Resume for Project Managers

Resume for Project Managers

When writing a project manager resume, most do-it-yourselfers fall into common traps that make their resume less than effective. First, consider that you are competing against as many as 1,000 resumes, all of which indicate some level of experience with project management. Where most people fail in their project manager resumes is that they don’t consider the things an employer wants.

Don’t Tell Me About The Projects, Tell Me About Your Skill

One of the biggest mistakes IT professionals make when writing a project manager resume is to give details about their projects. For example, Bill is an accomplished project manager at a large firm where he has led many software development initiatives. His old resume states “The TREN project is a data warehousing project, which addresses the claims, group and member subject areas. It will serve as a tool for the Actuaries to forecast the claims trend for various demographic factors based on the previous 48 months claims history.” This goes on for 4 more sentences providing more details on what the system can do. He continues this for 8 other projects resulting in a 4-page resume. Sound familiar? Let me be blunt: future employers don’t care about this application; they care about what skills you demonstrated. So instead of wasting precious space describing a system that no one else has, detail your skills and accomplishments.

Tell Me What You Can Do For Me

Employers want to know what you can do for them, so give them the details. An employer wants to know how many projects you have led; what is the scope and scale of some of your largest projects; what methodologies have you used; what is your track record for delivering on time and within budget; how do you manage change; how do you drive consensus across multiple user communities.

So for example, to describe Bill’s project above, it would be wiser to say “Recognized for successfully leading a 15-person cross-functional team through the full system development life cycle for a $2.5 million, 16-month project to improve actuarial forecasting.” If you have led 10 projects, you don’t need to list each one to get the point across to an employer.

Good project managers are in demand, but the competition is tougher than ever. Showcase the skills you offer potential employers and you will be the one getting the calls.

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