1. Career Advice
  2. Resume & CV's
  3. List projects on a resume: your how-to guide!
List projects on a resume: your how-to guide!

List projects on a resume: your how-to guide!

Artwork by: Lizabeth Zaft

  • When should you list projects on a resume?
  • What types of projects should I list on my resume?
  • How to  list projects on your resume
  • Bonus example: project resume
  • Key takeaways

Listing projects on your resume will illustrate the added value that you can bring to an organization, helping you stand out from the competition. Follow our how-to guide and expert tips to list projects on a resume and make a great first impression on the hiring manager.

Showcasing projects on your resume is a great way to demonstrate to a hiring manager that you’re a perfect fit for the job. Whether completed via your academic studies, career, freelance gigs, or volunteer work, projects show the value you can offer an organization and can make you stand out in the candidate pool.

Including projects on your resume is entirely optional, but it can be really beneficial. Maybe you’re a recent graduate with little work experience, or you might be considering a career pivot. In these situations, listing projects on your resume could help you move forward in the hiring process.  

So, what’s the best way to list projects on your resume so they stand out? In this how-to guide, we’ll explore:

  • When should you list projects on your resume?

  • What types of projects should you list on your resume?

  • How to  list projects on your resume

  • Example of a project resume

Statistical Insight

According to research by LinkedIn, the average job opening attracts 250 resumes, with 60 percent of hiring managers paying attention as to whether the resume has been customized to the open position.

When should you list projects on a resume?

Detailing successful projects on your resume allows you to highlight relevant hard (industry-specific) and soft (transferable) skills. This can help you bridge the gap if you lack experience for a specific job or showcase the breadth of your experience if you’re a more seasoned professional. 

Here are three reasons you should list projects on your resume:

1. You’ve completed project-based or freelance work

If most of your work experience is project-based, demonstrating your ability to successfully manage projects is important. Listing your projects on your resume will tell the hiring manager what you’ve achieved, indicating how you’ll perform on future projects. 

2. You’re a recent graduate with little to no work experience

As a recent graduate, you can put school projects on your resume. Organizations want to learn about your skills and the value you will bring. Listing school projects will illustrate your leadership qualities and ability to work in a team setting, along with presenting tangible work experience.

3. You’re considering a career change or pivot

When you’re pursuing a complete career change or pivot, there will typically be gaps in your experience related to the role, sector, or industry you’re targeting. Projects can fill these gaps, whether completed as part of relevant academic studies, freelance work, or earlier work experience.

What types of projects should I list on my resume?

When deciding which projects to put on your resume, it's best to go with quality over quantity. You don’t want to list every project you’ve ever done. Doing so will clutter up your resume and potentially make the hiring manager zone out. 

Here’s three types of projects to include:

1. Professional projects 

Work projects you were a part of during your professional career are a great way to illustrate your value and accomplishments. Cherry-pick standout projects that address the skills required for each specific job opening.

2. Academic projects 

Projects completed via your academic studies can show your technical expertise as well as soft skills, such as communication and critical thinking. Include academic projects on your resume if you’re a recent graduate with limited experience, or if you’ve retrained for a new career.

3. Personal projects

Writing a blog, volunteering, and community service projects are all worth including if you have little or no experience. You can also include a side gig. Relevance to the job opening is key. You can potentially put recruiters off if you include personal projects that have zero relevance to the job posting.

Do
  • Quantify your project wins with specific facts and figures to help your projects stand out to recruiters.
  • Include any current, incomplete projects on your resume. Just be clear that they’re ongoing and include an expected completion date if possible.
Don't
  • Forget to check the job description for keywords that you can use to optimize projects on your resume for ATS.
  • Create long project descriptions. Stick to a brief synopsis of your role, actions and the positive outcomes. You can always expand on projects at an interview.

How to  list projects on your resume

Once you’ve chosen which projects you’ve decided to include, the decision now is where to place them so they stand out. 

Here are three key sections where you can list projects on your resume: 

1. Work experience section

Highlighting projects under the relevant role will show not only what you can do, but how well you can do it. 

Here’s an example of how to highlight project-based work via bullet points in your experience section:

Copyable example

Marketing Executive | Feb 2018 - Present  ABC Company, San Diego, CA  Implemented a $2M+ strategic marketing plan featuring a comprehensive marketing platform for clients encompassing FMCG and lifestyle brands. Managed relationships with key vendors and agencies, coordinating efforts to optimize campaigns, events, and product launches.

  • Served as project manager for a major event (the $1M+ National ABC Managers Meeting) with more than 1200 attendees.

  • Directed the end-to-end project lifecycle for the successful launch of ABCGo, an ecommerce platform, with success achieving a 10 percent conversion rate. 

  • Played an instrumental role in the rebranding of the Lifestyle Collection, including vendor transition, website launch, and product selection overhaul.


2. Education section

Recent graduates or current students would usually outline projects in this section (under the relevant qualification) to fill any gaps in work experience. However, if you’ve completed a relevant project as part of a professional program (Executive MBA for example), you could reference this too. 

Here’s an example for a recent design engineering graduate:

Copyable example

Bachelor of Science, Design Engineering, 2022 Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 

Research Projects:

  • Designed a replenishment conveyor belt system as well as a test machine for hydroelectric power generation devices to manage efficiency levels (2022)

  • Researched industry 4.0 technology-solution dependencies to develop a support framework for successful 4.0 adoption in product generation (2021)


3. Projects section 

If you’ve acquired projects that don’t neatly fit into your education or work experience sections, then you can create a separate project section on your resume. This would tend to be placed toward the end of your resume, following the work experience and education sections.

Here is an example: 

Copyable example

KEY PROJECTS WebGuru.com  |  June 2021 - Sept 2022

  • Launched and wrote a weekly blog providing insightful and engaging articles on all aspects of web development, app development, and other trending topics.

  • Secured a freelance project with ABC Company to provide front-end development support and facilitate the successful launch of their rebranded website.


Bonus example: project resume

If you’re working as a freelancer, then a project-based resume can be an effective way to showcase your professional experience. This hybrid resume is laser-focused on your projects: 

Copyable example

Resume Header FIRST & LAST NAME Email: [email protected]  |  Phone: 845-623-4567  Location: New York, NY  |  LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/yourprofile/link

Professional Summary

Two to three sentences that provide a snapshot of your skills, experience, education, career highlights or a standout achievement that is relevant to the specific job opening. 

Areas of Expertise

Key Skill | Key Skill | Key Skill | Key Skill | Key Skill | Key Skill | Key Skill 

Professional Experience

Company, Location                                                                                                                  Date – Present

Job Title

In this 3-5 sentence paragraph, describe the common tasks among all your projects. For example, if you always managed budgets, created project plans, or oversaw risk management, you can describe those duties here.  

  • Project A: In 1-2 sentences, describe the scope of the project and your role.

    • List any achievements in the bullet points that follow.

    • Did you finish the project early or under budget? Or did you go above and beyond to get a project back on track? Include that info here, with metrics whenever possible.

  • Project B: In 1-2 sentences, describe the scope of the project and your role.

    • List any achievements in the bullet points that follow.

    • Did you finish the project early or under budget? Or did you go above and beyond to get a project back on track? Include that info here, with metrics whenever possible. 

Education

Degree Name & Major / GPA (if over 3.5)

University, Location / Year of completion (if less than ten years ago)

If you’re looking to stand out with an impressive resume, check out Career.io’s Resume Builder to get started or improve your resume to land your dream job.

Key takeaways

  1. Listing projects on your resume shows your value to the hiring manager, whether your work is project-based or the projects fill experience gaps as a recent graduate or career changer.

  2. You can include work-related, academic, or personal projects on your resume. Just make sure to cherry-pick standout projects that are relevant to the job you’re seeking.

  3. Projects can be listed in the work experience, education, or a standalone project section. If you're a freelancer with lots of projects under your belt, you may consider using a project-based resume.

Share this article