Project managers have a key role in projects – including planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing them. In this article, we will look at the role of a project manager, their typical responsibilities, and relevant certifications you may want to consider. We will also give you some job search tips.

What is a project manager?

A project manager is a person who takes the lead role in the planning, executing, monitoring, controlling and closing out of a project- meaning they are the person who is responsible for the whole project scope, the project budget, the project team and additional resources, and therefore the success or failure of the whole project.

Read on if you are looking for project management jobs or wondering whether becoming a project manager is the right step. You’ll find out what it takes to become a great project manager.

Responsibilities of a project manager

As you can see from the list above, project managers are responsible for many things (with the help of their team). These responsibilities can be broken down into the five stages of project management:

#Stage 1: Project Initiation

This stage includes developing the project charter and identifying important stakeholders.

#Stage 2: Project Planning

This is quite an important stage in the project lifecycle and concerns tasks such as:

  • Developing the project plan
  • Creating a work breakdown structure
  • Planning, defining and developing work schedules
  • Estimating costs and determining budgets
  • Identifying quality requirements
  • Identifying human resource needs
  • Planning communications
  • Risk management
  • Identifying required procurements
  • Planning for stakeholder expectations

#Stage 3: Project Execution

This stage tends to include everything from directing and managing all work for the project, all aspects of quality management, managing and developing the project team, and so on.

#Stage 4: Project Monitoring and Controlling

The project monitoring stage is about monitoring and controlling the project work and making changes as necessary.

#Stage 5: Project Closing

The final stage of the project is to close all phases of the project and all project procurements.

Skills needed by a project manager

It is important to remember that effective project managers don’t just need to have the technical know-how; they also need:

  • A strategic know-how
  • Team-building skills
  • Conflict resolution skills
  • Change management skills

At the basic level, project managers must at least exhibit leadership skills, be problem solvers, be able to prioritise, and also be able to motivate other team members.

To be a highly effective project manager, you must be fully invested in the business’s success and able to cope with setbacks calmly and efficiently. Some certain attributes and skills will place you in higher demand as a project manager, such as:

  • Encouraging and recognising the valuable contribution of others in the team
  • Motivate shareholders
  • Stress accountability and integrity
  • Be fully vested in the success of the project

Project manager certifications

If you are a certified project manager, then this can open up doors for higher-paying jobs and better career opportunities.

The most widely known and recognized institution is the Project Management Institute (PMI).  Key certifications include Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and Project Management Professional (PMP).

Project management jobs

One of the great things about project manager jobs is that they are available in most industry sectors, making it a great career choice. Companies in the aviation, education, financial services, healthcare, publishing, software engineering, technology, and government sectors are crying out for good project managers.

CV tips for project managers

If you want to land a job as a project manager, you need to pay close attention to your CV – you want to make sure it makes the best first impression and helps land you an interview. Your consultant at Agile Recruit can help you with that.

Interview questions for project managers

Once you have landed your interview, the hard work starts! Not only do you need to be prepared to talk about your skills and strengths, but you also need to be prepared to answer more challenging interview questions such as:

  • How and when have you utilised technology to enhance or improve your effectiveness as a project manager?
  • How would you describe your role as a project manager in achieving business objectives?

Hopefully, this article has given you an idea of the project manager role, what certifications you may need, and some job search tips. If you want to get a project manager job or fill a gap in your project management team, don’t hesitate to contact the consultant team at Agile Recruit.


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