How to Write the Perfect Project Manager Resume
Writing a perfect resume is one of the most important “projects” you’ll do as a project manager. Nail it, and you will make a great first impression and seal your role as a project manager with your preferred company.
In this article, you’ll learn how to write a project manager resume that impresses hiring managers.
Whether you’re a seasoned or entry-level project management professional, this guide will help you create an outstanding resume that lands your dream role.
Let’s get started.
How to Write a Project Manager Resume That Gets You Hired
When finding a job as a project manager, you’ll compete with other candidates for your recruiter’s attention. To help you win, we’ve created nine steps you can use to write your project manager resume.
1. Use the right resume layout.
Most recruiters like reverse chronological resumes.
Besides having an orderly work history with the most recent job displayed first, chronological resumes let recruiters identify gaps in a candidate’s work history and spot any unrelated experiences. Here’s how that looks:
In certain scenarios, different layouts like the functional and combination resume might be ideal. While functional resumes highlight your most relevant skills, combination resumes let you show both your skills and work experience.
Below are segments of people whose resumes might fit the functional and combination layouts:
- Project managers who haven’t worked in the industry for a while.
- Individuals who want to transition into a project manager role.
- People who changed careers multiple times.
- Recent graduate project managers.
- Individuals who job hop frequently.
- Freelance project managers.
Irrespective of your resume layout, you’ll want to limit unnecessary whitespace by using columns when writing your resume. This allows you to cut down the number of pages for your resume.
Using colors to segment each section of your resume is also a best practice that makes it easier for recruiters to navigate to specific sections.
- Make your resume scannable by using bullet points.
- Try to fit your resume into one or two pages with font sizes 11-12 for body text and 14-16 for section headings.
- Use the best resume fonts like Times New Roman and Helvetica to make your resume readable.
- Save your resume in PDF format, so it stays the same on all devices used by recruiters.
- Use resume templates to save time when picking a format.
2. Add your contact information.
How recruiters choose to contact candidates varies. Some may prefer using social media. Others may want to call or email. For this reason, add all of your contact information to your resume.
This includes your phone number, email address, location, and links to your social media profiles.
- Include the country code to your phone number. This makes it easy for hiring managers to contact you if they’re not in your country. For instance, if you’re in the US, enter the US country code (+1) like this +1 XXX-XYZ-XXXX.
- Have an account on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter so that recruiters can contact you using their preferred social media platform.
3. Write a punchy resume summary.
After your name, your resume summary is what most recruiters will read next. You need to write it well. In fact, treat your resume summary like a news headline.
If it’s interesting, it’ll grab the recruiter’s attention, and they’ll keep reading to learn more about you.
Here are some tips for writing a captivating resume summary:
- Use industry buzzwords.
- Mention your years of experience.
- State your most relevant certification.
- Ensure your resume summary is descriptive.
- Keep your resume summary short (3 to 5 lines).
- Be specific when talking about professional outcomes.
- Mention a few of your relevant project management skills.
Here’s an example of an interesting resume summary from Milo Cruz, CMO of Freelance Writing Jobs.
4. Ensure you use the right keywords.
Recruiters often use Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS) to filter unfit resumes. They do this by scanning lots of resumes for keywords that relate to the job description.
After the scan, the ATS software recommends the top applicants, enabling recruiters to reduce the number of candidates they need to interview.
Put another way, a recruiter may not see your project manager resume if an ATS software screens it out because it lacks job-specific keywords. To prevent this, here are some keywords to remember when creating your project manager resume.
52 Project Manager Resume Keywords
- PMP certification
- Stakeholder management
- Budget management
- Team management
- Effective communication
- Project planning
- Change management
- Leadership engagement
- Resource allocation
- Project management software
- Project scheduling
- Issue resolution
- Scope management
- Project coordination
- Project tracking
- Vendor management
- Daily stand-ups
- MS Office Suite
- Contract management
- Project status report
- Milestone tracking
- Resource planning
- Change control
- Project initiation
- Schedule tracking
- Budget tracking
- Project execution
- Performance reporting
- Project review
- Process improvement
- Risk mitigation
- Quality assurance
- Resource optimization
- Budget optimization
- Conflict resolution
- Data analysis
- Project evaluation
- Cost-benefit analysis
- Team building
- Project risk identification
- Project risk analysis
- Prince 2
- Get creative, and try to use the same keywords in the job description.
- If a keyword appears multiple times in a job description, try to use it in your resume.
5. Discuss relevant results in your work experience.
When writing your work experience, you must show what you can bring to the table by being specific about what you achieved in previous roles.
If you’re a new or transitioning project manager, you can talk about what you’ve done in other areas of your life or your former industry.
The bottom line is that recruiters want to see how your former results relate to the open role. The best way to do this is to get specific and quantify everything.
Consider the following questions.
- How long did a project last?
- When did a project start and end?
- What percentage of goal deadlines did you achieve?
- What’s the exact amount of budget you worked with?
- How many people did you work within your team?
- How much revenue did you help generate?
These questions have numerical elements. Numbers help you get specific, and that’s what project management is all about.
For instance, don’t say, “Delivered assistance to the Human Resources Department by training new employees; provided 6 to 8 hours of training monthly.”
Instead, say, “Assisted the Human Resources Department by providing 6 to 8 hours of monthly training for 57 new employees.”
Mentioning the hours and the number of employees you trained monthly shows you’re valuable as a project leader and team player.
6. Add your education to your resume.
The education section of your project manager resume should be brief. Remember, what matters more is your experience.
When writing about your education, start with your highest degree. Then, list your degree name, institution, institution location, and years attended. Here’s an example.
- Master of Science in Project Management
- Fairfax University, USA
- 09/2022 – 06/2024
- BSc in Business Administration (Concentration in Project Management)
- South College, USA
- 09/2018 – 06/2022
7. List your project management skills relevant to the role.
As a veteran or entry-level project manager, you may have many project management skills. Unfortunately, you can’t list them all in your resume. So, identify and write the top skills that show your professional competence.
Before listing your project management skills, read the job description to find skills the hiring manager wants and list them first.
Afterward, include other project management skills relevant to your industry, like construction, IT, marketing, finance, or manufacturing.
Here are some general project management skills to consider including in your resume.
33 Project Management Skills
- Time management
- Conflict Resolution
- Public Speaking
- Critical thinking
- Goal Setting
- Microsoft Office
- Persuasive skills
- Strategic Planning
- Statistical Analysis
- Risk Management
- Vendor Management
- Process Management
- Database Management
- Financial Management
- Contract Management
- Project Management Methodologies
- Project Management Software Proficiency
8. Include any project management certifications you have.
Certifications are a plus when you’re applying for a project management position. Aside from differentiating you from other candidates, they can help you seal a role and earn you 16% more salary.
It’s best to list your certifications chronologically. Here’s an example:
- Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certification program – Awarding Institution (2023)
- PRINCE2 Certification – Awarding Institution (2022)
- Project Management Professional (PMP)® certification – Awarding Institution (2021)
9. Proofread your resume.
Having errors in your resume won’t look good on you. It makes you give the hiring manager a poor first impression, and it shows a lack of attention to detail.
Project Manager Resume Examples
Now that you know the steps for writing a project manager resume, let’s review some examples you can use for inspiration.
1. Entry-Level Project Manager Resume
You don’t need a decade of experience to craft a killer resume. Let’s dive into the example above. The summary shows the candidate’s experience while using many keywords relevant to any project management role.
Plus, mentioning a PMP certification shows the candidate is open to honing their project manager skills.
The certification section also shows the candidate’s self-development drive as a project manager. These callouts show the candidate is serious about the field, even if they’re at the early stages of their career.
What we like: The certification section shows the candidate’s self-development drive as a project manager.
2. Construction Project Manager Resume
If you’re applying for a role in a specific field, be sure to include your relevant experience. Take a look at the resume above. The project manager’s skills and experience apply to the construction industry.
The resume also includes industry-relevant keywords like OSHA and AutoCAD.
What we like: Even with their extensive work and industry experience, the candidate fits all of their accomplishments into one page.
3. Technical Project Manager Resume
When applying for a role, keep applicant tracking systems (ATS) in mind. The resume above includes relevant technical skills that can help the candidate get through the initial screening.
The summary shows the candidate’s years of experience and highlights a few of their skills. Further, the summary shows the candidate’s years of experience and highlights a few of their skills.
Note: This resume is two pages. A longer resume is only appropriate when applying for more senior roles. Learn more about resume length.
4. IT Project Manager Resume
Before you hit submit, take the time to customize your resume for the role. Above, the candidate personalizes the resume by calling out the organization in the summary section.
Further, the resume contains skills that apply to IT, all in a format that’s easy to read.
What we like: The work experience highlights specific outcomes using percentages and revenue.
5. Architectural Project Manager Resume
Annabelle Jackson’s resume tells a story. Her experience section shows how her career has evolved — progressing from an architect to a project manager.
The work experience section uses numbers, percentages, and revenue to show specific outcomes.
What we love: Jackson calls out that she has industry experience as a practitioner. If you’ve worked on the execution and project management side of a business, call out both skill sets.
Become a Project Manager With a Winning Resume
Now that you know how to write your project manager resume and have inspiration from the above examples, it’s time to consider all the elements of your resume and begin writing.
Here’s a recap of what you need to write a winning resume:
- Keep your resume design minimal.
- Use the chronological resume format.
- Your resume fonts should be easy to read.
- Write specific outcomes in your experience section.
- Include job-specific keywords and skills in your resume.
- Include any certification that can give you an edge over other candidates.
- Highlight your best achievements and succinctly describe yourself in your resume summary.