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Q&A Project Management Careers


Taking the Nerves Out of Project Management Interviews

Each time I attend an interview I always seem to blow it because my mind goes blank when thinking about how to answer a question well. Is there a tried and tested method to overcome this? With interviews the more you feel in control, the better you will be at giving a great account of yourself. To gain more control in interviews you need to plan, rehearse and create a system for remembering and retrieving everything you planned for during the actual interview. I advise that you think of about 5 or 6 really good stories from your career so ...

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Writing a Better Project Management Cover Note

I’ve been applying for a number of different project manager positions and I’ve noticed that some ask for a cover note with my application. What is the best way to write a cover note? If a cover note is being expressly asked for when you make an application, the hirer will be looking for a number of things. The obvious ones are that they want to check that you have read the job specification or advert (you’ll be surprised how many people don’t read the whole advert!) and that you can follow instructions (i.e., include a cover note) They will ...

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Writing a Project Management CV

I need to update my CV for the first time in 5 years. Are there any insights specific to project managers that would help me in getting it up to date and relevant for 2015? There are quite a few project manager specific things you should be focusing on when it comes to updating your CV. I’ve been advising project managers on writing their CVs for a number of years and there are several common pitfalls to avoid. Here are the five most common: 1. Opening the CV with too many words Today we are used to scanning the headlines ...

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Entry Level Roles in Project Management

A friend of mine wants to pursue a career in project management. What are some of the entry level roles they could take a look at? You’ll know from your own experiences in project management that there are positions which support the activities of project managers, program managers etc. Collectively these are often referred to as PMO. The roles tend to be called Project Administrator, Co-ordinator or Support. These roles require an understanding of the project lifecycle and the hands on work focuses on areas like producing reports, updating items in registers and logs, setting up meetings and generally supporting ...

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Moving Project Management Jobs – Making the Right Decision

I’m thinking about leaving my current project manager position. Having been here for over a decade, I think it’s time to move on. How do I know if I’m making the right decision? It’s the million dollar question isn’t it? You can never know if it is absolutely the right decision but there are a number of ways you can make sure that you’ve thought about everything you need to in order to minimise the risk of making a mistake. I guess that’s one of the good things about being a project manager. You can look at the practical and ...

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Project Management Careers Q&A – Finding a Mentor

I think I need a mentor to help me progress in my role as a project manager, do you have any advice on what steps I should be taking to find the right person? There are three main factors involved when looking for a mentor. First of all, you need to think about what exactly you are looking to get out of the mentoring relationship. What kind of relationship do you need, is it career advancement or more day-to-day support and advice? Think about the key areas of the job that you are looking to improve on and what you ...

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Project Management Presentations at Interviews

I’ve been asked to prepare a presentation on an aspect of project management for an interview. Could you provide some advice and tips on how I can do this successfully? There are two approaches you need to take depending on the amount of preparation time you have been given. If you have been given the instructions in the days before the interview, great you have time to do more detailed planning. If you won’t be given the topic area until you are actually at the interview you can still do some preparation beforehand, just not the thinking around the topic ...

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A Baby Boomer Project Manager Career Change

I’m in my mid-fifties with considerable project management experience in a large company. I don’t think I want to stay here for the rest of my working life. Do you have any advice for a baby boomer looking to do something new? Like a lot of experienced and older project managers, there comes a time in your life when you stop, look around and wonder if there is a new career waiting for you. This second (third, fourth…) stage of your career is a characteristic of what we call ‘kaleidoscope careers’. As we move through our working life our priorities ...

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