Project coordinators are tasked with managing discrete parts of a project, and making sure the team delivers on deadline and within budget. They must have great organizational and communications skills; in a tech context, they must also grasp the technical details of a project. All of those needs can make crafting an ideal project coordinator resume a tricky thing.
Jason Deneu, Robert Half’s New York market director, recommends that project coordinator candidates take a step back and use their project-coordination abilities to frame out and write their resume and other application materials. That means holding both the big picture (your career and its accomplishments) and the details (your skills and experience that make you a great fit for a prospective employer) in your mind at the same time.
Project coordinators must act as liaisons, he added, which means administrative and technical coordinating (as well as scheduling). No matter what the job you’re applying for, make sure your resume highlights your skills in those areas. “[Project coordinators] are helping to make sure that the project stays on track and reporting between teams,” he said. “Obviously communication is huge with them as well, and organization is absolutely at the forefront of importance for a project coordinator.”
Deneu also recommends starting with a mission statement that includes a personal element, while giving the hiring manager an immediate impression of how you view your skill set and responsibilities: “It’s important to describe the type of projects they’ve worked with. Project coordinators is a broad field—there’s project coordinators and software development, which is what we see all the time, there’s project coordinators as it relates to ERP upgrades. There are project coordinators under the finance umbrella.”
Project Coordinator Resume Template
Interested in a resume template for a project coordinator? Here’s one for inspiration:
What needs to be included in a project coordinator resume?
Travis Lindemoen, managing director at nexus IT group, recommends a section at the top of a project coordinator resume that focuses on your technology skills. For example: “If you were coordinating a project for AWS, that is a great buzzword to have on your resume and to have recruiters or HR see [you] have some exposure around that technology.”
He also suggested putting certifications close to the top of your resume, perhaps adding your highest-level certification in brackets next to your name. “Putting the PMP right next to your name lets the recruiter see right away your qualifications,” he noted. “You can add it again down near your education, even going in a little bit more detail, like where you got it and when you were certified.”
Other certifications Lindemoen says he looks for in a project coordinator are PMI’s Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM), Certified Scrum Master (CSM) and Agile Certified Practitioner (ACP).
From Deneu’s perspective, being able to explain where your project expertise lies is critical, with particular focus on time management issues (such as completing a project three months early). “If you’re able to, to show concrete numbers, to show the impact is important,” he said. “Show where the cost savings could come in, for example if you delivered the project ahead of schedule or delivered the project ahead of budget.”
While many project coordinators aren’t going to have advanced certifications, it can prove helpful to list the certifications you plan on attaining in the future. “I like to see a project coordinator working towards certifications because then it shows what their future goals are,” Deneu added.
What project coordination skills are important to put on a resume?
Lindemoen explained that, when listing past achievements, it’s good to use a vocabulary that demonstrates leadership. Use words like “led” or “spearheaded” and get specific about the size of your previous projects, be it number of team members, timeline, and especially budget.
“You also want to talk about the challenges you overcame, perhaps stakeholder pushback and how you overcame that,” he said. “These are the kinds of the things for which you are responsible as a project coordinator.”
Indicating team size is also an eye-catcher for recruiters. “The bigger the team size, the more interest that a hiring manager would have, assuming you’re looking at a larger enterprise project,” Lindemoen said. Meeting budgets and deliverables is always key, as well.
Another skill set that seems to be gaining traction is the concept of “servant leadership,” whereby the project coordinator acts like a coach and forms different relationship groups. “Prior to Agile, a project coordinator was more apt to give you a command and you do it—things weren’t as fluid,” he said. “When Agile was introduced… the industry has gone in more to a coaching mindset, where you are there to be a coach to your team and help facilitate.”
While it’s important to keep the focus on the technical and not go overboard listing soft skills, it’s good to find a place where you can state you work well with executive leadership. “As a project coordinator, you are really that liaison between technical staff and business leaders,” Lindemoen explained.
Deneu added that he likes to know about the project coordinator’s interfacing with other groups—for example, if they’ve worked directly with a software delivery team or finance. “As I mentioned before, it’s super-important that you really dig into the actual job description when you’re applying to a role and you do a little bit of research on the company, too, because you need to tailor your experiences as to what they’re looking for,” he said.