Use the Project Manager job description to tailor your resume

Project Managers play a crucial role in ensuring that projects get done on time and within budget constraints. To do this, they rely on a host of hard and soft skills – talents employers expect to see included in any resume. 

But how can you know which important qualifications need to be highlighted in your resume? 

The answer is simple: make sure that you review the Project Manager job description to identify keywords that employers are looking for during their resume review.

In this Project Manager job description guide, we'll explore the important role those job description keywords play in your job search, examine a sample Project Manager job posting description, and provide helpful tips you can use to create the targeted resume you need for job search success.

Use the Project Manager job description to identify vital keywords

To understand why you should pay attention to Project Manager job descriptions, it's important to recognize the vital role keywords play in your resume. Keywords are significant words and phrases within a resume that help your document get past automated scanners and attract the attention of human hiring managers. 

Most job descriptions contain keywords related to required skills, experience levels, and other qualifications the employer expects new hires to possess. By identifying these keywords and including them in your resume, you can:

  1. Increase the odds that your resume satisfies applicant tracking system screenings 
  2. Impress hiring managers who are skimming your resume
  3. Demonstrate you have the right qualifications for the job

Get past the applicant tracking system

Applicant tracking systems can be the bane of your job search efforts if you haven't taken the right steps to ensure your resume can get past it. To do so, your resume needs to include the specific keywords that the employer's ATS will be searching for when it scans your job search documents. 

The Project Manager job description is one of the best sources for identifying those keywords.

Motivate employers to read your resume

Even if you get past the ATS, your resume still needs to capture the hiring manager's attention. Of course, that's often easier said than done, given that most employers only spend a few seconds skimming each resume that crosses their desk. 

By incorporating the right keywords in the right places within your resume narrative, your resume will have a better chance of capturing an employer's attention – which can help you secure the interview you need to obtain a lucrative job offer.

Related reading: How to Pass the 6-Second Resume Test

Highlight the right qualifications

Your inclusion of job description keywords related to skills, education, experience, and the role's responsibilities can help satisfy a hiring manager's initial concerns about your candidacy. Once they see that you have those core qualifications, they can then take time to evaluate your achievements in previous roles, the type of value you might be able to offer their company, and the soft skills that may help you be the best fit for the position.

Project Manager job description

Dedicated Project Manager responsible for facilitating project development and progress from initiation to completion. Must be experienced in project design and planning, collaboration and coordination with designated teams, and delivery of results within deadlines and budget constraints. Responsible for oversight of team members, setting deadlines, designating assignments, and monitoring every stage of project progress. Skilled in tracking progress, summarizing results, and communicating with management, clients, and other stakeholders.

A successful Project Manager will need to possess client management capabilities and be focused on delivering results that meet or exceed expectations. Experience in cross-departmental coordination and team building can enhance the candidate's ability to succeed in this role.

Bachelor's degree in a related field of expertise is preferred, as well as a minimum of 5 years of experience in project management or similar tole. Knowledge of industry best practices and processes is also expected. The Project Manager will report to department heads or relevant managers.

Project Manager responsibilities:

  • Coordinate and lead planning sessions for project development and execution

  • Manage staffing and other resource needs to maximize potential for successful execution of projects

  • Define project objectives and scope, identifying involvement of internal and external stakeholders

  • Conduct risk analysis to reduce unforeseen obstacles and costs

  • Create detailed schedule, project parameters, and budget expectations

  • Conduct periodic scope, schedule, and cost reviews using industry best practices, to identify needed adjustments

  • Measure project performance and progress throughout campaign execution

  • Manage client and other stakeholder expectations to maintain productive and engaged relationships

  • Document project activities, obstacles, costs, and results

  • Delegate project activities and duties in accordance with team members' strengths and experience

  • Provide summarized project plan documentation to departmental managers, clients, and other stakeholders as needed

  • Engage in continual learning to remain abreast of industry best practices, new technologies, and emerging standards

  • Collaborate with and lead teams to deliver results on schedule and within budget limits

  • Execute other role duties as assigned

Project Manager qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in related field and a minimum of five years of experience in project management

  • Proficiency with industry-standard project manager tools and software

  • Experience with client management and internal departmental communications

  • Proven track record of successful project management

  • Strong technical background in industry

  • Project Management Professional and/or PRINCE II certification preferred

Project Manager top skills & proficiencies:

  • Familiarity with project management programs and processes

  • Strong budget management to minimize project cost overruns

  • Ability to set and meet project deadlines while maintaining the highest standards

  • Excellent quality analysis and control

  • Effective written and verbal communication skills

  • Ability to build and train teams, identify the right tasks for each team member, and delegate responsibilities accordingly

  • Consistent conflict resolution skills

  • Multi-tasking capability to efficiently manage multiple campaigns simultaneously

  • Ability to align with the company's vision and mission

  • High stress tolerance

  • Strategic thinking and creative planning

  • Data analytical skills to analyze project goals, ongoing metrics, and final results

  • Documentation and reporting abilities

  • Time, resource, and organizational management

  • The ability to identify and analyze problems, create innovative solutions, and make informed decisions to facilitate project success

  • Risk analysis and mitigation

How to use the Project Manager job description to tailor your resume

It is vitally important to always tailor your resume to align with the job you're seeking. The Project Manager job description can be a critical component of that process. The key is to use the specific terms you find in the job posting and description to ensure that you're using the right keywords that applicant tracking systems and human hiring managers expect to see. 

In the following sections, we'll provide some simple tips that you can use to create a targeted resume.

Use keywords in your resume headline

Some people like to include their job title within the contact information section at the top of their resume. We prefer to list that job title in a resume headline that appears right below your contact details. To create that headline, you need to craft a single line of text that includes the job title and language that describes your unique skills or specialties. 

So, instead of simply writing “Project Manager,” you should focus on a more compelling headline like:

“Project Manager with 4 Years of Successful ROI, On-Time and Under-Budget”

Related reading: 27 Great Resume Headline Examples to Stand Out

Create a compelling resume profile

Once you have your headline done, it's time to create a compelling profile section. These days, the most popular profile option is the resume summary. Review the Project Manager job description to identify skills and role responsibilities. Then, create a three to five-sentence paragraph that includes your desired job title, years of experience, top skills, and one or two achievements that use real numbers to highlight your proven value as an employee.

For example:

Organized, detailed, and innovative Project Manager with 4 years of proven results in team building, campaign development, task delegation, monitoring, and reporting. Skilled in process creation, budget management, client relationships, vendor negotiation, and stakeholder reporting. Led more than five cross-functional teams with 100% successful delivery of client results on time and within budget parameters. Implemented best practices at ABC to improve project performance and efficiency by 47%.

Related reading: Resume Profile Explained (with Examples)

Add skill keywords to your core competencies section

It's also important to include Project Manager job description keywords in your resume's core competencies section. In fact, the skills section of any resume is often considered the secret to beating those automated bots. When the ATS searches through a skills or core competencies section, it will scan for the designated keywords. Using the exact skill keywords from that job description can help to ensure that your resume passes that screening process.

Once you've identified those skill keywords, you can add other relevant skills from your skill set to create a list of between twelve and fifteen skills. Include both hard, measurable skills, and soft interpersonal skills in that list. To save space, it's helpful to format your skills section into two or three columns, using a simple, bullet-point list of those relevant competencies.

Related reading: What Are Skills? (With Examples and Tips on How to Improve Them)

Incorporate keywords in your work experience achievement bullet points

Naturally, you will also need to weave these skill keywords into your professional experience section by using them in your bullet point achievement statements. The goal here is to align your achievements with the role and its responsibilities, using those keywords and real numbers to quantify your results. Include between four and six of these measurable achievements in bullet point form beneath each of the job titles and companies you list in that section. For example:

  • Collaborated with multiple departments and client stakeholders to create and execute projects valued at more than $24 million over a two-year period

  • Reorganized project process workflow, incorporating state-of-the-art data analysis techniques that improved project monitoring, analysis, and execution to increase efficiency and project turnaround times by 19%

  • Introduced agile delivery strategies that reduced project completion times by an average of 15% while providing 20% cost savings

  • Renegotiated vendor delivery accounts, increasing overall vendor activity by 28% while reducing total costs by 12% in the first year of our new contract

  • Created an innovative stakeholder communication process that improved client engagement by 33%, enhanced workflow cohesion across departments, and improved project deliverable times by 18%

  • Developed and executed team empowerment program that increased employee satisfaction, improved productivity by 22%, and led to a 32% increase in revenues over four quarters

Related reading: Work Experience for a Resume: How to Add it to Get Hired

Align your resume to the job description to make the right impression on employers

If you don't have a tailored resume that's aligned with the job you're seeking, you'll always struggle to differentiate yourself from other candidates for the position. The good news is that creating a targeted resume is easy if you know how to decode a great Project Manager job description to identify relevant keywords that you can add to your resume. By adding those keywords in the right places throughout your resume, you can make sure that your resume sends the right message to any employer.

Need help getting the most use out of your Project Manager job description? Take a few moments today to get your free resume review from our team of experts and give your job search the boost it needs to advance your career goals.

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