The PM Podcast


Project Management for Beginners and Experts

Episode 160: Job Search Secrets for Project Managers

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The PDU Podcast

Let's face it: The economy has seen better times and many of my project management colleagues are out of work looking for a new job. Only a few short years ago, I had been in that very same position: I had just lost my PM job with an internet startup company and for the first time in my life I had to go out and look for work. This was mainly because I was in a new part of the world, I didn't have a network of colleagues built up and everything about the job market and job search was new to me.

Eventually, I found a fantastic job. But it took a lot of hard work on my part and trying to figure out the best approaches of job hunting. And of course, it was all learning by doing and more often than not it was "failing by not doing it right".

Tim Tyrell-Smith Melanie McCarthy Jack Molisani

That's what this episode of The PM Podcast is going to help you with. We have 3 interviews with staffing experts: Tim Tyrell-Smith (www.timsstrategy.com), Melanie McCarthy (LinkedIn Profile) and Jack Molisani (www.prospringstaffing.com) were speakers at the recent PMI OC "Evening of Transition". This is a yearly event in my chapter's events calendar and I took the opportunity to ask each of these experts a number of questions about how we project managers should best approach our job search in today's market.

Click here to read the Project Management Interview Questions that we mention during the podcast...

Below are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. 

Podcast Introduction

Cornelius Fichtner: This is The Project Management Podcast™. We bring project management to beginners and experts. Find us on the web at www.pm‑podcast.com or send your emails to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cornelius Fichtner: Hello and welcome to Episode #160. I am Cornelius Fichtner. This is The Project Management Podcast™, nice to have you with us.

Let’s face it, the economy, well, it has seen better times and many of my project management colleagues are out of work looking for a new job. And only a few short years ago, I’ve been in the same position. I had just lost my project management job with an internet startup company and for the first time in my life, I had to go out and look for work. This was mainly because I was in a new part of the world. I didn’t have a network of colleagues built up and everything about the job market and the job search here was new to me.

Eventually, I found a fantastic job. But it took a lot of hard work on my part and trying to figure out the best approaches of job hunting. And of course, it was all learning by doing and more often than not, it was "failing by not doing it right".

That's what this episode of The Project Management Podcast™ is going to help you with. We have 3 interviews with staffing experts: Tim Tyrell-Smith, Melanie McCarthy and Jack Molisani. They were all speakers at a recent PMI-OC event titled "An Evening of Transition". This is a yearly event in my chapter's events calendar and I took the opportunity to ask each of these experts a number of questions about how we, project managers, should best approach our job search in today's market.

This episode is sponsored by The PDU Podcast™, which is our sister podcast. It is a convenient way for you to earn unlimited PDUs. Get project management webinars delivered to your portable player like an iPod, Zune, Blackberry and earn at least 1 PDU every month. With The PDU Podcast™, there is no need to go to a classroom. You don't even have to sit at your computer. Instead, enjoy the freedom of earning your PDUs anywhere. Simply download the webinars to your player and play them wherever you are, for instance in your car on your way to work. Your PDU Podcast™ puts you on autopilot for your re-certification. Visit www.pducast.com. That's p-d-u-c-a-s-t.com.

And now, let's move on to our interviews. They were all recorded live at the PMI‑OC event, so you'll hear some background activity. We begin with Tim Tyrell‑Smith. His presentation was titled "Successful Job Search: It’s All in Your Head". Tim offers a lot of free information on his website called www.timsstrategy.com. He writes and creates content from the perspective of a hiring manager and a former job seeker focusing on the strategy and psychology of a successful job search.

Podcast Interview 1

Cornelius Fichtner The first question that I asked Tim was: Why is it so important to have the right, positive state of mind when you're looking for a job?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Well, it’s really incredibly important Cornelius because every action you take during your job search requires a positive mindset. You need to feel good about yourself in order for your actions and the things that you do, the things to you create to represent that positive nature. If you’re feeling desperate, if you’re feeling tired or frustrated, that will come across to the people that you meet. It will come across in terms of a résumé that isn’t confident enough and strong enough and it will not let people see the real you if you’re not positive and feeling good about yourself.

Cornelius Fichtner: And how about avoiding the stigma of being out work, of walking into a meeting and saying: “Hi! My name is Cornelius. I’m out of work”?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Yeah, there used to be a bigger stigma before this new economy hit us. But we all now, so many people in our lives who are out of work and who’ve gone through these tough times. So it’s really important that you have the ability to walk through your job search and not feel that stigma and there are ways to do it in terms of walking to a room with confidence not defining yourself as a person who’s out of work. Because really, you are the same person you are before. You just don’t happen to be getting paid for it right now, but you’re still a project manager. You are still a marketing manager. You are who you are regardless of your current situation.

Cornelius Fichtner: Nowadays, everybody has a computer and job search happens from home usually online. So how important is it these days to have a LinkedIn profile?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: If you’re not on LinkedIn today, you are missing out on one of the major tools that’s available for job seekers. Now, LinkedIn is a better tool for following up on and building relationships. It’s not as good of a tool in terms of creating them although you can do that on LinkedIn.

But if you’re not on LinkedIn, you are missing out on some significant values in terms of the people you know knowing others and your ability to reach those people, network with them, perhaps get a job lead from them, and have an opportunity to meet someone at your target company, who you normally never would have had the opportunity to meet so make sure you have a great profile that you fill out completely, you got keywords on there and you’re actively managing and keeping that profile up to date.

Cornelius Fichtner: And what about having an online résumé? I’ve seen a few companies that offer websites you can log on, you can create your online résumé, very professionally done. How important are those?

Tim Tyrell-Smith: Well, I think your presence on the internet is really important and there are different ways you can do that. You can be on Twitter, on Facebook, on LinkedIn as we just talked about.

The online résumé sites are another way that you can make yourself visible to jobs to the recruiters and the hiring managers out there because a lot of people are being found before they even apply for jobs. And so that’s a pretty powerful thing. If you can have your résumé up on Monster, on Career Builder, on Visual CV which is an example of what you just mentioned, it really allows you to be found and so it’s really important that the information you have on those sites is relevant, up to date, and really does a nice job selling you in a very specific way. So I think it’s absolutely essential to get out there in as many places as you can.

Cornelius Fichtner: Okay! Thank you very much, Tim.

Tim Tyrell-Smith: And you’re very welcome. Thank you!

Cornelius Fichtner: From my personal job search experience I can tell you that I agree with what Tim said: You have to be in the right state of mind, preferably even "in the flow" of it all, and that will go a long way to help you move your job search forward. So when I was looking for a job, I made sure that I surrounded myself with positive people and that I took time to do the things that I enjoyed - going to museums, taking walks in parks and going to the movies. That helped me to keep a positive approach to it all.

Podcast Interview 2

Cornelius Fichtner: My next interview guest is Jack Molisani. His presentation was titled "The Top 10 Mistakes that Project Managers Make When Looking for Work". And let me tell you something; talk about ENERGY! This was one of the best and most energetic presentations on job search that I have seen in a long time.

Jack Molisani started his career as a Project Officer in the Space Division of the United States Air Force managing $100M contracts, and is currently the president of ProSpring Technical Staffing. And you can find them at www.prospringstaffing.com. They are an employment agency specializing in engineers and project managers.

His presentation gave us many proactive tips on how to avoid these pitfalls and how to increase our chances of landing that next job or contract. So I started our interview by asking him which of the 10 mistakes that he listed was, in his opinion, the most detrimental for a successful job search.

Jack Molisani: Easily, typos and grammatical errors in the résumé. It really shows a lack of attention to detail. How can a company expect you to manage a $50,000 project if you can’t write 2 pages of error-free résumé?

Cornelius Fichtner: When you receive a résumé and you look at the résumé, you look at the name, what is the number one thing that you then look at and analyze the résumé against?

Above are the first few pages of the transcript. The complete transcript is available to Premium subscribers only. Please subscribe to our Premium Podcast to receive a PDF transcript.

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