Five Ways New Project Managers Get Noticed


Veronique Thraen* shares tips to help new project managers land their first job.


As a new project manager (PM), getting noticed in the hiring process isn’t always easy.

Many entry-level positions require a college degree and 1-3 years of work experience in a particular industry.

But how are you supposed to meet those expectations if no one hires you because they lack experience?

According to the latest analysis of talent shortages by the Project Management Institute (PMI), there is a wider range of project management roles and more job openings than ever before:

“The global economy has become more project-driven, as the practice of project management expands into sectors that were traditionally less project-driven, such as healthcare, publishing and services. professionals.”

With so many project management opportunities available, how can a new PM stand out when you’re faced with a seemingly unattainable list of requirements and more experienced PMs?

Here are some resume tips to help you get noticed and hopefully land your first job as a project management professional.

Tip #1: Showcase your project management skills even if you haven’t had an official PM job title.

Just because you haven’t held a formal position as a project manager doesn’t mean you haven’t used those skills for other roles.

Some essential skills you typically see in PM job descriptions are leadership, communication, organization, team/time management, and critical thinking/problem solving.

Highlight any projects you’ve been involved in where you’ve used those specific skills.

Have you worked in various industries? Some positions require industry knowledge, so including a listing on your resume can also help you beat the applicant tracking system!

Tip #2: Include Any Networking Groups, Volunteering, or Related Internships.

Show your interest in the field by including related networks or volunteer groups in which you have been involved.

There are many opportunities for volunteering or networking within local chapters of project management groups.

Of course, internships are also considered “work experience” and show your desire to learn the ropes from more experienced people in a real environment.

You’re ahead of the game if you have an internship you can offer even if it’s not specific to project management (see Tip #1).

Tip #3: Get creative with your career goal.

Try to avoid using the standard PM career goals seen on some resume templates, such as: “To help a company achieve project goals on time and within budget” or “To work for a company that will use my project management skills”. Hiring managers receive hundreds of resumes, so they may only have time to glance at the core skill areas and/or qualifications summary.

Be more specific.

For example, why did you choose a career in project management? What skills do you have that will make you an effective project manager? What can you bring to the team that will benefit the business even if you haven’t held a formal PM position?

Customizing your goal based on the company and job description will give you an extra edge.

Tip #4: Add a link to your blog (or your favorite PM blog, podcast, or book).

A professional blog or any post you’ve written is a great way to showcase your writing ability, communication style, and thought leadership skills.

These are all essential skills for a project manager.

Do you have a favorite project management blog, podcast, or book? Why not include it in your resume?

It shows your interest in learning more and keeping up to date with the latest trends.

Hiring managers look for self-motivated PMs who take initiative and need minimal supervision.

Tip #5: Add relevant PM certifications or courses.

Finally, certifications are extremely valuable for project managers and highly recommended if you don’t already have one.

Studies have shown that PMs with certifications have higher salaries than those without.

And many companies need it even for entry-level positions.

Here are some project management certifications to consider.

If you don’t yet have an accredited certification but have started taking project management courses or want to get certified, include the details on your resume.

Some hiring managers will waive the strict requirement if they know the process is already underway – and some can even help you get certified once you’re on the job.

Even with all project management positions open, it’s not easy to stand out in the hiring process as a new project manager, especially when you’re faced with unattainable lists of requirements and More experienced PMs (and Applicant Tracking System).

Incorporating these 5 tips will improve your resume and get you noticed – and hopefully help you land your first job as a project management professional!

*Veronique Thraen is an owner and principal consultant at Maven Project Management, a technology project management consulting firm in Phoenix, Arizona.

This article was first published on ellevatenetwork.com.