How to Become a Project Manager with No Experience

Many employers demand some level of experience when recruiting new blood to their organizations. It discourages many applicants that may have what it takes to handle the job yet may not have the desired understanding. The employment market is extremely competitive and getting a job is never easy. With such high expectations of employers, does it mean you cannot find good jobs without experience? Despite the stiff competition in the job industry, there is always a place for everyone.

Getting the right job is about what you can provide to the organization with or without experience. You may possess unique skills and talent, allowing you to perform a job perfectly. With the appropriate knowledge, project management skills, talent and passion, it becomes easy to be identified as the ideal candidate for any position. Since employers do not want to lose out on any talent that may result in their organization’s high productivity, they always make sure they consider talented individuals with no prior project management experience.

When you do not have the experience, you must have a job-winning resume to get any recognition during job applications. Applicants should differentiate themselves from the rest by branding their CV to illustrate their unique skills and talents. Ensure to provide the prospective employer with a winning CV that he can’t say no to. Many people believe that to become a successful project manager, you must have several years of professional experience on the job. That is not entirely true. All you need is to know is how to become a project manager with no experience. This guide takes you through relevant elements you need to know when forging towards a project management role without prior professional experience on the job.

Project Management Role Overview

A PM’s job entails planning, executing, and monitoring tasks to ensure they are closed appropriately. As the project manager (PM), you are in charge of the entire task scope, resources and team. You have to ensure the whole project plan is handled professionally and delivered as expected. The responsibilities and roles of a good project manager include:

how to become a project manager with no experience, a construction project manager balances lots of plates as part of the project coordinator job description
Being a great project manager means balancing a lot of things on your plate…
  • Controlling and directing all task management phases.
  • Coordinating and tracking tasks through the entire project lifecycle.
  • Prioritize tasks using a well-developed PM plan.
  • Documentation of the tasks should be continuously updated.
  • Mentoring and motivating project team members with appropriate supervision.
  • Develop and build professional business relationships.
  • Accurate forecasting for revenue and resource requirements.
  • Establishing effective communication with all departments to ensure tasks are completed according to demands.
  • Maintaining accurate daily timesheets that enable project team members to achieve their goals systematically.
  • Developing quality deliverables to ensure tasks are completed with the highest standards to meet and exceed customers’ expectations.
  • Managing the budget effectively and taking care of relevant billings.
  • Measuring performance using the relevant business analyst tools, systems and techniques.
  • Constantly evaluating team performance and managing the project through KPIs.

The responsibilities of a successful project manager are well-defined. Despite having clear-cut duties, every day can be a new adventure. A typical day should start early before the office is crowded to allow you to address any outstanding issues and develop the right strategic solutions. It also gives you time to respond to emails or messages that require immediate attention to avoid them escalating to bigger issues.

Once you have cleared outstanding issues, it becomes easier to organize your day in daily tasks to be handled. Managing time is one of the key skills required in a project manager job. Without properly handling time, your typical day can be turned into your worst nightmare.

Becoming a PM is one of the best jobs one can handle without experience. The job may seem stressful because of deadlines and targets to meet, but it gets under your skin with the right attitude. Without prior work experience, you can handle several projects with the right skill-set such as communication, planning, organization, problem-solving and attention to detail.

Why Choose a Project Management Career

Becoming a PM without the relevant experience may not be an easy task since it will require going the extra mile to learn the skills required. Despite the challenges and hurdles that you may have to face, becoming a PM is worth it for the following reasons:

  • Constant development through handling various tasks and teams.
  • Becoming a PM gives you a clear career path where you can easily transition from a junior PM to managing your tasks.
  • You expand your knowledge and growth by handling unique projects.
  • Agile project management gives you the skills to handle both personal and professional projects successfully.
  • It does not tether you to a specific industry since the appropriate skills can handle projects in different industries.

Qualifications and Certifications Required

For an individual to become a project leader, some qualifications and certifications make them fit for the job and give them an added advantage. A bad project manager does may have some of these skills, but a good project manager uses all of them to work with the team towards reaching the project goal. The key qualifications to becoming the ideal PM include:

  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to solve problems creatively.
  • Familiarity to relevant systems and software tools.
  • Work practice in handling tasks to full cycle.
  • Strong analytical and organizational skill.
  • Extremely resourceful.
  • Proven ability to handle projects according to the outlined scope, budget and timeline.
  • Good understanding in task management or certification in Project Management Professional is an added advantage.
  • Managerial experience in handling different tasks.
  • Bachelor’s degree program in computer science, business or any other related field or an equivalent of 5 or more years of project management education and related work experience.

The ideal certification when it comes to project management is the PMP certification. A PMP certification is the Project Management Professional certification given by the PMI (Project Management Institute) to professionals meeting specific certification requirements based on education or experience criteria. Once your application for the project management certification is approved, you must take a PMP exam. For more details on project management certification and requirements, check out their online application.

Where to Find Project Management Jobs

becoming a project manager without experience by applying to a new project manager job online with no relevant experience in program management
Applying online is an easy way to find lots of project management roles at once

Skills for managing projects usually start being nurtured at home, from the simple tasks you need to handle. It means that you already have the necessary foundation for becoming a PM if you have the right planning, organizational and team management skills in your home. If you want to forge towards becoming a project leader or project coordinator, you can start from being in an entry level project manager role and work your way upwards.

Becoming a program manager means you have to handle specific programs or tasks, and it provides you with various opportunities since programs are managed in different industries. The best places to find PM jobs are online or through print advertisements.

Applications for becoming a project director can be made online or directly to specific employers. Depending on your preferences, the following benefits of applying online vs. directly can guide you in selecting the best option:

  • When applying online, you can make several applications to different offers available online.
  • Online applications are cost-effective compared to applying directly.
  • Making an online application is environmentally-friendly since you do not use paper.
  • Making an online application is convenient since you can do it anytime you are within the deadline.

When applying for a PM position, it is essential to have a CV that markets you to your potential employer. To have a winning CV, take advantage of the services provided by professional resume writers to ensure it has the oomph to get you a job. Ensure that all your hard skills are listed on the resume to increase your chances of landing the job. If you are looking to become more of a technical project manager, list any technical skill you may have on your resume. For these kinds of jobs you may need experience with project management software and have the technical skill to understand what the project goal is. Technical project manager jobs can include construction project management, or becoming an engineering project manager.

PM jobs continue to be in demand since they require a good set of transferable skills. As a result, it is less difficult for individuals without the relevant experience to get good PM jobs as long they can demonstrate to have the appropriate skills. With or without experience, a PM career is worth trying.

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