Project management is an especially complex and broad role. To write an effective resume is not easy, as you must demonstrate a diverse set of skills. Whether it is managing the project team, risk, schedule, or budgets, your resume should encompass all the information that proves yourself to be an effective manager. Nowadays, with project managers increasingly in demand, it is important to back your job application up with a successful resume. In this article, we will give you the tools you need to write an effective one.
Keep in mind that you are ultimately trying to demonstrate your suitability to be a project manager. A project manager tackles, and is responsible for project planning, procurement, and implementation- all of which vary from company to company, depending on the project. To customize your resume for each company, you must create separate versions for each opening. Even so, there are a few general rules that are important for all project manager resumes you write.
Apart from contact information, you only need to include your motivation, achievements and relevant work experience. Identify the key requirements mentioned in the job description, and present your experiences to match these requirements. Include past experiences where you have managed a team, project plans, risks, budgets, and conflicts- all of these showcase your suitability for the role.
Focus on what recruiters want to see on your resume. Recruiters don’t want to see you mentioning irrelevant work experience, strange hobbies and … bad grammar.
There are two main formats - chronological and functional. If you have an extensive list of relevant work experience, the chronological format is perfect for you. Use the following order for this format:
If you are an entry-level Project manager or are changing careers, you may find the functional format to be more suitable. The sections go as follows:
This format allows you to list your skills and provide achievements to verify them.
Get creative by adding extra sections if they help you demonstrate your competencies (e.g. Awards, Publications).
Be overly creative with naming those sections. Online scanners look for particular words and may not recognize a section named ‘Relevant Background’. It is better to use a more conventional heading like, ‘Work Experience’.
Use a simple resume template. Stick to a professional looking font such as Arial, Calibri, Verdana or Times New Roman and keep the font size within 9-12 points.
Take a look at our examples of the resumes that landed jobs for their owners. You can download one of our templates and adjust it to your qualifications and work experience.
It may be difficult to translate all the experience you have had as a project manager into a chronological and succinct resume. Employers ultimately would like to see you submit a concise and well formatted one. This should help you underline your key skills and qualities. Below, we have compiled a list of tips that will easily help you fill out our resume template and highlight your most notable achievements.
This is the first thing recruiters will see on your resume. The wording of this section is extremely important, because it has to demonstrate the key skills that are required by the role. Although this may vary according to the job description, an undoubtedly key skill in project management is communication. Whether it may be working with clients, or managing a team within the project, you will be working with many unique individuals, and your resume should demonstrate your ability to do so. Technical skills are also welcome to be discussed, if it is applicable and important to the role. Keep your summary statement short, not more than 5-6 lines but compelling and engaging. Don’t hesitate to use specific jargon, as long as it makes logical sense.
Take a look at some of our summary examples- from a technical project manager, and a financial project manager. Read these and note how you can improve yours:
Accomplished Technical Project Manager with extensive work experience in customer technical support. Understands customer needs and provides outstanding quality of service. Utilizes excellent interpersonal skills to consult final users on technical features of products and resolve any issues within short time frames. Provides technical assistance to sales teams in order to improve their product knowledge. Experienced with telecom systems and technologies.
Technical Project Manager with work experience in customer technical support. Good interpersonal skills, and experienced with telecom systems.
Here is another example:
Dedicated financial project manager with a remarkable track record of improving budgets, reporting, and profitability. Respected for providing detailed, timely, and highly effective analysis, research, and recommendations. Extensive experience in financial modelling, forecasting, and strategic analysis. Analytical and logical thinker, with strong research abilities, adept in probing complex issues, processing key elements, and developing action plans. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, experienced in working with different personalities.
Financial project manager with extensive experience in financial modeling. Good research ability and excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
If you are submitting your project manager resume online, it will most likely be scanned by an applicant tracking system. An applicant tracking system (ATS) is a robot that scans your resume and looks for necessary keywords, work experience and additional requirements if there are any. However, it is still important to use professional terminology and jargon when sending a resume directly to a recruiter, despite it not being relevant to ATS. Using professional vocabulary will demonstrate that you are familiar with this field.
Include a fair number of project managing keywords like, “team management”, “risk management”, “managing relationships”, etc.
Overuse keywords which serve no purpose in your sentences.
In the “Work Experience”, or “Employment history” section, you can use some action words that are popular among scanning software programs.
Use relevant action words, such as: analyze, assess, administer, assign, build, collaborate, communicate, conduct, consult, coordinate, create, design, develop, direct, enhance, facilitate, guide, implement, investigate, manage, mentor, motivate, optimize, operate, plan, prepare, review, solve.
It is also important that you present your skills in the best wording possible. Here are some examples:
DO: Use your academic credentials as additional evidence of your achievements and experience. Whilst there is no set education pathway for a project manager, if you have additional education above a bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree, certificate, etc.), including it into your resume will only strengthen your qualifications and education profile.
DON’T: Drop your technical experience. In today’s companies, every employee is expected to have technical skills. For different roles in project management, different technical skills may be required. Make sure you read up on these and do not omit them. You are free to include any general technological skills go may have. However, specialist experience will be an impressive addition to your resume.
Here is an extract of a project manager resume:
And another example of a Project Manager's resume:
A key trait of project managers is to be results orientated and performance driven. Therefore, including measurable results on your resume can make you stand out. Here are some of them:
Please use the following skills to your resume in order to make it more compelling and effective. Applicant Tracking Systems are looking for the specific words and skills so you are interested in mentioning each skill that you have on your resume.
|conflict resolution||strategic planning|
|risk management||data analysis|
Did you know that according to recent research, for every $1 billion invested in a project in the US, approximately $122 million was wasted due to inefficient project performance?
More than a half of Project Management Offices close within first 3 years of their existence.
Technology literacy is indispensable nowadays. In order to perform their duties Project Managers have to be tech-savvy and stay up to date with modern technologies. First of all, you will need to use task management software synchronizing multiple documents, tasks, calendars, revisions in a central location. For example:
File sharing services for efficient teamwork:
Project Management Applications and collaboration packages: