Everyday dozens of new project management jobs are created and filled. Projects of all shapes and sizes need to be managed and in many cases that means hiring in a project professional (hurray!)
So how do you find out about these roles?
The easiest way is to look at the job boards that exist today. The sheer choice alone can make your head spin, so it is important to find which ones work for you. The major boards such as: Monster; jobsite; totaljobs; and Indeed have a good spread of roles. There’s Linkedin too of course, more about that later.
Beyond that are more specialist boards that concentrate on particular industries, sectors or professions. For example:
- Arras People — Project and programme management roles (of course we’re going to plug it, come on!)
- Dice Jobserve and CW Jobs for IT specific jobs
- Third sector jobs— Jobs in the charity and social sector
- NHS Jobs— unsurprisingly, jobs within the NHS
- Jobs.ac.uk—jobs within education and academia
- Charity Jobs – another charity one
Confining yourself to the job boards and agencies can be successful and may meet your needs but you should not exclude other means. These may include:
- Local press
- National press (many have weekdays dedicated to particular sectors eg Telegraph on Thursday for Engineering related jobs, the Guardian for public sector related roles)
- Journals (APM, PMToday)
- Direct employer websites
Very quickly you will be able to see which agencies specialise in particular roles. Following links back to the agency website will often give you the earliest possible indication of new roles. Many offer the option to be emailed as soon as new roles, which match your requirements, are posted.
Newspapers, trade magazines and professional journals often have dedicated job sections on their websites. These publications have a further purpose in that you can occasionally spot if someone is or will be looking for staff in the near future.
Any change in the way that an organisation works is an opportunity for a project management professional. The announcement of a major order; construction of a new building; and/or development of a new product all require project staff. The staff may already be in place, but equally checking the company website or sending a speculative CV may be worthwhile.
An estimated 60-80% of all jobs are not advertised, but rather filled through the ‘hidden market’. Membership of a professional body or using networking to find your next role can be remarkably successful. The obvious comment here is that if you have a good reputation, then you have plenty of other people working on your behalf, recommending you to their contacts.
Much of the feedback from our own community of project management professionals in respect to social networking sites is the ability to keep in touch with people that they have met along the way in their careers or other peer events like project management conferences, seminars and face-to-face networking events. When a job seeker is in the market for a new job, nothing beats the strength of their own personal network in helping them find the ideal job – and more importantly, it tends to be a less stressful way of finding a new position.
You’ve probably already got a Linkedin profile but are you using it in the most effective way? The profile is not a CV or résumé, and therefore shouldn’t just list your career history. The profile should be short and to the point, but enticing enough for people to want to contact you and strike up a networking opportunity. Successful profiles tend to focus on a particular project management specialism, high-profile programme or project you’ve managed, prominent organisations worked in and other project management groups you might also be a member of.
Have a look at this recent post on advice around copying and pasting your CV straight into Linkedin.
Secondly, make it clear on your profile what your objective is in joining the network—if it is job seeking, make it clear on the profile what you are interested in and what you’re looking for but be aware of the impact of this. This should help cut down on approaches which are irrelevant to your needs. For any networking to be successful (on or offline), job seekers need to be prepared to put in some effort. Like many things in life, you get out what you put in. Start to build up individual links to others that share similar skills, backgrounds, experiences or offer skills which you don’t currently have—whilst you’re looking for the dream job, you could be picking up additional skills, advice, tips from others along the way.
lf the sole intention is to find a job, social networking sites tend to work better for consultants (or contractors) looking for short-term consultancy work. Some sites have feedback functionality which enables ex-colleagues to leave feedback on someone’s performance or successes, a great way to market ones own achievements.
Job seekers currently in permanent positions are naturally quite wary of their intentions to find a new job being broadcasted on a public site which could be accessed by their boss. You can still join a network like LinkedIn purely for the professional development and contact building within your industry.
Social networking sites are excellent for general careers advice, too – maybe you’re thinking about moving into a consultancy position, but are unsure about the current market demand or salary/rate associated with your skills.
Networking sites give job seekers an opportunity to find advice for free – as long as you’re prepared to readily offer your advice on a given subject in return. This is a great shop window in which to display your experience – especially if you have a particular specialism within project management. You can quickly become the site’s “expert” with many valuing your opinion on particular topics and, more importantly, inviting enquiries from people wanting to hire your services. The power of networking certainly seems to bear fruit when the concept of “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” comes into it.
Top two mistakes project managers make when joining a networking site:
- Being economical with the truth – some job seekers have a tendency to be a little too enthusiastic when writing the profile which could come back to bite – especially as all their peers and colleagues are reading it
- Thinking that quantify over quality counts – it doesn’t matter that you have 600 contacts and a badge for top networker! Ten carefully selected contacts would be much easier to manage, value the relationship more and will be much more productive in reaching your goal. Also don’t post too many things at once in the groups.
Arras People has been successfully using networking sites for years now, as a project management recruitment specialist, our consultants are all project management professionals with their own network of contacts from their careers. Tapping into our own networks and being able to approach friends of friends has been highly successful.
Channels to Market
Looking for jobs is one thing; letting the jobs come to you is something else.
There are few job boards that do not have the facility for candidates to upload their details. It might be tempting, to load your details on every available database but a word of caution is required.
The first consideration is whether you will be using the same CV for all boards. This is doubtful as you may wish to highlight different characteristics on some, but not others. The logistical problems of multiple resources is not impossible, but does require managing to avoid inconsistency.
Recruitment agents subscribe to these databases and are therefore able to search your CV. This increases your options, but again requires managing so that you appear cognisant when speaking to different agencies.
Many agencies utilise keyword matching programmes to interrogate your CV. Looking at adverts will provide an indication of the words that are important.
It goes without saying that you should only incorporate words that really apply to you and your experience.
Do not be tempted to produce keyword lists but rather embed the keywords within the text.
Words that have particular relevance for UK project management professionals include:
- Project Management Professional (PMP)
- Six Sigma
- Change Management
- Risk Management
- MS Project
Social networking is considered to predominantly occur in a virtual sense via websites. The physical version of this is personal networking. The key here is preparation in readiness for maximising opportunities. This might include:
- Having business cards made up
- Being prepared with your USP whilst at events
- Thinking about opening questions to ask people
- Be prepared to give something away, be helpful, be prepared to link someone to someone else—don’t just be a taker
So these are just some of the ways you can find project management jobs. Do you have any other insights to share with your peers on where to find project management positions? Share your comments with us below.