Project Management Resume Keywords in 2023 (With Expert Tips)

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In the past, hiring managers would typically scan resumes for keywords that were relevant to the job opening. However, with the rise of applicant tracking systems (ATS), this process has become more automated.

ATS are computer programs that scan resumes for keywords that match the job description. If your resume doesn’t contain enough of the right keywords, your resume may not even be seen by a human recruiter.

That’s why it’s so important to use the right project manager resume keywords in your resume. By using the right keywords, you can increase your chances of getting your resume seen by a recruiter and landing the job you want.

In addition to using the right keywords, you can also improve your chances of getting a project manager job by learning career development courses. These courses can teach you the skills and knowledge you need to be a successful project manager.

In this article, we’ll discuss the most important project manager resume keywords for 2023. We’ll also share some expert tips on how to use these keywords and how to craft an effective project manager resume.

puzzle pieces with project management keywords

Top Project Manager Resume Keywords in 2023


Communication skills are one of the most important business skills. These skills are essential for project managers to be able to effectively communicate with their team members, stakeholders, and other project stakeholders. For example, a project manager with strong verbal communication skills would be able to give clear and concise presentations to stakeholders. A project manager with strong written communication skills would be able to write clear and concise reports and documentation.

  • Communication skills
  • Verbal communication
  • Written communication
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Active listening
  • Public speaking
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution


  • “Communicated effectively with a team of 10 engineers to ensure that all project requirements were met, resulting in a project that was delivered on time and within budget.”
  • “Presented project status updates to stakeholders in a clear and concise manner, with an average presentation time of 15 minutes.”
  • “Resolved conflicts between team members in a timely and diplomatic manner, with a 90% success rate.”


Leadership skills are essential for project managers to be able to lead and motivate their team members to achieve project goals. A project manager with strong leadership skills would be able to set clear goals and expectations for their team members. A project manager with strong teamwork skills would be able to build and maintain a cohesive team.

  • Leadership skills
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Delegating
  • Problem-solving
  • Decision making
  • Strategic planning


  • “Led a team of 5 project managers to successfully deliver a complex project on time and within budget, saving the company $1 million.”
  • “Motivated and inspired my team to achieve ambitious goals, resulting in a 10% increase in productivity.”
  • “Delegated tasks effectively to ensure that everyone was working on the right things, with a 95% completion rate.”

Planning and Organizing

Project managers need to be able to plan and organize effectively in order to successfully complete projects. A project manager uses project planning skills to develop a comprehensive project plan that outlines all the necessary tasks, resources, and timelines. This ensures that the project is completed on time and within budget.

  • Project planning
  • Scheduling
  • Budgeting
  • Prioritization
  • Time management
  • Risk management
  • Change management


  • “Developed a comprehensive project plan that included all the necessary tasks, resources, and timelines, resulting in a project that was delivered on time and within budget.”
  • “Scheduled all project activities and milestones to ensure that the project was completed on time, with a 98% on-time delivery rate.”
  • “Managed the project budget and made sure that all costs were within scope, with a 0.5% budget overrun.”

Technical Skills

Technical skills are crucial for project managers. They allow effective use of tools and technology for project management. For instance, a project manager skilled in Microsoft Project can create and track project schedules. Strong Excel skills enable a project manager to generate and analyze project data.

  • Project management software
  • Microsoft Project
  • Primavera
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint
  • Other relevant software


  • “Proficient in Microsoft Project and Primavera, with an average project completion time of 6 months.”
  • “Experienced in using Excel and PowerPoint to create reports and presentations, with an average presentation time of 15 minutes.”
  • “Knowledge of other relevant software, such as Visio and AutoCAD, with a 90% accuracy rate.”

Other Soft Skills

These skills are essential for project managers to be able to handle the challenges of project management. For example, a project manager with strong problem-solving skills would be able to identify and solve problems quickly and efficiently. A project manager with strong critical thinking skills would be able to make sound decisions that benefit the project.

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Decision making
  • Adaptability
  • Stress tolerance
  • Attention to detail
  • Self-motivated
  • Results-oriented


  • “Consistently identified and solved problems to keep the project on track, resulting in a project that was delivered on time and within budget.”
  • “Used critical thinking skills to make sound decisions that benefited the project, resulting in a 10% increase in productivity.”
  • “Demonstrated adaptability by quickly adapting to changes in the project plan, with a 95% success rate.”
  • “Successfully managed stress and remained calm under pressure, with a 0% turnover rate among team members.”
  • “Took pride in my work and always delivered high-quality results, with a 99% customer satisfaction rate.”

Project Management Certifications

Possessing the right certifications and methodologies can set you apart as a skilled professional. These credentials not only bolster your resume but also showcase your commitment to excellence. Here are some examples:

  • Project Management Professional (PMP)
  • Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM)
  • PRINCE2® Foundation
  • ITIL® Foundation
  • Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP)
  • Scrum Master
  • Kanban

When listing your certifications and methodologies, be sure to include the name of the certification, the organization that issued it, and the year you earned it. You can also include a brief description of each certification or methodology.

What to know more about project management skills? Read these articles:

Starting a New Project: What You Need to Know?
The 6 Most Important Things to Include in Your Project Outline
10 Mistakes to Avoid in Project Implementation (with Expert Guidance)
Expert Reveal: How to Do Project Monitoring Effectively

project management resume keywords

How to Use Project Manager Resume Keywords Effectively

There are a few things you can do to use project manager resume keywords effectively:

  • Use the right keywords: When choosing keywords, it’s important to use the terms that hiring managers are actually using. You can find these keywords by reading job descriptions and talking to people in the industry.
  • Use keywords throughout your resume: Don’t just put keywords in your skills section. Use them throughout your resume, including your work experience, education, and skills.
  • Use keywords in a natural way: Don’t try to force keywords into your resume. Use them in a natural way so that your resume flows smoothly.
  • Get feedback on your resume: Once you’ve finished writing your resume, get feedback from someone who knows about project management. This will help you make sure that you’re using the right keywords and that your resume is effective.
  • Continuous refinement: Resume enhancement is an ongoing process. Regularly review your resume, update keywords as needed, and align them with evolving industry trends. A dynamic approach keeps your resume current and impactful.

Expert Tips: Crafting an Impactful Project Manager Resume

Tailor your resume to the job description

"When you are crafting your resume, align it with the job description that you are applying for. Show them what you have to offer is what they require. Remove unnecessary or non-related information, unless it paints you in a capable light. Focus on your skills and your work experience and how they helped you achieve your goals."

Neal Taparia, Co-Founder of Cribbage Online

Focus on your impact

"Focus on your impact: Not what you did, but the impact you had. What did you contribute specifically to bring it in on time, on budget and on goal? Summarize the technical environment, key tools, sticking points and solutions in layman’s terms to provide a granular feel to what your projects were about, how you may have handled issues. Tell a story."

Kristin Marquet, Founder and Creative Director of Marquet Media, LLC

Include a thoughtful cover letter

"Including a thoughtful cover letter is also essential, as hiring managers use them to gauge an applicant's communication skills. So take the time to craft one that demonstrates your ability to engage and inform an audience."

Seth Besse, CEO of

Omit unnecessary and irrelevant information

"When creating your resume, omit all unnecessary and irrelevant information that will not add anything to your job search. Highlight your achievements and relevant project management skills. Tailor your resume to align with a project manager’s job description, this will help you filter out all of the information that won't add to your endeavor."

Ben Richardson, Founder & Director of Acuity Training

Include your certifications

“Lean into certifications, especially if your resume experience feels a little light. When recruiters see impressive certifications like PMP or ACP on your resume, they know you’ve worked hard and developed objectively good skills to meet respected standards. Not everyone takes the time to earn these certifications, so it becomes a real standout feature that can help put you above the rest.

Denise Hemke, Chief Product Officer at Checkr

Highlight technical and leadership skills

"When crafting a project manager resume, it’s important to include both technical skills and leadership abilities. As a project manager, you should be able to demonstrate your knowledge of various software applications as well as your ability to manage and motivate teams. When writing the content for your resume, focus on highlighting these valuable skills and emphasizing your expertise in them."

Evan Tunis, President of Florida Healthcare Insurance

Include metrics and results of your projects

"One of the best ways to highlight your project management accomplishments is by including specific metrics and results from past projects you’ve managed. Be sure to include how many people were on the team and their roles, how much of a budget you managed, and any achievements or successes from the project. Showing potential employers that you can manage large projects effectively builds trust and gets you one step closer to landing the job."

Keith Sant, Founder & CEO, Sell My House Company

Include how you integrate diverse team members

"I prefer to hire candidates who exhibit strong leadership skills but also excel in fostering harmonious teamwork. Applicants must showcase instances where they have seamlessly integrated diverse team members, leveraging their strengths to achieve project goals. They must highlight their ability to communicate, delegate responsibilities, and facilitate open dialogue, ensuring everyone is motivated. The individual’s demonstrated capacity to cultivate collaboration marks their skill in orchestrating multifaceted projects, making them an ideal candidate for the role."

Ovidiu Cical, CEO and Co-founder at Cyscale

Frequently Asked Questions about Project Manager Resume Keywords

What are project manager resume keywords, and why are they important?

Project manager resume keywords are specific terms or phrases relevant to the project management field that are incorporated into resumes to highlight a candidate’s skills and qualifications. These keywords are essential because many companies use applicant tracking systems (ATS) to scan resumes for relevant keywords. If your resume lacks these keywords, it might not reach human eyes. By including the right keywords, you increase your chances of getting noticed by both ATS and recruiters.

How can I identify the right project manager resume keywords for my resume?

To identify the right keywords, carefully review the job description of the position you’re applying for. Look for recurring terms, qualifications, and skills mentioned in the description. These are likely the keywords ATS and recruiters are searching for. Additionally, research industry-specific terminology and standard project management buzzwords that align with your experience and skills.

Should I use the same set of keywords for every application?

While some keywords may remain consistent across various applications, it’s important to tailor your resume to each specific job description. Adjust your keywords based on the skills and qualifications outlined in the job posting. Using a mix of general project management keywords and role-specific keywords can help your resume stand out for each application.

Can overusing keywords hurt my resume?

Yes, overusing keywords in an attempt to game ATS can backfire. While it’s important to include relevant keywords, your resume should still read naturally and emphasize your actual experiences and accomplishments. Remember, your goal is not just to get past ATS but also to impress recruiters with your genuine qualifications.

What’s the difference between hard skills and soft skills in terms of keywords?

Hard skills are specific technical abilities that can be easily quantified and tested. Examples include “project scheduling,” “budget management,” and “risk assessment.” Soft skills, on the other hand, are interpersonal and communication abilities that contribute to effective teamwork and leadership. Examples of soft skills keywords are “communication,” “team collaboration,” and “problem-solving.”

Can I include project management methodologies as keywords?

Absolutely. Including project management methodologies such as “Agile,” “Scrum,” “Waterfall,” or “Lean” can demonstrate your familiarity with specific approaches and resonate with employers seeking candidates well-versed in those methodologies.

Read more: Don’t Make These 10 Resume Mistakes According to Experts 

Key Takeaways

In today’s digital era, where job hunting happens online, your resume needs to shine. The key to unlocking opportunities lies in project management resume keywords.

Our experts have shared valuable insights on the importance of these keywords. They bridge the gap between your skills and the technology that scans resumes. As you create your resume, remember their advice.

But your journey doesn’t end here. Elevate your career prospects by exploring Skill Success All Access Pass. Subscribing grants you access to a treasure trove of courses that can sharpen your project management skills and more. It’s your chance to take control of your career growth.

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