If you're entering the job market this year — either for the first time or to make an exciting new career change — you may be wondering how to make your project manager resume stand out from the pack. In addition to being one of the careers that are ideal for working from home, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that, between now and 2024, management occupations, which include project management, will grow by 5%. That means there will be as many as 505,000 new jobs created for project managers — one of which could belong to you.
Keep reading to find out what you need on your resume to score one of these opportunities and some important considerations based on what type of project manager you are. Plus, discover project manager resume examples to compare yours to.
Essential skills for your project manager resume
Make sure these five essential skills are on your CV to land interviews at the leading companies on your list.
1. Agile experience
Agile isn't the new kid on the block anymore; it's the most popular project management methodology. And with the Internet of Things and wearables industries poised for massive growth, development teams, in particular, will have to quickly respond to a constant stream of data giving them new insights into what customers want. Experience with Agile project management will become an expectation for project managers, not just a feather in your cap.
2. Business strategy
It's no longer enough to be responsive to change — you need to see it coming. With the fast pace of business and shifting market demands, project managers will need to understand business strategy to anticipate market changes and be ready when they hit.
3. Risk assessment and management
As the global economy continues to recover, companies can't afford to take unnecessary risks or suffer project failure. The ability to confidently calculate an acceptable amount of risk and assess and manage threats (and opportunities) to your projects to achieve the best possible outcome will be a top skill for project managers.
As companies navigate increasingly complicated markets, their business strategies — and the projects to implement them — are becoming larger and more complex. Complex projects often mean larger teams to manage, more resources to coordinate, and more stakeholders to please.
5. Proven ability to fight scope creep
Resources are tight, project complexity is on the rise, and speed of execution is more important than ever. Project managers who can keep projects on track and successfully fight unnecessary scope creep are increasingly valuable to their organizations. Highlight on your resume any projects where you wrote a detailed scope statement — and stuck to it.
Project managers should also be aware of the difference between gold plating and scope creep, as sometimes the project team works past the point of diminishing returns.
Project manager resume examples
When it comes to writing your project management resume, your goal is to make the recruiter’s job as easy as possible. To do that, you have to structure your resume correctly and list the experience they're looking for. Here are a few great examples you can model yours after:
- Assistant project manager
When you’re just starting out, an assistant role can give you hands-on experience and help you build a network of people who can hire you. Even though this resume doesn’t show a lot of prior experience, it emphasizes the personal characteristics that make this candidate a great fit in the personal summary at the top and the personal skills section on the side.
As you advance your career, keep an eye on what niche you’d like to move into and create resume goals accordingly. For example, you might want to move into technical project management or project management for HR, both of which have the same core skills but different types of experience required.
- Project management professional
Once you have some experience under your belt, add in technical skills, including project management platforms and software you have experience with, as well as any task management skills you’ve acquired. Note how, in this example, each past position has bullet-point summaries of what was specifically accomplished.
- Senior IT project manager
At the senior level, personal summaries can be flipped into bullet points that directly tie your personality to must-have skills, like in this resume example. Now is also a good time to dedicate space to your many achievements, as shown above, as well as your enterprise project management experience.
What to put in an entry-level project manager resume
Follow these step-by-step instructions to create a polished, professional, and competitive first resume:
Step one: Add the basics
List your name and contact information at the top. Only put your location if you’re applying for an in-office position. Hyperlink your phone number, email address, and Linkedin profile so that recruiters can easily contact you with a single click.
Tip: Skip the objective section; it’s old school.
Step two: Sum it up
First, write a two-to-three sentence introduction. Note your education and career highlights. Put at least one personality sentence in there or including an interest you have outside of work to help you stand out.
Then, include a bulleted list of your core strengths. This is a great place to insert keywords from the original job listing (only include them if they're true for you).
Step three: Outline related experiences
Next, list your top three-to-five relevant work credits. Include the name of the company, the location, when you started and ended the position, and a very brief description of what you did for the company.
Step four: Add concrete proof
Use data to support your claims and listed experiences. Stats like project completion rates, any money you've saved the company by streamlining workflows, or any systems you implemented while working there are all great for this.
For example, if you’d like to demonstrate your leadership within a certain organization, make a note of any decisions you made that affected the project as a whole, such as moving individual contributors to management roles underneath your supervision.
Tip: Make your resume skimmable by bolding keywords and phrases so that a 30-second glance tells them all they need to know.
What to have in a senior project manager resume
All senior project managers should use the following resume sections:
- Summary of your four core skills and accomplishments you’ve achieved using them
- A bulleted skills summary that includes general or agency project management, your niche, and value-added leadership
- A career progression section with your previous job listings and a bulleted list of notable companies and/or achievements at each one
What to include in a construction project manager resume
Your resume should reflect what construction project management is and the skills you have that fit this unique niche. In your experience section, highlight the size of projects accomplished and any industries you specialize in. If you’ve had to multitask, note how many projects you’ve taken on simultaneously. Also, cover which key project areas you’ve worked on, including permit approvals, bidding, and law inspections.
What to put in a technical project manager resume
Note which industries, project management methods, and software you have experience with. Also, be sure to include a highlighted skills summary that has both project management skills and technical skills listed separately.
What to have in an Agile project manager resume
An Agile project manager’s resume should include any job history details that have to do with metrics, leadership, and resource distribution. Make a note of any SCRUM experience too. And don’t forget to piece out which technical, operational, and administrative responsibilities you had at each position.
What achievements do you put in your project manager resume?
Here are some examples of achievements listed on real project manager resumes that you can pursue or add to your own credentials:
- Developing metrics and regular review systems
- Leadership in project portfolio management or diverse teams
- Project risk management that led to a specific result
- Any road maps, plans, and schedules created
- Any formal awards
- Significant cost or resource-saving
- Notable brands or industries you’ve partnered with
Additional reading to advance your career in project management
No matter how much experience you have in your field, continuing to educate yourself on the latest tools and trends is critical for being good at what you do. Spend some time on the Wrike blog reading our how-to guides on every aspect of the industry.
And if you’d like to add another special skill to your resume, consider exploring Wrike’s two-week free trial. Discover Gantt charts, visual reporting, and communication tools you’ll need to use throughout your career.