5 Tips to being hired, beyond the normal Project Manager resume.

5 tips to being hired

The right project manager can be the real difference between success and failure of a project despite the governance structures. Unfortunately, even the most experienced managers often make blunders when hiring. The wrong PM will drain time, money, and resources. Even with the best intentions in the world, hiring managers still miss out way too many things during the hiring process. Look beyond the resume and use some of the five tips to being hired.

#1 – Work on Critical Behavioural Traits

The existing education system and an indifferent interviewing process make it a little challenging to find the right kind of person for the job. There’s a chance a candidate might check all the boxes from their resume, but is unable to gel with team members. Other than the essential skills and the requisite experience, there are other important factors like the “right behavioral traits” that need to be considered when looking for a new project manager. Most job listings only talk about certain objectives that have almost become redundant. Words like adaptable, positive, passionate, proactive have become useless with no real meaning left.

It’s vital to ensure that potential employers can see the behavioral traits that distinguish potential candidates the specific position. For instance, some posts might require someone passionate and a go-getter, whereas other positions might require a person with a high degree of patience. Do some homework and figure out what is essential for the job. Speak to a former colleague or employer of theirs. Don’t be a generic “misfit” PM who is not suited and unable to earn respect from clients and other team members. It would be a disaster.

#2 – Have the Relevant Experience Over Degrees And Certifications

If you happen to be a candidate that seems suitable for a job, try and think beyond the need for redundant industry certifications. There are many great PMs who’ve got the most suited experience without any proper industry certification. Even the most certified PMs cannot guarantee 100% efficiency on a project. There is a possibility that some of these most “certified” project managers have never delivered a quality project. Look beyond just the badges and numbers. When being interviewed focus on credentials, especially experience and the working style.

#3 – Enthusiasm And Passion In The Interview

The role of a project manager can be overwhelming. To perform, a project manager must be focused and deeply vested in the daily drills. They must love what they do. While being interviewed, make sure that you’re able to gauge the requisite passion needed for the profession in general. Don’t be a candidate that showcases laziness, tiredness, and even excessive nervousness. Be careful. Be aware. Bring out the passion for the job in an interview; Project Managers need a high degree of energy and enthusiasm to stay driven to serve their clients best. Show the intrinsic fire in the belly that allows you to stay inspired and focused.

#4 – Articulate Specific Methodology Required

With competition and even recession in some industries, hiring managers often try and choose a generalist who can be expanded into multiple roles. This is usually done to save costs. However, the half-hearted approach of hiring a person who is the jack of all trades and master of none can backfire if you need a specific methodology in your organization. Rather than covering every project management methodology you know, ask the interviewer about the specific methods they want you to use. It’s good practice to mention the same methodology in the job listing as well. This can help reduce the number of applicants and make the hiring process more efficient. Don’t try and be a person that is expected to “adjust” when the time arises. Mention what is needed at the time of the interview, to avoid problems down the line.

#5 – Go for the Right Job Listing

Understanding the right job listing is something that most project managers struggle with. This effectively means that the listing needs to be informational, to the point, and highly specific to your needs.  Stay away from template job descriptions that sound like a copy-paste act that doesn’t inspire trust among the most qualified candidates. In a nutshell, get specific!

People generally don’t work the same job for 30 years the way they use to. Meaning that is no longer expected that a Project Manager will stay around for a long time, as this expectation is no longer realistic. You might have to go through this roller coaster of looking for, being interviewed and working on a project. If you keep these five pointers in mind and become the project manager who is suited to an organization, you’ll see less attrition and more productivity.

Stay clear about what you need from the beginning. Highlight the precise goals that you as a candidate are planning to achieve by the end of a defined period. Give them a plan of action and the right opportunity to rise to the challenge in the role. The process might seem like an overkill in the beginning, but you’ll fall in love with it in due time. The best you can do is to put a process in place to be the most suited person for the job.

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