Should You List Projects on a Resume? What To Know

Projects can be a great way to flesh out your resume. What do you need to know about listing the right kinds of projects on your resume? Find out with our tips!

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Projects on Resume

While it may not seem very common, projects can be an important addition to a resume, whether they’re academic or professional, as long as they’re relevant to the job you are applying for in some way. In fact, featuring relevant projects on your resume can help support your skills and be instrumental in getting you a new job. So when should projects be listed on a resume, and what is the best way to list them?


How Can I List Projects on My Resume?

You should list any relevant projects in a separate section on your resume. This maintains your resume’s tidy appearance and makes it easier to scan for employers and the applicant tracking systems (ATS) they use to process resumes. You can either create this section as a subheading of your academic or work experience section, if all the projects fall into one of these categories, or in an entirely independent section if you have a mix of professional and educational projects to list. These key projects should be listed in reverse chronological order and briefly summarized, including the organization you carried out the project for, and a one or two-line explanation of what was achieved and how you contributed. Remember that you should always try to keep your resume concise.


Different Types of Resume Projects

Broadly speaking, there are three different types of projects you can list on your resume:

1. Professional
Professional projects are those undertaken for an employer (e.g., the creation of a marketing campaign).

2. Academic
Academic projects are those that are undertaken as a part of academic study (e.g., a group presentation).

3. Personal
A personal project is one you undertake for yourself. This can cross over with your professional duties: for example, you’re a programmer using your programming skill to build a game. However, this should not be listed as part of your professional experience unless it was commissioned by an employer.

When you mention a specific project on your resume, you should think about all the skills that went into it, not just technical abilities. Of course, if you are applying for a position as a senior programmer, a project that shows the advanced use of Python or JavaScript is relevant, but abilities such as leadership skills and collaboration are also influential when hiring managers are making a decision. If you lead team members in your projects, this is something you should mention.


Tips for Highlighting Projects on Your Resume

If you want to display your projects, and the specific skills that they showcase, in the right way there are a few things you should keep in mind. Just as there are guidelines for presenting your work experience or soft skills, there are general guidelines for discussing relevant projects:

  • Consider the job description
  • In order to get the best results from your projects section, you should only discuss projects that are relevant to the job you are applying for. So if you are applying for a social media manager position, for example, you could highlight a project that involved artistic or marketing aspects (such as fundraising for a charity). Describe your project using action verbs (e.g., “led,” “managed,” or “produced”), and take ownership of your contributions to the project.

  • Focus on the project benefits
  • Don’t get too deep into the processes involved in the project. Just focus on outcomes and the ways in which the completed project shows off skills or knowledge that are valuable to the company you’re interested in. Highlight aspects that will be beneficial to them.

  • Use projects to compensate for resume gaps
  • If you have gaps in your resume, such as a lack of specific qualifications or employment gaps, listing projects can help make up for it. Professional experience is always preferable, but if you have extracurricular or personal projects that are pertinent to your professional resume, you increase your chances of getting a job interview by mentioning them.

  • Expand on projects in your cover letter
  • Your resume should be concise, which means you may have to spare some of the finer details in the project description. If you feel that they are still important, you can mention them in your cover letter.

If you keep all these tips in mind when adding a projects section to your resume, you should be able to create a resume that shows hiring managers why you are the right candidate for the job you are applying for. For more help to quickly create a high-quality resume quickly, use ResumeHelp’s resume builder.


FAQ: Resume Projects

Q: Do I need to list projects on every resume?

No, you do not need to list projects on every resume or list all of your projects on your resume. You should just list the ones that are most relevant to the job application you are making. This is just the same as making sure your work experience and education section are tailored to the needs of the job.

Q: What is the average length of a project section on a resume?

Typically, you should limit your description of a single project to a few sentences or less. These should be placed in a separate project section in your resume format. For more guidance, don’t be afraid to check out some of ResumeHelp’s resume examples and templates.

Q: Are professional projects better on a resume than personal projects?

There is no single type of project which is best to put on a resume, but professional and academic projects can be more beneficial than personal projects (as long as they are relevant to the job title you are applying for). This is largely because professional and academic projects will have been completed on a set timescale whereas personal projects can sometimes take as much time as you need them to. Professional project management requires good time keeping and consistency and these qualities are attractive to most potential employers.

Projects on Resume

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