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What Is a Project Manager and How to Become One

Project Manager

What Do Project Managers Do?

Project managers coordinate tasks to complete a plan of action for their employer. Working on a team, the project manager oversees production from the planning stages through completion. Companies typically have project managers on staff, but some businesses may choose to hire an independent contractor to handle the job. As a project manager, you create plans, delegate responsibilities, supervise employees, and implement the project. Other job duties include creating a timeline and budget; once the project is underway, you monitor each step to ensure the project runs on time and does not overspend. You may also be responsible for handling communication with public agencies when necessary and providing status reports to upper management.

Top 10 Skills Needed for Project Managers

Do your skills line up with what hiring managers are looking for when they are reviewing resumes for a Project Manager position? ZipRecruiter scanned over 9,000,000 job postings and created a list of the most commonly required abilities for Project Managers below.

Based on our assessment, mastering the skills below and listing them on your resume is critical in getting your Project Manager job application to the top of the stack.

  1. Scheduling
  2. Communication Skills
  3. Budget Management
  4. Coordinating
  5. Estimating
  6. Documentation Experience
  7. Vendor Management
  8. Consulting Experience
  9. Management Experience
  10. Written Communication

What Is the Daily Job of a Project Manager?

Project managers oversee a project from start to finish. They meet with upper management and their project team before the project begins to establish expectations and goals, set timelines, and review budgets. Once the project starts, project managers delegate tasks and monitor the staff's progress on a daily basis, and discusses accomplishments and setbacks with their team regularly. They remind employees of their roles and what tasks they need to complete. This oversight ensures the project meets deadlines and budgets, and also allows the project manager to handle problems as they arise. Excellent leadership and both written and verbal communication skills are essential to the job.

What Is the Job of a Project Manager in Software Development?

Project managers in software development must have an extensive background in the industry. They usually have a computer science background, several years of industry experience, and are familiar with testing methodologies and software development cycles. Most employers also prefer candidates who have held prior management or project lead roles. As with other project manager roles, software project managers oversee the project from the creative development through the implementation of the program. They establish budgets, create timelines, delegate tasks, and monitor the successes and failures of the application. Proficiency in software frameworks such as DSDM, Scrum, XP is required for this position.

Project Manager Job Description Sample

With this Project Manager job description sample, you can get a good idea of what employers are looking for when hiring for this position. Remember, every employer is different and each will have unique qualifications when they hire for a Project Manager role.

Job Summary

We are looking for an experienced Project Manager to oversee the production and completion of large-scale projects. You must be a multi-tasker who has excellent organizational, time management, and communication skills, and can effectively manage a team to finish their work efficiently and within deadlines. At the start of each project, you will collaborate with other department heads to discuss the scope and budget. Then you will monitor each phase, ensuring the staff works efficiently and that the final product meets our client’s expectations.

Duties and Responsibilities

  • Determine project roles, responsibilities, and deadlines for each team member
  • Make sure that the project is being completed effectively on time and on budget
  • Coordinate changes and be willing to adapt if necessary
  • Keep teams committed, motivated, and productive throughout the project
  • Create reports for upper management that the project has achieved its objectives

Requirements and Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in business management, finance, or a related field
  • Additional degrees or certifications a plus
  • 3-5 years of prior experience in project management is desired
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills
  • Able to travel
  • Flexible schedule