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October 31, 2014

My Number One Secret for Job Search Success!

Changing careers is not an easy task. 

Even the most focused individuals can get off track at points in their transition. 

But, wouldn't it be great if you had a surefire way to snap out of the fear of the unknown and self-doubt that you are making the right move? 

Well you can. 

It just takes a little self reflection and research. 

The last quarter of the year is around the time that I really push my clients to review their career progress and future goals. 

Particularly in the weeks before the holidays. 


Business hits hard in the first quarter of the year, if you are working you know that everyone is busy busy busy. 

By the end of the year, you guessed it, as people prepare for the holidays things slow down. 

You can finally breathe and schedule some serious you time for career planning before the holiday vacation rush and jumping back into the fast lane of life in January.

Refocusing on your career goals and progress in achieving them, is in my opinion the best thing you can do in active and passive job searches.  
  • It helps you determine what is working and what is not
  • Helps you keep tabs on missed opportunities (So you can be better prepared next time)
  • Helps you to capitalize on networking opportunities
  • And who wouldn't be motivated by seeing progress ;)

Here are some questions to consider when doing your 
"Year End" Career Review....

  • What are your current OVERALL and SPECIFIC career goals?  (These things change as your life situation changes so it is always good to continually reflect on this.
  • What specific ACTIONS have you accomplished so far in the year toward your overall and specific career goals?
  • Are you up to date on your desired industry news? Do you know what the industry leaders are saying and doing to advance your field? What is trending right now? (Hint* LinkedIn is a great way to stay connected with this) 
  • What lessons did you learn from October of last year - October this year?  Things that went well?  Opportunities missed? (Think back especially to last holiday season and reflect on networking opportunities)

Don't miss out on setting yourself up for a great new year!

How do you keep track of your career change and job search progress?  Leave your best tips below!

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October 17, 2014

Turn Up Those Project Management Skills!

The quality of management has a great impact on the quality of output of any project. This is the reason why every company makes sure their projects are only handled by managers with excellent project management skills.

Kellum Career Consulting, Job Search Advice, Professional Development

To wrap up our series on the Top 10 Transferable Skills we are going to take a look at:

>> Skills that contribute to excellent project management
>> Ways to get better, and
>> How to demonstrate those skills on your resume.

Here are 6 Common Skills Necessary for Project Management
  1. Organization skills- There is a lot that a manager has to handle daily. This is the reason why every manager must have excellent organization skills. They must follow up the project’s status and issue day after day.
  2. Multitasking- The list of responsibilities that lie on the shoulders of a manager is extensive. There are a lot of things that a manager has to take care of, which is why multitasking comes as the second important skills required for effective project management.
  3. Effective communication- There are many human components involved in the project management cycle. Knowing how to communicate vision, delegate tasks, and provide effective feedback at different levels is imperative to getting things done right.
  4. Excellent negotiation skills- More often than not, managers have to negotiate. Sometimes with their team members about the kind of result he expects; and sometimes with the management for the kind of results that can be delivered, and so on. If a manager is shy and hesitates to negotiate, he or she will soon find themselves burdened under false expectations and insufficient results. A good project manager will negotiate the expectations of the stakeholders, and simultaneously negotiate it with his team members and get that delivered.  
  5. Giving priority to details- There is a lot that can be corrected and improved when you use a fine tooth comb to smooth things out along the way to project completion. Sometimes it is the smallest detail that can make a big difference in the quality and the quantity of results.
  6. Problem solving skills- Murphy’s law always seems to have a way of getting in the way when you are on a roll. Keen problem solving is one of a project managers most valuable skills. Barriers to the desired project results require flexible and innovative problem solving to come up with a suitable solution for those pesky problems.

If you have the aforementioned skills, pat yourself on the back.  If not, no worries. You can always work on your project management skills. 

Nothing is impossible if you are dedicated and passionate about learning. 

Developing Your Skill Set

I always recommend starting with an honest assessment of your current skill set. 

A free assessment like this one by MindTools can give you an idea of where you stand. 

After you have the results, a good deep reflection on your personal and professional priorities will help you identify which skills can be gained through current employment, volunteer efforts, self education, certifications, workshops, or formal education. 

Demonstrating Project Management Skills on your Resume
>> If you go the certification and formal education route, make sure you list your credentials in your education/certification section as well as your professional summary.
>> Make sure you back up those credentials and skill proficiency with accomplishments that demonstrate your project management skill. 
>> For example: Instead of listing your duties, summarize project outcomes into a 1-2 sentence bullet. 

“Performed multi-functional role as project team lead, management consultant, and department liaison in streamlining procedures and project marketing for the annual company food drive. Project resulted in enhanced employee civic behavior and increased contributed donations by 50%.”


What free workshops or low cost certification programs have you used to gain project management skills?  Share your insights for others below in the comments!

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