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The nice people at ATH directed me over here, so here I am. I am embarking on my first job hunt in a long time. Last time I did this I was a college senior. Plus I'm trying to make a slight career change too. Fun, no?

The job I want:
Project Manager - responsible for managing, monitoring and coordinating projects. Keep the cross-functional launch team on target. Work with Developers, Product Management, QA, and other internal teams and external parties to complete projects.

My current resume (with parts that I think I should probably remove in italics, and brackets around details removed for privacy purposes):

--------
[My Name]
[My Address]
[My cell phone number and home phone number]


EDUCATION:

Stanford University
June [graduation year] B.S. Science, Technology, and Society with emphases in math and computer science

[Southern CA High School]
June [graduation year] Valedictorian, National Merit Scholar, editor-in-chief of yearbook, California Scholarship Federation member and officer, 4.33/4.0 weighted GPA, 4.0/4.0 unweighted GPA (but then with just yearbook listed, that looks sad and weird)

EXPERIENCE:

[Current company]
[month] 2005 - current
Manager, Quality Assurance
Manage two direct reports and work with QA personnel in India; determine schedule; review test plans; run bug meetings; attend and provide input at project kick-off meetings and specification reviews; communicate with other groups as necessary to schedule and execute frequent releases; involved in all phases of product development

QA Department, [My last company what sold me to the current company]
July [college grad year] – [month] 2005
QA engineer: Review site content (copy edit); write and execute test plans; write scripts using SILK to test basic functionality; work closely with developers, design, systems, marketing, and customer support; perform interviews; train all new hires in the QA department on tools and procedures; mentor new employees, [company created annual] Award, 2001

QA Lead/Manager: Assign functionality to QA team members; run daily meetings with product management and development leads to assess readiness for code freeze; run showstopper meetings; assign bugs to developers; approve label requests; put together several company-wide test days for large new projects being rolled out; manage up to 3 QA engineers

QA Intern, Intuit
Summer [year while I was in college]
Perform frequent benchmark tests for performance; black box testing of basic Quicken functionality

Night Assistant, Stanford Conference Services
Summer [same year as above]
Stay in a dorm and remain available to aid conference attendees if they became locked out of their rooms; work in the conference office every week doing data entry and other tasks as necessary; check-in conference attendees

Financial Manager, [self-op row house]
Spring Quarter [sophomore year] – Winter Quarter [junior year]
Budget for food, chef's salary and social events for each quarter; set board bill amount; keep records of house spending; write checks; participate in other aspects of house management

Other related work:
ACM SIGCHI conference paper reviewer: late breaking results in 1999, papers for 2000, posters for 2001, papers in 2002
Focus group: recruited focus group members, observed focus group, wrote report to funding agency for SoundVision Productions - the DNA files
Persuasive Technology Lab: former lab member, reviewed [book] pre-publication
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So, suggestions?

Thanks.
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American Management Association (and others) have short courses on project management. Something like that might be available at a junior college near you. I took AMAs course years ago at their center near the airport in Chicago.

Your resume looks fine. You have experience working with people to solve problems and achieve the goal.

Keep in mind you will get a job interview only if your resume is one of the best qualified in the stack. Adding the short course might be a good way to focus your resume to indicate concentration in that field.

Engineers often have project management training/experience. Did you take any such courses?

If engineering is not your bag, think about taking some business courses.

I'm thinking you are probably BS plus abt 5 yrs experience. That is not bad. Now how do your salary expectations compare with others out there.

You are doing fine, but put your best foot forward. Be sure to emphasize why you think you are qualified to do the job in your cover letter. Hundreds of resumes look just like yours. Differentiate yourself with extra qualifications if you can.

If the stars align, you will do fine.

Good luck.
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American Management Association (and others) have short courses on project management. Something like that might be available at a junior college near you.
Yeah. I've looked into a few classes. I'm considering an internet based introductory course at Berkeley, but I'm hoping to change jobs before I'd have time to finish it. I'll be on the lookout for shorter courses.

Engineers often have project management training/experience. Did you take any such courses?
Nope.

Now how do your salary expectations compare with others out there.
I am cheap and easy. I'd be willing to work for the local low for this job (according to salary.com) if it were the right company and the local high would make me deliriously happy.

If engineering is not your bag, think about taking some business courses.
On the list.

If the stars align, you will do fine.
Thanks. Anyone have any experience aligning stars? :)
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QA steph,

Nice job on the resume, only one suggestion, many recruiters suggest that unless this is your very first job out of school, always put your work history first and your academic/education second. I also recommend against seeing mention of high school on a resume for a college graduate. Again, unless you are a true entry level, which was my first impression when I saw your education at the top. (Although your academic credentials are excellent)


I'd also look into some QA manager roles which have a clearer path for advancement to project managemnt. Make that ambition clear in your cover letter and during your interview. It's always much better to find an employer who's invested in employee development and will provide you with training.

Any thing else I can help you with by all means email me or reply.

Best of luck!

Kara
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Kara,

Thanks.

I'll move the education down as I certainly don't want to appear to be entry level. I'll remove high school to as it really doesn't make sense to have it there either. Should I leave in the yearbook thing (under related work maybe?) as it shows leadership / responsibility / putting together a big project or just skip it? Is the rest of the related work helpful? Should I jettison anything?

As for QA manager roles with a clear path to project management - there aren't many (any?) that I know of. I've seen people go from QA to development, or just higher up in a QA organization (or to med school, or to IT, or to grad school, or to teaching, or to non-profit work). And though I would do it if there were some amazing opportunity, I really, really want to do something other than QA right now. Possibly because I feel like I've been doing it *forever* and, to be honest, I'm sort of bored with it at the moment. Could be because I've been doing it on the same product for over 8 years. Of course there are always things I could do to improve at it, but I just don't want to. The mere thought of doing some of those things makes me exhausted. (I know I sound like a spoiled brat here and I would never phrase it that way in an interview or a cover letter.)

-Stephanie
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Stephanie,

I think your professional experience speaks for itself and you are free to remove your high school and college work and activities. Again, recruiters and hiring managers always like brevity. If you want to use your high school/college background as proof you are capable of handling such managerial responsibilities, that's something you can also bring up during a job interview. It's up to you though.

I'm not as familiar with the QA path, but you might want to try searching LinkedIn.com for folks with profiles who include both a QA background who worked in Project Management. See if you can either contact those people, or even just make note of the companies where they worked and were able to make such a transition.

Your reasoning makes sense to me regarding your career path. It would be weird if you didn't want to move on and gain new responsibilities.

Take care,

Kara
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"to be honest, I'm sort of bored with it at the moment. Could be because I've been doing it on the same product for over 8 years."

Does your company have a Performance Evaluation process? How does your supervisor respond to your desire for growth and new challenges? Is he/she helping you formulate a plan to help you develop skills for promotion?

If you haven't discussed this with your supervisor, you should. Its in his/her best interest to help you grow. Some people don't mind getting into a routine that goes on forever (and gives them time to pursue outside interests, etc). Others want new challenges. A good supervisor should be able to help you.
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Does your company have a Performance Evaluation process?

Yes, and we shall not speak of it again. :)

How does your supervisor respond to your desire for growth and new challenges? Is he/she helping you formulate a plan to help you develop skills for promotion?

Well, he's helping me develop a plan for lots of improvements that can be made in my department. All of which I'll work on for as long as I am here, but really - they are for the company and the department, not for my career development. I'm not saying I won't learn anything doing them, but that would be peripheral to my career goals at best. The root problem is that I don't want to be *in* my department anymore.

This office has 17 employees. There isn't any opportunity for promotion here. There isn't even a chance for a lateral career move. I could transfer to a different US-based office, but I don't want to move. Thus the job search.
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I hear you, QASteph. Sounds like it is time to be looking for greener pastures.

Good luck.
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Hi :)

I'm a programmer who changed gears after getting offshored too many times and am working on becoming a Proj Mgr. If you want to be a Project Manager, join the Project Management Institute (pmi.org). My community college has PM courses to help prep for the PMP exam. You should focus on taking the PMP so that you can be taken seriously. Take any courses you can. You need 35 hrs of coursework to earn a PMP. Also, you can work on a graduate certificate in PM at Keller Graduate School (keller.edu).

I would move the HS Valedictorian down to the last section b/c that is important but after college, high school ceases to matter in the "real world." I would definitely remove any other high school or college references that have nothing to do with your career path. Are you in grad school? I'd put that down. You need to show where you are going, not where you've been.

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"You need 35 hrs of coursework to earn a PMP"

To qualify to take the test, not to "earn"!
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I have hired Pm's for a variety of projects and I have been (and am currently working as) a contract PM. What strikes me about your resume is that it is not crafted in a way that shows project management skills or association. In your QA work you were part of an overall project or process, break down the project components and incorporate that into your resume. This may only help to move your thinking into a project mentality but incorporating the concepts of project phases, steps, WBS, earned value and other expected skills and PM ideas will show you know the basics.
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