Project management is a fast growing and high potential career opportunity that a lot of people are trying to get started in, but what does a good project manager do?
What goes into a project manager’s resume?
Keep reading and you will learn all you need to know about Project management, the skills project managers must possess, and what goes into the resume of a great project manager.
What do Project Managers do?
Project managers are the connection between upper management and the working staff.
Their job is to make sure that the project’s goals are met without over exceeding the set time and budget estimates.
A project manager is someone who communicates with stakeholders involved in the project and working staff to ensure projects are moving smoothly towards the goal line. They manage the team by assigning tasks and prioritizing issues.
It would be impossible for me to list everything a project manager may have to do at any given time but if you want to read more about the day to day actions of a project manager, you can do so by reading this article from codegiant.
Project Management Skills
There are many different types of project management, and different project managers will focus on different areas.
Some project managers will focus on technical project management, some will focus on research project management, and some will focus on digital project management.
Regardless of the specific field a project manager chooses, they will need to possess the same key competencies, and these are the skills you would commonly find on a project management resume:
- Time Management
- Critical Thinking
- Financial Management
- Technologically Savvy
- Research Skills
- Policy Knowledge
- Conflict Management
It is important that you not only know what the most important skills of a project manager are but also why you need these project management skills to be successful.
Communication is a very important skill in every profession, but it is one of the top project management skills.
The best project managers must have great project coordination skills in order to clearly convey messages to clients as well as members of their team.
They will also be the voice of the project and will need those communication skills to present projects and give detailed reports on the progress of the project.
To be a manager of any business, leadership skills are required.
The team members will look to the project manager for guidance and approval when working on a project, and it is imperative that they trust and respect the person at the helm.
A sub-par team with a great leader can be successful but a great team with a sub-par leader is likely to fail.
A project manager needs to be very organized, in order to keep processes running smoothly and efficiently.
There are many different tasks incorporated into managing a project and those tasks need to be prioritized and organized to keep everyone on the same page.
One of the most important management skills is the ability to effectively manage time.
A project manager needs to prioritize work, and delegate based on deadlines.
The ability to manage time wisely will help to ensure a seamless and efficient flow and help the team reach goals more quickly. For more on time management read this article from codegiant.
One of the project managers responsibilities is to make the big decisions. They need to be quick on their feet and see the bigger picture. Issues will arise and when they do, project managers need to use critical thinking to make sure they are making the best decision for their team and the project overall.
Every project has a budget and it is one of the skills needed most for effective project management to be able to maintain that budget.
Project managers will be responsible for expenditure and it is very important that they make cost effective decisions on where the budget should be allotted.
This will be on any entry level project managers resume and is one of the most important technical project management skills. Technology is constantly evolving and keeping up with the latest digital tools is very important for maximizing efficiency.
Many projects will use a project management tool like the one from codegiant to track progress and document work.
The ability to gather data when needed is necessary for all project management and not just research project management. They need to constantly be learning and gathering data to keep up with demands and complete projects with maximum efficiency.
For all projects there are rules and regulations that the project manager is responsible for abiding by. Knowledge of health, safety, business, and environmental policies are necessary to keep a project running smoothly.
With any team there will be disagreements between teammates and clients and the project manager is responsible for managing these conflicts and preventing them from disrupting the work that needs to be done.
These are all great skills needed on a project management resume, but what are the essential skills for a project manager, and what are the qualities of being a great project manager?
Qualities of a Great Project Manager
Great project managers come in all shapes and sizes but they all share the same key competencies and generally possess many of the same qualities.
What are 3 Critical Qualities a Project Manager Needs to Succeed?
- Organization: It is critical for a project manager to be organized. This should hold the top place on your project management resume. The project manager will be involved with many tasks, and more than likely they will be managing multiple projects at once. The ability to organize and manage tasks effectively will be a key measure of how successful a project manager is.
- Communication: The project manager will be talking to many different people on a daily basis, ranging from upper level executives all the way down to the bottom of the organization. Being able to communicate to all of these different personality types will be a key component in running a smooth and efficient project.
- Leadership: The project manager not only needs to lead by example, but they need to be a leader that inspires. Inspirational leaders get the support of their teams and superiors and they incite excitement in employees that will drive them to work harder and get more done. A great leader can be the difference in bringing all of the pieces of the puzzle together.
Why do you need these project management qualities?
Now you know the qualities needed to be a project manager, but why do you need these qualities?
The answer is pretty simple. These qualities and skills will be traits that you will lean on every day of your project management career. You will need to be able to communicate, organize and lead your team in order to reach your performance goals and complete projects successfully.
If you don’t meet all of these qualities and your dream is to become a project manager, don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to learn and develop these qualities, and both free project management training and paid training are available.
Training Courses for Project Managers
Where should you start your educational path to becoming a project manager?
There are many paid and free ways to accomplish this, but the key is to work as hard as possible to educate yourself and gain experience. Most project management jobs will require a PMP certification.
Everyone learns differently and for that reason there are many different types of training courses that you can take. Here are a few that we recommend using:
- LinkedIn Learning(Free)
- Project Management Academy(Paid)
- Brain Sensei(Paid)
LinkedIn is one of the greatest platforms to use for anything business related, but recently they dove into the realm of providing educational courses for their users.
LinkedIn offers a variety of courses that will provide much of the necessary information needed to pass the PMP Certification Exam as well as prepare you for a real world application of those skills.
Simplilearn is a paid PMP certification training course and boasts a 99.9% pass rate.
They offer both a self paced learning course and blended learning course that includes hands on projects, test papers and case studies.
You will also receive a certificate of completion for the 35 contact hours required to take the PMP exam. They charge a one-time fee of $499 but also offer a 100% money-back guarantee.
Project Management Academy
Project Management Academy provides a 4-day paid interactive boot camp that will provide the fastest path to educating yourself and preparing for the PMP exam.
They will also provide you with an additional 50 recorded lectures, mock exams, and study aids.
You will pay a price of $1,995 for the bootcamp with a 100% money-back pass guarantee. This is the best option if you need to learn as quickly as possible.
The “school” of youtube is responsible for creating more jobs than almost any major educational institution.
You can find all the information necessary to pass any exam and to help be a successful project manager.
You will not receive the contact hours requirement for the PMP certification but can gain a wealth of knowledge for zero cost. This is the best option if a certification is not required.
Brain Sensei is a non traditional style of learning that creates a fun and entertaining learning environment.
This course contains animated lessons in the form of stories to make it easier to learn and absorb.
You will receive 8 lesson modules, practice exams and plenty of downloadable content to help you study.
They charge $499 for a 6-month membership and also offer a 100% money-back guarantee. This is the best option for non-traditional learners.
Is it Necessary to do a Training Course?
While some jobs may not require an official certification to become a project manager, having a certification will provide better job opportunities.
Project managers with a PMP certification are more likely to receive higher paying and better jobs. They will also be front runners to be interviewed when applying for a project manager position.
So, it may not be a necessity but it is definitely the best path to take for anyone serious about becoming a great project manager.
What are the Most Important Skills to put on your Project Manager Resume?
When it comes to learning good project management skills, there are many different routes you can take but you will need to possess some key attributes.
Depending on your field of project management, you may want to focus on some different areas.
We’ve covered the general skills of a project manager, but what are the key skills on the resume of a research and technical project manager?
Research Project Management Skills
- Research Skills: This goes with the title, but research project managers should have the highest level of research skills. They will not only do research of their own but will need to have the ability to check and verify research conducted by their team.
- R Skills: Research project managers need to be highly skilled in R. R is an integrated suite of software facilities for data manipulation. Research project managers will need to be able to effectively use the R language to take mined data and turn it into a graphical display.
- Product Development: A research project manager needs to have all of the hard skills of their team in order to complete a project successfully. This includes having experience in product development so they can comprehend the inner workings and daily tasks of their teams.
Technical Project Management Skills
The technical project manager role requires a lot of specialized skills in comparison to a non-technical project manager role:
- Knowledge: A sound foundational knowledge of IT infrastructure will be necessary for anyone working in this role. Technical knowledge is a must have in order to align desired project outcomes with capabilities and limitations of the team.
- Balance: While it is necessary to be hands on and be able to do the work of your team, you will need to know when to focus on technical issues and when to be focusing on driving the project to the finish line, on budget and in a timely fashion.
- Communication: As the leader of the team you will need to be able to effectively communicate in both technical and non-technical terms. You will be speaking to very technically minded individuals and then also relaying that information to shareholders and upper management who will need information presented in a business minded fashion.
How to List Your Project Management Skills on Your Resume
Hiring managers will look at dozens, maybe even hundreds of resume’s everyday, but what can you do to make your resume stand out?
First, make sure to tailor your resume to each specific job that you are applying for. If you are applying for a technical project manager position make sure that you list your technical skills first. This makes it easy for hiring managers to find exactly what they are looking for.
Read each job description carefully and you can usually find what specific skills they are looking for, what software they are using, what sort of technical knowledge they are looking for and lots of other valuable pieces of information. Now add those skills to your resume, and highlight them so it will be easy for the reader to find.
Make sure to use project management buzzwords. These will be music to the ears of someone reading through your resume.
The most important thing to do on your resume is to not only list your skills and competencies, but to also provide proof. Next to each skill in the skills section there should be an elaboration of these skills. Use this section to show real world examples of putting these skills into effect. You can do this by sharing previous projects where these skills were used and providing real world statistics. Example:
- Leadership: I led a team of 40 employees and successfully completed over 32 projects over a 2 year period. 30% above forecast.
- Financial Management: I was able to stay under budget on 95% of my projects with company x saving the company x amounts of dollars and creating great relationships with our clients.
- Communication: Having previous programming experience I was able to communicate highly technical knowledge from our programmers into a business oriented language that our shareholders could understand.
Proving your skills will put you to the front of the line as an applicant and will make you stand out next to other candidates who may need more vetting.
Next you should list any necessary technology or tools that you have used in the industry that may be of interest to the hiring company. Example:
- My team and I used codegiant’s project management tool to increase our workflow and open up transparency throughout the team.
Your work history section can also be a useful way to list your major wins and accomplishments in the industry. These key wins are another way of proving your worth and will stand out to hiring managers.
Project Management Resume Examples
Some of us are visual learners and let’s face it, having a template or framework makes it much easier to build your resume. So what exactly does a project management resume look like?
I am going to list some examples as well as let you know why it is a good resume to emulate:
EXAMPLE 1: This is a wonderful resume example for many reasons, but one of the key factors is that they included all necessary information but still kept the resume to 1 page.
1 page resumes are much more likely to land you an interview. The hiring manager can take a look and see all information necessary for them to make their decision without jumping around.
The applicant also included a rating next to their skills, which is an open and transparent way to show your qualifications on paper.
This sample also includes a bad version of the same applicant’s resume. I highly recommend looking closely at the two and looking at the differences.
One of the main differences that I notice are the structure of the resume. In the bad example all of Jane’s skills and work history are listed toward the bottom of the page. These need to be front and center so that they are easily found. This information is what hiring managers really want to see.
EXAMPLE 2: This is another great example.
This sample resume shows all skills in a different section on the side of the resume so that they will stand out. They also did a really good job elaborating on their experiences. Under their work experience they listed countless examples of their successes in the field, with statistical data to back it up.
EXAMPLE 3: This is a great sample resume for a technical project manager.
Jennifer highlighted and separated her hard and soft skills to put a stronger emphasis on the skills that were most important to the position.
Under her work history, which was very well highlighted, she listed a lot of empirical data to back up her skills category. She also registered her certificates to show that she has continued to educate herself in the field.
Not every resume has to be the same to be effective, but all of the keys that we discussed were used in these samples.
While these should be emulated, and the basic guidelines should be followed, you need to add your own personal touch to them. This will separate you from other applicants who simply copy & pasted someone else’s resume.
Project Management Jobs
Now that you know what skills to develop and how to put them down on a resume, you are probably wondering what jobs to look for, where to find them, and how to apply for them.
What Project Manager Jobs to Look For?
There are many jobs in project management, but the ones you should be looking for should be based on your industry preferences, level of experience and qualifications.
Entry level project managers may need some experience to get started and these are some positions to apply for to gain the experience necessary:
- Cost Estimator
- Project Management Administrator
- Project Scheduler
- Project Estimator
These jobs are all under the supervision of a project manager and are a great way to gain experience and learn through on the job training.
For project managers with a little more experience we recommend looking into project management jobs in the following professions:
- Purchasing Project Manager
- Construction Project Manager
- IT Project Manager
- Healthcare Project Manager
These jobs are all in high demand and offer very promising and successful futures to the people who receive them . Each one will require different key skills and competencies so take a look at your (technical) strengths and weaknesses and apply to project management jobs based on what fits your resume.
Where to Find Project Management Jobs
There are many different places to look for project management jobs, from online job boards, to in-person referrals, and even just by offering personal consulting.
LinkedIn is a great place to start. LinkedIn is the main social media platform for networking and finding jobs. You can apply to jobs by using the platform and also post content to express your knowledge and entice recruiters to come to you.
Some other great job platforms to use are indeed, monster, zip recruiter and there are even some project manager specific job boards that can be found online.
Another way to find these jobs is to reach out to friends, ex-colleagues, or other acquaintances to offer up your services to help manage projects at their companies. This is a more alternative route than just looking at job boards, but they will have less competition and show that you are a go-getter.
One other alternative path you can take is to offer your services as a part project consultant. You can set up a pay rate based off of performance and if things go well, you will usually get offered a full time position as a project manager.
How to Apply for Project Manager Jobs
The first step to applying is finding the jobs that you are interested in. When you have done this, take the steps listed above to tailor your resume to the specific job that you are applying for. Send in your application with your newly tailored resume, write a job specific cover letter that explains in detail why you would be a great fit for the role and then wait and hope for a response.
In the meantime there are some other things that you should be doing to prepare for a potential interview with said company. I would highly recommend doing a ton of research on the following subjects:
- Technical project management interview questions
- General project manager interview questions
- Project manager behavioral interview questions
The project manager role is a high level job and in being so, you need to be as prepared as possible for anything that may come up in an interview. You can find resources all over the internet and should always be learning and working to have as much knowledge as possible.
Project management is a great profession to go into, but it is definitely not an easy task. A lot goes into the resume of a great project manager. There is a large skill-set necessary to do the job, you will need to be very educated and work constantly to sharpen and improve your skills. There are plenty of resources both paid and free to gain the knowledge needed to become a great project manager.
If you are interested in becoming a great project manager, you can head over to codegiant for tips, tools, and a large database of information that can help you along the way.