Guide: Top Project Management Keywords for a PM Resume | Key Terms to Have on Your Resume


There is a wide range of different types of project managers, including IT, strategy, implementation, advisory, HR, regulatory, compliance, risk, audit, tax, and operations project managers.

For every sector, there is a project manager type that specializes in that sector.

In addition, project managers work in different types of industries, which include financial services, consulting, healthcare, business, construction, information, retail, manufacturing, insurance, government, and real estate.

Based on an analysis of Deloitte Consulting’s growth focus areas, below are the top sectors that hire project managers:

  • Financial Services
  • Consumer & Industrial Products
  • Energy
  • Health Care
  • Manufacturing
  • Public Sector (Governments)
  • Real Estate
  • Technology, Media, & Telecommunications


Key Questions: Project Management Terms

When it comes to your resume as a project manager, what are the key project management keywords that you absolutely need to include? What are the essential project management terms that can increase the chances of your resume getting noticed by recruiters?

This review of “Top Project Management Keywords” has been published to help answer those questions.

Weve included project management buzzwords and examples of how you can effectively integrate these keywords across your resume.

Weve also include a screenshot of a project manager sample resume to help you visualize the whole picture, providing everything you need to create a dynamic project management resume.

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Project Manager CV vs. Project Manager Resume – What’s the Difference?

First and foremost, before you start looking for jobs in project management, you’ll need to decide whether you are going to create a project manager CV or a project manager resume.

There are a few key differences between the two: the length, purpose, and layout

What Is a Project Manager CV?

CV stands for Curriculum Vitæ, which means “course of life” in Latin. A project manager CV is an in-depth document that can cover two or more pages, and it should include detailed descriptions of:

  • Achievements
  • Education
  • Recognition
  • Awards
  • Honors

Unless you are updating your CV to include recent awards, a project manager CV is a static document, meaning that you will not have to tailor a CV to an individual job opening.

A project manager CV a great way to provide a thorough overview of your educational and professional career, and is the document of choice in the UK, Ireland, and New Zealand.

What Is a Project Manager Resume?

Compared to a project manager CV, a project manager resume is a much more concise document. Most recommendations are to keep a resume at no more than a page to allow for quick reading.

A resume does not have to cover an entire professional career–rather, it should provide a list of relevant highlights specific to the job. This means that, unlike a project manager CV, which is static, a project manager resume should be edited and shifted to align with each specific job opening.

In the US, the standard job application form is a resume, rather than a CV, though some employers may specify that they prefer a project manager CV instead.


How Recruiters Find Your Resume Using Project Management Keywords

In the past, recruiters needed to review hundreds or thousands of project manager resumes to visually find those with the required project management skills and qualifications that they were searching for. Today, that is no longer the case. 

When it comes to finding highly qualified project managers, recruiters now use automated keyword search tools to scan for keywords across databases of resumes.

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Automated Resume Search Tools

Using an automated tool, a recruiter enters specific project management keywords for the project manager resumes they would like to see. The automated tool then crawls through thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of resumes using the specific project manager terms.

It then aggregates the project manager resumes that best match the entered project manager search terms and submits these resumes to the recruiter.

The recruiter then performs additional reviews and narrows down the selection using a more streamlined and predetermined list of project management buzzwords.



Top Project Management Resume Keywords

So back to the question: “What are the top project management keywords to have on your resume?

Below are action verbs and project manager resume keyword terms that you should include in your project manager resume so that it stands a better chance of being selected from among the thousands of competing resumes.

Obviously you won’t be using all of these project management terms on your CV or your resume. If you do, it’ll be considered resume keyword stuffing, and your resume might get penalized by the search tools and resume crawlers.

Still, it’s important to know what types of project management terms that recruiters will be looking for when examining a stack of project manager resumes or project manager CVs.



Top Non-IT Project Manager Resume Keywords

See the section below this list for examples of how you can integrate these project management buzzwords into your resume.

  • Analytical
  • Assertive
  • Attention to detail
  • Business analysis
  • Change management
  • Current state assessment
  • Current vs, best-in-class gap analysis
  • Current state-gap analysis
  • Collaborative
  • Coordinated
  • Data analysis
  • Due diligence
  • Future state assessment
  • Future state design
  • Evaluation
  • Excel
  • Executing plans
  • Execution metrics
  • Financial analysis
  • Gap analysis
  • Managed
  • Managing client expectations
  • Managing conflicts
  • Manage meetings
  • Managing relationships with key partners
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Microsoft Office
  • MS Project
  • Multitasking
  • Organize project teams
  • Operating model
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Process improvement
  • Project coordination
  • Project implementation
  • Project initialization
  • Project management
  • Project planning
  • Project reporting
  • Reporting on status of projects
  • Resolve project conflicts
  • Risk management
  • SharePoint
  • Status updates
  • Strategic
  • Strategy
  • Strategic planning
  • Success
  • Transformation
  • Target state

Note: there are hundreds, if not thousands, of project management keywords that can be integrated into your resume. The above list is important as it presents key project management terms, but it is not (and cannot be) a comprehensive list for you.

The examples below include keywords from the list above, but we also integrated new keywords. The goal with these examples is to show how keywords can be naturally integrated into any resume.

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Integrating Non-IT Project Management Keywords

Successfully integrating project management terms and keywords into a project manager resume takes practice. Below, please find a list of examples on how to fluidly combine your career experience with the top project management terms. 

Examples (Keywords are Bolded)

  • Collaborated with operational teams to update operational processes and procedures
  • Worked with all stakeholders to rapidly develop multi-prong implementation project plans
  • Successfully managed and coordinated with all stakeholders, across the enterprise and across regions to ensure that project deliverables were delivered on time
  • Provided regular status updates to C-suite executives to ensure effective dissemination of project information
  • Successfully implemented the various project phases, including planning, IT build, UAT, and system rollout
  • Collaborated with client to drive a current state assessment, gap analysis, and remediation phase for the project
  • Conducted a current state vs. target state gap analysis, and remediation phase for the project
  • Managed and successfully rolled-out the target state
  • Coordinated and scheduled joint discovery sessions with over 300 subject matter experts across the enterprise
  • Partnered with the firm’s Risk Manager to build out a Compliance program
  • Managed six project workstreams to analyze the firm’s enterprise-wide operating structure
  • Developed a comprehensive audit framework to perform current vs. best-in-class gap analysis
  • Designed and delivered deployment project plans for a target state Shared Service function
  • Established strategies to maintain effective communications with all key stakeholders
  • Assessed the firm’s global banking and client onboarding structure
  • Investigated and identified key regulatory, operational, and processing gaps
  • Collaborated with Ops, Finance, and other stakeholders to develop remediation plans
  • Designed and delivered a target state operating model
  • Facilitated steering committee and working sessions, plus provided regular updates to senior executives


Sample Project Manager Resume  

Below, please find a screenshot of a sample project manager resume. Take a look and see if you can pick out the top project management terms and project manager keywords. 

project managementPhoto courtesy of: Resume-Help

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IT Project Management Resume Keywords

Below, please find a list of popular–and effective–project manager resume keywords to consider using in your own project management resume.

  • Analytical
  • Applications development methodologies
  • Assertive
  • Assessing progress/outcomes
  • Attention to detail
  • Capacity planning
  • Coding practices
  • Contemporary testing methodologies
  • Data analysis & design
  • Data modeling
  • Data warehousing
  • Database design concepts
  • Deployment management
  • Development & testing
  • Engineered
  • Governance
  • Great interpersonal skills
  • Great verbal communication
  • Great written communication
  • Installed
  • Integration planning
  • Invented
  • Large-organization navigation
  • Maintained
  • Major third-party IT services provider
  • Managing IT system development and implementation
  • Managing vendors
  • Mapped
  • Meeting deadlines
  • Microsoft Excel
  • Modified
  • Monitoring
  • MS Project
  • Multitasking
  • Multi-tier development environments
  • New technology development
  • Organize project teams
  • Overhauled
  • Pioneered
  • Prioritizing
  • Problem solving
  • Process development
  • Process improvement
  • Processes
  • Programmed
  • Project initialization
  • Project planning
  • Project reporting
  • Quality control
  • Quality methods
  • Quantitative
  • Reconfigured
  • Rectified
  • Redesigned
  • Release planning
  • Release scheduling
  • Remodeled
  • Reporting on status of projects
  • Resolve project conflicts
  • Risk management
  • SharePoint
  • Solution development
  • Technical requirements gathering


Integrating Keywords Into Your Project Manager Resume or CV

Below, please find a list of examples of how to integrate key project management terms into a project manager resume. If you’re stuck on how to effectively communicate your experience, these examples are a great place to start. 

Examples (Keywords are Bolded)

  • Worked with clients to clearly identify and continuously managed project scope, requirements, dependencies, and deliverables
  • Collaborated with technical staff to develop cost, resource, and delivery estimates
  • Consistently conveyed the technical, budget, and schedule progress and risks of the project to clients and senior management
  • Collaborated with team members in development and adoption of agile methodologies
  • Requirements gathering
  • Coordinated the development team’s efforts throughout the project lifecycle/system development phase
  • Performed quality assurance on the work produced by the IT project team
  • Successfully completed the system test phase
  • Built and maintained excellent relationships with client and team members
  • Maintained effective communication to keep all stakeholders involved with the project
  • Initiated, coordinated, and enforced systems, policies, and procedures
  • Maintained the organization’s effectiveness and efficiency by defining, delivering, and supporting strategic plans for implementing information technologies
  • Maintained project quality service by establishing and enforcing organization standards

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Conclusion – Where Should You Post Your PM CV or PM Resume?

Just like other job candidates, project managers normally post their resumes on job boards and websites like Monster.com, CareerBuilder, and Indeed.com

However, in addition to posting your project manager CV online, it is essential to maintain a professional profile on sites like LinkedIn.

This is important because LinkedIn is becoming the go-to place for recruiters to find project managers. LinkedIn’s job-posting platform now rivals Monster.com

According to a Forbes article, “Companies are spending their recruiting budget on LinkedIn licenses [rather] than on Monster licenses.”

So, when developing your project manager resume or building your professional social media profile, remember to include some of these key project manager keywords on your CV to improve your chances of being discovered by recruiters and headhunters.



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