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How to Become a Project Manager: Your Ultimate Guide
Project managers are individuals responsible for planning, organising, and directing the completion of specific tasks and projects for the organisation – all while ensuring these projects are on time, is within the budget, and within scope.
Being the point person for overseeing the company’s projects from inception to completion, project managers have the capability to blaze the trail and heavily influence the organisation’s road to success.
If you think you fit the bill and have what it takes, then you should consider becoming a project manager.
Question is, how do you become one? Well, not to worry as we’ve got you covered!
I. Take the Diploma of Project Management!
The Diploma of Project Management is the latest nationally recognised qualification for anyone wishing to become a project manager.
It’s the first step you need to accomplish and the best qualification to take if you’re intent on starting a career as a project manager, as it will:
- Ensure you have the methods, techniques, and tools you need to manage projects effectively
- Help you develop your skills in managing all aspects of projects including cost, time, quality, risk, procurement, and scope
- Teach you to lead, plan, and execute projects in the most efficient way possible
Everything this diploma course in project management has to offer are skills sought after in a huge range of Australian industries – which is something you might want to have under your belt if you’re really serious in becoming a project manager.
You will have up to 12 months to complete your project management diploma course.
According to MySkills, the average course fee for the Diploma in Project Management is at $4,800
Click here to learn more about the Diploma course by going through Inspire Education’s course page.
II. Craft a Resume and Cover Letter that Screams “Hire Me!”
According to Seek, the projected job growth for the project manager role is seen to increase over the next 5 years.
This means, heaps of opportunities await you once you’re qualified and all ready to apply as a full-fledged project manager.
But after gaining your qualification, what are the other things left to do to help you prepare your application? The answer: an awesome resume and cover letter.
As a project manager, you take pride in bringing order to chaos. You are someone who’s expected to be excellent at organising things.
So, the best way to show these traits to your prospective employers right off the bat is via the resume and cover letter you will present.
Here are a few tips for you to consider as you craft your killer resume and cover letter!
1. Choose the Right Layout for Your Resume
For most people, the traditional chronological resume layout is the go-to. The clearly defined sections and orderly work history (which is normally displayed in reverse chronological order, starting with your current or most recent job) are easy to follow. Recruiters can also immediately identify that you don’t have any questionable gaps in your work history or irrelevant experiences.
On the other hand, there is an alternative format. Freelance project managers might prefer to use a functional resume or also known as skills-based resume. With this format, the bulk of the document is a detailed summary of your areas of expertise and a layout of your chief skills relevant to the role. You can still choose to list your professional experience, but briefly and less prominent.
2. Feature Your Skills and Work Experience Prominently
As someone who’s completed the Diploma of Project Management, it’s safe to say that you’ve been around the industry. With that, you want to properly feature all the relevant work experience you may have had. This will greatly boost your chances of being employed, as employers will always see this as a definite plus.
Make sure to include all your skills as well. What tools/software are you capable of using? What’s your level of expertise in using such tools/software? What are your methods in project management? Special training/seminars attended? Include all these vital info that can help employers see just how qualified you are for the job.
3. Open Strong on Your Cover Letter
You never want to start with basic and boring stuff like “Hi, I’m X. I would want to apply for position Y”.
It’s just not going to cut it. Instead, lead with a strong opening sentence. Perhaps start with a punchline, or explain why being a project manager is the job role you’re so passionate about.
See the cover letter as an opportunity to distinguish yourself from other aspiring applicants. With that being said, creativity is key!
4. Try to Keep Your Resume to a Single Page
Some recruiters may have to review hundreds of applications in a single day, so keeping things short and sweet can greatly help your chances of being noticed right away.
Focusing your resume’s content on more recent job experiences and omitting less recent experiences can help you get the length of your resume down. Just be sure that everything you have on a single page is relevant, concise, and straight to the point.
Make sure to allot time to proofread! You don’t want typographical errors on your resume/cover letter. This document is one of the first few things your employer will get a hands-on, so seeing errors right of the bat might not leave a good impression.
Set aside a couple of minutes to proofread your work one last time before submitting your resume/cover letter. Or, ask a trusted friend to check it out for you. Chances are, a fresh set of eyes would be more adept in spotting small errors you may have missed.
- The Diploma of Project Management will help you advance your skills and prepare you for a project manager’s role and responsibilities. Once you’ve completed this diploma course, you will now be qualified to apply as a project manager.
- Your qualification can’t do everything for you – as other aspiring applicants would also have one. This is why you still have to prepare a good resume and cover letter to catch the eyes of recruiters – something not everyone can craft and may give you the edge you need to get the job!
If you wish to learn more about the Diploma of Project Management, click here to visit our course page and enquire now!
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