How To Put Projects On A Resume (With Examples)

By Elsie Boskamp - Aug. 26, 2021

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No matter where you are in your career journey, writing a project-based resume could be your trick to advancing further in the hiring process.

Adding projects to your resume, whether educational or professional, is a great way of standing out, highlighting your strengths and key qualifications, and making an impact with your job application.

Nowadays, no matter what industry or career you’re looking in, hiring managers and prospective employers are much more likely to hire candidates with practical industry knowledge and related experience.

Listing relevant personal, work, and academic projects on your resume is a straightforward way of showing that you’ve generated real results and stuck with something from start to finish.

By using the tips and resume templates outlined in this article, you’ll be well on your way to highlighting your key skills in a project-based resume and finding your dream job.

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What Is a Project-Based Resume?

A project-based resume is a professional resume that focuses on accomplishments rather than chronological job titles and previous work responsibilities.

Where a traditional resume lists work experience and academic degrees in date order, a project-based resume instead does one of two things.

It either lists a job seeker’s relevant academic, work, and personal projects in order of most to least compelling or includes specific projects beneath the education or work experience sections of a resume.

Project-based resumes effectively provide hiring managers and prospective employers with verifiable proof of a job applicant’s industry expertise, achievements, and experience.

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Who Should Use Project-Based Resumes?

Anyone can use project-based resumes, but the following groups might find additional benefit:

  • Freelancers. Project-based resumes can be an especially worthwhile option for freelancers, as it allows you to ditch the traditional chronological resume and instead focus on projects you have worked on that are most relevant to the position you’re applying to.

  • Entry-level candidates. Not only is a project-based resume a great alternative for freelance workers, but it can also be equally as enticing for traditional employees or recent graduates since projects can be easily listed beneath education and work experience sections, as you would normally list accomplishments, skills, and previous job responsibilities.

  • Career changers. Writing a project-based resume can be a great option for people looking for their first job, changing careers, coming off a long sabbatical or personal leave, or searching for a full-time job after a series of freelance gigs.

Why Should You Put Projects on a Resume?

Listing projects on your resume will help you get a leg up over other qualified competing applicants.

A project-based resume, similar to a functional resume, is highly effective in conveying your unique qualifications, work style, field of specialization, and areas of expertise.

Project-based resumes are great tools for illustrating hands-on experience and your decision-making and conflict resolution skills. Describing projects you’ve been involved with can give hiring managers a glimpse into how you operate as an employee.

Submitting a project-based resume with your job applications can allow you to position yourself as the best candidate for the role by highlighting and describing projects that closely align with the job description included in the advertisement.

Including a list of projects on your resume will allow your job application to shine and illustrate your work capabilities and well-rounded personalitylt; to hiring managers and job recruiters.

How to List Projects on a Resume

To list projects on a traditional chronological resume, you should include a separate projects section beneath the education or work experience portion of your professional resume. This can be easily accomplished by including a “key projects” section below the bullets detailing your previous job responsibilities and accomplishments.

Listing projects on a traditional date-ordered resume can be a great option for professionals who want to showcase their project management expertise while also detailing their prior work titles and chronological job experience.

If you’re looking to ditch your traditional chronological resume altogether, a project-based resume is a great way of showcasing your most desirable professional skills outside of the tight confines of a standard cookie-cutter resume that lists your work experience in reverse chronological order.

By renaming the “work experience” section of your resume to “projects,” you can easily avoid the standard chronological resume format and instead focus on your most relevant projects and professional skills. This unique structure focuses more on practical, hands-on experience and less on how long you held a certain job title.

To list projects on a resume:

  • Contextualize the project’s details. You don’t want each project to take up too much space, but you do need to describe the key who, what, where, when, and why of the story. Most importantly, bring in numbers as often as possible.

    While it’s especially important to provide data around the results, even including other figures, like the number of team members involved, the pace of the project, or the interdepartmental scope can all help a hiring manager understand the project’s details better.

  • Highlight your accomplishments. “Ideally, your resume is a list of achievements,” says resume expert Don Pippin. When describing your projects, be sure that the direct impact that you had on the end result is apparent.

  • Tailor your resume for each job. Again, this applies to all resumes, not just project-based ones. In the context of projects, though, be sure to think about how each entry relates to the specific job you’re applying for.

    Additionally, sometimes a project might be worth including on multiple applications, but the language you use can still be optimized based on the particular job description. Keywords are important for getting past applicant tracking systems, so don’t skip this step!

  • Provide examples. If you’re emailing your resume, including some hyperlinks to documents relating to past projects can be really impactful. Not only can the hiring manager see the results of your work, but also how you and your team approached projects in general.

    This can be just the thing to clinch your candidacy, as it’s a rare treat for hiring managers to actually see examples of your past performance.

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Tips for Listing Projects on a Resume

If it’s your first time listing projects on a resume or ditching your traditional chronological resume or project-based one, there are a few things you need to keep in mind to craft an effective resume and impress hiring managers.

By following these five tips, you’ll be able to perfectly listing projects on your professional resume and allow your key skills and job qualifications to shine.

  1. Lead with the most relevant projects. One of the biggest advantages of a project-based resume is having the ability to list your work experiences and skills in order of the most relevant projects, instead of arranging them chronologically.

    Since most hiring managers typically only spend a few minutes, or even seconds, reviewing applicant’s resumes, leading with your most relevant projects is a great way to make a good first impression and advance in the hiring process.

  2. Highlight leadership and job-specific skills. If you’re listing projects on your resume, it’s important to be deliberate and meticulous in the projects you include. Your project list should be presentable, professional, and perfectly convey your leadership and job-specific skills.

    Make sure to always closely read job descriptions and tailor your project-based resume to the specified skills required for the role. Discussing your most relevant projects will allow you to expertly highlight your project management and technical skills and sell yourself as the best applicant for the job.

  3. Show how you achieve results and meet company goals. Another substantial perk of listing projects on your resume is the ability to clearly illustrate and verify how you are results-driven and ready to meet company goals.

    Discussing how you helped your previous company grow, fulfill corporate accomplishments, and achieve profitable outcomes will notably increase your hireability and help you market yourself as the best fit candidate for the job.

  4. Illustrate how your experiences align with company values. Not only is it important to showcase the skills and qualifications required for a job opening, but it’s also essential to illustrate how your work style and professional goals align with the values a company prides itself on.

    Using the projects listed on your resume to convey your personality and show how you’d fit in with their corporate culture and abide by company values can significantly increase your chances of getting called in for an interview and eventually getting hired.

  5. Keep project descriptions short. To emphasize your strongest skills and professional abilities, it’s important to keep project descriptions short, concise, and to the point. Providing only the essential details to demonstrate your skills, achievements, and experience will allow hiring managers to easily read and review your resume.

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Examples of Ways to List Projects On a Resume

Below are three examples of ways you can list projects on your professional resume or CV. Using these examples as a template when writing your job-specific resume can help you advance in the hiring process and land the job of your dreams.

Listing projects in the education section of your chronological resume:

Education

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | Cambridge, Massachusetts
B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, May 2020 | GPA: 3.8

Key Projects: Led a team of three engineering students to execute blueprints and coordinate the production of state-of-the-art air filtration systems for the university hospital. Production and installation came in 12% under budget and were completed 2 weeks ahead of schedule.

Listing projects below previous job responsibilities and work descriptions in your chronological resume:

Work Experience

Sales Associate
Baker Technologies | March 2019-present

  • Drove revenue by 13% year-over-year by initiating increased customer engagement policy

  • Oversaw a team of five cashiers, who collectively processed average credit card and cash payments of over $20,000 daily

Key Projects: Worked with a software developer to redesign and launch Baker Technologies’ online marketplace, resulting in a $2 million increase in profits for 2019.

Listing projects in a projects section of your project-based resume:

Professional Project Highlights

App Development
Camping With Oliver, July 2020-November 2020

  • Developed and coded a complex app, compatible with iPhone and Android devices, designed to help hikers locate free campsites in their area.

  • Increased digital revenue stream by 55% following launch

Private Web Design
Bobbi’s Bakery, January 2021-March 2021

  • Built a multifunctional website with a complex ordering system using HTLM 5, CSS, and bug-free code

  • Managed all custom graphics, page composition, and branding for this client, leading to a 30% Q/Q jump in sales

class="fancy">Final Thoughts

Whether you’re a freelancer or a traditional employee, a recent graduate or a career changer, projects can make your resume pop.

By illustrating your hands-on work experience, verifying your skills and job qualifications, and marketing yourself as the best candidate for the role, you’ll have hiring managers who can’t wait to call you in for an interview to learn more.

Using the tips and templates included in this article can help you write a well-structured and effective project-based resume and make a great first impression on recruiters across industries.

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Author

Elsie Boskamp

Elsie is an experienced writer, reporter, and content creator. As a leader in her field, Elsie is best known for her work as a Reporter for The Southampton Press, but she can also be credited with contributions to Long Island Pulse Magazine and Hamptons Online. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from Stony Brook University and currently resides in Franklin, Tennessee.

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