How to Create a Compelling Project Manager Resume
If you’re thinking about applying for a project manager position, the key is to make sure you stand out from the competition. Your resume, which often serves as your first impression, can be leveraged as a powerful tool as you distinguish yourself from the rest of the pack. Here’s how to create the kind of project manager resume that puts you ahead of other applicants.
Make Your Relevant Experience and Skills Pop
Skills and experience may be seen as more valuable than education, especially in a multi-faceted profession such as project management. Therefore, it’s best to highlight your expertise and skills by putting them higher on your resume than your education.
You should also list the most relevant ones first. For example, if you’re relatively new to the field, you may not have much, if any, experience under your belt as an actual project manager. But you can still highlight your skills by using verbs like:
These all point to the leadership and management skills companies look for in a project manager.
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Include Side and Personal Projects That Involve Collaborating With Others
It’s not just your formal work experience that can wow an interviewer. If they see you have a passion for what you do — so much so that you engage in projects on the side — they may be impressed by your dedication.
For example, if you’ve collaborated with programmers on GitHub in the design of an app, you can highlight applicable elements of the process, such as:
- How you took the lead in solving a problem
- Unexpected challenges you overcame
- Decisions you made regarding who should handle what and how to maximize the talent you had the privilege of working with
Don’t Shy Away From Technical Language
While it would be unwise to drown a hiring manager in an alphabet soup of acronyms, feel free to pepper in a few technical terms here and there. The key is to make them relatively easy to understand — even for a novice — using contextual clues.
For example, you could say, “Lead a team in a data visualization project, using Python to build a dashboard that demonstrated company growth over time.”
Format Your Resume for Easy, Quick Reading
You want a hiring manager to be able to quickly skip to relevant sections without having to waste time combing through the text. To do this, try the following formatting tips:
- Use plenty of bullet points, and make them no longer than two lines each.
- Make sure your headings pop, perhaps using a font as big as 22 and bolding them.
- Separate each section of your resume with a line. For instance, Experience, Skills, and Education can all have a solid line between them.
- Use active verbs at the beginning of each descriptive phrase. For example, instead of saying, “Programming, including front-end development with React,” you could say, “Designed the front ends of applications using React.”
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