A Guide to Writing the Perfect Project Manager Cover Letter
By Hardeep Singh Arora
The purpose of your project manager cover letter is to get the employer to read your resume, just as the purpose of your resume is to get the employer to call you in for an interview. But cover letters are not resumes. They need not say everything. Rather, they complement resumes in a way that highlights the most relevant aspects of job applicants' qualifications. While you should write persuasively and positively, you shouldn't use a tone that sounds pompous.
Just like your resume, your cover letter should be clean and straightforward. Your cover letter should be no more than one page in length. Think of your project manager cover letter as an initial sales pitch that exhibits confidence in your abilities without coming on so strong that the information seems unbelievable. While your resume is an impersonal document describing your skills and work history, your cover letter is an excellent place to showcase your most pertinent skills and describe how well you fit the stated job requirements.
The language used in your cover letter should be polite, businesslike, and concise. A wordy letter largely written in the passive voice can make for slow and clumsy reading. Remember: you only need to mention pertinent accomplishments and skills in your cover letter. The rest of the information is already in your resume. If your cover letter is attractive, your resume will be read by the prospective employer. Getting your foot in the door is half the battle of a job search, and a strong cover letter can help you immensely.
Unlike resumes, cover letters cannot be copied or reproduced — you should never use a form cover letter. Each cover letter you send out should be as personal and targeted as possible. Of course, once you are fully satisfied with a draft, you can certainly use similar phrasing in subsequent letters.
The cover letter often provides the best chance for the project manager to highlight his or her skills, as well as establish a voice and personal connection with the reader. Despite these positives, a cover letter can have a disastrous effect if written poorly. Thus, it is imperative that you take great care in drafting and proofreading your cover letter.
It is important to understand that a project manager cover letter is meant to introduce and complement your resume, leading the employer to interpret your resume the way you want it read. Therefore, each cover letter you send should be individualized, and it is often a good idea to address each qualification the employer is looking for and how your experience and background meet the requirements of the job.
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5 Tips for Writing an Effective Cover Letter