5 Program Manager Cover Letter Examples + Tips in 2024

Stephen Greet
Stephen Greet January 4, 2024
5 Program Manager Cover Letter Examples + Tips in 2024

Your job skills are too many to list. As a program manager, company projects, strategies, policies, values, and goals are your territory! You plan, organize, and oversee projects from inception to realization. You revise policies and plans while communicating efficiently with team members across departments, ensuring milestones are completed optimally and on time.

It’s likely you need a cover letter to land your next program manager role. If you’re gnashing your teeth at the thought of writing a cover letter to complement your program manager resume, don’t worry! 

Cover letters are far from anyone’s favorite topic, but we’re here to help. Check out these five program manager cover letter samples, and stay tuned on how to use a company’s program manager job description to your advantage.


Program Manager Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

Program manager cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • Janie establishes a connection with Appen by using language from the job requirements to describe her past work and how it relates to the company’s vision.
    • When possible, demonstrate personality with your skills to show you’ll improve the company’s interpersonal dynamics. For example, Janie pinpoints personal values from the job description, such as humility and grit, and references them while describing her skills and metrics.
  • This program manager cover letter highlights attributes that match Appen’s ideal program manager position as outlined by the job description: management skills, efficient communication, and an emphasis on data analysis and interpretation.
    • Answer the specific call of each job description and company mission statement. Give specific examples of how you, as a program manager, already align with their vision. Show the company why you’re drawn to them, and spotlight the qualities that make you the ideal match.

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Junior Program Manager Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

Junior program manager cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • How about taking a stand right from the beginning of your junior program manager cover letter by infusing expert insights and clearly stating the objective for the role?
    • Take inspiration from Jacob, who zones in on his strengths and how he’ll put them to work in this specific role. Whether your proficiencies are project delivery, troubleshooting, or strategic budgeting, experiment with an introduction that screams, “These are my competencies and this is how they will transform your company.”

Education Program Manager Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

Education program manager cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • Aligning your passion with your employment endeavors is a clever approach to an education program manager cover letter’s intro. With a common purpose, it could be nothing further than a match made in academic heaven.
    • Emulate how Lea fuses her dedication to fostering varied educational environments with Georgia State University’s mission of transforming students’ lives and shaping the workforce. Not only do you broadcast your aspirations, but you also show how deep you went into researching the institution.

Technical Program Manager Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

Technical program manager cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • Comcast’s job ad mentions a personal connection with their customers, and Emily establishes this connection immediately—alongside a clear understanding of what the role entails based on the nuances in the job requirements.
    • Hook employers by making a memorable connection when you can! If you have experience with the company or have key qualifications that will further its goals, mention them right away.
  • Since Comcast emphasizes soft skills and software development expertise as key aspects of the job role, Emily goes for gold. She backs her claims with metrics and specifics such as “OTT Applications,” which were specifically mentioned in the job description.
    • Research on the company website, and read the job description carefully. Look for “little things” that will have a big impact on your technical program manager cover letter, such as specific goals or phrases from the website or job listing.

Senior Program Manager Cover Letter Example

USE THIS TEMPLATE

Senior program manager cover letter template

Why this cover letter works

  • Robert introduces his positive feelings about Nordstrom and furthers this connection by providing skills and experiences that are emphasized in the senior program manager job listing.
    • On top of establishing a connection with the company, look for opportunities to show how you’ve already exemplified company values and left a lasting impact.
  • Besides demonstrating specific skills from the job description, Robert’s closing paragraph of his senior program manager cover letter also directly addresses values from Nordstrom’s “About Us” page. He also shares how he aligns with the company’s vision.
    • By showing that you value the company, you’ll show the company why they should value you!
    • The beginning and end of your cover letter should establish your connection with the company’s goals, and the body of your letter should offer quantifiable examples of how you qualify as a senior program manager. Look for specific details in the job requirements or company website that you can leverage.

Need a program manager resume to match?

Your program manager cover letter will look stunning next to one of our modern resume templates that you can edit, just like this one. 

Program Manager Resume

Need a resume to pair with your program manager cover letter?

or download as PDF

Program manager resume template

Writing a Cover Letter for a Program Manager

Guy in front of screen with question marks wonders how to write program manager cover letter

Lifeless program manager cover letters get tossed aside or overlooked immediately. Researching the company will help you focus on a couple of choice achievements that best align with each specific program manager job listing and mission statement. And revising your letter until you nail the perfect tone will further position you as an ideal candidate. 

Study the company

So many cover letters feature the same generic information applicable to any company—and who wants to read 10 repeats? To keep your program manager cover letter far from the “discard pile,” research the company so that you can establish a unique connection. Then, tailor your cover letter accordingly.

Confidently answer the job description’s call by pulling and referencing specific skills, buzzwords, or phrases that apply. The requirements and word choices in the job ad can also give you valuable hints on which metrics might be the most appropriate to include in your cover letter.

Read the job description carefully and take notes on anything that stands out as something you’ve done before—that way, you can easily remember concise anecdotes and impressive metrics once you start writing your cover letter. Did you spot any company obstacles during your research that were similar to something you’ve already overcome, such as the need to adapt to company supply chain issues?  

Click through the company’s website: We bet, with a little searching, you’ll find values, objectives, challenges, and a mission statement you can leverage to demonstrate alignment with and provide compelling examples from your professional history as a program manager. For instance, are you applying to a company that values humility in the workplace? If so, using precise wording to reference the times you guided teams at a peer level could be ideal. 

Focus on one or two successes

Always remember: Your program manager cover letter is notmeant to simply repeat the bullet points from your resume. Anyone in a managerial position must deliver high-value information efficiently, and making a recruiter read the same things twice wouldn’t be a good start. So, pick one or two achievements; then, go beyond the bullet-point overview to speak to your actions as well as your results.

For example, were you a program manager in retail, guiding multiple departments through the creation of a new product line, delighting customers worldwide? How did your analytical and strategic thinking help you create a fresh project development plan that reduced manual labor within your previous company? Did you happen to oversee a successful portfolio project that’s similar to one of the company’s current initiatives? Now’s the time to talk about it!

Although this example includes metrics and responsibilities, it also underscores the nurse’s compassion and interpersonal communication skills, which are major green lights for employers. 

Tone of voice matters

As a program manager, your optimal cover letter needs a bit more than a customized response to the job listing and some key examples of your accomplishments. You have a lot of value to showcase in less than one page, so don’t shirk revision. You can’t afford to leave typos or formatting errors—and you’ll need to polish your tone to ensure your message gets across the right way.

The tone of your cover letter plays an extremely important part in showing you’re meant for this job role. Demonstrate confidence, experience, and enthusiasm with active words like “create,” “lead,” “oversee,” and so on. Additionally, showcase your managerial background by remembering to apply a proactive tone to your broadest accomplishments that left the greatest impact.

Finally, pay attention to company culture: The more corporate the company, the more formal your tone should be. On the other hand, a fashion company like Nordstrom that values creativity and a vibrant personality will likely value some extra self-expression over constricting formalities. 

Showcase your managerial background by remembering to apply a proactive tone to your broadest accomplishments that left the greatest impact.

When recruiters and employers read your cover letter, you want them to know you’re qualified and an ideal fit for their company and teams.  

Cover Letter Outline for a Program Manager

two hands putting together a layout on a screen showing outlining a program manager cover letter

Now that you’ve read three program manager cover letter examples and learned what to focus on while writing yous, let’s break it down with an outline. You’ll also get some examples of what not to do and further background on what makes a cover letter great.   

How to start a program manager cover letter

Your contact info: Include your name, address, phone number, email address, and LinkedIn or other professional social media if you’re using a template that matches your resume template.

  • Formatting: Leave your name out of your address whenever you use a basic block format.

Example

304 Folk Lore St.
San Jose, CA 95112
(123) 456-7890 

Date: This should be the exact date when you submit your application materials.

  • Formatting: Write out the full date instead of shortening it.

Example

January 5, 2023

Inside address: The “inside address” is simply the address of the person who will receive your letter. Make sure you look up their name and include it before their title.

Example

Jessica Manning, Hiring Manager
Nordstrom
8652 Wellington Street
Brooklyn, NY 11207

  • Formatting: Each part of the address should be on a new line. Double-space between the inside address and greeting.

Greeting: The greeting/salutation is your first impression, so don’t be careless here! Find the name of the employer, recruiter, or hiring manager (yes, it might take some digging on LinkedIn)—never fall back on generic, lazy terms like “Dear Sir/Madam.” (We’ve gotten these types of applications many times, and it never fails to leave a bad taste!)

Example

Dear Ms. Manning,
Dear Ms. Zhang:

  • Formatting: Use a colon instead of a comma for more formal companies, but a comma will do just fine for companies that demonstrate a more casual or fun approach. 

How to write your program manager cover letter

Body: Your program manager cover letter should include 3-4 paragraphs that demonstrate your interest in the position, your qualifying credentials, and an enthusiastic invitation for future discussion.

Opening paragraph: Most cover letters are boring and generic from the get-go, but yours should be one-of-a-kind. Consider the following examples:

Bad

I’d like to work for your company. I’ve been a program manager for a long time and I’d do a good job working for you, too.

Why It’s Bad: What a bland opener! And the rest is equally vague—how long has the applicant been a program manager? No one would believe they’d do a good job based on this—what accomplishments or skills do they have to back their claims?

Good

As a long-time fan of Nordstrom’s vast style selection and a technically proficient program manager with 8+ years of experience and PMP/PgMP certifications, I’d love to apply my cross-functional planning, collaboration, and far-reaching organizational skills as your senior program manager.

Why It’s Good: This applicant’s intro addresses the company directly and establishes a personal interest in what they do—and then immediately launches into the skills that make them a great fit for the role. Directly addressing the company, relevant qualifications, and job role by name is a powerful combo!

Paragraphs 2-3: These next paragraphs should back up the claims in your introductory paragraph. Each paragraph should focus on a clear accomplishment (such as a substantial project you spearheaded) and prove it with only the most relevant metrics—you don’t have room to tackle multiple topics here.

Example

Because I understood the inner workings of software lifecycles, I eliminated inefficiencies to save 14 hours of manual labor monthly for the software development team. I also analyzed customer feedback, testing data, and KPIs to bridge gaps among project teams and expedite the output of usable, scalable solutions, resulting in a 21-percent improvement in delivery time for new OTT Application features.

Why It’s Good: The candidate uses their experience with software development and data analysis to drive performance. And the proof is in the pudding as the numbers back up this point and demonstrate efficiency. 

Closing paragraph: Since communication is key for any program manager, wrap up with a strong and concise summary of how your credentials and values match what the company needs. End with a professional and convincing call to action. 

Bad

As you can see, I’d do great in you organization thanks to my skillset. I also have lots of experience. Call me if you want more information.

Why It’s Bad: Was that a typo?! It certainly wasn’t a summary of the candidate’s qualifying skills or anything that shows a genuine interest in the job position! In fact, there’s no enthusiasm or show of professionalism here at all—and shouldn’t the applicant have already addressed relevant experience by now? 

Good

Gaining expertise in managing and overseeing multiple initiatives through their lifecycles has granted me the ability to think on my feet and exceed expectations in a metric-driven setting. I am eager to apply my grit and passion for learning to deliver incredible data-driven results for Appen’s global customer base, and I’m excited to further discuss this with you soon. 

Why It’s Good: It’s clear this applicant has researched the company and role since this closing paragraph references key phrases and abilities from the job description. Unique wording from the company’s website makes an appearance, too—perfect! Lastly, the call to action is friendly and professional. 

  • Formatting: Keep your body text single-spaced by default but double-spaced between paragraphs for visual clarity.

Signature: If you haven’t already thanked the reader in your closing paragraph, do so here. Sign off with your real name.

  • Formatting: Whenever you present hard copies of your program manager cover letter, quadruple space to leave yourself room for a pen signature in blue or black ink.

Example

Thank you for your time and consideration, 

Emily Padillo

  • Formatting: Whenever you present hard copies of your program manager cover letter, quadruple space to leave yourself room for a pen signature in blue or black ink.

Enclosure(s): This important part of your cover letter signals that there’s more to review. Program managers should always attach their resume with their application, any professional letters of recommendation, and anything else the job description specifically requires. 

Example

Enclosures: 
Resume
Application
2 letters of recommendation

  • Formatting: Choose correctly between the singular or plural form of “enclosure” depending on what you include!

Your Next Steps on the Program Management Job Hunt

Guy hiding behind plants depicting he's hunting for program management job position

You’re well on the way to an excellent program manager cover letter, but you’re not done just yet—your resume should be just as awesome! Don’t worry: We’ve made it easy by providing a great variety of tools that will help you create a standout resume.

After outlining your resume, you might want to head over to our popular resume templates to get started in style. Having the right template is only half the battle, so if you don’t know what to write in a resume, we also have multiple program manager resume samples, like this editable one here, that are bound to give you the inspiration you need. 

Senior Program Manager Resume

Need a resume to pair with your senior program manager cover letter?

or download as PDF

Senior Program Manager Resume Template

Finally, be sure to check your resume and polish it to shine as beautifully as your new cover letter. The effort is worthwhile when it comes to showcasing what an ideal program manager candidate you are, and we’re cheering you on as you hunt for the perfect role!


Should my cover letter include references?

It’s better if you focus on your success as a program manager instead of listing your references at this stage, although you can list in an “Enclosures” section on your cover letter that you’re attaching references. If there’s no indication that it’s necessary, skip the references and instead dive into your leadership and the successes of your past teams.

How can I find the name of the hiring manager?

Personalizing your cover letter can really make your whole application stand out, so it’s good to do some research—going the extra mile is an important trait for a program manager. Your first step is the PM job description; scour it for any signs of names. Next, head to the company website and look through it carefully. LinkedIn is a great source, too—look for people who recruit for your target company and check their job titles.

How can I make my cover letter stand out?

Writing a strong opening paragraph is the way to go. Don’t waste precious room on things like “I’m applying because I’m interested in this position.” Instead, immediately make a connection to how the company’s mission aligns with your personal or professional interests as a program manager.