Archive For September 26, 2013

Project Management CV Help

With the UK job market seesaw it is important to make sure you are making a good impression with your job applications – often with the lift in roles we are lulled into a false sense of security that the market will stay buoyant for a while and that the volume of roles means we are in with a good chance of securing interviews. Unfortunately this isn’t the case, the volume of applicants remains high and as such the competition is still strong. With recruitment companies endorsing the need for a good CV to yield results from your job applications and a small emergence of courses aimed at assisting project professionals gain the tools and knowhow to create a winning CV it is now widely being acknowledged that job hunters need to step up.

I have been pleased to see such interest in my field and completely agree that more needs to be done, time is of the essence and those who are fortunate enough to have the ability and/or time to put together a winning CV should take heed. For those who recognise they either cannot put together a strong CV or haven’t got the time/inclination are best suited to invest in their careers with a professional CV writer who actually understands the industry and doesn’t just play about with formatting and rewording documents at a high cost.

Project Management Help

I am presenting a PM CV writing workshop later in the year with APM as I feel it is important to give something back to the PM community and fully endorse those who can write a CV but need a little guidance should be doing so. For the rest of you, I have put together a series of blog articles with lots of examples and tips on how to create a winning CV and continue to offer a competitively priced CV writing service bespoke to your needs. A great deal of contractors come to me already bought-in to the investment opportunity of having a CV created which time after time secures them interviews moving forward, likewise a great deal of senior PM professionals who are just too busy to work on their CV step forward to take the service. I have also noticed a number of clients wanting to break into project management but not knowing where to start or indeed what the roles actually are – these clients receive coaching in a variety of areas and walk away with a strong CV and knowledge on how to approach a career change.

There are many reasons clients come to us but one which made me smile the other day was a project manager who when asked his reasoning for coming to us was that he is in a position where he can pay others to do the tasks he hates. Just like having a breakdown membership, why change the wheel yourself when there is someone much better qualified to do this whilst you get on with your life. Embrace the help that is out there and identify what is most relevant for you, treat your career needs as an investment, just as you would take PM training or invest in better tools (software) – make a difference to your life.

 

 

Project Manager Recruitment

Recruitment is an interesting topic and certainly becomes quite complex when you are looking for a specific skill-set such as project management – PM covers a multitude of areas and can often be deceptive in the job titles assigned to roles. The reason it can become difficult to source the right candidate can be because emphasis is placed on a person who currently performs the role, yes it is true. A lot of hiring managers will look to replace “Dave” or “Sarah” when they are moving on, often asking Dave or Sarah to list everything they do in their role to assist in creating a job description. Suddenly a fairly straightforward role starts to take on a rather long “wish list” and expectations are very high, this combined with applying a starter salary for that role means it becomes increasingly difficult to find the ideal candidate for the role.

Understandably if you have a star employee who is progressing or moving on, you will want to replace them seamlessly but naturally as someone has been in a position for some time they will lend strengths to their role which goes above and beyond the job description, over time they are generally rewarded and may take rather large pay increments for having additional responsibility.  Then when you are back at square one you are actually looking for an employee which does not exist especially at the lower salary pay band.

Standing out in the crowdTo escape this trap, it makes sense to meet with Dave or Sarah and talk through key responsibilities and think about what the core role actually involves and identify what the “would like to haves” are without biasing your recruitment.

The beauty of human nature is that we are all made differently and all have natural abilities in differing areas, therefore a new person on the team could actually bring a fresh dynamic which could really draw out skills from others who haven’t had the opportunity to shine. It is with this thought in mind I always encouraged an open mind from hiring managers to seeing candidates with varying backgrounds. Especially those who were adamant they required someone from a specific industry, the skill-set for a PM professional is transferable and as long as there is no need for the technical knowhow then there is no reason why they wouldn’t be able to perform the role. A PM in the traditional sense does not get embroiled in the product or service as this can greatly affect delivery, slowing down the process. All organisations and industries work differently and taking someone with a different perspective can really add a lot to a project environment. Asking questions often overlooked through complacency and always following methods which have previously worked – but isn’t project management all about change? Shouldn’t we be constantly looking for new and improved approaches as all projects are different (if not, they are business as usual).

6 questions to expect at a web developer interview

When preparing for an interview it’s important to consider a few typical questions your potential employer may ask you. We all know the interview process can be a daunting task, and it’s essential to come across as a competent and confident individual to be in with a chance of bagging that dream job. The focus of your potential employer’s thought process, is whether you are good enough to work for their company, so the significance of interview preparation should not be overlooked. For that very reason, we have compiled a series of web developer interview questions below, so you can walk into the room and communicate an air of wisdom and clarity when put under the microscope.

1.       What are your past working experiences?

You can expect to answer a relatively broad question about yourself to begin with. The interviewer is merely trying to get a feel of your personality and an elaborated version of the information presented in your CV.

Think2.       What kinds of sources do you follow to keep up with industry trends and developments? 

If you don’t already follow a handful of blogs relating to the web development industry, now is the time to start reading! The interviewer will be very interested in knowing how committed to the profession you are, and your specific viewpoints. This is that very thin line between your dedication to the skill and your own self-improvement, or something you perceive as just a job.

3.       What are your most favourable programming languages?

It is a simple fact that when we excel in a certain task, this generally results in a person favouring that subject. There are at least one or two programming languages a web developer will be most proficient, and the interviewer will be interested to hear the skills you can bring to the company and why it is you favour those languages over others.

4.       What kind of problems have you faced while writing code?

When your interviewer asks you a question about the problems you’ve come across in the past, they do not want to hear “I haven’t come across any problems”. Every developer at some point in their career has been confronted with a challenge, your interviewer is looking for details of what your problems were and what you did to tackle them.

5.       What is W3C and what does it stand for?

W3C stands for World Wide Web Consortium and it is the international standards compliance for web development. Their aim is to radically improve the way people develop new technologies, and this is something any established web developer should be familiar with. Your interviewer will most likely ask you this question, so if you are ignorant to the workings of W3C, start searching the web for answers now.

6.       When concerning case sensitivity, what is the principal difference between HTML and XHTML?

The interviewer is attempting to establish your basic knowledge of languages and the finer details involved. Expect to be asked a series of technical questions to test your knowledge and capabilities.  To answer the question above, HTML is not case sensitive but XTML requires lower case for all tags and attributes.

As you can imagine, these are just a small collection of the possible questions your interviewer may ask you, but it’s most definitely a good starting point. When considering what to expect at your interview, ask yourself these three questions; “What are my past experiences, what kind of skills do I possess, and what do I expect from the future?” Elaborate on these three questions and you’ll find yourself where you want to be in no time!

Good luck!

Karly Edwards is a freelance copywriter writing for Computer Recruiter, an IT recruitment agency based in Cardiff, South Wales: http://www.computerrecruiter.co.uk

5 typical project manager interview questions

The interview process is an imperative hurdle to conquer in order to secure the job you desire. It will be the difference between successfully answering the questions provided, or voicing a chaos of answers only to witness the job slip through your fingers. As a project manager, your interviewer will primarily be looking for your ability to perform well in certain situations, and examples of where your skills have delivered a project on time, in budget and with fantastic results to boot!

In preparation for your next interview, there are a selection of project manager interview questions listed below, so you can get in, answer the questions, and get hired!

1.       Give an example of your experience with managing different projects

Your potential employer is looking for a clear and honest explanation of your past experiences at a former company, and how you handled yourself in those situations. The question seeks to find out more about your management skills, and ultimately, how your skills can benefit their company.

Problem or Solution2.       What kind of techniques would you use to motivate ineffective team members?

This would be a good time to give an impressive example of your leadership skills. If you have experienced an unproductive team member at your previous job, communicate what the problem was and how you motivated them into becoming an efficient and key member of the team.

3.       What kinds of project management software do you use?

The point of this question is quite simply, “are you up to date with the latest technology, or are we going to have to spend our resources to get you up to speed?” Like many companies, they would rather have an employee enter the company with the knowledge of certain processes firmly in place, instead of hiring a novice. So do yourself an act of kindness and make sure you’re familiar with all the latest tools.

4.       How do you handle politics in the workplace?

The ability to keep the peace between team members while maintaining the focus of the project is key here. Your interviewer is asking for an example of a time where employee differences may have had the potential to be detrimental to the goal of the project, and the actions you took to resolve the issues.

5.       How do you close your projects?

Your employer isn’t interested in hiring an employee who fails to close projects well. This is your opportunity to shine and provide examples of projects you’ve successfully managed from beginning to end. Include details of team member and client feedback, and how you evaluated those results to present a positive end solution.

The most powerful tool to employ before your interview date is preparation. These questions will be sure to assist you in your adventure into the menacing world of the interview process and help you see the way forward in your career progression. With a splash of confidence, a pinch of positivity and a heap of preparation, go grab this opportunity with both hands!

Karly Edwards is a freelance copywriter writing for Computer Recruiter, an IT recruitment agency based in Cardiff, South Wales: http://www.computerrecruiter.co.uk