Three people and one person sitting at a table.
Time tracking

Project management skills

If you’re considering a career as a project manager, you’ve come to the right place. Project management as a career could take you in a multitude of directions. It’s a role that lends itself to many industries, from construction and design to marketing, IT, and so much more.

When it comes to developing skills for project management, there are a number of soft and hard skills that anyone who hopes to become a project manager should master.

Project Management Soft Skills

Soft skills are valuable traits and interpersonal skills that enable people to work well with others. These are the soft skills that project managers should have.

1. Communication

It might seem obvious, but project management is effective people management. To manage your team effectively, communication skills are vitally important. You’ll need to be able to communicate clearly so that people understand what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.

2. Organization and scheduling

Organization is a key management skill. Without it, your projects could fall apart. You’re the person your team will expect to keep them on task and to ensure that the project is going to plan.

Scheduling is part and parcel with organized leadership, as a well planned schedule will account for every individual’s time and ensure that no aspect of the project is overlooked or under-resourced.

3. Leadership

Successful project managers must show leadership. But leadership skills are about more than telling people what to do, it’s about team management and cohesion. Management requires leading by example and using your initiative, whether that’s mentoring junior team members, supporting people when they’re struggling, or making decisions based on what’s best for your team.

4. Risk management

Risk management is a great skill for project managers to have. It enables them to analyze situations and identify and control threats to their project’s success, as well as the overall company’s earnings.

5. Financial aptitude

You don’t need to be a trained accountant to become a project manager, but you’ll need to be financially savvy and understand numbers and key concepts. A project manager must plan a project within the agreed budget and ensure that the work is completed within the confines of that budget.

6. Negotiating

If you’re someone who knows how to negotiate, you’ll fit right in as an effective project manager. Negotiation is a process of reaching an agreement that is suitable for both parties without resorting to arguments or disputes. It’s invaluable in project management in order to reach a positive outcome with clients, stakeholders, and project teams to come out of the other side with your working relationship intact. Such skills also help with conflict resolution.

7. High standards

Perfectionists make great project managers because they never settle for anything less than the best. This attitude is not only beneficial on an individual level, but it also helps to ensure you get the very best out of your team as well. Setting high standards means you’ll consistently deliver high-quality work.

8. Critical thinking

The ability to think for yourself and question assumptions is vital in project management. Taking everything at face value could, in some cases, be detrimental to your project, so the ability to think critically, analyze other people’s viewpoints and come to your own conclusion will stand you in good stead. It’s also great for improving problem solving, which you will need to do a lot of in this position.

9. Patience

People who find they get stressed quickly or have a short fuse might not be best suited to a role in project management. Juggling multiple projects, managing schedules, communicating with clients and dealing with unexpected hiccups along the way requires patience. If you can keep a cool head in just about any situation, you’ll thrive as a project manager.

Project Management Hard Skills

Hard skills are learned abilities that individuals can hone through training and practice. The following hard skills are essential in a project manager’s role.

10. Certification

If you’re ready to become a Project Management Professional, gaining the right certification and technical skills is a must. A PMP Certification means you’ll learn all the skills necessary to excel in the role, and ensures that you’re officially recognized as a project management professional. The Project Management Institute offers a range of certifications for project managers. PMP certification is also highly desirable in the recruitment process.

11. Understanding of Project Management learning

Project managers need to have a detailed understanding of project management methodologies. These methodologies dictate how the individual should manage the project at hand and any situations that arise. This includes areas such as:

A Project Management course or degree will teach you all of these skills and more.

12. Experience with project management tools

There is a whole range of project management tools available to help project managers keep track of tasks, manage workloads and accurately forecast projects. Experience with a quality project management tool like employee scheduling and time tracking software is a great hard skill to have. Some companies may use different software from the ones you’re familiar with, but if you have experience working with project management applications, this will hold you in good stead no matter the application.

What to Include on a Project Management Resume

If you’re applying for a project management role, here’s what you should include on your resume.

Experience of these skills

If you can show evidence of the above soft and hard skills and when you have put them into practice, this will make you a highly desirable candidate for project management vacancies. Your resume is your opportunity to sell yourself, so don’t be afraid of spelling out your skills. You could even include a project management skills list within your resume!


Project management certifications are legitimate proof that you know your stuff, and they give hiring managers and recruiters confidence in your abilities. Keep hard copies of your certifications in case you need them at the interview stage.

Metrics that illustrate successful project completions and job contracts

If you can prove that you’ve previously worked on projects that were completed on time and within budget, include these figures on your resume. Always include the details of any project previously managed that resulted in a significant win for the company. Metrics like these are a great way to prove your value as a candidate.

Using time tracking and project management software like QuickBooks Time to manage your employees and work time and schedules can improve your project management and business management at the same time. Familiarize yourself with this quality management tool and try it for free today.

Related Articles

Looking for something else?

Get QuickBooks

Smart features made for your business. We've got you covered.

Firm of the Future

Expert advice and resources for today’s accounting professionals.

QuickBooks Support

Get help with QuickBooks. Find articles, video tutorials, and more.