter tips.

We look at:

  • formatting
  • content
  • key skills to highlight
  • selling yourself
  • what not to do

Tips on formatting.

Contact details such as address, phone number and email should be placed in the top right hand corner of the letter, and the recruiter should be addressed formally but personally (as in “Dear Mr Jones”). Avoid generic approaches such as “Dear Sir or Madam”.

Immediately below this, quote the job title and reference number.

Listing your most relevant credentials, experiences and qualities in bullet-point form is completely acceptable (see the following section for more detailed tips on what to include).

What to include.

In the first paragraph of the covering letter, you should:

  • clearly state the title of the job they are applying for
  • say where you saw it
  • then add a short statement about yourself and your experience. Try to keep the first paragraph no longer than 3-4 sentences.

The second paragraph is the place to promote credentials and experience in more detail. Take care to refer back to the CV and the job description, emphasising previous experience relevant to the post. Different project manager jobs will require different subsets of skills. The letter should clearly highlight the qualities and skills required for the advertised job.

This demonstrates a conscientious understanding of company needs based on diligent research, and how they can be met with the candidate’s knowledge and experience. Wherever possible, anchor references to professional achievements with facts and figures. For instance: “As can be seen from my CV, I have successfully presided over project budgets exceeding £1 million, delivering on time and within budget.”

The third and final paragraph should underline the skills which make you the ideal candidate for the job.

What skills to highlight.

Key skills for project manager jobs which are almost always worth highlighting include:

  • An ability to fit into an existing company or department structure.
  • Proficiency in communicating effectively and clearly across all levels of the organisation.
  • An ability to prioritise tasks logically and efficiently.
  • Proficiency in delivering projects on schedule and within budget.

How to sell yourself.

Be confident about the experience showcased in the letter but be careful not to sound arrogant (see below). Make sure the first skills mentioned are the ones being sought by the company, and work on the first sentence – it should capture the reader’s attention.

Things to avoid.

Try to avoid simple repetition of things already included on the CV. The cover letter allows candidates to describe and bring to life the specific experiences that can only be “headlined” in the CV, such as solving a difficult problem or making a key achievement in a previous role, along with how it helped the company or department.

Never refer to how you would personally benefit from the job (e.g., it provides an easier commute or it offers better opportunities than your current role). Keep the emphasis on what the company can gain from hiring this particular candidate.

Avoid sounding overconfident; keep the tone positive but not excessive. Letters which seem to say “Forget the rest, I’m the best” are very off-putting.