Project Management Skills: Soft, Hard, & Technical (List)
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Every business needs savvy project management pros. But what makes a great project manager or project coordinator?
In a word: skills. Good project management skills are what guarantees that things get done. Better yet: done on time and within a budget. And if you'd like to learn how essential skills for project management can be best displayed on your resume, you came to the right place.
This guide will show you:
- A full list of essential soft and technical skills required for project management jobs.
- How to put your skills on a project manager resume to land more interviews.
- Why picking the right few project management achievements is key to proving and validating your PM qualifications.
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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.
For the best tips about listing all kinds of skills on a resume, see our guide: 99+ Key Professional Skills to Put on a Resume & How to List Them (+Examples)
Need some help with creating a full resume for project management jobs? Check out one of these:
- Operations Manager Resume
- Program Manager Resume
- Product Manager Resume
- Construction Project Manager Resume
- Project Manager Resume
- IT Project Manager Resume
- IT Director Resume
- IT Manager Resume
- Scrum Master Resume
Project Management Skills Essentials
In 2021, Zety compiled statistics from 133,000 resumes. Yes, that's a bunch. Here's what skills we found on resumes written by project managers:
Project Management Skills (Resume)
- Project Management (21%)
- Communication (18%)
- Leadership (17%)
- Microsoft Office (16%)
- Microsoft Project (12%)
- Problem Solving (12%)
- Time Management (10%)
- Risk Management (8%)
- Strategic Planning (6%)
- PMP Certification (6%)
- Salesforce (5%)
- Team Management (5%)
- Organization (4%)
- Negotiation (4%)
- Adaptability (4%)
The list above is solid gold. It comes from actual resumes written by PMs. It's a convenient cheat sheet, but be warned: pick only the right ones for your know-how and job ad you're targetting. And don't simply plonk them at the bottom and move on. You need to write them up in a way that sells.
Read on to learn how.
Best Soft Skills for Project Management Jobs
- Time Management
- Critical Thinking
- Creative Thinking
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
- Risk Assessment
What are project management skills when it comes to technicalities and hands-on PM experience?
Technical and Job-Specific Project Management Skills
- Project Scheduling
- Strategic Planning
- Subject Matter Expertise
- Project Lifecycle Management
- Agile Software
- Scrum Management
- Meeting Facilitation
- Financial Modelling
- Lean Thinking
- Performance Tracking
As you can see, project management skills are healthy mix of soft skills and hard skills. The thing is—
Raw lists of PM skills are pretty useless. You need to learn how to make the most of them to supercharge your job search!
When making a resume in our builder, drag & drop bullet points, skills, and auto-fill the boring stuff. Spell check? Check. Start building a professional resume template here for free.
When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and tell you exactly how to make it better.
And if you want to learn more about other job-winning skills, we've got you covered! Check out our dedicated guides:
How to Put Project Management Skills on a Resume
When it comes to listing project management skills on a resume, two notions are key:
Relevance and specificity.
First of all, the skills you choose to list have to match the position you’re eying.
Secondly, you can’t just randomly enter whatever is expected of you. You need to show specific, tangible proof of how you’ve put a given skills to use.
So use the examples of project management skills above only as a point of reference and put in a bit more work for your resume project management skills section to truly shine.
Here’s how to list PM skills on a resume step by step :
- Start with a spreadsheet with all your professional project manager skills and qualifications.
- Read the job description carefully and look for skills-related requirements.
- See which of these project management competencies match your skills listed in the spreadsheet. Quite a few, right?
- Put those project management resume keywords in a separate skills section of your resume.
- Don’t stop there: research the company online. Find what sort of software and technical knowledge, as well as "transferable skills" they value. Plug these into your resume as well.
- Show both your soft skills and hard skills on your resume.
- Provide proof for your most strategic skills instead of just listing them in bullet points.
See what I mean in this real-life example.
Here’s a sample project manager job description. Note the highlighted skills required.
Project Manager Job Description Example
- Excellent in written and verbal communication(1).
- Solid organizational skills including attention to detail and multi-tasking skills.
- Strong working knowledge of MS Office.
- Experience in data analysis a plus(2).
- Experience with Agile Software(3).
- Highly competent in project and program management, budgeting(4), scheduling, and task estimation.
- Excellent team leadership skills(5), with the ability to motivate and inspire team members.
Now, here are two project manager resume skills sections—one tailored to match the job ad and another one, generic.
Project Manager Skills for a Resume—Examples
See this? The candidate listed her key skills relevant to the position and backed them up with evidence.
Come on. “Tailoring,” doesn’t mean copy-pasting stuff.
One more thing to keep in mind:
While your key project management skills should be listed in a separate section, don’t limit yourself to that.
Mention project management technology and tools you know in the resume summary or resume objective.
Show how effective your project management skills have been in the work history section of your resume.
Finally: back up your skills with tangible proof.
On your resume, add an extra section with your unquestionable wins.
Include everything that fits into one of these categories:
- Project Management Certifications
- Conference participation
- Courses taken
- Awards and Professional Achievements
For more inspiration on how to spice up your project management resume, see: Achievements and Awards to Put on a Resume [Examples]
And by the way, don’t let your mind go blank in your interview. Check out our guides to make sure you always come out on top:
- Common Job Interview Questions & Answers
- 65+ Best Questions to Ask an Interviewer & Land Top Jobs [Proven Tips]
Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:
See more cover letter templates and start writing.
Here’s everything you need to know about project management skills in a nutshell:
- Some good examples of technical project management skills include: project scheduling, agile software, scrum management, meeting facilitation, financial modelling, kanban, and performance tracking.
- The best soft skills for project management are: leadership, communication, time management, problem-solving, and risk assessment.
- To list project manager qualifications on a resume the right way, customize your skills section so that it matches the requirements from the job ad.
- Don’t just showcase your project management skill set in the skills section: sprinkle some skill-related keywords in your summary and the work experience section.
Have any questions? Need further assistance? Drop me a line in the comments, I’m here to listen, respond, and straighten out all your queries!