Projects on a resume are a good way to highlight relevant soft skills and hard skills. It’s not an essential resume section but it definitely helps prove that you’re qualified for the job even without having years of experience under your belt.
Whether you’re applying for your first job or seeking a new challenge in your career, there are different types of projects to list that can fit into your application.
4 Types of Projects to Put on Your Resume
There are 4 main types of projects to put on a resume. Each of these is effective for showcasing your skills as well as traits or qualities that companies may want to see such as a strong work ethic and entrepreneurial spirit.
Academic projects are tasks undertaken by students or researchers as part of their course. This type of project typically involves the application of theoretical knowledge to realistic scenarios.
Here are some examples:
- Dissertations: This is a research project that’s completed by students to achieve their bachelor’s degree.
- Case studies: You may have had to research a specific scenario and write a detailed report about it.
- Group presentations: Part of your course could involve working as a group to deliver a presentation on a particular topic.
- Scientific experiments: Those who are doing a STEM degree may have had to create and test hypotheses to answer questions requiring deep subject knowledge.
- Study abroad programs: You may have managed to secure the opportunity at university to study and work abroad.
- Design projects: Students in engineering or design-related majors may have had to create a product prototype using a sample client brief.
Freelancing is when a company hires you for a particular job as an independent contractor rather than an employee. However, this could also go in the professional experience section, which might be the better option especially when you have no direct work experience.
Here’s a few examples:
- Freelance web designers – designing websites for individuals or businesses.
- Freelance writers – writing blog posts and social media content for companies.
- Freelance video editor – editing YouTube and TikTok videos for content creators.
These are projects that you undertake in your free time. They’re also often referred to as passion projects because they’re purely motivated by your own interests and personal goals.
Here’s a few examples:
- Learning a new language
- Building a website or app
- Writing a book or starting a blog
Work projects are specific assignments or tasks that you completed during your employment at a previous company.
For example, let’s say that you worked as a marketing assistant for a software company.
Your manager assigns you to develop a social media marketing campaign for the company’s latest product release. Now although this can be mentioned in the work experience section, having a separate resume section allows you to elaborate on this project in more detail.
A Note on Confidential Projects
A confidential project is one that includes sensitive data about a company. For example, you might’ve worked on a project related to future business expansion plans. In these cases, double-check the signed work agreements.
But if you’re unsure, the safer option is to leave it out.
Where to List Projects on a Resume
Work Experience Section
Mention the project you carried out alongside what you achieved in the work history section. It’s no different than how you would normally write about your previous job position except you’re framing the project as an achievement.
In short, here’s how to write about projects in the work experience section:
- Describe your project responsibilities
- Highlight the outcome of the project as a result of your own efforts
Now here’s some example bullet points:
- Managed a budget of $10,000 and ensured that the digital marketing project was delivered on time and within budget.
- Led the CRM project by overseeing the vendor selection process and organizing system implementation.
Additional Resume Section
An additional resume section could be:
- Extracurricular activities
See the example below.
The heading could also be specified depending on the type of project you’re writing about. See an example of this below.
Projects Resume Section
Lastly, another option is to create a resume section dedicated to listing and describing relevant projects. The header of this section should be “projects”.
How to List Projects on Resume and Make Them Look Good
We’ll show you step-by-step how to create a resume projects section.
We’ll also go through how to describe each project in a way that makes you look good by emphasizing your skills.
Note: If you’d like to follow this process as we’re going through it, sign up here for free. You won’t be asked for any card details – simply enter your email and create a password to get started!
1. Outline the Resume Section Format
Start by considering the resume section format. This means taking into account the following details:
- Resume font
- Horizontal lines
- Bold text
- All caps text
In other words, outline how you’re going to structure the projects section of your resume.
2. Enter the Resume Section Header
The header of your coursework section should either be “coursework” or “relevant coursework.”
Use bold text for the resume section header so that it’s easy to find for the hiring manager. Feel free to also add a bold horizontal line to make this stand out.
See the examples below.
3. Enter the Subheaders
Include the following details as subheaders:
- Project name
- Start and end date of project
This is how it looks from inside Rezi’s resume builder:
4. Describe Your Responsibilities
Inside Rezi’s resume builder in the projects section, the last box is where you write bullet points describing what you did.
See the example below.
Now, there’s a few things to keep in mind to write bullet points about your projects in a way that impress hiring managers.
Start Your Sentences With Clear Verbs
Weak verbs are vague and overused. In contrast, strong verbs are specific. They make your contributions and actions clear, which highlights the impact that you’ve made.
Examples of good verbs include:
Examples of generic verbs include:
Highlight Your Achievements
The first half of your bullet point is where you describe a responsibility. The other half is where you highlight the outcome that was achieved because of how well you carried out that responsibility.
Now imagine that the project you’re writing about was the development of a new software app.
Here’s some example bullet points to highlight your achievements:
- Led a team of 5 developers and managed project timelines and budgets.
- Utilized Agile project management methodology to improve project efficiency by 30%.
On the other hand, you could highlight relevant skills that you learned or developed by writing bullet points such as:
- Developed strong communication skills by working with cross-functional teams.
- Demonstrated strong leadership skills by motivating and coaching team members.
Use Numbers and Jargon Naturally
Let’s refer to the software developer resume example that helped one of our users secure a job interview with HubSpot.
The key takeaway? Use technical language naturally and be as specific as you can when describing your responsibilities by using numbers. Jargon is generally okay as long as you’re not rinsing out buzzwords throughout your application or forcing them in bullet points where it doesn’t flow well.
Tailor It to the Job Description
Match the company’s job description to position yourself as an ideal candidate with relevant experience.
- Use resume keywords
- Include projects that are closely similar to the responsibilities of the job position
- Embed the company’s values and terminology in a bullet point or two
- Showcase desirable skills and traits that were listed on the job ad
1 Bullet Point Can Be Enough
A single bullet point can be more than enough like the robotics engineer resume sample below.
Here’s a few reasons why you might only need one bullet point:
- Emphasis: a single bullet point makes what you’ve written stand out.
- Space: to give space to other sections that are more important while maintaining a one-page resume.
- Unnecessary: the other bullet points that you might write about the project aren’t as relevant.
Use Rezi’s AI Resume Writer
You probably might’ve noticed that there’s a “generate bullet” button inside our resume builder for the projects section. After entering your project title, click this button to use our AI writer to draft bullet points for you based on the best resume writing practices.
Then, either add it to your resume by clicking “apply suggestion” or click “AI writer generate” to try again.
Watch the short clip below to see how our AI writer works.
5. Get Feedback Using the Content Analysis Feature
The final step is to head over to the “finish up” tab where you can see the entire resume you created so far with Rezi.
Select “explore my rezi score.”
This resume checker tool gives you content and format suggestions to improve your application. Feel free to make adjustments based on the feedback provided.
When to Include Projects On Your Resume
The goal of showcasing past projects is to highlight transferable skills to hiring managers. That said, there are 4 ideal scenarios for when to list your projects on a resume.
It’s Directly Related to the Job Responsibilities
Let’s say you’re applying for an entry-level web developer job position.
A personal project you might’ve worked on in your spare time was building a website purely with HTML. This would be worth mentioning on your resume because it shows that you have hands-on experience with a primary task.
You Have Little to No Work Experience in the Role
Projects are good to include especially when:
- You’re a recent college graduate applying for entry-level roles
- You’re writing an internship resume
- You’re making a significant career change
Although you may not have experience in the field, listing projects helps highlight that you’re still a good match for the job.
To Replace Outdated Work Experience
Writing about a recent project that showcases relevant skills is more impressive than an irrelevant job title from more than 5 or 10 years ago. In other words, use projects to replace outdated information.
Here’s a good example below from the product marketing manager resume.
You Have Employment Gaps
Employment gaps raise questions. Still, reassure recruiters that you’ve still got it. Reinforce your track record and prove that your skills haven't collected dust by describing the projects that you’ve been working on.
When to Not Include Projects on a Resume
These are common mistakes. If you find yourself in any of these situations, refrain from using a projects section.
You Have More Direct Work Experience to List
Employers are usually more interested in reviewing your professional work history than past projects. So if you had a previous job that’s directly related to the role you’re applying for, it’s worth including this on your resume instead of a project.
You Already Have 3 Projects Listed
Having too many projects strips away the focus from your actual work experience. This may not leave the best first impression, especially when applying for roles that require at least 2 years of experience.
The only time this doesn’t apply is when you’re applying for an internship role or entry-level job.
The Projects Are Outdated
Projects are outdated when they go as far back on your background as 10+ years ago. Although it could highlight passion and work ethic, it wouldn’t be as effective compared to describing a project completed a few months ago.
If you decide you still want to mention the project, there are 2 alternatives:
- Bring it up on your cover letter instead of your resume
- Omit the dates
3 Resume Examples With Well-Written Projects
Don’t see your job title listed below? No worries, you'll probably find it in our ATS library of 300+ free resume templates.
Creative Producer Resume
Project Manager Resume
Software Engineer Intern Resume
Either create a dedicated projects section or mention it in another relevant resume section.
When you’re writing about paid projects, consider listing them in the work experience section instead. And if you have too many projects to put on a resume, include a portfolio or website link.