Show hiring managers you're the reliable professional they're seeking

Are you the sort of employee who feels in control, knowing that your deadlines will be met, your desk will be cleared at the end of the day, and your records are always up to date? Or are you the type to panic at the last minute, thriving under the pressure of getting things done but usually running late and leaving your colleagues wondering if your part of the project will ever be completed? 

Yes, we're talking about the importance of time management skills here. In this post, we'll look at why time management skills on your resume are important to employers and which are most in demand. We'll also share how to include time management skills on your own resume and provide some examples so that you can get it right. Let's dive in.

Why are time management skills important on a resume?

Employers want staff who can work efficiently and complete their tasks on time, every time. Whether you're applying for the sort of role that demands the ability to meet major project deadlines or the sort of role that requires you to stay on top of a busy workload, you need to show you're up to the job. That means showing off your time management skills on your resume, so that employers know from the start that you're a reliable employee who can keep up with the demands of the role. 

What are the best time management skills on a resume? 

If you think it's as easy as scribbling “time management” into a skills list on your resume, think again. Let's take a look at some of the most desirable examples of time management skills for your resume and examine how you can incorporate these professional skills into your own job search document. 

1. Prioritization

Are you the kind of person who can't see the wood for the trees? If you have a to-do list as long as your arm, it's easy to get bogged down carrying out less-important tasks at the expense of the more critical ones. Rather than starting at the top of the list and working down, the employee with strong prioritization skills has the clarity to identify what needs to be done now and what can be saved for later.

2. Planning

Being able to plan ahead and schedule work is a valued and valuable skill. Rather than leaving everything to the last minute and rushing tasks in a panic, a planner breaks down tasks into manageable chunks and schedules in the time necessary to complete them to a high standard by the allocated deadline. Whether you're doing this for your personal workload or coordinating tasks across a whole team, this is a great skill to showcase on your resume. 

3. Delegation

Delegation may not seem like a time management skill, but it is! No-one can do everything. Being able to delegate to junior staff, or even to a peer with more expertise in a particular area, means that you can use your time more productively. When everyone can focus on their own contribution, things happen more efficiently and smoothly. 

4. Using technology

There is a vast amount of technology available these days to help us manage our time better. Whether you collaborate with colleagues on Slack, track the time you spend on tasks using Toggl, plan projects in Asana, or use one of the myriad other technologies available, it's worth calling out this tech on your resume. 

5. Meeting deadlines

This is one of the most critical time management skills for your resume. Employees that miss deadlines create work for their colleagues and let down customers. Whether your role depends on meeting regular deadlines, such as in project management, or you just need to submit your expense claims by a certain time each month, it's worth highlighting your ability to succeed here. 

6. Focus

Are you easily distracted? Or worse, does your distraction distract others from their work? If you can zoom in on your task and maintain concentration, that's a highly desirable skill. While everyone needs a break from time to time, employers are looking for someone who can maintain the focus needed to be productive. 

7. Organization

No list of time management skills would be complete without mentioning organization. Rather than trailing chaos in their wake, the organized employee brings together skills in planning, prioritization, and focus to stay in control of their workload and is recognized as a reliable member of the team. 

Where to put time management skills on your resume 

While you don't need to litter your resume with every time management skill we've listed, you'll want to prove that you're a reliable professional who stays in control by using some of the qualities we've mentioned. A scattering of these skills throughout your resume will help to build a positive image of you in the hiring manager's mind, so here's where you can use them:

In the Profile section

The profile is your elevator pitch, that should position you as a candidate of choice in the reader's eyes. That means it needs to show off your best, and most relevant, attributes for the role. If you're an experienced professional, well into your career, time management may not be one of your key selling points - you can mention it later in your resume instead. But for students and recent graduates, soft skills such as time management are likely to be the focus of their resume. In that case for you, feel free to mention one or more of the skills we've mentioned in your profile. 

In the Key Skills section 

The Key Skills (or Core Competencies) section is an obvious place to list some time management skills on your resume. It's wise to include the skills requested in the job posting in this section, so take a moment to scour the advert for keywords you can mirror. Make sure that any skills you list in this section are evidenced elsewhere on your resume. 

In your Professional Experience section 

Your work history is the ideal place to throw in your aptitude for time management, as you'll have the space and flexibility to add some detail. Remember the mantra: show, don't tell! That means proving that you have the skills you claim, by telling a story and quantifying the outcomes, rather than just saying, “Yep, I can do that.” We've got some examples of this below. 

Examples of time management skills on your resume 

Now you know which time management skills are great to include on your resume, and you know where to include them. But some examples would probably help, so that you can understand what's expected and how to include these skills naturally in your Professional Experience section. We aim to please! We've pulled together some time management skills examples for your resume, that you can adapt and use as inspiration. 

Examples of time management skills for students

  • Consistently handed in assignments ahead of deadlines, while balancing the competing demands of studies and a part-time job

  • Maintained a 100% record of punctuality and attendance

Examples of time management skills for a Project Manager resume

  • Took over a stalled project and achieved delivery by the original deadline, having re-planned timelines and re-energised the project team

  • Delivered a complex app development project 2 weeks ahead of schedule by delegating tasks fairly across the team and resolving problems collaboratively 

Examples of time management skills for an Administrator resume 

  • Developed a logical new filing system that enabled faster retrieval of client documents

  • Completed monthly reporting on time and with zero errors, due to a natural aptitude for focus and attention to detail 

Examples of time management tasks for an Event Manager resume

  • Prioritized tasks and set deadlines with suppliers to organize a successful team building event for 100+ delegates 

  • Built a delivery schedule for a major conference and monitored progress, with positive feedback received from senior executives and speakers

Examples of time management skills for a Content Writer resume

  • Collaborated with a remote team via Slack to ensure that all required content was produced in line with the monthly schedule

  • Consistently achieved handover deadlines by taking an organized approach and planning a demanding personal workload 

Examples of time management skills for a Warehouse Manager resume

  • Improved average despatch time by 35% by creating a more efficient floor layout 

  • Motivated staff to achieve KPI targets by providing one-to-one training on time management

Examples of time management skills for a Retail Assistant resume

  • Completed stock takes within the agreed timeframes by taking an organized and logical approach

  • Increased sales and revenue by prioritizing replenishment of high-margin, fast-selling products

How to explain time management skills in an interview

When it comes to an interview, the same mantra of “show, don't tell” applies. Use the STAR technique to tell the interviewer about a time when you used your time management skills to achieve a positive outcome for the team or the business. Remember the 7 examples of time management we've listed above to identify a particular scenario to discuss. You can find out more about the STAR technique in this post: How to use the STAR approach in a job interview.

How to improve your time management skills 

If you struggle with your time management, it's not the end of the world. There are things you can do to improve this vital soft skill so that you can showcase it proudly on your resume. 

Swallow the frog

This may be a revolting expression, but it boils down to tackling the most unpleasant task first. Once you've done that, you have the rest of the day to work productively on much easier tasks, without the prospect of a difficult or challenging issue hanging over your head to face later. 


One of the most helpful things you can do for your time management is to set a schedule – and stick to it. By prioritizing what needs to be done each day, allocating a reasonable amount of time to it, and checking back in regularly, you'll find yourself flying through your to-do list faster than ever.

Embrace technology 

There's a plethora of apps out there designed to help with time management, it's just a case of finding the one that works for you. A bit of time spent on research now could save you hours in the future. 

Take a break

It may seem counterintuitive, but stopping work can actually make you more productive. Scheduling regular short breaks means that you'll return to the task refreshed and with a clearer mind, meaning you'll finish the work sooner and to a higher standard than if you'd just plowed on through. 

Don't write a to-do list 

Rather than writing a to-do list, write a priority list instead. It will be shorter and more manageable, and crossing items off your priority list will leave you with a sense of accomplishment that will power you through some odd tasks on your nice-to-do-but-not-a-priority list. 

Save time when writing your resume

As we mentioned, delegation is a great time management skill for your resume. Did you know that you can delegate that task too? TopResume has a team of expert writers available to make sure you're putting your best foot forward when you start your job search. 

If you've been organized enough to complete the task yourself, why not send your resume for a free review to make sure you've ticked all the boxes? 

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