11 Essential Project Manager Skills to Include on a Resume

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 16 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

You can use the skills section on your resume to highlight a summary of your qualifications to potential recruiters. Listing your project manager skills may show the employer that you understand the position's duties and are the best fit for the role. Researching these skills and how to show them during the hiring stages can help increase your chances of earning a new role. In this article, we define project management skills and discuss 11 essential skills project managers may use in their careers.

What are project manager skills?

Project manager skills are the essential abilities that you can use to plan, start, manage and execute projects effectively. They may include soft and hard skills in resource management, project performance analysis, leadership and progress evaluation. These skills can help you complete projects on time and within the budget. Highlighting project manager skills may show your competence to the employer and increase your chances of getting the job.

Related: 15 Project Management Skills Every Manager Should Have

11 essential project management skills

Here are 11 essential project management skills you can include on your resume or cover letter:

1. Project management methodologies

A project manager can apply different project management methodologies, such as Agile, Waterfall and PMI techniques in their work. An employer may look at your resume to know if you understand how these methods work, plus their differences. For instance, Agile methodologies focus more on delivering results, while PMI and Waterfall methods require in-depth planning before delving into value-generating work.

On your resume, you may mention the specific methodologies you're familiar and how you used them in your previous assignments. The hiring manager may also be interested in how you collect client feedback and use it to improve your service delivery. You can show this by highlighting the methodologies you use to perform this role in the work experience section.

2. Data analysis

Data analysis can help you quantify the project's performance, forecast results and derive the returns on investment. You may also apply it in analysing financial data like the project's budget and expenditure. Highlighting this skill on your resume can position you as a project manager who knows how to evaluate performance and can oversee the timely execution of projects. It may also demonstrate your ability to collect and analyse essential project data like break-even points, actual costs and task duration accurately.

Related: What Is a SWOT Analysis? (With Definition and Examples)

3. Time management

Mentioning that you're an excellent time manager on your resume is essential because you may be responsible for drafting and enforcing timelines as a project manager. Time management entails ensuring you execute projects on time by availing resources on-site and managing a team to execute tasks within the project's timeline. It may also involve scheduling and managing your time.

If any task exceeds the timeframe in the initial plan, the project manager may fix it elsewhere without interrupting the entire schedule. Besides mentioning time management as one of your top skills in the resume, you can show that you're a time-conscious person by arriving at the interview at least 30 minutes before the starting time.

4. Empathy

Listing empathy as one of the skills on your resume demonstrates your ability to understand and respond appropriately to other people's emotions. The skill denotes that you can communicate effectively with colleagues, supervisors and clients. Empathy can also help you prevent or solve conflicts and maintain healthy work relationships. It may also enhance productivity by eliminating business interruptions because of misunderstandings.

5. Effective communication

Effective communication is a vital skill to include on your resume since it shows that you can convey information and ideas to colleagues, supervisors and teammates in ways that they can understand. When managing a project, you may be responsible for ensuring that every stakeholder understands its plans, scopes, time frames and tasks. You can highlight activities such as organising presentations to large groups, facilitating webinars, drafting reports and meeting stakeholders to elaborate on the project's progress on your resume.

Related: 4 Types of Verbal Communications (With Examples and Tips)

6. Active listening

While project managers typically explain the project's scope and deliverables to others, it may also help to listen to other players. Active listening involves listening to understand and not to respond. It may entail taking notes, asking for clarifications, assuring others you understand them and genuinely committing to considering their inputs. This skill can be essential to your resume because it shows your ability to review the project from other people's perspectives and identify any loopholes you may have missed.

7. Prioritisation

Ranking and prioritising tasks can ensure that you execute projects on time as a project manager. This skill may involve planning and organising your duties and those of others. You can achieve this by developing a simple work plan that highlights tasks, who's responsible for them and their time frames.

You can highlight this skill on your resume by mentioning a previous job whose duties involved prioritisation. The ability to distinguish between dependent and independent tasks may also help you develop seamless work plans where you manage tasks easily.

8. Software proficiency

When highlighting software proficiency on your resume, mention the specific software that you know how to use. An employer may be interested in your expertise in word processing software, spreadsheet platforms and other software apps that project managers use in daily assignments. You can also expect to encounter questions asking you to mention a few project management software programs and how to use them in the interview.

Preparing a list of essential apps, their uses and how they work may help you answer the question effectively. Then you may explain how to use it to collect and analyse data on resources and monitor tasks' progress.

9. Budgeting and cost control

Including budgeting and cost control skills on your resume may indicate that you're a project manager who understands how to allocate funds to various aspects of a project. It can also show that you're good at minimising additional costs by ensuring that the project follows the work plan. You may mention budgeting activities, such as reviewing budgets, price negotiation and monitoring expenses, to ensure that a project stays within the initial budget. You may list tasks that highlight cost control efficiency, such as optimising resource allocation or usage and ensuring projects stay within their scopes.

10. Adaptability

Adaptability is a skill that enables you to embrace change and respond promptly without interfering with the initial plan. Including the skill on your resume shows that you're flexible enough to modify the project plan and find alternative ways of executing the project while remaining within the initial timeframe and budget. The skill can help you save money by avoiding additional costs due to project interruptions.

Related: 8 Adaptability Interview Questions (With Sample Answers)

11. Problem-solving

This skill involves the ability to identify challenges that can affect a project and find appropriate solutions. You may solve a challenge by finding alternative materials to cut costs, rescheduling tasks, reallocating resources or reorganising the plan to save time. Hiring managers often ask candidates to highlight an instance where they applied problem-solving skills in their previous workplaces. Preparing an answer before going to the interview can help you tackle this question more efficiently.

Tips for showing project management skills on your resume

Here are a few tips you can use to highlight your project management skills on your resume:

Mention the skills in your work experience section

It's essential to highlight your skills in various parts of the resume, such as the work history section. You can show that you have asset management skills by mentioning previous roles that required the use of such skills. For example, if you include you used a certain spreadsheet program to prepare financial reports at your former workplace, it indicates that you have software proficiency and data analysis skills.

Use relevant keywords

You can include relevant keywords on your resume to prompt the applicant tracking software (ATS) that you have specific skills. Doing so may increase your resume's chances of passing through the ATS, enabling hiring managers to notice it. You can identify the relevant keywords by checking the skills that the job post mentions.

Highlight them in the skills section

Professional resumes often have about ten skills in the skills section. You can mention technical and soft skills related to asset management. Prioritise the skills that make you more competitive than other candidates. It may also help to be more specific by mentioning the software you're familiar with instead of just saying software proficiency.

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