It’s important for project managers to have strong resumes – not only to stand out from other applicants, but also to show their experience and accomplishments in a manner that shows recruiters quantifiable achievements.
See, as a project manager, you play a key role in ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and to the required quality standards. Furthermore, you are responsible for planning, organizing, and overseeing the work of a team to achieve specific goals and objectives.
This is a huge investment for any business, and it’s the reason why recruiters evaluate all project manager applications with scientific accuracy. Including yours.
See additional project manager resumes
Below you'll find examples based on years of experience and prevalent methodology. Browse what worked best for them and use them as a starting point for your application.
IT project manager resume
Marketing project manager resume
Technical project manager resume
Senior project manager resume
Entry-level project manager resume
Software project manager resume
Agile project manager resume
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How to write a project manager resume step by step
The goal of your project manager resume is to show your value and highlight the complex day-to-day tasks you’ve done in simple terms.
#1. Project management experience on a resume: how to make this section work every time
With this section, you’ll be able to prove exactly why you’re the right person for the job.
The experience section is less about efforts and more about accomplishments. HRs will hire people who have a track record to show it, and this is the place to do so. Here’s how to frame your experience:
- Use direct action verbs to highlight the work you achieved as a project manager.
- Feature relevant, strong project management skills that are most required in the job application.
- Include precise numbers and business results to showcase the value you provided.
- Tailor your resume to the job description. For example, if it uses terminology, such as “Prince2”, and what you use is “Prince 2”, or “Prince II”, chances are this mismatch will affect your ATS (applicant tracking system) score.
Now, let’s look at some practical examples.
- Responsible for project management processes and procedures for contracted work.
- Reviewed customer specifications and requirements for potential future product development.
- Handled communicating with project progress and challenges to stakeholders.
- Responsible for the reporting and documentation of all departmental activities.
Notice how shallow the example above is.
Although it shows some of the tasks you handle, it doesn’t highlight any of the results.
It also includes basic job duties that any candidate can copy from resumes online.
That keeps you away from getting hired.
We’ll show you a better example of how you can improve your experience section.
Let’s make some simple tweaks.
- Introduced an expense tracking strategy to stay within yearly budget goals which reduced business costs by $1.2M.
- Developed strong cross-functional relationships with big clients and stakeholders across different levels of the business.
- Lead monthly meetings with 8 project teams to identify challenges and resolve software development issues.
- Conducted post product launch evaluation to identify successful software features and find ways to improve on them
The second example, on the other hand:
- Shows enough details about your past work.
- Demonstrates more metrics and examples, which enhances trust and shows credibility.
- It portrays you as a professional project manager who contributed a lot to the company.
Need more work experience section tips? Go through our guide here: How to Describe Your Work Experience on Resume.
#2. Pick the right resume format
A reverse-chronological resume format is a gold standard for resumes. The experience (listed from most recent to oldest), is going to be the centerpiece of your resume. This should be your first choice too.
Here are the most common resume layout elements to be aware of:
- **Font family. **Choose a professional font that looks good both on PDF and printed on paper. Our recommendations are Lato, Rubik, Arial, Calibri, Bitter, or the classic Times New Roman.
- Font size. The standard font size for resumes is 12p., but it can vary slightly between 10p and 14p so that you can fit your resume on a single page. Anything above or below will make it difficult to read.
- Color. Use color sparingly. We suggest using one base color for your content, and a secondary one for highlights, such as your section headings.
- Margins. Use a standard 1-inch. A smaller margin will make you want to cram too much unnecessary information.
- Length. Keep to a maximum of two pages. The rule of thumb is to go back up to 10 to 15 years of relevant experience.
- File format. Save your resume as a PDF, to preserve your formatting. Modern applicant tracking software can read them flawlessly.
#2. Capture the recruiter’s attention with a great resume header
Your resume header is the section where you give a glimpse into who you are. Here’s what your resume header should communicate:
- Your name
- Give your contact details
- Link to valuable resources (such as your LinkedIn profile or online portfolio)
- Set the tone of your resume
You can encourage HRs to consider you as a worthy candidate by:
- Tailoring your title to the role in question
- Give insight into your career trajectory
Let’s take a look at some good and bad examples of project manager resume headers:
There are some common mistakes to avoid here:
- The title "Project Manager" isn't specific to the application. You might as well skip it if you can’t come up with something.
- The email address looks like a random gaming alias. It’s not going to work in a professional environment.
- Don't include your full address, if the application didn't ask for it.
- There is no relevant link. Not a mistake, but a missed opportunity.
Now, let's rewrite it.
Besides cleaning up the contact info, this header is now more personalized to your job and gives HRs a better idea of who you are:
- You’ve got your main certificate within the headline (this will save on valuable space later on);
- We've included a LinkedIn profile link. You have to leave the door open for HRs to learn more about you if they're interested in an interview.
#3. Get shortlisted with a resume summary teaser
Not sure what the utility of a summary in a resume is? It’s meant to provide a quick overview of your career so that hiring managers can learn more about you at a glance.
Generally, you want to include:
- Most successful projects you worked on
- Strongest project management skills that allowed you to thrive in your past jobs
- Best results and accomplishments you achieved in your career
- Types of projects you were responsible for implementation
To take this a step further, you’ll:
- Include precise metrics to support your claims.
- Use short, direct sentences to keep HRs interested.
- Personalize it by including specific project management keywords, skills, and achievements.
Let’s take a look at some project management resume summaries.
This barely scratches the surface as to who the candidate is and what they’re up to. Instead, it makes them look too uninterested and lazy to update their resume.
Let’s make this better with a few simple changes.
This is a better summary, because:
- It contains precise numbers that serve as strong evidence of your competence.
- It’s more personalized and speaks directly to the hiring manager.
- It features real examples of what the candidate worked on and achieved in their past job.
Finally, the question begs…
Do you need a resume objective?
We say - you don’t. A project manager is usually an experienced candidate for whom a career objective won’t greatly help.
#4. Student or entry-level project manager? Here are some tips
Let's be honest here for a second:
Having experience is a plus to your resume. It makes HRs more confident in recruiting you.
But, HRs understand well that job success isn't only about experience. Many attributes can make a difference in an applicant.
Here's the deal:
The hiring company is looking for an entry-level project manager to handle specific tasks. You'll be able to find more details about that in the job application. Here’s how to build your resume:
- Read the job description, identify those duties, and prepare to include them in your resume.
- Feature the specific skills you have that allow you to perform those tasks.
- Support that with your educational background and unique certificates.
We'll teach you in the rest of this guide how you can do all that. Learn how to read a job description and extract the main resume keywords in this guide.
#5. Project management resume skills
Since project managers cover a wide field of responsibilities, it doesn't help to list a handful of skills that are of the same nature.
You must pick the most relevant skills for the position you're applying to. Then use them to show that you can guarantee objectives, ensure quality, mitigate risk, etc.
As you may have noticed, these technical skills are specific to the job duties of any project manager.
Of course, you shouldn’t list them all in your resume.
Identify which skills are most required for the job you’re applying to by reading the job description carefully.
These skills are a must-have for any applicant that’s serious about getting hired. But don’t limit yourself to the skills section for them.
The best way to showcase your soft skills is in other parts of your resume.
For example, you can include them within your experience section. Or list your skills in your summary section to capture the HR’s interest.
Also, don’t lean too hard on buzzwords. If you decide to use buzzwords in your Project Manager resume, make sure to use them in the right context and in the right place.
#6. Project manager resume education
Project management is a role that requires lots of human interaction, flexibility, and creativity.
And you don’t learn this anywhere in school.
So you might ask:
Why do I need to include an education section in my resume anyway?
Think of it this way:
If you’re the hiring manager and had to cut a list from 1000s of candidates down to a dozen ones, what would your criteria be?
You’ll now focus on the secondary features of the applicants.
You want to hire someone who has all that, plus some relevant educational background.
Your resume needs an education section. Of course, you won’t detail everything you learned since primary school. In fact, you’ll do the exact opposite.
You’ll list your highest school degree, the university or college you went to, and the duration you spent there.
Check out this example:
All in all, the required degree depends on the industry the hiring company operates in.
Most often, those companies ask for a Bachelor’s in management or business. But sometimes they only hire candidates from technical fields such as computer science and IT.
#7. Project manager resume certificates: which ones to prioritize?
It doesn't matter how strong your resume is. Featuring certifications in project management on a resume is always a plus.
It shows that you've invested lots of time to boost your career and learn new skills. And it also proves that you're experienced in your work.
But the most important thing is this:
It makes the hiring decision easier on recruiters and allows them to feel good about their choices.
If lots of trusted organizations are vouching for a candidate, it's a good thing to trust their judgment.
What are the best project management certificates to feature on your resume?
Project management and PMP from PMI – the gist of it
Let’s do a blitz round of the hottest questions about whether a PMP certification is worth the money or not.
Is PMP certification still relevant in 2023?
Yes, there’s a growing demand for certified project managers. The demand for project managers is likely to continue to grow as organizations increasingly rely on project-based work to achieve their goals.
Can a PMP certificate increase my salary?
According to the Project Management Institute (PMI), the median annual salary for non-certified project managers in the United States is $93,000. On the other hand, Project Management Professionals (PMPs), who are certified by PMI, earn a median wage of $123,000 per year, which is a 32% increase compared to their non-certified colleagues.
Should I invest in a Masters's degree or PMP?
A PMP certification is considered superior to a Master's degree in Project Management. This is because a PMP certification requires at least 7,500 hours of hands-on experience leading and directing projects, as well as an objectively assessed level of theoretical knowledge. In comparison, a Master's degree in Project Management is focused primarily on theoretical knowledge and may not provide the same level of practical experience.
Key Takeaways for Making an Outstanding Project Manager Resume
- Read the job description carefully. Understand what the hiring company is looking for, then craft your resume accordingly
- Use your resume header to grab attention and prove your competence
- Highlight your greatest accomplishments throughout your resume to remind people of your worth
- Use your experience section to feature your relevant expertise in cross-functional teams, and strongest skills
- When faced with competition, add an education and certificates sections to stand out from other