Urban Planner Resume Example & Writing Guide

Use this Urban Planner resume example and guide to improve your career and write a powerful resume that will separate you from the competition.

Urban planners are tasked with creating sustainable, functional cities that are also beautiful and enjoyable places to live. They help establish zoning regulations, coordinate infrastructure projects, and advise on development proposals. They’re also responsible for projecting future growth, creating long-term plans, and steering cities toward success.

If this sounds like the kind of work you’d love to do, it’s time to write a resume that will get you noticed by hiring managers at urban planning firms and city governments across the country. Here are some tips and an example to help you put yours together.

James Smith
Phoenix, AZ | (123) 456-7891 | [email protected]

Creative and detail-oriented urban planner with over nine years of experience in city planning, landscape architecture, and civil engineering. Proven ability to think outside the box and develop innovative solutions for complex problems. Passionate about creating spaces that are beautiful, functional, and sustainable.

Arizona State University Jun '10
M.A. in City and Regional Planning
University of California, Santa Cruz Jun '06
B.A. in Urban Studies
Company A, Urban Planner Jan '17 – Current
  • Collaborated with community partners to develop a comprehensive plan for the neighborhood that included strategies for land use, housing, transportation, and economic development.
  • Developed an implementation strategy for the plan including timelines and resources required to implement each element of the plan.
  • Created maps illustrating data related to land use, housing, transportation, and economic development in order to communicate findings from research and analysis.
  • Conducted outreach within the community regarding plans through public meetings as well as other methods such as social media or newsletters.
  • Coordinated with city departments on implementing elements of the plan by providing recommendations based on research and analysis conducted during project planning phase.
Company B, Urban Planner Jan '12 – Dec '16
  • Assisted in the development of a comprehensive strategic plan for economic growth and revitalization that included zoning changes, infrastructure improvements, and business attraction strategies
  • Conducted research on land use trends to identify opportunities for redevelopment projects within city limits
  • Collaborated with local businesses and community stakeholders to develop neighborhood plans based on individual needs and goals
  • Developed an urban design framework for downtown area that encouraged walkability, sustainability, and placemaking initiatives
  • Created a new master plan for mixed-use development project that increased tax revenue by over $1M annually
Company C, Urban Planning Intern Jan '09 – Dec '11
  • Conducted research on land use, zoning, and economic development issues.
  • Assisted in the preparation of grant applications and reports.
  • Attended and participated in community meetings to gather input on proposed projects.
  • Certified in Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Certified Planner
  • Professional Land Surveyor

Industry Knowledge: Urban Planning, Geographic Information Systems, GIS, Landscape Architecture, Geographic Information Systems, Environmental Planning
Technical Skills: Microsoft Office Suite, Adobe Photoshop, GIS softwares, ArcMap, AutoCAD
Soft Skills: Written and Verbal Communication, Leadership, Teamwork, Problem Solving, Critical Thinking, Customer Service

How to Write an Urban Planner Resume

Here’s how to write an urban planner resume of your own.

Write Compelling Bullet Points

When it comes to writing bullet points, the more specific you can be, the better. Rather than simply saying you “managed city planning projects,” you could say that you “managed city planning projects for new residential developments in downtown area, resulting in increased tax revenue for local government by $2 million over five-year period.”

The second bullet point is much stronger because it provides specific details about what you did, how you did it, and the results of your work. It also includes quantifiable results, which makes it easy for a reader to understand your contributions.

Identify and Include Relevant Keywords

When you submit your resume online, it’s likely that it will be scanned by an applicant tracking system (ATS) for certain keywords. These programs look for certain terms related to the job opening in order to determine whether you’re a good fit. If your resume doesn’t include enough of the right keywords, the ATS might discard your application.

The best way to make sure your resume includes the right keywords is to read through the job posting and take note of the terms that are used most frequently. Then, work those keywords into your resume where they are most relevant. Here are some common urban planner keywords to get you started:

  • Urban Planning
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Urban Design
  • City Planning
  • Urban Studies
  • Urban Redevelopment
  • Urban Renewal
  • Land Use Planning
  • Public Policy
  • Comprehensive Planning
  • Transportation Planning
  • Sustainability
  • Neighborhoods
  • Community Development
  • Policy Analysis
  • Mapping
  • Environmental Policy
  • Government
  • Spatial Analysis
  • Project Management
  • Data Analysis
  • Civil Engineering
  • Project Planning
  • Microsoft Access
  • Construction
  • Strategic Planning
  • Research
  • Negotiation
  • Management
  • Customer Service

Showcase Your Technical Skills

As an urban planner, you are responsible for designing and overseeing the development of urban areas. So it’s important that you are proficient in the use of technology in order to carry out your work.

Some of the programs and systems that urban planners are typically expected to be proficient in include: CAD software, geographic information systems (GIS), land surveying software, and transportation modeling software. Additionally, urban planners need to be familiar with the zoning and planning regulations of their municipality.


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