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Looking for project management work

ElJeffeElJeffe Moderator, ClubPA mod
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Okay, just got laid off. Suck.

However, I've been looking to get into project management for awhile anyway, and I figure this is a good opportunity in (a very, very good) disguise. I've been doing project management for between 1-3 projects for the last several years here, and I'm pretty good at running (at the least) a small team of half a dozen people or so. I need to convert my knowledge and experience into a job, though. Some questions:

- What are good things to point out on a resume, in terms of skill sets?

- Is it worth my while to learn to use PM software, like MS Project? I've never actually needed it, because I can keep things pretty organized on my own, but I know there are free PM packages, and I could probably acquire a copy of anything deemed to be indispensable.

- How important is it to know buzzwords and lingo? I picked up a PM book awhile back to teach myself what I didn't know, because the profession seemed filled with a bunch of terminology. Turns out I already pretty much knew everything, I just didn't know the fancy-shmancy terms for things.

- Any other pointers?

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ElJeffe on


  • JasconiusJasconius sword criminal mad onlineRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Depends on the company!

    The company I work for staffs four project managers, and they all have different backgrounds. Some have those certifications you speak of, and some are veterans of the field that have moved up to middle management.

    I can't speak to what is a safe-sound bet on what you need to go for, but I would imagine whatever that answer is depends very much on the field of work, and the scale of the company.

    Jasconius on
  • Arch Guru XXArch Guru XX Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    I am not an official project manager, but I've been an acting one since December, and hopefully a promotion will make it official soon.

    I would recommend checking out the Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide (here's the Wikipedia link: You may already know a lot of it on an instinctive level, but PMBOK exists to standardize language and provide global project management best practices. In a lot of companies knowing this stuff to a certain degree will help you to 'talk the talk' as it were, even if you are functionally proficient without knowing the precise definitions.

    In terms of skill sets I would focus on your ability to personally manage the people under you, to set tasks, to allocate resources, and to define you project deliverables and milestones based on requirements gathered from your clients/customers. If you have typically come in under budget or ahead of schedule this could be a good thing to point out, although you would need to be able to explain why your estimates were typically high.

    I don't think you specifically need to learn Project, although having that experience would be useful. If you already know how to estimate time/costs/resources for projects, you should be able to transfer that to Project if your company wants you to use it. Since there are other project management tools out there, you may not end up using Project, which is why I wouldn't take the time to focus on that unless you have time to burn.

    From an other pointers perspective, it would be good if you can speak to times that you successfully dealt with difficult problems - an employee that wasn't cutting it, difficult interpersonal problems on your team, a key employee leaving - things like that. These can help sell you in an interview, since an awful lot of projects don't go fully according to plan.

    Arch Guru XX on
    Should have been a rock star.
  • DocDoc Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited July 2007

    Read these two books. Not sure if it will help you get a job, but it will help you be a better manager.

    Doc on
  • Iceman.USAFIceman.USAF Major East CoastRegistered User regular
    edited July 2007
    On books, "The Effective Executive" and "How to win friends and influence people" (I think thats the title) are also great management books.

    We use Primavera at my school for project management stuff. That being said, the educational version has some stability issues, but it works wonders when its working.

    Side note, Firefox thinks I spelled Primavera wrong, and suggested Maverick as the correction.


    Iceman.USAF on
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