While the PMP is an important credential that can aid immensely in the job search, there’s no denying that this is an extremely difficult and competitive job-hunting environment, one in which even the most qualified might have a longer job search period than they anticipated. Or in some cases, a person will be looking for just the right position, rather than the first thing that comes along. The question becomes, as those days, weeks, or even months stretch out, what can or should you be doing to keep up-to-date and as employable as possible?
First, you should make sure that you’re aware of any and all networking opportunities in your area. Perhaps these events will have speakers who will talk about what’s new and exciting in the PMP world, which will help you stay aware and informed as to current trends in project management. You may also have the opportunity to seek out experts in the field and talk to them about where they see the project management industry going. Finally, these events give you a great chance to meet your fellow project managers, and these could be not only helpful contacts in the job-hunting sense, but also people with whom you can discuss topics in the project management sphere – as well as simply interesting people!
In addition to these kinds of formal networking opportunities that will give you a chance to hear what’s going on in project management these days, you should also seek out and read publications, newsletters, websites, etc. – anything that will give you the pulse of the industry. These can also provide job leads, as often companies that are hiring or looking for additional project management staff will be mentioned or written about.
You should also be looking for any opportunities that may arise to update your resume. This might involve pro bono work for friends or local organizations, or other types of volunteering opportunities. They don’t necessarily have to be project management related, though that would be ideal, and certainly, most work has an element of project management to it so you could certainly spin your work as involving management on some level. But staying out there and keeping busy, doing anything at all, will always look better on a resume than a blank slate of unaccounted-for time. In addition, you never know when that contact you make at the community center knows someone who knows someone…..which could eventually lead to the perfect job for you. It does happen!