Recent grad wants to get into project management - Albuquerque Journal

Recent grad wants to get into project management

Dear J.T. & Dale: Hi, I’ve recently graduated from college and I am looking at getting into project management (in tech). However, I don’t have any work experience in project management or much work experience in general. My question is, how would I go about applying for project management jobs? I’m open to any advice or suggestions. — Ines

J.T.: How do you find entry-level project management roles when you don’t have any direct experience leading a project? You’ll need to break into the field by getting an administrative or support role in project management. The best way to do this is to find the companies in your area that have project management jobs that require five or more years of experience, and then try to connect with the HR/recruiting team or people who work in project management at those companies. You can use such tools as LinkedIn to ask them to connect. Then you can say, “I’m a recent grad who wants to get into project management. I see you hire for that type of skillset. Do you hire recent grads who are just starting out in support roles?” That way, they know you realize you aren’t qualified to do the higher-level job, but they may have jobs that you could do. Plus, this approach helps you stand out from the sea of candidates that apply online.

DALE: At the same time, you can make use of that new degree in another way: Dip into the alumni pool. Use social media to find successful grads who work in or around project management and ask them to help you, highlighting the educational experience you have in common. Also, you can pick some cities where you’d like to live and tap into the alumni group in those cities. Most people love to help young graduates from their college — it brings back sweet memories from what may well have been the best time of their lives. This means that they may feel a connection to you that the average HR person probably won’t. You could end up getting not only a job, but also a mentor or two, not to mention a thriving professional network.

J.T.: Finally, and more generally, there is training for new college grads at my site It’s in our Free Resources section of the platform.

Dear J.T. & Dale: I am looking to make a career change and struggling with my resume. In my current job, I have been promoted in rank, but I’m not sure how to put that on my resume if my goal is to transition out of this line of work. Should I list each rank and my responsibilities at that rank, or list it as one job and just list promotions at the bottom of the resume as achievements? — Avery

J.T.: You always want to list out each rank separately, even if you are switching careers. The recruiter wants to see successful career progression. That way, they can assume you’ll likely progress in the new role, too. Good luck! You got this!

DALE: I always enjoy a bouncy “You got this!” but what do you really have so far? Just a resume. I know a resume is YOU and seems like the key to unlocking a better future, but that’s rarely true, especially if you’re looking to change fields. You’re going to send that beautiful resume out into the world and it’s going to call to hiring managers, saying, “Look at me! I have all this experience! Who wants to give me a new career, one where most of the stuff on the resume doesn’t really apply, but who’ll pay me like the star I am?” You see the problem here. So, your goal is to evolve, to figure out where you want to go and then take a step that will get you closer. My favorite example is a lawyer who wanted to be a magazine publisher. So, he got a job in the legal department of a magazine and learned the new business, then made the shift. Evolve, don’t start over.

Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2022 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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