If you are a recent project management (PM) graduate, you might be thinking of how to kick-start your PM career. If you do not already have a career plan, it can sometimes be hard to figure out what you should do immediately after university. But if you are confused and do not know where or how to start, do not panic! You are not the first and you definitely won’t be the last, and besides you’re in the right place to get some ideas.
Many project management graduates take time to find their career path, and sometimes it is hard to work out what kind of job or career is right for you. Here are some handy tips to help you on your road to success:
Create Your CV
Take some time to develop your resume or CV. Make it relevant towards the PM position you would like to be chosen for. Since you are lacking in experience, add as much relevant or volunteering works that you did while in school and your skills. After preparing your CV, search for local and reputable online recruitment, human resources or talent management agencies where you can submit your CV or fill in your resume. Some of these agencies have got a wide reach and cover most of the major sectors and industries in the country.
Get Work Experience Through Volunteering
Volunteering, though it is an unpaid work, is the surest ways of landing your dream jobs. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training which gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You will also get to meet other volunteers, build your network, get experience in your area of interest and meet professionals in the field. Eyitayo Ogunmola, Founder of PM Hub Nigeria, in a story with Biodun Awosusi, said that he built his project management skills through volunteering for HACEY Initiative, Youth Alliance for Leadership and Development Initiative (YALDA), Students Economic Development Initiative and Project Management Institute.
Build an ACTIVE Online Presence
Do you have a LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, and Twitter account? The social media is having a huge impact on the world of recruitment. It is changing the way companies hire employees. Linkedn is a high impact professional social network. You want to make yourself available for prospective recruiters or employers to contact you while also presenting yourself as a top quality candidate. Setting up these social media accounts will make sure you are one-step ahead of your competition. After setting your accounts, you need to search and follow the right persons and organisations that are of interest to your career. Join relevant PM groups and pages online on social media and contribute positively.
Attend Project Management Events
Never underestimate the power of networking because it is one of the most effective and recognised ways people use in finding their dream jobs. So make sure you attend PM Events to build your PM knowledge and network with other professionals.
Further Your Studies
If you are not ready for the transition from being a student to the world of work or your chosen area of work requires an additional qualification, you might consider doing a further study such as getting a masters degree or obtaining a professional certification. There are organizations that offer project management training. Some professional certificates that project managers can obtain to boost their CV include the Project Management Professional (PMP)® certificate, the PRojects IN Controlled Environments (PRINCE2)® certificate, and the Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) certificate. In terms of employability, many graduate employers do value additional qualifications.
Which ever path or combination of paths you choose to follow depends on your career plan. Do not allow uncertainty about what career you ultimately want to pursue prevent you from taking action now.
PMP® is a registered certification mark and trademark of the Project Management Institute Inc.
PRINCE2® is a registered trade mark of AXELOS limited.