Building a Stand Out Resume: From Production Management to Project Management

Production Management = Project Management. It's really that simple.

Project Management Institute (PMI) defines a 'project' as, “a temporary endeavor undertaken to create a unique product, service or result. A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.” Well, doesn't that sound exactly like mounting a production? While we call it 'Production Management' in the performing arts professions, the position can be found in construction, I.T., marketing, communications, and many other industries - called 'Project Management.'

Some Project Management positions may look for Project Manager Certification or a management degree, but for the most part you should be easily able to find a Jr./Assistant Project Manager position in any industry of interest using your Production Management background. No matter the industry, most Project Manager job postings will look for these four primary skills (among others):

  1. Written and Oral Communications

  2. Budget Management

  3. Exceptional Service/Relations

  4. Detail-Oriented

To land Project Manager jobs, you'll need to clearly translate your job history on your resume to reflect these skills. For starters, you may want to use a functional resume to showcase your experience with the skill set. LiveCareer offers some great examples of functional resumes here.

Functional resumes are highly recommended for career or industry changers because they focus on skills as opposed to job titles and chronological work history. Using the functional resume format, you can highlight the skills that match the job posting, and then list your experiences with each skill set. Like on all good resumes, you'll want to make sure your language matches the language in the job posting. It can be difficult to "translate" performing arts industry jargon into language non-arts hiring managers will understand, so we've created this key to help you get started:

You'll also want to make sure your resume shows clear action to showcase your skills, and to quantify as much as possible to define time, scope, and resources. Rather than using passive verbs, explain that you led or participated, how, and for how long or using which resources. For example:

See the difference? More to the point, see the similarities? This gives non-arts hiring managers all the information they need to see that you're qualified for the position, without getting caught in industry jargon barriers. But, as always, we want to remind you: while this "fluff up" is necessary to help breathe life into your skill set and experience, this does not give license to lie or stretch the truth. Always tell the truth on your resume. Always.

So, need some more skill-specific examples?

Written and Oral Communication

  • Collected, wrote, and distributed project updates on a daily basis to 50 collaborators over a three month period

  • Created and submitted change requests to designers and stakeholders as needed

  • Facilitated communications between staff, management, and stakeholders via the leadership of all planning meetings and workshops over a six month period

Budget Management

  • Managed budget of $[XX] for scenic building including materials and labor

  • Managed budget of $[XX] for administrative and operations needs

  • Managed budget of $[XX] for special events, and reconciled payments

Exceptional Service/Relations

  • Supported team leaders, operations management, staff and vendors to produce [event] over four month period

  • Worked with ten staff members to serve diverse audiences through over [thirty] events

  • Worked with diverse staff to build construction elements for [event]


  • Created timeline for shared space to ensure fluidity among all design and operations staff

  • Able to translate blueprints and descriptions into practical use using scales to maximize space efficiency

We're sure you have tons of other experiences and examples to boost your Project Management functional resume. We only hope this information and these examples help to spur change as you continue your search for the best next step for you. In the meantime, we're always here to help. Make sure to follow us on social media @outofthearts. Give us a like, subscribe to our podcast, and please leave a comment below with questions or feedback - comments help us connect with you and build more content to help this community!