Top Tips for Including past Projects on Your Resume
How to Include Projects on Your Resume
A list of relevant projects is a valuable addition to any resume. Think of it as a portfolio that showcases your most valuable work and accomplishments to a potential employer. In our resume templates, we have created a dedicated project section to help you prove to your hiring manager that you can produce successful work that yields results.
You’ll find the project section beneath your work experience, as this content helps give the hiring manager more information on your skill set and expertise. Past job titles tell an employer much less than a detailed description of projects you’ve executed.
As with anything on a resume, there is a certain art to articulating and presenting your work in a way that will stand out. Read on for some tips on how to include projects on your resume.
When speaking to past projects in your resume, there are some crucial points you’ll want to reference. See below for key details to include and tips on how to effectively speak to them:
This can look like a campaign name, a product launch or client work. Past projects do not necessarily have to be from previous employment, they can also be personal projects, academic projects or volunteer work—as long as they demonstrate skills that are relevant to the job posting.
2017 Holiday Campaign Standard Resume Web Redesign Client X Software Launch
Here you will showcase your involvement in this body of work. Words like lead and manager are appealing to a hiring manager, so ensure to include those if you had a leadership role in the project. For example, if you are a graphic designer but led the creative concept in a campaign, your role could be, Creative Lead.
This is where you can link the hiring manager to see the full project. Ensure you are using working, up-to-date links here. If the project garnered PR coverage, this would be a good content to include here.
You can choose to list the dates the campaign/project was live, or the dates of the project from brief to final execution. Be sure to include projects that are still relevant to your current experience and expertise—a project from 10 years may no longer be worthwhile to include.
This is the juiciest section where you’ll want to dedicate most of your time. In the description, your goal should be to demonstrate your relevant skills and ability to execute impactful projects to a potential employer. You should also include a brief overview of the project (objectives, outcomes, inspiration) as well as your primary role in the work. Reference the job description and use similar language to describe your projects. Speaking to tangible results is also a must. Read on for how to speak to metrics in your project list.
Metrics Are Key
Including numbers when describing your projects is a clear way to illustrate your impact to hiring managers. You can describe a project as “successful” but having the numbers to back it up is a more credible way to present your data. So, when summarizing past projects think about how you can weave in results such as revenue growth, page views, website traffic or earned press. You can also look at speaking to metrics such as time saved (ie. did an initiative you helped launch make operations more efficient for a business?) or cost savings. Read on for some examples of how to speak to metrics in your project list:
- Website redesign garnered an increase in web traffic by 25% in 2018
- Global campaign generated 50,000 earned media impressions
- Product launch helped to generate over $25,000 in revenue
Note: This is not a place to exaggerate. If you cannot validate these numbers or are not confident that your references will not support them, do not include them or adjust them so they are accurate.
Choosing the Right Projects
It’s likely you’ve been a part of many projects throughout your education and career, so choosing the right ones might feel daunting. The best projects to include are first and foremost, ones that demonstrate relevant skills to the position you are applying for. It is also smart to include a range of projects to demonstrate a diversity in skills and experience. For example, you may want to use a volunteer project that shows your ability to organize a group and raise funds, in addition to work that shows your technical abilities as they pertain to a job (web design, creative direction, etc.) Finally, be sure to eliminate any projects that might feel out-of-date—having a current resume is a must.
Awards & Accomplishments
While we don’t have a dedicated awards & accomplishments section, you can choose to include this at the bottom of your project list. Only include if they are significant to the job you are applying for. Some examples of awards and accomplishments you would want to include on a resume are: Scholarships, advertising/design/creative awards, organizing a fundraiser, launching a small business/ side initiative.