So You Want to be a Project Manager

There are plenty of resources that will tell you what a Project Manager is, does and the main responsibilities, but we want to take it one step further and give you the inside scoop on what our Clients are looking for and the things that will make you stand out to Recruiters.

Is it the right fit?


Before pursuing a position, first determine if it aligns with your skills and abilities. Do you enjoy making lists and crossing them off? Are you often the natural organizer of family gatherings or trips? Do you keep a budget and ensure that all needs are met within that budget and prioritized accordingly? Do you enjoy bringing people together for a common goal? If so, then you may naturally be suited to this type of role. 


As a Project Manager, you will be responsible for overseeing projects and organizing them accordingly. Your responsibilities will include:


  • Organizing a project’s timeline and deliverables
  • Setting deadlines and next steps as the project progresses
  • Assigning tasks to your team as well as collaborating with other teams or partners that are needed to keep the project moving forward
  • Monitoring and reporting on the progress of the project
  • Bringing the project to completion, on time and within budget


Sound like your cup of tea? Great, let's begin. 

For most, the route to starting a Project Management role begins with education and relevant experience. A degree is not always required and a lot of emphasis is given to relevant experience and certifications. Here are some of the different elements that can lead you to the role: 

  • Proven experience in Project Management e.g., internships, small projects etc. Many start off in a Project Coordinator position while obtaining certifications. 
  • Certification from a Project Management body e.g. PMI or PMP 
  • Bachelor's Degree in Business, Administration, Management or a related field
  • Master's Degree in Business Management, Project Management or a related field

At Mackin Talent, we have several levels of Project Manager positions available that speak to the education, experience and overall knowledge a candidate brings to the table. We also have a career path in place that helps employees entering at the Project Coordinator level work their way up into a Project Manager role through training and experience.

Salary and compensation

Below is a range of salaries for Project Managers based on the US National Average. There can be a vast difference in pay range based on both location (California and New York being some of the highest) as well as company size (larger companies such as Visa, Facebook and Cisco pay more than smaller, more regional companies). Do your homework on sites such as Glassdoor, ZipRecruiter, Zippia, and know your worth based on qualifications and experience.

Skills for Success


When it comes to landing your Project Management role, there are certain skills that come in handy and help signify your ability to get the job done. 


  • Analytical skills - especially important in reporting
  • Interpersonal skills - collaboration and working across teams
  • Theoretical skills - exploring and thinking through all possibilities
  • Critical thinking - looking at all the components and making decisions accordingly 
  • Conflict resolution skills - most projects involve more than one team in more than one location which can lead to miscommunication and conflict, knowing how to resolve this quickly and without impact to the project is crucial to overall success
  • Time management skills - this is a major part of any project and is a critical skill for a Project Manager
  • Leadership skills - aother contributors or team members will be looking to you for answers and ways to move forward
  • Problem solving skills - it’s inevitable, be prepared and ready to respond
  • Communication skills - must be an excellent and effective communicator



The Day-to-Day


As a Project Manager, you will be responsible for both managing the project and the people involved. This may involve:


  • Determining the scope of the project and its objectives
  • Predicting and co-ordinating the resources that will be needed
  • Preparing a budget and plan, and subsequent adjustments in line with the project
  • Tracking the progress of the project to ensure it is in line with the plan
  • Managing relationships throughout the project, with clients, team members and suppliers 
  • Assigning tasks among those involved and supervising subsequent progress 
  • Identifying, preventing, and managing potential risks 
  • Providing reports to stakeholders as needed about the progress of the project
  • Making determinations along the way on the progress, necessity and overall likely success of a project including possible re-revaluation.


The Inside Scoop


At Mackin, we find that, besides the necessary qualifications and skills, companies want to find an individual that fits with their business and will work well with their team. Research the company and its culture prior to an interview. What are their values? What kind of culture does their website and social media reflect? They are likely looking at your social media profiles and asking the same thing, so do your research as well and make sure both the position and the company is a good fit.


What we look for


A Project Manager must be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. One must also be proactive, anticipate setbacks that can arise and find creative solutions to keep the project moving forward. The right candidate must be someone that can motivate others throughout the project process and if you can showcase this in your resume that will help get our attention. A candidate will need to show they are able to handle multiple responsibilities at any given time and be willing to both offer and receive constructive feedback from your team. Showcasing in a cover letter or summary area of your resume an example of how you have done this in the past will also help Recruiters recognize this as a skill. 


Overall, you must be someone that is willing to delegate effectively among your team to ensure the project is completed. Highlighting this and the other skills we have mentioned above on your resume, will help Recruiters to quickly and easily assess your fit for the position. Streamlining your resume, highlighting qualifications and including keywords in your text goes a long way with top talent Recruiters. We understand job hunting can be daunting and tiring, but taking the time to read the job description and customizing your resumes and skill sets to accurately reflect a good match with the position is worth the effort. This type of customization does not go unnoticed by Recruiters and will greatly improve your chances of moving forward to an interview.


Work with Mackin

Project Manager is a highly sourced position at Mackin, all over the globe. If you are interested in positions currently available at Mackin, visit our Career Site and join our candidate pool. We will review your resume and keep you informed on current and future positions. 

Good luck in your career and we hope to have the opportunity to work with you at Mackin.