How to craft an effective project manager CV

Project management is a vital discipline within many businesses, ensuring planning, budgeting, risk assessments and quality outcomes are all achieved. As such, it can be a lucrative role in industries that require a security clearance.

In order to stand out from the crowd and demonstrate your skills and experience, it’s important to craft an effective project manager CV. To impress the hiring team, you should refer back to the job description, addressing each point in turn, to show why you’re the best candidate for the job.

What should I include in my project manager CV?

Your project manager CV shouldn’t just be a list of your qualifications and work experience. It needs to be a well laid out resume of why you’re uniquely positioned as the best person for the job. With this in mind, make sure you highlight your technical knowledge, soft skills, security clearance level and anything relevant to the role.

How to write a project manager CV

Much of the information you’d include in any CV should also feature in your project manager CV, but also be careful to tailor it to the specific role. A common mistake made by candidates is to create a CV and send it out to all and every project manager vacancy they’re interested in.

As your career develops, so should your resume, with your junior project manager CV looking very different to the one you submit as a senior project manager. Don’t simply add in your latest roles and experience, review the entire document for each job you apply for.

What are the essential sections of a project manager CV?

If you don’t know where to start, then a project manager CV example can help to ensure you cover all areas. These should include:

  • Contact details
  • Summary of your skills and experience
  • Security clearance level
  • Education
  • Career history
  • Technical knowledge and qualifications
  • Soft skills
  • Hobbies and interests

Which skills and qualifications will an employer be looking for?

The skills required for a project manager to successfully do their job are a combination of hard skills and soft skills. It’s important to give equal weight to both of these areas, as a candidate that is more than competent in Kanban, Scrum and other project management methodologies could be let down by their lack of communication or interpersonal skills.

Companies looking to hire a security-cleared project manager will expect to see the Baseline Personnel Security Standard (BPSS) certification on your CV. Some roles that require higher standards of security vetting, such as those in central government or defence, need other clearances. These include Security Check (SC) and Developed Vetting (DV), which can take weeks to process, so ensure they’re complete before applying for a job that requires them.

How to highlight project management skills on a CV

Highlighting project management skills on your CV is vital to demonstrate your compatibility for the role. Pick out some of the key employability skills high up in the document before including all the others elsewhere. Differentiating between your hard skills in the technical skills section and soft skills further down is also important.

What are the qualifications a project manager needs on their CV?

A prospective employer will be checking your CV to ensure you have an undergraduate degree. Some candidates will have gone on to a graduate training scheme with an organisation, while others will have a postgraduate qualification in project management.

Any further qualifications gained throughout your career should also be clearly stated on your project management CV. These will be different depending on the seniority of the role you’re applying for and those from right at the beginning of your career may no longer be relevant once you’re a senior project manager.

Get noticed with these recruiter tips for project manager CVs

Everyone submitting an application for a project manager role should be qualified to do the job, so it’s up to you to ensure your CV stands out from those of other applicants. From your personal profile to your skills and experience, be sure to use relevant keywords and refer back to the job description.

How to format your CV for project manager roles

The recruiter or hiring manager looking at your CV will have lots to go through, so it’s important to format it as clearly as possible. Use subtitles for each section, splitting the information accordingly leaving white space to prevent it looking congested.

How to tailor a project manager CV for a specific industry

Among the best CV advice any candidate can take on board is to tailor their CV to reflect the job they’re applying for. This includes the responsibilities outlined in the job description, level of seniority and industry the role is in.

Having security clearance will open up the possibility of particularly lucrative project management roles in certain sectors. Outline your level of security clearance near the top of your CV to ensure it doesn’t get overlooked.

How to demonstrate your project management experience on a CV

If you meet the requirements for education, then experience will be one of the areas where you can set yourself apart. As well as listing the project management roles you’ve had, briefly outline what they entailed and highlight particular successes. You will then be able to elaborate on these in your project manager interview, if your CV performs as well as it should.