The project management job descriptions you
see in profiles on LinkedIn might not represent exactly what you would do in
the role.

That’s because project managers do so many
different things!

In this article, we’ll look at the things
that make up a typical project management job description, and then look at
some specialist industries plus the role of a junior project manager. I’m going
to give you a ton of info for you to either create a job description for your
own vacancies or get ready to apply for a job role, knowing exactly what you
are going to be assessed against.

You should be able to copy and paste from
this article to create a job description – and then simply edit it to fit the
role you are writing it for.

Ready? Let’s dive in!

What is a job description?

 A
job description (which you might hear abbreviated to JD) describes the role. It
explains what the role does, and what the position is responsible for.

Sometimes you’ll get a person specification
alongside the job description, either as a separate document or built in to the
JD.

In this article, I’ll share both the
role-specific elements you’ll find in a job description, and also notes about
the requirements for the role or the person specification that employers are
likely to be looking for.

A general project management job description

The first part of a job description is the
job purpose.

Here’s an example job purpose for project
managers.

Job purpose

To scope, plan,
manage and implement projects. R
esponsible for managing the
delivery of the project from the original definition through to go live and
including the handover into live service, according to our organisation’s
project management methodology.

The job description then goes on to lay out
the role’s accountabilities and activities. Below is an example of the duties
of a project manager.

Accountabilities and activities

  • To
    plan, scope and deliver projects.
  • To
    ensure that all project requirements and solutions comply with our
    organisation’s Information Governance processes and other policies.
  • To
    ensure a plan is created and maintained to deliver projects within the agreed
    criteria. This includes deliverables, costs, development and implementation.
  • To
    manage multiple projects concurrently as required.
  • To
    establish and maintain relationships with key stakeholders to ensure that the
    project output is achieved including third parties and suppliers.
  • To
    ensure adequate project controls are implemented and applied.
  • To
    lead the project team and co-ordinate business involvement as required.
  • To
    provide progress reports on all projects at the required frequency.

The job description
can also include other sections like Freedom of Action and Environment.

Freedom of action

The freedom of action
section of the job description is brief. It explains how the role fits into the
organisation structure. For example:

The Project Manager will operate as a member of the [team name] team, reporting directly to
the
[job
title of role’s line manager]
. The post holder will
be expected to adhere to current internal policies, procedures and guidelines
as required
.

Environment

The environment section of a job
description is another short statement you may see. Not all job descriptions
for project managers have it, but I think it’s a useful inclusion as it helps
candidates understand where they will be expected to work.

Just add a few bullet points to the job
description under the environment heading, like this:

  • Flexible
    approach to working hours.
  • Full
    UK driving licence.
  • Based
    in [location] but with extensive travel/the possibility to work from home/etc.

Person specification

Here
are some of the elements you could include in a project manager’s job
description, as they relate to skills.

Skills and Behaviours:

  • Ability to plan and prioritise
    effectively.
  • Strong organisational skills.
  • Ability to communicate
    effectively, with tact and diplomacy, both orally and in writing, at all
    levels.
  • Ability to work on own
    initiative, with a logical and analytical approach to problem solving.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills.
  • Leadership, motivational,
    negotiating and influencing skills in a matrix environment.
  • Self-starter, proactive,
    self-motivating and with good time management skills.
  • Able to provide guidance to
    colleagues.
  • Able to work independently but
    also as part of a team.
  • Good questioning and listening
    skills.
  • Actively demonstrates our
    company’s values.

The
person spec or person profile section might also talk about the required
experience and certifications the job holder would be expected to have. This
will vary based on the expectations of the employer, and the culture/location
of the organisation.

Project management job descriptions: Software and IT

An IT project manager
job description will have many similarities with the general JD and role
profile I’ve outlined above. However, as you’d expect, there will also be a
number of technical requirements. For example:

  • To
    ensure that projects deliver outputs supported by the appropriate
    documentation, enabling the wider IT team to provide successful live operations
    and adequate post implementation support.
  • To
    oversee the software design, build and testing process according to our
    internal guidelines.
  • To
    comply with all IT security and data governance requirements, as laid out in
    our IT strategy and policies.
  • To
    work with colleagues across the IT team, acting as the liaison for architecture
    and strategy, platform, infrastructure, application, testing, security, data
    management, development, procurement and relevant third parties.

In the person spec for an IT project
management role, you might see a statement about technical communication, like
this:

  • Ability to present complex
    technical details to a non-technical audience.

The job profile might also ask for a
certain type of technical background, specific industry experience or
certifications.

Project manager job description for construction

The job description for a project manager in construction covers a lot of things that you’ll see in any role profile.

However, construction project management
job roles will also have a large element of construction-centric
responsibilities.

  • To be appropriately skilled and
    educated in construction methodologies and procedures.
  • To demonstrate proven skill at
    leading a multi-disciplinary team of experts to deliver the end result.
  • To negotiate contracts and
    deliverables with suppliers.
  • To liaise with the relevant
    agencies to secure permits and licences as appropriate to ensure the work can
    continue according to the detailed timeline.
  • To source and acquire the
    appropriate equipment, supplies and resources, and to monitor (or oversee the
    monitoring of) stock levels to avoid delays.
  • To ensure all health and safety
    standards, and all other appropriate standards, regulations and laws are
    adhered to at all times.

The role profile might ask for certain
experience, certifications, or other preferred attributes that the candidate
should have.

Project manager job description: Marketing

A marketing project manager is someone who
carries out projects within the marketing department of an organisation. Their
focus will be on leading projects with a primary goal of improving and
developing the marketing capabilities of the business.

Project Manager
Learn more in my book, .

Marketing projects are often campaign-led.
The marketing project manager will be responsible for taking the strategic
goals of the campaign, breaking down the work and ensuring that the goals are
reached through the delivery of the planned tasks.

A marketing project manager job description
might include an element of ‘doing’ as well as coordinating the work. For
example, they might be responsible for copywriting for campaigns, social media
management or designing the sales messaging.

The role may also include the
responsibility for recruiting specialist agencies to carry out marketing tasks,
or freelancers, so there could be a large element of coordinating the work of
third parties.

Junior Project Manager/Project Co-ordinator job
description

There is quite a lot of cross-over between
a junior project manager and a project manager, in terms of skills. However,
the extend to which you have to take responsibility for tasks is very
different.

Here is a sample job description for a
project co-ordinator.

  • To
    provide project team co-ordination, for example (but not limited to):

    • Room bookings and catering
    • Drafting and circulating
      agendas
    • Organising meetings and
      training sessions
    • Attending meetings to act
      as the notetaker, then preparing meeting minutes
    • Co-ordinating the
      procurement process for anything the team needs to buy
  • To
    provide project co-ordination, for example (but not limited to):

    • To ensure that project
      action, risk, issue, change and dependency logs are updated and maintained, and
      that action points are being dealt with, as instructed by the project manager
    • To liaise with stakeholders
      and project team members to gather status reports and monitor progress
    • To draft project
      communications e.g. newsletters, intranet copy and email broadcasts
  • To
    provide weekly progress reports to the project manager
  • To
    assist with the production of progress reports at project and team level, and
    eventually be supported to prepare the reports independently
  • To maintain the project document files, maintain project-specific
    document templates and ensure version control standards are adhered to
  • To
    organise project team celebrations
  • Any other duties as required

Summary

This article has outlined the project
management job description elements you can expect to see across a number of
different roles. Whether you are writing a JD and role profile for a job you
are recruiting for, or simply trying to work out if you’ve got what it takes to
do the project manager’s job, this article has given you an insight into the
roles and responsibilities of one of the most interesting and flexible jobs out
there.

Pin for later reading:

Finish filling out your resume or online career profile with these cut and paste project management job descriptions. Also a great resource for hiring the perfect project manager!

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