IT Role-in-Review - Project Manager
Learn about the top skills and competencies companies look for when searching for an IT Project Manager.
Are you a seasoned IT project manager struggling with streamlining and optimizing your career documents (Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Profile)? Having a hard time fitting in all your years of experience, project accomplishments and selecting the right keywords?
Interested in project management as a career path but not sure how to effectively communicate transferable experience and skills in a way that fits entry-level project management roles?
This month’s Role-In-Review article focuses on the project manager role. Regardless of your experience level, continue reading to learn about the top competencies, capabilities, and skills companies look for when searching for a Project Manager. Use these insights and examples provided to optimize your career documents.
⇒ Role Description: what would a Project Manager normally do? How do they support technology projects and what value do they create?
A project manager is probably one of the most challenging and diverse roles in IT. There is no one version of a project manager profile that fits all. The type of project, its size, methodology in use, and the level of expected "hands-on" support can all impact what they do. For example, a project manager for an agile software development project is expected to plan development sprints as part of the project plan and if they are also acting as the scrum master, hold a daily scrum meeting which is unique to an agile project. In another large-scale project or program, management might decide to assign a project coordinator who can support the project manager with some of the project reporting and budget tracking activities. The following is a general role description of a project manager:
A project manager worked with the project’s stakeholders to define strategy, scope, and goals, and to develop an effective project plan. They connect and lead cross-functional teams to execute the project’s tasks throughout the project lifecycle, mitigate risks and remove blockers to successfully deliver results and achieve objectives.
Your introduction, throughout all of your career documents, should demonstrate how you master the core expectations of a project manager and what unique value you are able to create for the hiring company. For more tips on optimizing your introduction, visit our previous post on how to create an effective IT professional profile introduction (Resume and LinkedIn).
⇒ What are the business / technology areas and type of projects a project manager can support? The following are just a few high demand specialty areas project managers we have worked with in 2022 possess.
⇒ What are the top competencies hiring companies look for? At IT Career Transformation, we develop a Target Role Analysis for our clients’ targeted IT roles to identify the appropriate keywords and competencies. It is essential that keywords and core competencies are included as many times as possible throughout all career documents. You can include these in your Introduction, Key Areas of Expertise / Competencies and Professional Experience sections. This highlights what sets you apart from other candidates and the unique value you can bring to hiring companies. Here are the top ten core competencies hiring companies look for in a Project Manager:
Specific areas of specialty depend on the hiring company’s particular industry and technology environments. Your career documents should contain specialties you possess and are relevant to your target role. Here are some examples of project management specialty areas in high demand:
⇒ Don’t forget to include your soft skills. In today’s competitive job market, companies are looking for the right soft skills in all IT roles. It is essential to include those interpersonal / leadership skills in which you excel throughout all of your career documents. Again, the more often they are included, the better your chances of standing out from the crowd. Include terminology such as relationship development / management, adaptable and self-confidence. Here are a few more examples of soft skills recruiters and hiring managers look for in a Project Manager:
Communication and Interpersonal Skills | Negotiation and Conflict Resolution | Strategic Thinker | Business Acumen | Coaching and Mentoring.
⇒ What type of desired capabilities, professional experience and accomplishments are hiring companies looking for when searching for a Project Manager. Most often, these are included in the “Responsibilities” or “What you will do” sections of the job description. Here are few examples of Project Manager desired capabilities in high demand:
Successfully led cross-functional teams (operations / business and scrum teams) to effectively plan and drive delivery of a large-scale procurement management solution throughout the project lifecycle, enabling 30% improvement in productivity and an annual operational cost savings of $10MM.
⇒ What are the technical skills hiring companies look for when searching for a Project Manager? This depends on the business, technology stack and development environment (Agile / Waterfall) the hiring company uses. Here are some of the software skills often desired for a Project Manager:
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint), Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Project, Confluence and JIRA.
We hope this review provides useful recommendations for you to use and share with your friends when optimizing career documents.
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IT Career Transformation is devoted to helping IT professionals and leaders advance their career. We work with IT professionals from entry level to senior management and all types of IT roles to create the Optimum IT Professional Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile, optimized with keywords relevant to the target IT role and specialty areas. We provide specialized career development services that help IT professionals stand out from the crowd and find their target IT job /project faster.
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