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Program Manager Cover Letter Samples & Writing Guide

Program Manager Cover Letter Samples & Writing Guide

You drive growth and lead complex programs and projects. Here’s how to show your Stryker-worthy skills in a program manager cover letter.

To make a risk-averse program manager cover letter, you can’t be like everybody else. After all, “everybody else” won’t get the job. That high-level company will only interview a few—the few that stand out with waterfalls of achievements that fit. 

 

This guide will show you:

  • A cover letter sample for program manager jobs better than 9 out of 10 others.
  • How to write a cover letter for program managers that lands 10x more interviews.
  • Why highlighting a few career successes will get you noticed.

 

Want to write your cover letter fast? Use our cover letter builder. Choose from 20+ professional cover letter templates that match your resume. See actionable examples and get expert tips along the way.

 

program manager resume and cover letter set

Program Manager Cover Letter for a Resume—See more cover letter templates and create your cover letter here.

 

Thinking about other roles? See:

 

This program manager cover letter template works like 3-point estimation:

 

Program Manager Cover Letter Sample

 

Your Name

Program Manager

Mailing Address

Phone Number

Email Address

 

Date

 

Hiring Manager’s Name

Title

Organization Name

Mailing Address

 

Dear [Manager Name],

 

I’m applying to the Program Manager position at [Organization Name]. At [Previous Organization], I led six cross-functional teams to cut costs 32% and increase revenue by $2 million per year, effecting a stock price gain of over 20% vs the market in 4 years. I believe a position at [Organization Name] is the right choice for my skills and goals.

 

I want to drive revenue for a customer-focused global leader in the IT space. That’s why I’m so interested in [Company Name]. Your job ad in Indeed says you’re looking for a leader to act as a customer focal point for major contracts, liaise with software engineers and customers, and manage complex IT projects. My track record at [Previous Company] shows I have those skills:

  • Customer focal point: Managed 30+ contracts with budgets in excess of $500K each for 14 customers. Honored with “CEO Award” for client dedication.
  • Liaise with software engineers: Created and led 6 cross-functional teams, bridging between software engineers and customers with 99% satisfaction.
  • Manage complex IT projects: Drove average 43% ROI from 27 IT projects. Saved $2.3 million annually through in-depth process mapping.

 

[Manager Name], I look forward to discussing how my command of Oracle ERP, Agile methodology, and strategic management can translate to massive revenue gains for [Company Name] over the next year and decade.

 

Best regards,

 

[Your Name], Program Manager

[Phone Number]

[Email]

 

P.S. — I’d be glad to share my article on leveraging Scrum to drive process improvements, cited by the Harvard Business Review.

 

A cover letter for program manager jobs like that could get you in at Intuit or Kimley-Horn.

Without a matching resume, your cover letter faces too many impediments. See our guide: Program Manager Resume: Sample & Complete Guide

Now, here’s how to write program manager cover letters that work:

 

1. Use the Right Program Manager Cover Letter Template

 

The operations manager can’t afford a hiring mistake. One crashed program could sink the organization. Use your cover letter layout to show you have the bandwidth to handle anything. The look and feel should show you’d fit in at Baird or Pinnacle Financial. Start with the respected 3-paragraph format.

 

Use this template.

 

Sample Program Manager Cover Letter—Checklist

 

  • your contact info
  • the organization’s info
  • Dear [Manager Name],
  • first paragraph: stand out from the crowd
  • second paragraph: key skills that dovetail with the firm and the position
  • third paragraph: a compelling call to action
  • best regards, then name & title
  • a P.S. with another program manager qualification

Pro Tip: What does a good cover letter look like? It’s inviting, well-laid-out, and easy to read. It’s got clear section breaks and doesn’t make the hiring manager think.

Remember about these things when designing your cover letter:

Read more: Cover Letter Format: A Complete How-To Guide

2. Start Your Program Manager Cover Letter Right

 

“We’ve decided to go with another candidate.” Tired of hearing that? Then take steps to make sure they read your program manager cover letter. That starts with the first few sentences of your cover letter. They’ve got to show you’re not some spammer applying to every program manager job on LinkedIn and Indeed.

 

See these cover letter examples for program managers:

 

Program Manager Cover Letter Examples [First Paragraph]

 

Right Example

Bonita Earley

Program Manager

4265 Green Avenue

Alameda, California

925-867-3973

bonitawearley@gmail.com

linkedin.com/in/bonitawearley

 

3/11/20

 

Elizabeth Wu

Operations Manager

Carson-Senge Global

3291 Wayside Street

San Francisco, CA 94108

 

Dear Ms. Wu,

 

I’m applying to the Program Manager position at Carson-Senge Global. At Veragenic, I led six cross-functional teams to cut costs 32% and increase revenue by $2 million per year, effecting a stock price gain of over 20% vs the market in 4 years. I believe a position at Carson-Senge is the right choice for my skills and goals.

 

Outstanding.

 

Why does that cover letter for program manager jobs work?

 

Because it:

 

  1. Begins with an Amex-worthy accomplishment.
  2. Adds interest in the company.

 

But this program manager cover letter example has too many pain points:

 

Wrong Example

Dear Operations Manager,

 

I’m a proven program manager with 10+ years of experience who can lead complex global projects and programs to drive organizational growth and transformation in the IT industry. I’m an enthusiastic and respected driver of solutions who forges bonds between technology and business. I’m experienced in information management and cloud computing, and highly skilled in inter-departmental management.

 

Failure to launch.

 

That applicant thinks a lot of chest-pounding will get him hired. It won’t. You need to show you bring something to the conversation besides buzzwords.

 

But—what if you’re making a program manager cover letter with no experience?

 

Entry-Level Program Manager Cover Letter Sample

 

In new program manager cover letters—

 

Start with your most satisfying achievement from:

  • Non-program manager jobs
  • Your B.S. or M.S.
  • Projects you’ve managed
  • Publications or awards

 

Or begin your cover letter for program manager jobs with:

  • A fact that excites you about the company
  • Something from a recent press release
  • A referral from someone at the organization
  • Your passion for driving programs

 

See these program manager cover letter examples with no experience:

 

Right Example
  • I’ve always had a knack for galvanizing teams to reach a common goal. When I got George Bush Jr. to speak at our graduation, it took input from...
  • Alice Johns suggested I apply. I worked with Alice at Veragenic, and she’s familiar with my skills in Oracle ERP and...
  • I caught your webinar last week on driving cross-functional global teams, your take on video conferencing tools was...
  • Graduating Summa Cum Laude with an accounting degree from Boston College was nice. But my real goal is to help...
  • I’m excited about your corporate mission statement to become the world leader in IT cloud services. Your dedication to...

 

Scrum-ready.

 

Those first lines for program manager cover letters with no experience beat, “I’m looking for a job...”

Pro Tip: There’s no such thing as a program manager with no experience. You’ve managed projects before, right? Then write a career change cover letter.

3. Link Your Program Manager Cover Letter to the Job

 

Getting their attention is only half the job. The rest is proving you’re the most qualified candidate on the list. That’s hard—but that’s a good thing. It means you’ll do it, but 99% of the other applicants won’t. To deliver, first learn the job requirements. Then look through your resume for evidence.

 

Prove:

 

  1. Why you want the job.
  2. Your understanding of the program manager job requirements in the ad.
  3. Why you fit so well.

 

See these program manager cover letter examples:

 

Program Manager Cover Letter Examples [Middle]

 

Right Example

I want to drive revenue for a customer-focused global leader in the IT space. That’s why I’m so interested in Carson-Senge. Your job ad in Indeed says you’re looking for a leader to act as a customer focal point for major contracts, liaise with software engineers and customers, and manage complex IT projects. My track record at Veragenic shows I have those skills:

  • Customer focal point: Managed 30+ contracts with budgets in excess of $500K each for 14 customers. Honored with “CEO Award” for client dedication.
  • Liaise with software engineers: Created and led 6 cross-functional teams, bridging between software engineers and customers with 99% satisfaction.
  • Manage complex IT projects: Drove average 43% ROI from 27 IT projects. Saved $2.3 million annually through in-depth process mapping.

 

Get ready for a phone call.

 

Your skills are perfect!

 

But—

 

The next of our program manager cover letter examples is high-risk:

 

Wrong Example

I’m a true change leader in this era of digital disruption. My progressive experience spans multiple functional areas and business units in strictly regulated environments. I’m highly adept at cloud computing, virtualization, and application development. I have experience in team building and client relations. I think I’d be a perfect fit for your needs.

 

Whoops.

 

That’s off-the-rack. It doesn’t understand the organization and it offers nothing they’ve asked for in their online ad.

Stay short. See our guide: How Long Should a Cover Letter Be? Sample & Guide

When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building your resume here.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.

4. End Your Program Manager Cover Letter Strong

 

Congratulations! The director loved your program manager cover letter. But—she had to take a phone call. When she finished, she picked up another application and forgot you. Nip that in the bud. How? With a tantalizing offer at the end of your cover letter. Make it compelling, but don’t get too detailed.

 

See these examples:

 

Cover Letter Examples for Program Manager [Ending]

 

Right Example

Ms. Wu, I look forward to discussing how my command of Oracle ERP, Agile methodology, and strategic management can translate to massive revenue gains for Carson-Senge over the next year and decade.

 

Best regards,

 

Bonita Earley

Program Manager

bonitawearley@gmail.com

925-867-3973

 

Magnetic.

 

That applicant doesn’t just want the job. She wants to help the company succeed. And she probably knows how.

 

But the next of our program manager cover letter non-profit samples is constrained:

 

Wrong Example

Thank you for reading!

Pro Tip: Add salary requirements to your cover letter to avoid wasting time on flimsy offers. Just don’t go too low or too high. In other words, do due diligence first.

Key Takeaway

 

Here’s how to write a program manager cover letter:

  • Use the right program manager cover letter format. Add your milestone-busting skills.
  • Start your cover letter with a powerful opening line.
  • For the middle, prove your grasp of the program manager job requirements, and how you fit.
  • End with an offer. Promise an interesting talk about their program needs.

 

Not sure how to start your program manager job cover letter? Want to write a cover letter for program manager positions that makes the phone ring? Leave a comment. We’ll be happy to reply!

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Tom Gerencer, CPRW
Tom Gerencer, a Certified Professional Résumé Writer (CPRW), is a career expert who has published over 200 in-depth articles on Zety. Since 2016, he has been sharing advice on all things recruitment from writing winning resumes and cover letters to getting a promotion.
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