Looking for a new job or starting a career in the Project Management field can be difficult. It’s hard to know where to start, what skills you need to have, or who you should be connecting with.
A few weeks ago, I was a panelist for PMI Atlanta’s Virtual Recruiter Panel. This experience allowed me to think about some of the burning questions candidates have during their job search.
Skills for Project Managers
1. Are there any certifications required for certain positions?
In my experience with our clients, many companies require a Project Manager to have a Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. Even if it’s not, candidates with their PMP can, in my opinion, perform much better in a grueling environment than a person that doesn’t have it. For Scrum Master positions being a Certified Scrum Master (CSM) is required. Check out this list of common certifications that includes details on the PMP and CSM.
2. I earned my PMP certification because of involvement in various projects but have never worked in a job with a project manager title. I now want to explore the field. Any advice on what job titles I should be applying for?
I would recommend starting with applying for Project Coordinator, Project Administrator or Project Analyst roles. This will get your foot in the door with a company, likely with an established PMO. Some of our clients have Project Management paths for Project Coordinators. So, you join as a Project Coordinator and work your way up to a Project Management position.
3. Do you have any suggestions for converting from a career in waterfall methodology to Agile.
Stay flexible, adaptable and open to change. I know a lot of companies are moving into Agile methodology but there still has to be trial and error before you find the perfect framework. So, make sure you’re adaptable to the environment. And it’s a big plus if you’ve worked in both or a hybrid environment.
The Application Process
1. Should my resume and LinkedIn mirror each other?
Absolutely. As a recruiter, I always cross reference resumes and LinkedIn profiles. It’s important for the dates on your resume to match your LinkedIn and vis versa. Otherwise, you risk looking dishonest and/or disorganized. Ensuring your LinkedIn profile is up-to-date is an important first step when starting the job application process.
2. How can I land a job interview or even secure employment during a pandemic?
Network. Don’t be afraid to get yourself out there and meet current or future hiring managers, even if it’s virtually. In addition to networking, try to target certain industries that haven’t been impacted as negatively by the pandemic, such as tech companies, online retailers, video conferencing services, etc.
3. How do you address gaps of employment on your resume or in an interview?
Be honest with your recruiter about gaps. Many times, the recruiters have developed relationships with hiring managers, and they can address it to them before your interview. That way, you don’t have that awkward moment in your interview.
4. What is the best way to find jobs not posted on popular job sites?
Networking! Join the PMI Atlanta chapter, TAG, WIT – just to name a few. Get your name out there. You never know who you may run into. And recruiters like me, of course! Our services are free for candidates. And any good recruiter will help you with resume edits and connect you with any and all open opportunities we can.
Are you a project management professional looking to make a move? Please reach out to me. I’m always looking to make connections!
About the author
Rebecca Berry serves as a Technical Recruiter for Synergis IT (IT Staffing Agency in Atlanta GA) and has 4+ years of experience in the staffing industry. Through her recruiting efforts, she is determined to match the goals of our clients, with the goals of our candidates and specializes in placing Project Management roles. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Agnes Scott College. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and hanging out with her two dogs, Ranger and Morgan!