How to list projects on resumes?

People are more likely to believe in your potential when you’ve already demonstrated it in the past.

And recruiters are no different. If you want to make your resume all the more compelling and impressive, listing projects on your resume is the way to go.

Although you can’t exactly demonstrate your projects in action while applying for jobs, you can allow your resume to speak for it and give a chance to the recruiters to see your true potential.

Listing projects on resumes is especially helpful for job seekers who are fresh graduates lacking in professional experience and also for people who are switching their career trajectory.

In this blog, you will get clarity on the following FAQs about listing projects on resumes:

Importance of Listing Projects on Resumes

The primary idea behind listing projects on resumes is to put yourself forward as the best candidate for the position.

By listing projects on your resume, you let employers see your skills, experience, achievements, and capability of executing tasks efficiently.

And of course, if you’ve been a part of or led a key project in your past roles, why wouldn’t you want to show it off and benefit from your efforts by showcasing it in your resume?

In fact, the same set of skills that you used to complete a past project may be the exact skill set that your next employer may be looking for.

Therefore, when the recruiters see these projects in your resume, it automatically doubles up your chances of getting shortlisted for interviews.

Also, listing projects on resumes serve as a proven track record of your efficiency, teamwork, leadership skills, and project management skills.

Also read: How to build an impressive IT project manager resume

When Should You List Projects on Resume?

Although listing projects on resumes can prove beneficial for any type of candidate, it is especially essential for the following groups of applicants:

Freelancers

Since most of the work done by IT freelancers is project-based, highlighting projects in your resume becomes crucial.

Choose a resume format that meets the purpose and highlight your best projects.

Students

Given the fact students and fresh graduates don't have professional work experience to include in their resumes, including academic projects can be a game-changer.

List the volunteer projects that you may have been a part of or any of your academic projects.

Career Switchers

If you are making a career switch to the IT industry but don't have professional experience, listing independent projects in your resume will increase your chances of impressing the recruiters.

You can list the Github or Kaggle projects that you've worked independently on, in your resume.

How to Include Projects on Resumes?

Now that you see the importance of listing projects on resumes, the question that stands is, how to describe projects on resumes?

First things first, it’s important to ensure that you are listing the projects under the right section of your resume.

Meaning, if you are a fresher or a recent college graduate, the college projects on your resume can go under the education section or the volunteer section.

As for professionals with experience, projects can be listed in the professional experience section of your resume.

Regardless of the project placement, here are some guidelines you can follow to list projects on resumes:

Identify the Skills You Need to Highlight

Now, the relevance of the projects you include in your resume is crucial.

Throughout your career, you may have been a part of various projects. However, you need to identify the most suitable ones and the ones which fit well with the role you’re applying for.

The projects you choose to list in your resume must showcase the exact skills the employer is looking for. After all, isn’t that the whole point of listing projects on resumes?

You can understand the requirements of the recruiters by going through the job listing.

Ensure that you tailor the choice of your projects according to the job description of the different companies you are applying to.

Also read: What skills to put on a resume

Focus on Your Achievements and Use Figures

While you are listing projects on resumes, it is important to focus on your achievements and use figures to talk about the same.

For instance, if you led a team of software developers and testers to work on an application upgrade to increase the user base, ensure to mention the exact number or percentage increase in the user base that you achieved with the upgrade.

This way, employers can envision you as a valuable addition to their company workforce.

Call Attention to Key Details

Since the length of an ideal resume is only a page long, you can’t possibly include the entire how, when, and why details about the project in your resume.

Thus, you must only include details that are pivotal to exhibit the skills which the particular employer requires.

The key details of a project can include the strength of the team you led, the budget, scope, revenue generated, cost saved, clients increased, and so on.

For example, you can write:

“Led a team of 20+ software developers to design and implement OAuth2 based functionality as part of ensuring 100% data security for users.”

Link Your Online Portfolio

What better way than to let your projects speak for themselves right?

Linking your online portfolio while listing projects on resumes will allow recruiters to get a deeper insight into your skills and experience.

Providing proof and examples of your work will add weight to your resume and impress the recruiters even more.

Just ensure that your online portfolio is up-to-date and polished.

Also read: How to put Github projects on resume

Choose the Correct Section

As stated earlier, you can list projects on resumes under different sections (professional experience or education section) depending on whether you are a fresher or a professional with past experience.

Also, if you belong to the IT industry, you might have quite a number of projects under your belt.

Therefore candidates who have multiple key projects relevant to the job description can list their project under a separate project section in their resumes.

Also read: Programming projects to put on resume

Types of Projects on Resumes

You can add a variety of projects to your resume as long as they stand relevant to the description of the job you’re applying to.

Given below are 3 types of projects you can add to your resume:

Work Projects on Resumes

As the name suggests, work projects are projects that you undertake professionally while working for clients and companies.

Therefore these types of projects go under the professional experience section of your resume.

Here are some examples of listing work projects on resumes:

  • Coordinated with IT team to develop a mobile and web-based data tracking application and closed $1.2 worth of deal
  • Designed 10+ mock apps for collecting feedback from selected users as part of improving user experience
  • Created 20+ cross-platform apps by utilizing C# in Xamarin Studio as per clients' requirements
  • Formulated UI testing procedures to identify malfunctions and debugged apps before launch to optimize performance
  • Developed 5+ android applications in an agile environment by deploying JavaScript and C++

Academic Projects on Resumes

If you are a recent grad, it makes sense to add academic projects that showcase the skills related to the role you’re targeting in your resume.

These academic projects can go under the education section or volunteer section of your resume and demonstrate the targeted soft skills, if not technical skills relevant to the job description.

Take a look at these examples of projects on resumes:

  • Assisted in creating a group chat application using Java Platform SE 7 with additional functionalities for a group project
  • Published a research paper on data modeling with a focus on its use for analyzing data requirements for the business processes
  • Led the software department’s student exchange program to facilitate student-faculty coordination for departmental initiatives

Personal Projects on Resumes

Personal projects can also be a great addition to your resumes. Provided it is relevant to the job description.

Personal projects can be listed under the volunteer section or a stand-alone section titled “personal projects”, and is ideal for candidates who lack professional experience.

  • Conducted door-to-door surveys while spearheading an awareness campaign for volunteer work
  • Rendered assistance in the software testing phases for a college group project

Also read: Guide for writing a job winning project engineer resume

Concluding Points

  • If you want to make your resume all the more compelling and impressive, listing projects on your resume is the ideal way to achieve the same.
  • By listing projects on your resume, you let employers see your skills, experience, achievements, and capability of executing tasks efficiently.
  • Listing projects on resumes serve as a proven track record of your efficiency, teamwork, leadership skills, and project management skills.
  • List projects on resumes in suitable sections and ensure that it demonstrates the skills that the employer requires.
  • Consider adding a link to your online portfolio and highlighting your achievements by using figures.
  • You can add work, academic and personal projects to your resume, provided it stands relevant to the role you are applying for.

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