How to Write a Standout Project Management Job Description
There's way too much on your plate, which is why you're looking for a project manager. But every time you sit down to write the job posting, you're worried it's not compelling enough to stand out.
We’ve got you covered. This article will give you examples from real project manager job descriptions and show you how to adopt their strategies, so your job posting attracts the best project managers around.
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Top 3 elements of a project management job description
Cultivate a distinctive voice
Do most job descriptions in your industry have a distinct voice? If not, you can stand out by injecting personality into your posting. It’s one of the best strategies for sticking in your candidates’ brains, even after they’ve looked at dozens of job postings.
Boldly state what makes you different
Beauty brand Sephora starts their project management job listing with a clear statement of purpose and identity:
“Our education department is integral to the success of the company because we strongly believe that investing in our employees as beauty experts is what sets us apart. From product 101 to application techniques to artistry and trend, the education department drives the training strategy and provides the tools for our store employees to be the most knowledgeable in the industry.”
The takeaway is that Sephora will set its employees up for success—not just in this role, but in future roles in the beauty industry. That’s a compelling opener. For your job posting, determine what’s special about the job and lead with that. Some ideas:
- Rewarding nature of job - “Are you looking for a role so rewarding that you will wake up each morning looking forward to the workday?”
- Perks, such as benefits, catered lunches, or team retreats - “If you’re looking for a role with competitive benefits, the chance to travel the world, and a delicious catered lunch every day, then look no further!”
Hit the right balance of casual vs. formal
Do you want to project a brand voice that’s more casual or formal? Either way, here are a few strategies you can use.
If your brand voice is casual
- Focus on the future by explaining what your company hopes to accomplish within the industry. Be sure to explain where the project manager role fits into that story!
- Utilize applicant-focused language: “You’ll love working here because…” This creates the sense that you’re speaking directly to the applicant, creating a connection. Instead of “Requirements”, try “You’ll succeed here if you have experience with…”, or “You’ll be a great fit if you also value…” instead of the stuffy “Company Values”.
If your brand voice is formal
- Highlight past accomplishments, like the company’s storied history and any notable awards.
- If you're in a more traditional industry or sector—such as medicine, academia, or law—you might need to use a formal voice. For example, "Our company is looking for an experienced Project Manager to oversee all company projects” vs. “If you’re a rockstar PM looking to join an exciting team of go-getters, we’d love to chat with you!”
- For a formal voice, make sure you're writing in full sentences and limit your exclamation marks, contractions, and first-person pronouns.
Whether your brand is casual or formal
- Use vibrant, emotive language. If you’ve read the same phrase in your competitors’ job descriptions, find a more interesting way to say it.
Sephora went with a casual and enthusiastic tone:
“Employees enjoy a product discount and receive free product (“gratis”) various times throughout the year. (Think your friends and family love you now? Just wait until you work at Sephora!)...The pace is fast, the fun is furious, and the passion is real. We never rest on our laurels. Our motto? If it’s not broken, fix it."
Casual writing can be tricky, since you don't want to come off as unprofessional. Some may turn to slang or sarcasm, but this can backfire, as both are hard to interpret through writing. Sephora’s tone strikes the right balance of casual and professional. Notice how they turn a classic phrase on its head: "If it’s not broken, fix it." Unconventional choices like this can draw the reader’s attention and make your posting stand out.
Be transparent about required skills
You have clear expectations for the role, right? Come right out with them! If there are elements of the job that could discourage applicants, it’s better to be upfront about it rather than letting the process drag on and wasting both sides’ time. Try these ideas:
- Talk to a few people who will work closely with the PM role to find out what skills they think the ideal applicant would have. This will give you a good starting point when listing qualifications.
- Make a distinction between preferred qualifications and mandatory qualifications.
- Outline clear expectations for on-the-job training. For example, “In 6 months you will have mastered…”
- Communicate the professional development/training opportunities that exist in the role. “You'll get two dedicated hours every week for skill development; you have access to free training from LinkedInLearning,” etc.
Specificity is key here. Whatever educational and professional experience is required, make it clear. Having it appear early in the description is also advisable—otherwise you’re wasting jobseekers’ time.
Sell yourself to the applicant
If you want to draw the best project management candidates, you’ve got to sell the applicant on working for you. Let’s look at how Fitbit does this in their project manager job description:
"We started our journey in 2007—as a team of two with one big idea. Since then, we've grown to more than 1,700 employees, sold over 90 million devices, and built a health and wellness community across the globe. In fact, the Fitbit Community has taken enough steps to walk from the Sun to Pluto and back again! Offering award-winning products, a top-rated mobile app and an easy-to-use dashboard, Fitbit provides personalized experiences that help our users reach their goals. With a reenergized focus on innovative devices, interactive experiences, and enterprise health, we are transforming the way consumers and businesses see health and fitness.
In addition, we have made the following commitments to accelerate our high-performance culture and deliver on our business priorities:
Champion the Customer - to keep all of our customers top of mind, working to improve their experience and increase their satisfaction/loyalty.
Rally Together - to work as one, global, cross-functional team because together we get to stronger outcomes.
Embrace the Challenge - to recognize our unique opportunity to make an impact, taking ownership and initiative to advance our mission."
Here’s how you can borrow Fitbit’s strategies to effectively sell yourself to the applicant:
- Illustrate what’s special about your company. For example, Fitbit said they’ve “grown to more than 1,700 employees, sold over 90 million devices, and built a health and wellness community across the globe.” What stands out about your company? Is it the success you’ve achieved, the future you’re trying to create, or the way you give back to the community?
- Go into specifics about culture. What defines your culture best? Is it oriented around process, people, or results? Is it a casual, startup-like culture, or does it have the feel of a more established company? Fitbit’s job posting demonstrates that their culture is collaborative, focused on customers, and competitive.
- Get the applicant excited. Use emotive, action-oriented words and phrases like Fitbit did (champion, rally, embrace).
There’s a common thread in all this advice: stand out! It's important to craft a distinctive description for any role—but especially when you’re being evaluated by detail-oriented project managers. So create a unique voice, be transparent, and sell your company. Do all of these things, and you’ll find the ideal candidate before you know it.