Looking to find a new job in project management but you don’t know if you’re prepared for one?
The best way to find out what employers are looking for when it comes to project management positions is to check out real job descriptions. These will show you exactly what skills you need and how to prepare for your future duties.
But you don’t have to go through endless pages of job postings to see the top requirements. We already did that for you.
What Employers Are Looking For
Duties and requirements vary from one project to another, as well as company size and industry. In fact, some companies are likely to tailor job descriptions to their own project management and internal policies.
Here are some of the most commonly mentioned responsibilities found in Indeed job descriptions:
- Coordinate the team throughout all project management phases
- Ensure that all team members have the required information and resources to carry out their tasks effectively
- Monitor the team’s work time and timesheets on a daily basis
- Manage large and diverse teams and projects (sometimes simultaneously)
- Lead daily/weekly stand-ups and meetings
- Meet with individual team members to find and fix any issues
- Train employees during workshops
- Foster a culture based on accountability
- Manage communication with external and internal stakeholders (clients, sponsors, executives, etc.)
- Engage and guide stakeholders
- Organize and participate in client meetings
- Collaborate with the PMO and sponsor
- Ensure compliance with client requirements and business needs
- Ensure customer satisfaction
- Bring together all company units to meet client demands
General business skills
- Maintain business relationships
- Contribute to the development of the company, its processes, and its projects
- Recommend further improvements
- Align the company’s general business targets with the project’s objectives and outcomes
- Create a detailed project management plan and other project documents
- Guide incoming and outgoing project files
- Provide solutions to project-related issues
- Set the strategic direction of all projects
- Define the project’s scope
- Set milestones and deadlines
- Create budget and revenue estimates
- Manage project resources and their costs
- Assign, prioritize, and supervise project tasks
- Ensure the execution and review of project activities within deadline
- Implement and manage changes
- Detect, report, and fix issues whenever necessary
- Identify, prevent, and manage risks
- Track project performance using appropriate KPIs, metrics, tools, and techniques
- Submit deliverables and ensure they adhere to quality standards
- Perform any other relevant, project-related duties when needed
Now, don’t worry. You won’t get to see all of these responsibilities in a single job description. Keep them somewhere close and review them from time to time to know how to further improve yourself.
All these duties are essential for the project development process. Even if they’re not part of your daily routine, you’ll stumble upon them later on in your career at least a few times.
The Skills You’ll Need
There is no such thing as a general project management skill. To lead a project, you’ll need to be well rounded in various complementary fields.
Many project managers have started out in their careers as software developers, UX designers, marketing experts, sales reps, or others. These people will be a better fit for a project that targets their industry of interest but they’ll still need to brush up on their knowledge of project management processes, methods, and tools.
While general business knowledge is a must have since it helps you understand the project, its market, and its clients, you should also be able to comply with the PMBOK® Guide and Standards. Commonly, a project manager will always be in charge of managing and supervising the project team during project initiation, planning, execution, monitoring, and closing.
To begin with, here are the mandatory skills you just need for a new project management position:
When looking over project management job descriptions, you have to pay attention to the next two skills you must have before starting work at your new job:
- Theoretical and practical knowledge of project management processes, workflows, and terminology
This includes everything from risk, cost, resource, and change management, to knowing how to use a specific method, methodology, or framework, understanding what a “critical path” is, using Kanban boards, and so much more.
- PC proficiency/Knowledge of project management software
Using a computer may sound like a skill everyone has, but as a project manager you’ll need to master project management tools to help you keep track of project work, other solutions such as Google Docs and Google Sheets to create formal documents, and presentation ones like the basic PowerPoint for whenever you’ll need to get buy-in or show the project’s results.