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How to craft a project manager resume that lands you the job

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Your skills as a project manager are stellar, but does your resume convey this information to employers? Here’s how to check.

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You’ve worked hard to get experience and establish yourself as a good project manager, and now you’re ready to take your career to the next level. The trouble is, you’re not sure if your resume will effectively showcase your hard work to get the job you’re seeking. If you can answer “yes” to the following questions, then your resume might help you land your next role.

SEE: 14 tips for getting your resume through an applicant tracking system (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

  • Is your resume current? It sounds like an obvious question, but candidates don’t always regularly update their resumes before sending them to a potential employer. 

  • Is your resume in an updated format that’s relevant for your industry? You could use a standard resume format or layout, but why not gear your resume toward your field? There are many sites like Indeed, ResumeGenius, Monster, Myperfectresume, and more that offer modern and industry-specific layouts. Also, make sure you include all sections, including career objectives, skills and accomplishments, experience and employment history, and education. 

  • Is your resume concise and clear? Avoid being tempted to squeeze every experience and education qualification into your resume to demonstrate your worth–it can work against you. A cluttered resume may give a bad first impression. You want your resume to be organized and easy to read with sufficient white space.

  • Does your resume reflect that you are project-management focused? Make sure your resume highlights primarily project management skills and training. Unless the job requires skills across multiple disciplines, it’s important not to appear like a jack-of-all-trades. Stay focused. 

  • Does your resume strike the right tone? Every company has its own culture and tone, and some are more formal than others. Your resume should always be professional, but there may be opportunities to tweak the tone of your resume to align with the company’s culture. Check its website and craft your resume according to what’s important to the company. Keep in mind the company’s vision, culture, and job-related or department goals. 

  • Are your project management accomplishments measurable? Does your resume spell out each of your accomplishments? Do you provide metrics when relevant? Tell employers exactly how you helped companies with your project-management efforts. Be as specific as you can. If you rescued a project from failure, saved costs, or anything that you think is worth mentioning, include it in your resume. Be careful to maintain confidentiality. 

  • Based on your resume’s layout and content, would you hire yourself as a project manager? If this question makes you pause, it’s time to go over each question again until you feel confident that the answer is a definite and quick “yes.”

Competition for project management roles can be quite strong. Your resume has to work extremely hard if you’re going to stand out. Remember, most recruiters read through dozens of resumes each day, and that means your resume has to do the initial talking for you. It’s your job to make your resume easy to scan and read so that it makes the grade.  

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