What to Expect From a Project Manager Job Description

Read Time

10 minutes

Looking to find a new job in project management but you don’t know if you’re prepared for one?

The best way to find out what employers are looking for when it comes to project manager positions is to check out real project management job descriptions. These will show you exactly what skills you need and how to prepare for your future duties.

But you don’t have to go through endless pages of job postings to see the top requirements. We already did that for you.

We analyzed over 200 job listings from Indeed, a leading job website in over 50 countries, to show you what you can expect to see in a project manager job description:

What Employers Are Looking For

Duties and requirements vary from one project to another, as well as company size and industry. In fact, some companies are likely to tailor a project manager job description to their own project management and internal policies.

Here are some of the most commonly mentioned responsibilities found in Indeed project manager job descriptions:

Team-related responsibilities

  • Coordinate the team throughout all project management phases
  • Ensure that all team members have the required information and resources to carry out their tasks effectively
  • Monitor the team’s work time and timesheets on a daily basis
  • Manage large and diverse teams and projects (sometimes simultaneously)
  • Lead daily/weekly stand-ups and meetings
  • Meet with individual team members to find and fix any issues
  • Train employees during workshops
  • Foster a culture based on accountability

Customer-oriented responsibilities

  • Manage communication with external and internal stakeholders (clients, sponsors, executives, etc.)
  • Organize and participate in client meetings
  • Collaborate with the PMO and sponsor
  • Ensure compliance with client requirements and business needs
  • Ensure customer satisfaction
  • Bring together all company units to meet client demands

General business responsibilities

  • Maintain business relationships
  • Contribute to the development of the company, its processes, and its projects
  • Recommend further improvements
  • Align the company’s general business targets with the project’s objectives and outcomes

Project-related responsibilities

  • Create a detailed project management plan and other project documents
  • Guide incoming and outgoing project files
  • Provide solutions to project-related issues
  • Set the strategic direction of all projects
  • Define the project’s scope
  • Set milestones and deadlines
  • Create budget and revenue estimates
  • Manage project resources and their costs
  • Assign, prioritize, and supervise project tasks (task management)
  • Implement and manage changes
  • Detect, report, and fix issues whenever necessary
  • Identify, prevent, and manage risks
  • Track project performance using appropriate KPIs, metrics, tools, and techniques
  • Submit deliverables and ensure they adhere to quality standards
  • Perform any other relevant, project-related duties when needed

Now, don’t worry. You won’t get to see all of these responsibilities in a single job description. Keep them somewhere close and review them from time to time to know how to further improve yourself.

These duties are essential for the project development process. Even if they’re not part of your daily routine, you’ll stumble upon them later on in your career at least a few times.

The Skills You’ll Need

There is no such thing as a general project management skill. To lead a project, you’ll need to be well rounded in various complementary fields.

Many project managers have started out in their careers as software developers, UX designers, marketing experts, sales reps, or others. These people will be a better fit for a project that targets their industry of interest but they’ll still need to brush up on their knowledge of project management processes, methods, and tools.

While general business knowledge is a must have since it helps you understand the project, its market, and its clients, you should also be able to comply with the PMBOK® Guide and Standards. Commonly, a project manager will always be in charge of managing and supervising the project team during project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.

To prepare for a career in project management there are many courses, blogs, and other training opportunities.

Here are the mandatory skills you need for a new project management position:

Must Have Skills

When looking over project management job descriptions, you have to pay attention to the next two skills you must have before starting work at your new job:

  • Theoretical and practical knowledge of project management processes, workflows, and terminology

Note

This includes everything from risk, cost, resource, and change management, to knowing how to use a specific method, methodology, or framework, understanding what a “critical path” is, using Kanban boards, and so much more.

  • PC proficiency/Knowledge of project management software

Note

Using a computer may sound like a skill everyone has, but project managers need to master project management tools to help you keep track of project work, other solutions such as Google Docs and Sheets to create formal documents, and presentation ones like PowerPoint for whenever you’ll need to show results.

Nice to Have Skills

Then there are those work-related abilities that will give you the edge when it comes to getting your dream job in project management. These are not always considered must-haves because often they’re not needed when you start out in a new company.

They refer, but are not limited, to the:

  • Capacity to train other team members

You might be asked to train other employees or even a project manager intern. Knowing how you can share your knowledge of this field and demonstrate its value too is a bonus in this case.

  • Ability to manage multiple projects and responsibilities at the same time

Smaller companies with none or few project managers might ask you to take charge of more than just one project simultaneously to keep up with client demands.

  • Knowledge of the industry (processes, tools, terminology, etc.) you’re applying for

Most projects focus on a specific field of work from Fine Arts and Design to Technology, Engineering, Manufacturing, and many more. Hence, a project manager who has worked in one of these industries before will be favored.

  • Relevant experience and knowledge of program and portfolio management (valid for large companies)
  • Ability to research, understand, and apply the concepts and best practices of any new industry
  • Experience in negotiating contracts and other aspects that can impact a project
  • Knowledge of business needs
  • Experience in managing and maintaining relationships with clients
  • Ability to work unsupervised, with little management oversight
  • Experience writing project requirement specifications

Soft Skills

A project management position is not just about your knowledge of project management and business best practices. You’ll also need interpersonal abilities like being a good communicator, accountable, adaptable, analytical and a strategic thinker who’s also capable of making effective decisions under pressure.

Seems like too much? No worries. You probably already have some if not all of these. But there’s always room for improvement as some skills might not be fully developed. Here’s a list of the traits employers want from their next project manager:

  • Strong management and leadership skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Good, client-oriented communication skills
  • Ability to offer and receive constructive feedback
  • Adaptability and flexibility
  • Excellent ability to multitask
  • Strong interpersonal skills, ability to define situations, document data, and draw conclusions
  • Capacity to work both independently and within a team
  • Ability to interpret instructions regardless of their form
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Creative mindset
  • Proactive personality
  • Analytical skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Accuracy and attention to detail
  • Time management capabilities
  • Capacity to meet milestones and deadlines
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Capacity to manage stressful situations
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Self-motivation
  • Ability to motivate other people

Other Requirements

  • Proven working experience in project management (period of time depends on the position)

Tip

If you’re applying for a Junior position, you might want to start with an internship first, create your own project, or try volunteering to get your first chance of managing a real project.

  • Holding a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degrees are preferred)

Note

A Project Management degree is not mandatory. Employers often ask for a Business Administration degree. But when a project is centered around a specific industry, a degree in the following fields is preferred: (Industrial) Design, Finance, Construction, Computer Science, Marketing, Engineering, Manufacturing, etc. If you’re applying to manage a medical project, you might just be asked to hold a Medical degree. Only someone with proper education and experience in a certain industry can be prepared to face its problems.

  • PMP® certification/PRINCE2 certification (or other certificates acknowledged by organizations such as the PMI® or APM)
  • Ability to travel to meet up with stakeholders
  • Knowledge of a foreign language

To find out more about what it takes to become a project manager, check out this complete guide.

Project Manager Job Description Examples

To show you what a real project manager job description might look like, we’ve created the following 3 examples based on the most common project manager requirements in terms of duties and skills. Pay close attention to spot the similarities and differences between these positions:

Project Manager (Senior) Job Description

Job summary

We’re looking for a Senior Project Manager to handle our overall project management operations for our key corporate clients. You should have previously had overall responsibility for several other successful projects in the past. The ideal candidate is someone with great leadership skills who can supervise a team of 62 people and coordinate their activities from project initiation to delivery. You also need to be able to travel occasionally to meet with our clients or attend conferences. Holding a PMP® certification is mandatory.

Responsibilities

  • Initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and deliver our projects
  • Create project-related documents
  • Maintain communication between the team, stakeholders, and clients
  • Create and deliver internal and external project reports
  • Lead the team toward delivering our customer’s solution in time and within budget
  • Hold team meetings on a weekly basis
  • Align general business objectives with the project’s goals
  • Offer project management advice to executives when needed
  • Ensure all quality standards are met
  • Manage the project’s budget and resources (including subcontractors)
  • Conduct periodical team trainings
  • Participate in the development of the company’s structure
  • Find new project growth opportunities
  • Track project deliverables and outcomes with appropriate tools
  • Attend industry conferences to increase the project’s exposure (twice a year)

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree is preferred)
  • PMP® certification is a must
  • 7+ years of experience in corporate-level project management
  • Solid understanding of project management methods, methodologies, frameworks, terminology, and processes
  • Proven experience in creating project-related documents
  • Experience with portfolio management is highly desired
  • Leadership skills
  • Ability to solve conflicts effectively
  • Expert organizational skills
  • Advanced time management, decisional, and analytical skills
  • Highly competent in handling multiple project timelines
  • Budget management experience
  • Knowledge of one or more project management tools
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Flexible to travel

IT Project Manager (Technical Project Manager) Job Description

Job summary

We’re looking for an experienced IT Project Manager to supervise our ongoing technology projects. As a key member of the Technology team, you’ll be in charge of all internal and external projects. Teamwork and customer-focused decision making are key as we believe in using collaboration to achieve project success. We offer a collaborative and challenging work environment. Together with the team, you’ll deliver projects to our customers and ensure the monitoring of the final product even after its launch.

Responsibilities

  • Initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and deliver our internal projects
  • Create project-related documents
  • Maintain communication between the team, stakeholders, and clients
  • Lead and provide technical leadership
  • Ensure that the project’s status is communicated to the team, stakeholders, sponsors, and clients
  • Collaborate with the Design team
  • Create and deliver project reports
  • Lead team meetings and sprint reviews
  • Align business objectives with the project’s goals
  • Manage the project’s budget and resource allocation
  • Get in touch with other departments to fix software-related issues
  • Offer project management advice to executives when needed
  • Ensure all quality standards are met
  • Create internal and external reports
  • Choose the right team members for our next projects

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree is preferred)
  • Scrum Master certification is an advantage
  • 4+ years of experience in IT projects
  • Agile knowledge is highly desired
  • Proven experience in creating project-related documents
  • Demonstrated success in delivering products
  • Outstanding grasp of IT concepts, processes, and web standards
  • Ability to effectively manage small to medium-sized projects
  • Proven leadership skills
  • Attention to details
  • Ability to communicate and solve conflicts effectively
  • Strong organizational skills
  • Knowledge of one or more project management tools
  • Advanced analytical skills
  • Budget and time management experience
  • Ability to work remotely (some team members work from another office)

Creative Project Manager Job Description

Job summary

We seek a self-motivated Creative Project Manager to manage our agency’s current and future design projects. You should be able to effectively keep track of our clients’ projects and maintain close communications with our other project managers as well. Most projects have a short life cycle, so being able to work well under tight deadlines is a must. The ideal candidate should have previously managed creative projects as well as medium-level experience working in UX/UI design.

Responsibilities

  • Initiate, plan, execute, monitor, and deliver our internal projects
  • Create project-related documents
  • Maintain partnerships and stakeholder communication
  • Collaborate with the IT department for technical implementation
  • Ensure that the team and clients are updated on the project’s status at all times
  • Create and deliver project reports
  • Actively participate in the design process
  • Manage the project’s budget and resources
  • Lead team meetings on a weekly basis
  • Establish and align business objectives with the project’s goals
  • Offer project management advice to executives when needed
  • Track project performance to ensure all goals and quality standards are met
  • Create internal and external reports

Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree is preferred)
  • PMP® certification (or similar) is preferred
  • 3+ years of experience in leading design projects (former experience in UX/UI is an advantage)
  • Adobe Creative Suite experience is a plus
  • An understanding of human-centered design thinking
  • Proven experience in creating project-related documents
  • Leadership skills
  • Excellent attention to detail
  • Ability to handle multiple projects simultaneously
  • Strong organizational skills
  • High creativity level
  • Advanced analytical skills
  • Budget and time management experience
  • Knowledge of one or more project management tools

But how do I use these project manager job description samples?

Use them as a baseline to see what skills you’ll need. Then compare these examples among each other to find out if you’d be a better fit for one position or the other given your current skills and experience.

There are many more positions available for project management practitioners in hundreds of industries. Check out employment search engines like Indeed or LinkedIn to see more similar project management job descriptions.

project manager job description

One final tip before we sign off:

TIP

The order in which companies list their requirements can show how important these are for the job position. Recruiters usually place vital aspects at the beginning of the list and then add the rest to the end. These essential facts are also often highlighted within the body of the project manager job description through bolded text or direct statements from the company (e.g.: [skill] is preferred, [skill] is an advantage, [skill] is highly-demanded, etc.).

Key Takeaways

Think of a job description as your first contact with the company you’re applying to. Usually, you’ll have to work on everything they wrote in that job ad. The responsibilities they marked are their biggest needs and you’ll encounter them regularly. So it’s only normal that you have to prepare to deal with them.

But always expect more. Each day will bring its new challenges. So use your first interview to get to know anything else that’s not part of the job description. You don’t want to sign up for a job you’re not prepared for.

Remember

The project manager job description targets you as a project manager and potential future employee, but it can tell just as much about the company. This means that you’ll also learn some things about them, what they do, and what their requirements are. So before you look for a new job, think about your own needs, experience, abilities, and potential. Knowing what your qualities are and what you’re willing to learn in the future can set you up for success in getting a project management job.

Found this article useful? Please spread the knowledge and share it with your teammates and followers.