Project management is divided into different phases, and this mindset will be helpful when you come to write your project manager CV since breaking it down into sections is one of the best ways to accomplish this task.
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In this guide and corresponding project manager CV example, you can expect to learn more about the following:
- The role of a project manager and how to prepare to write your CV
- Top tips for writing the most effective CV.
- Formatting your CV to deliver results.
- The different sections to include on a CV (summary, work history, education, skills)
- The best CV layout to use and design tips with help from our CV examples.
What does a project manager do?
Project managers are essential for overseeing projects and making sure they stay within timelines, budget etc. The project manager will try to reduce costs where possible and improve efficiencies. A project manager can work within a range of industries and although the responsibilities will be much the same, the types of projects will differentiate. The main goals of a project manager are to improve the effectiveness of a project, reduce costs and to ensure a project is completed successfully.
Project management is responsible for contributing around £156.5 billion of GVA (Gross Value Added) in the UK, with 2.13 million workers employed on a full-time basis in project management. Our CV examples can help you get a foot in the door to your dream job.
How much do project managers earn?
There is good money to be earnt as a project manager, with the average salary in the UK being £48631. The salary will vary from industry to industry and location. Salaries tend to be higher in busy cities, such as London, as opposed to smaller cities or counties. A mid-career project manager earns a median of £56,200, while very experienced professionals may earn more than £125,000.
How to write a project manager CV
It is best to plan your CV before you get started with it. You need to know what sections to include, otherwise you might not cover the key elements of it. These are the main sections you should have on your project manager CV sample:
- CV header – including your main contact details
- Summary or profile – a brief introduction
- Employment history
- Skills section
You should always consider your audience before you start compiling your project manager CV. Every company you apply to will have different values and cultures, so it is vital that you do a bit of research first. Take a look at the company website, get a feel for who they are, and write your CV accordingly. You should never send the same CV to every role; you should tailor it to suit, even if it means just making small tweaks.
When you have conducted your research, try to compile some information on what the interviewer might ask you and create your CV sample with this in mind. Just as you would divide your project managing duties into different steps, we would suggest keeping this in mind when creating your CV:
- Tailor your CV to suit the job and company you are applying to – don’t forget to conduct thorough research before you tackle it.
- Use one of our CV templates to ensure you create a clear CV. Don’t worry about being outlandish with it, keep it simple.
- Make sure you use relevant keywords on your CV, you can get these from the job spec.
Stick to a standard format
Make sure you keep your format sleek. Don’t use different font styles, as it can look a little chaotic. You can change the size to suit headings and other elements or use bold, but consistency is key.
Choosing the best CV format for a project manager
The best format for your project manager CV is reverse chronological. Your most recent employment/education should be first and then work your way back to your earliest. If you have 20 years’ experience, you need not mention every job – going back 10 or so years should be enough.
If you are quite new to the workforce or changing careers, it may be worth starting with a skills or experience section to give the hiring manager a sense of what you’re good at. You may decide that your education is more impressive than your experience, and in which case, you may want to place the education sector before your experience.
There is high demand for project managers in the UK, and a skills gap. It is thought that there will be over 168,000 job vacancies from now until 2027. This talent gap may result in a £2.09 billion GDP deficit. If this is your chosen field, you can expect there to be plenty of opportunities.
CV summary example: the conception stage
The summary is the part of your project manager CV where you can define your career goals. It should focus on the main aspects of your expertise and what you can offer the company, as well as what you are looking for in your next role.
For example, are you excited by a new challenge? Do you want to work for a large organisation? Always make sure you tailor this to suit the role and organisation you are applying to.
You should always write your CV by using action verbs, such as ‘managed’, instead of using ‘I’ or referring to yourself by your name. See how this is done in the CV example below.
The summary tends to be more free form than other sections of the CV so this can naturally make it feel a little more challenging. If you are struggling with this section, you can take a look at our business and management CV examples. You may want to start with a manager CV sample or a team leader CV example and progress to the project manager example and guide. We also offer a consulting CV sample if you prefer to work on a per-project basis or a school leaver CV sample if you are preparing to enter the workforce after your education.
Construction Project Manager with knowledge of new-build home construction with responsibility for managing projects with budgets of up to £20M, ensuring deadlines are adhered to. Expert in improving efficiency and making significant cost savings. Passionate about delivering an exceptional service to clients.
Employment history sample: the planning stage
The next step in creating an excellent project manager CV is to write your employment history and again, you should start with your most recent employment. You can use bullet points to describe the key aspects of your role and break up white space.
You can really set yourself apart by quantifying your responsibilities with the results you have achieved. For example, you managed a project worth £10M, or you were responsible for delivering savings of £5M. As you can see, these are much more enticing to the hiring manager than just ‘managed a team.’
A project management CV sample is below.
Senior Project Manager at Lewis Homes, Birmingham
January 2013 - Present
- Overseeing site work, ensuring budgets are adhered to and making cost savings where possible.
- Managing subcontractors and dealing with concerns as they arise.
- Agreeing terms with subcontractors and vendors.
- Liaising with clients, keeping them updated on the progress of projects.
- Completing on-site inspections.
Project Manager at JC Engineering, City of London
February 2009 - January 2013
- Supporting the project team in delivering the agreed project targets, including ensuring budgets were met and timescales adhered to.
- Dealing with any issues relating to projects as they arise.
- Ensuring any risks were minimised by consistently monitoring the projects.
- Monitoring and reporting the performance of the project.
Project Assistant at BER Security, City of London
January 2004 - February 2009
- Managing a busy and varied workload, providing support to the project manager.
- Evaluating existing processes and making suggestions for improvements.
- Supporting other team members as necessary.
- Taking minutes at project meetings where required.
- Focus on continuous professional development.
CV skills example: the launch
A project manager needs to have a range of both hard and soft skills. The skills on your CV should reflect your ability to have expertise in managing budgets, negotiating, as well as communication and being able to manage a range of priorities.
Ultimately, the role of a project manager is to ensure that projects run efficiently, and a really good project manager will be able to make substantial cost savings on the project. Make sure your individual skills come together to illustrate this.
- Computer Skills
- Interpersonal Communication
- Strong Leadership
- Construction Management
- Project Management
Project manager education CV example
Typically, a project manager will have a relevant degree to include in the education section, which might be in project management or general management. In some cases, a project manager may be able to work their way up the food chain in an organisation, without qualifications.
However, you should have some form of education to put in the education section, even if it is courses you have undertaken. Relevant certificates or diplomas are always of interest to the hiring manager, so make sure you mention these here. If you have a degree or equivalent, all the better. Use our CV sample below to help you create yours.
HND Project Management, King's College, London
August 2001 - August 2003
Site Management Safety Training Scheme
CV layout and design: make the right impact
Our project manager CV guide has been created to help you reach the interview stage, and hopefully gain employment. We have discussed the content, but it is important to also consider the CV layout and design. Your CV should be easy to reach, clear and concise.
The hiring manager should be able to quickly scan it and get an overall impression of who you are and what you can achieve in the role. Some candidates spend much too long on the layout and design, but if it is clear and each section is laid out well, that’s all you really need.
- Pay attention to the white space on your template to make sure it’s easy to read
- Use common section headings like “Employment History” or “Education”
- Create a header that highlights your name and contact information
- Submit a CV with spelling errors or grammatical mistakes
- Go overboard with icons or images
- Submit the same CV to multiple positions without tailoring it
You should never rush your project manager CV. It is a process that may take a little time, but with our help, you can create a masterpiece. You can look at some of our CV templates for guidance and CV examples.
Key takeaways for a project manager CV
- Write your CV with the audience in mind and tailor it to suit each role and organisation. Make sure you check out our CV samples for inspiration.
- Use a clear, concise layout, with headings for each section. Make sure you proofread your CV and check for any spelling or grammatical errors.
- Take relevant keywords and place them throughout the CV, so that an Applicant Tracking System will pick it up.
- Check out our CV examples for an idea of how to create an attention-grabbing header.