Differentiate Yourself in the PM Marketplace
Project Management Careers Advice
How to Differentiate Yourself in the PM Marketplace
This is about thinking differently about job hunting – because we’re experiencing a different Project Management marketplace
In the last eight years we have seen;
- The rise of public sector spending on PM resources – and more recently the cutback
- We’ve seen PRINCE2 become more and more dominant – across all sectors. Organisations seem to think PRINCE2 = Good Project Management
- We've been witness to and part of the debate on professionalism and PM – which will no doubt take effect during the next decade
- Buyers markets, sellers markets, skills shortages, sector shortages – and now a perceived buyers market or is it?
Confusion and Frustrations
From both job seekers and organisations looking for good project management talent - so let's take a closer look at this marketplace and find out more about differentiating yourself within it.
The Current Project Management Marketplace
- Less roles available – period
- Even less in the public sector – saw this before the election
- Still slow recovery from the private sector
- Competition for roles is obvious
- But there is a lack of good project management talent – so is it really a buyers market?
- 80% of requirement matches was good a few years ago – now its more likely to be 95%
- Employers believe it’s a buyers market – and adjust rates and salaries accordingly
- BUT good talent is staying put or can’t leave due to rates falling
- Frustration comes with not getting the matches they believe are available
- Salaries and Rates are taking a hit
- Slower time to recruit
- More barriers in place – approvals required, last minute scrapping of roles
- Lower confidence = dithering in the recruitment process
Job Seeker Frustrations
- Not hearing back from applications
- Not getting called for interviews
- Tried and tested methods are not working now
- Not seeing as many opportunities as before
- Don’t know what I’m doing wrong
Where Are All The Vacancies?
– often it will be done by word of mouth or recommendation.
Jobseekers spend their efforts on the 20% of roles that are openly available – facing increased competition – meaning they are less likely to get the job
Two Approaches to Finding the 80%
Probability shows you will likely get your next job from someone you know – this is a large part of the 80%
NETWORKS = word of mouth
- Personal networks – friends, colleagues, former colleagues, family
- Professional networks – people you meet at events, conferences, seminars etc – this event today
- Social networks – Twitter, blogs, forums, community groups, and LinkedIn
- Little, often, quality input
- You give a little – share and contribute
- Takes time and effort – paybacks can be subtle or more obvious
Also becomes important for your brand – more on that later
Not For The Faint Hearted
This is the cold-calling world of job hunting – but only a handful of people try this therefore you will experience minimal competition
To do it effectively and succeed you need to treat it like a job
Research – Plan – Execute – Keep Track – Manage it
- Orgs you want to work for – who will want someone with your skillset and experience
- Narrow it down – start researching through use of web, press releases, forums, your network, linked in
Plan Your Approach
- What to say – concentrate on how you could benefit them through your track record – the organisation
- Try the line manager approach as well as the HR department – different outcomes/action from each
- Send through CV, profile, cover letter etc
- Follow up – keep in touch – keep a track
Excellent Book to help
What’s Your USP? Your Brand?
Too many people don’t take the time to really understand what they’re about and what they have to offer. Ultimately this leads to confusions in your CV which you may not be aware of yourself and interestingly comes across when you speak to someone for the first time about yourself, your skills and experiences
Understand what makes you stand out – what niche or specialism within PM – makes you different?
Identify that niche – then understand how to translate it to the current market place – then sell it . This is what creates a sellers market – and keeps the rates, salaries and opportunities higher
Take the time to think about how you market yourself
Pushing Your Brand – every time you meet someone, interact with the community. It’s an opportunity to promote – you and your niche
Do it often – small touches – use your network – little and often
What Does a Good CV Look Like?
- Skills and experience clear enough to make the shortlist – interviews are for more detail
- The way people read a CV – top, career history, back to top – keywords
- What looks right – relevancy – all through front page
- Achievements – good place to highlight relevancy to job description
- Careers History – only as good as your last job – work it here!. Skills and capabilities clearly conveyed – or is it just a list?
- No pretty logos, no photos, no quirky stuff, no lists of every single thing you’ve done
- Don’t expect a reader to pick out from your scattergun approach
- Check that your brand/message is clearly there. Feedback – “but I have that experience..” but it’s not there on CV!
- Quick word on cover notes – 95% don’t bother doing a decent job – so 5% are cleaning up