Let’s begin by discussing the difference between a cover letter and a resume. The resume is the place where you should list all your hard skills, achievements, and talents.
The cover letter, on the other hand, is your chance to share more about yourself and show who you are.
But what’s the way to grab the reader’s attention? How can you make the hiring manager want to meet you and learn more about you?
Use an appropriate salutation and write a powerful introduction
Addressing your cover letter to a person is always something you should aim to do.
But finding who's responsible for the recruitment process might not be the easiest thing. We get it.
In such cases, we advise you to stick to the gender-neutral cover letter salutations.
Here are some examples of suitable classic salutations:
- Dear Mr. John,
- Dear Ms. Petersen,
- Dear Hiring Manager,
- Dear Dr. Todd,
- Dear Head of [team you're applying for]
The introduction is your chance of getting the reader’s attention and giving them a reason to see you as a good fit.
So make sure you highlight your excitement about the company or the industry (or even both!) and the reasons why you’d like to grow in the field.
Avoid using clichés like “I found your job posting on website X and decided to apply”.
Focus on your soft skills but don't forget about the hard skills too
Listing hard skills on your resume is quite straightforward, isn’t it? But when it comes to writing a memorable Program Manager cover letter, you need to be a bit more creative.
The thing is, cover letters are designed to tell a story. To show the thought process behind your achievements and motivations. To put the recruiter in your shoes and allow them to get to know you better.
Maybe you want to share how you deal with challenges? Or what helps you reach your goals? It doesn’t really matter.
And while soft skills are important, hard skills shouldn’t be skipped either. Mentioning some hard skills (especially the ones listed by the recruiter) is always a great idea. This will help you pass applicant tracking systems (ATS) that screen documents for certain keywords.
Prove how your skills can help the company grow
Adding a line or two about the company can help you prove your excitement and readiness to become a valuable team member.
You might also choose to link your previous work-related tasks and achievements to current industry or even company issues and how you think they can be resolved.
Go for an actionable ending
Ending your Program Manager cover letter in a suitable way can help you land an interview. Why? Because strong endings portray applicants as considerate and, what’s even more important – passionate about the job.
Just make sure that your ending (just like your cover letter’s body) matches the company culture. If you prefer to be on the safe side, go for traditional closing lines such as “Looking forward to hearing from you”.