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I'm trying to shift careers (or narrow its focus) from web producer to project manager - and I'm currently unemployed. I've joined PMI and am studying for CAPM certification. I have one formal "project manager" role (web dev project management, 6 months) and other than that I've done lots of project coordination (scheduling, speccing, communicating with stakeholders as to milestones met) in my role as a web producer. I've also served as an HOA officer for three years, documenting procedures, getting us away from one company and sourcing another, scheduling maintenance tasks, coming up with the annual budget, et cetera.

My problem is that I'm not sure how best to sell my skills and background, and thus get into project management roles / onto that career track. My previous background is HTML production/web producer/front end web dev. I do have experience with Agile environments. But I'm having a hell of a time finding jobs that will fit my current experience level. Most PM jobs require 3 or more years of PM experience. I've got one formal, one more informal. So I'm at a loss as to what kinds of roles I should be targeting, what job titles, et cetera. Any suggestions?

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    Informal experience also counts as experience as long as you have done project management. – ViSu Oct 10 '13 at 7:21
  • That's kind of what I thought...but I'm not sure how to go about selling that. I think I just need to sit down with a PM professional and rewrite my resume. (It's good now...but not targeted to the PM profession.) – user7102 Oct 10 '13 at 18:28
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Leigh,

As a manager at a large fortune 500 company and having experience hiring and managing project managers, I think you might be trying to do too much. Keep in mind that anyone looking for a PM right now is probably going to have a stack of resumes from qualified candidates and will automatically weed out those without a PPM certification or the proper experience. Put yourself in the hiring manager's position, would you pick from a pool of experience candidates or take a risk on someone who is relatively new to a role?

My advice to you is to find a role that is more suited to your past experience as a web producer but in a growing organization. After you are there a while and once you've proven yourself, take on extra side projects that will allow you grow into a lead role. I think this will be easier than trying to find that perfect role straight away without any experience.

Good luck!

  • Yes, I am aware that the job market is very much not in my favor - never mind how much experience I have or don't have, employers can pick and choose. It's not a jobsearcher's market, and hasn't been since 2008. But if I want to be ready to move into the PM field when things improve, I need to start those preparations now. That's what I was asking for: information on how best to do that. – user7102 Oct 10 '13 at 18:32

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