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Projectize Your Resume

by Josh

Trying to get your foot in the door in project management?

Projectize your resume.

project manager resumes - by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr

project manager resumes - by SOCIALisBETTER via Flickr

A project manager resume is similar to other resumes, except for one key difference I can recommend.  This is one key thing I changed when I began trying to get specifically into the project management field, and did not have enough formal experience yet to rely on.

It doesn’t involve deception.  I’ll NEVER recommend you lie on your resume or cv in any way, ever.  This is not a “trick”, it is a tip on how to present your own experience if you are seeking a project management related role.

Highlights and Results

I recommend 2 sections for each position you’ve held.  A one-sentence description of your job, and then a section titled “Highlights and Results”

For this second section, I recommend a bulleted list with concrete accomplishments and quantitative metrics that are honest and concise.

My own “highlights and results” section is limited to just a handful per role.  I keep a separate document with a longer list, and gear the resume for a particular application based on the type of company and environment.  Present your real work history and experience in the most appealing way…suit it to the situation.

Here’s the Real Tip For Your Project Management Resume

For the last bullet point, I use it to highlight my project-specific experience.  For instance, if I was a team member on a project, I might say something like this:

  • Worked on several project teams
    –Global360 Imaging MIS Project, many small projects enhancing usability, automation, and report distribution, projects related to integrating production systems with MIS systems

If I were a lead on these projects, I would qualify my involvement as “technical lead on several projects” or whatever the right language is for the situation.

And if I had managed these projects, I might use “Successfully managed and implemented many projects” or again, whatever wording makes sense for your situation.  If they were not successful projects, don’t say they were.

Want to share your own tips for optimizing a resume for project management positions?  Leave a comment below and share!

If you want to work with me on your project management career, check out my PM Career Coaching Course.

Leave a Comment

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

folu August 31, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Hi Josh,

I guess you are recommending the results oriented resume instead of a traditional functional resume. Can I send you a copy of my resume for a critique.

Thank you

Folusho
foluobe@hotmail.com

Reply

Josh June 24, 2012 at 2:00 am

Folusho, I’m pretty sure we had that email exchange years ago when you made this comment, but I was revisiting this post today and wanted to respond here. You are correct, I think potential employers need to quickly see what the benefit of hiring you is, and I think that comes primarily from highlighting your results as specifically as possible and the benefits you provided in your past roles. You are still talking to the functional aspects too.

Reply

Debanghu December 10, 2009 at 7:07 am

Josh,

I agree with your projectized resume format and would like to add a few more relevant details as hiring trends have undergone changes post the recession worldwide.

The following may catch the eye of the recruiter faster;
1. Highlight 2 solutions provided as a PM
2. Give instances of a few (2) sticky issues handled efficiently
3. Mention contributions from your projects to top line/bottom line (strategi and your role on the same

All the above should be mentioned in not more than 10 words per point to really be effective.

Cheers

Reply

Josh June 24, 2012 at 2:01 am

Excellent points Debanghu!

Reply

Daniel December 23, 2009 at 3:03 pm

Great tip Josh; I am in the process of formatting my resume to illustrate my project management skill sets as a small business owner (Bernard Brick Cleaning and Restoration L.L.C.); your tips have provide me a road map and a set of glasses to see the relevant facts. Please feel free to contact me with any other sujestions.

Reply

Josh Nankivel December 23, 2009 at 8:26 pm

Glad it was helpful Daniel!

Reply

Sample Resumes September 27, 2010 at 11:26 am

Getting a quick job offer is very difficult especially for the freshers. So, that time resume is the one document which stands you different from other…so make your resume attractive and well optimized..

Reply

Get Rich April 19, 2013 at 4:34 am

Hi, the whole thing is going nicely here and ofcourse every one is sharing information, that’s really fine, keep up writing.

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