Whether you’re applying for a specific role as a project manager or you’re looking to advance your career in that direction, properly highlighting project management skills on your resume is one of the easiest ways to stand out among the competition.
This article will discuss the significance of these abilities in depth. We’ll also thoroughly examine some of the more prominent soft and hard skills in this group, teach you how to add them to your resume, and show you how to improve them.
Let’s get started.
Project management skills are important in many industries, as they have to do with planning, organizing, and executing projects.
They include soft skills such as communication, leadership, problem-solving, and time management, as well as hard skills like project scope, project budgeting, risk management, and more.
One of the best ways of demonstrating these skills in your resume is through examples of work-related achievements.
You can improve your project management skills through workshops, conferences, courses, mentorships, books, self-practice, and many other activities. That will make you more proficient and also boost your employability.
Why Are Project Management Skills Important For Your Resume?
Project management skills represent a unique set of abilities related to planning, organizing, and carrying out projects. Individuals from many different industries—not just exclusively project managers—can greatly benefit from adding some of these to their job applications.
By demonstrating these abilities on your resume, you also highlight many other important skills, including:
Ability to plan and organize
Strong communication skills
Proficiency in problem-solving
Technical proficiency in various tools and software
As you can see, you need a strong combination of soft, hard, and technical skills for project management and similar roles. Moreover, you portray yourself as a competent, multi-skilled candidate by properly showcasing these skills.
On the other hand, their complexity makes it all the more important to pinpoint exactly which ones to add to your resume. Having all this in mind, let’s find out which project management skills are the most prominent and sought-after.
11 Soft Project Management Skills to Put in Your Resume
Because of their nature and applicability in a wide range of jobs, soft skills are also known as transferable skills. We’ll take a look at some of the essential soft project management skills.
Communication is a vital project management skill that allows you to share information with team members, clients, and stakeholders. It facilitates collaboration, ensuring everyone is on the same page while working towards mutual goals.
Communication Skill Example
Communication skills are important in project management because they:
Allow you to keep everyone informed with essential details
Are foundational for building relationships
Enable you to share your expectations to make sure everyone understands their roles and responsibilities
Are important for reporting progress
Leadership involves your ability to guide, motivate, and direct a team. Every project needs a strong leader who can help build and maintain a cohesive team. Furthermore, a leader will drive the project to completion by setting clear goals and expectations every step of the way.
On top of all that, by highlighting leadership skills on your resume, you demonstrate your ability to make important decisions and quickly adapt to change. All this makes leadership a critical project management skill that can have a significant impact on the success of your job application.
A good project manager should be able to quickly identify and assess problems, come up with valid options, and implement effective solutions. By including problem-solving skills on your resume, you also show that you’re able to:
Problem-Solving Skill Examples
Manage risks and develop effective risk management strategies to minimize the impact of potential problems
Anticipate said problems in advance and come up with contingency plans
Regularly make informed decisions in a fast-paced and dynamic work environment
#4. Time Management
Time management skills help you manage the use of time through planning and prioritization. That allows project managers to efficiently allocate resources, make sure that projects remain on schedule, and consistently meet deadlines.
Time Management Skill Examples
Furthermore, time management skills can help project managers in more ways, including:
Monitoring progress to adjust plans as needed, identify any potential delays, and take corrective actions
Staying organized while managing multiple tasks or even projects simultaneously
Managing deadlines and ensuring that every task of the project remains on schedule until completion
#5. Conflict Resolution
Any potential conflicts that arise between members of the team, clients, or stakeholders can hinder the progress of a project and negatively impact its outcome. That’s why it’s vital for project managers to know how to handle and resolve conflicts quickly and effectively.
Conflict Resolution Skill Examples
Strong conflict resolution skills comprise a number of other abilities, such as:
Keeping projects on track
Negotiating is an important project management skill that stems from your ability to communicate. It can help you secure necessary resources, resolve conflicts, and ensure that everyone involved ends up satisfied with the results.
Moreover, strong negotiation skills allow you to build and maintain positive workplace relationships. They also give you the ability to balance everyone’s interests, establish trust, and promote a positive work environment.
Lastly, negotiation allows you to manage expectations. You can make sure that everyone working on the project knows what their jobs are and what the anticipated result will be.
As a project management skill, collaboration can be essential in fostering a positive work environment, promoting teamwork, and ultimately ensuring the success of the project. It can help you work effectively with everyone, from team members to stakeholders.
Collaboration Skill Example
The benefits of this project management skill are multifaceted, including:
Building functional and close-knit teams
Fostering effective communication between team members
Encouraging teamwork to further boost productivity
Managing stakeholders to ensure their needs are met
Balancing the interests of everyone involved in the project
Organization is a fundamental project management skill that allows you to plan, prioritize, and manage tasks and resources to reach project goals. By effectively utilizing organizational skills, you’ll complete projects on time, within budget, and to the required standards.
Organization Skill Examples
There are many aspects to organization that make it a complex and valuable project management skill, including:
Planning and scheduling
Motivation can have a direct impact on the performance and engagement of the project team. A motivated team is more likely to stay focused while doing the job, meet deadlines, and deliver high-quality products.
Apart from being able to directly impact the team’s morale and boost its efficiency, individuals with strong motivational skills can also improve stakeholder satisfaction by building their trust in the project.
Moreover, these project management skills can improve team retention. A motivated team is likely to stay with the project longer, which helps reduce costly and disruptive staff turnover.
Adaptability enables you to readjust and respond to unexpected changes, challenges, and events. This skill is all the more important when you’re working in a dynamic project environment. Effective adaptability can help you ensure that the project stays on track despite potential unforeseen developments.
Adaptability Skill Examples
It’s one of the more complex project management skills, meaning that it implies that you have even more beneficial traits and abilities, including:
#11. Active Listening
Active listening goes beyond just hearing the words that the other party is speaking. For a project manager, active listening represents a conscious effort to understand the needs and concerns of team members in order to respond to them optimally and in a timely manner.
Active Listening Skill Examples
Here are just some of the many benefits that strong active listening skills bring:
Improving team communication
Resolving conflicts quicker and more efficiently
Building stronger relationships
Making informed decisions
Improving the overall performance of the team
7 Hard Project Management Skills to Put in Your Resume
Now that we’ve seen some of the most prominent soft skills, let’s do the same with project management hard skills. Even though most of these skills are highly technical and job-specific, and many of them represent collections of many different subskills. Such complexity adds value to these abilities and makes it all the more important to demonstrate them properly on your resume.
#1. Project Scope
Project scope is a foundational project management skill that involves defining, planning, and controlling the scope of a project. In essence, it’s the process of determining and documenting project goals, tasks, deliverables, and limitations.
Project Scope Skill Examples
Creating the project scope means setting the foundation for all other project management activities, such as scheduling, budgeting, and resource allocation. It involves plenty of other important aspects, such as:
Controlling scope creep
Balancing project constraints
Managing changes to the project scope
Communicating the project scope
#2. Project Proposal
A project proposal is a written document thatoutlines a project’s scope, goals, and plan. By being adept at writing good proposals, you’ll be able to lay the foundation for all other project management activities. Furthermore, these documents can act as roadmaps for the projects.
Additionally, project proposals are also used to secure necessary funds, resources, and more buy-in from stakeholders and team members.
#3. Project Budgeting
Project budgeting is the process of estimating the costs required to complete a project. It also helps you allocate project funds in the most efficient way, manage expenses, communicate budget information, and more.
#4. Task Management
Task management refers to the process of dividing a complex project into smaller tasks for planning and execution. It can help project managers stay on top of the situation by ensuring all the tasks are completed on time and within budget.
Task Management Skill Examples
Here are the key aspects of task management:
Managing task risks
Monitoring task progress
#5. Project Management Methodologies
Project management methodologies refer to a systematic approach to planning, managing, and executing projects.
Adept project managers often have a deep understanding of multiple project management methodologies. Here are some of the most popular ones:
Types of Methodology
Waterfall Methodology, which is straightforward, linear, and the most traditional
Agile Methodology, which is adaptive, fast, and flexible and involves self-organization
Scrum Methodology, which is often used by smaller teams that can work in “sprints”
Kanban Methodology, whose name means “billboard” in Japanese, involves managing by placing tasks on a Kanban board
Lean Methodology, which cuts waste and aims to optimize separate technologies, assets, and verticals
#6. Project Management Tools
Project management tools are software, systems, and platforms used to manage projects. Hence, adding the tools that you’re proficient in to your resume is one of the best ways to highlight your technical prowess.
Examples of Tools
Here are some of the most popular project management tools:
#7. Risk Management
Having a good understanding of risk management can help you find, evaluate, and deal with risks that could impact a project. Some of the many benefits of having strong risk management skills include:
Risk Management Examples
Early identification of risks
Improved stakeholder engagement
Greater project control
Increased overall confidence in project outcomes
How to Add Project Management Skills to Your Resume
One of the best things you can do when adding project management skills to your resume is to substantiate them. In addition to creating a skills section, you should also demonstrate your vital project management skills throughout your resume in your resume objective, summary, work experience, and optional sections.
But before you can do that, you need to figure out which skills to add in the first place. That’s why you should start the process by researching the job ad. Let’s look for relevant project management skills in an example of a job ad:
Job Title: IT Project Manager
We are seeking an experienced IT Project Manager who is able to oversee all aspects of IT projects.
Develop and manageproject plans, timelines, and budgets
Identify project risks and create mitigation plans
Manage resources and team members
Communicate project progress and status to stakeholders
Collaborate with cross-functional teams to achieve project goals
Strong project management and leadership skills
Impeccable communication and conflict resolution skills
Experience with project management tools and software
Just by reading this job description, we’ll be able to create a comprehensive list of both soft and hard skills that recruiters are looking for. There’s everything from communication, conflict resolution, and leadership skills to job-specific budget management, resource management, and software skills.
Finally, once you start mentioning these skills in relation to workplace achievements and results obtained, you should quantify them with numbersand make them more prominent with impactful action verbs and power words.
How to Improve Your Project Management Skills
There are many ways to improve your project management skills, most of which revolve around some combination of theoretical learning, practical experience, and self-reflection.
Here’s a list of practical tips to help you start improving right away:
Familiarize yourself with various project management methodologies, such as Waterfall, Agile, and Scrum, to understand how they can be applied to different types of projects. You can explore those you haven’t used already to find out the pros and cons of each one.
Attend workshops, conferences, and project management training and development programs. That way, you can get professional certificates, learn new skills, refine the ones you already have, and find out about the best practices.
Connect with other project managers to build your professional network, learn from their experiences, and share their knowledge.
Practice some of the project management software to brush up on your existing software skills and learn new ones.
You can practice time management, prioritization, and scheduling in private life before translating those skills into a professional environment.
There are many books to read that can help you get into project management, improve your skills, or learn project management as a non-project manager. Here are some of the more prominent ones:
Project Management Absolute Beginner’s Guide, by Greg Horine
The Agile Mind-Set: Making Agile Processes Work, by Gil Broza
Project Management for Non-Project Managers, by Jack Ferraro
Consider finding or hiring a mentor or a coach, as that can be one of the fastest ways to progress.
In conclusion, project management skills are highly sought after by recruiters across many industries and positions, in addition to the role of a project manager.
As a job seeker, you want to properly demonstrate them on your resume for optimal chances of success. Use precise metrics and concrete data to showcase your achievements, and you’ll set yourself apart from other candidates.
Lastly, don’t forget that project management is not just about technical skills but also about your soft skills, like communication and leadership. Make sure to include both of these aspects in your resume, and your interview will be right around the corner.