Each year countless resumes are quickly reviewed and filed away. Don’t let yours be one of them. Here are five tips that will help your project manager resume stand out and land you that interview you want.
Your resume is an extension of you professionally, and to some extent personally, and because you only have one chance to create that best first impression on paper, make sure it counts. Before you actually get an interview, your resume has to grab an employers attention enough to make them want to pick up the phone. Here are a few that will help you make an eye-catching project management resume.
1. First, pass the visual test
First impressions start with a resume that is visually clean and easy on the eyes. Use space to your advantage by grouping job specific information together and removing old irrelevant jobs and education. A cluttered resume leads an employer to believe you’re physically and mentally disorganized, and when it comes to project management, this doesn’t bode well. Start with a template that may be project management specific. Use formatting to highlight your most valuable skills and make it easy for employers to quickly find the most relevant information they care about. It’s a great idea to seek the opinion of family and friends on first visual impressions of your resume.
Don’t forget spelling people. Remember to use grammar and spell check tools to make it as professional as possible. If you’re creating your resume using Google Docs, there are many free add-ons that can help with this.
2. Customize your resume for each specific job or project
Many people might groan at the thought of customization when it comes to resumes, but it’s important to remember what may seem like extra work up front can make all the difference between getting a call or not.
Employers are likely to value the time and additional effort you put in because it demonstrates how serious you are about the job they are seeking a project manager for.Job requirements are similar to project requirements; an employer wants the candidate to demonstrate they understand and can meet specific detailed requirements. General resumes will likely end up in a filing cabinet. Take the time to read the requirements and tailor your resume to show you understand how you can fit into the company’s plan. And remember to be explicit.
3. Clearly articulate the specific leadership traits you bring to the table
Don’t get bogged down with too much of the technical, project management is a leadership role, spend your time focusing on leadership traits and activities that show how well you can lead projects, mentor, and guide teams, and work with teams and stakeholders to execute on project initiatives. Your resume should highlight your experience with leadership, facilitation, communication, and relevant best practices.
Moira Alexander, PMP, I.S.P., ITCP/IP3P, is a recognized project management influencer, thought leader, a regular correspondent for PMI’s Projectified podcast, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of PMWorld 360 Magazine, Founder of Lead-Her-Ship Group, and author of “LEAD or LAG: Linking Strategic Project Management & Thought Leadership”. Moira has over 25 years of experience in business (IS&T) and project management for small to large businesses in the US and Canada and has been quoted in various publications including Forbes. She writes thought leadership content for top-tier publications and business blogs and oversees or writes sponsored content and software reviews on PMWorld 360 Magazine.