What is a Project Manager?
Project managers are the glue that helps keep projects — and people — together. They are responsible for planning, organizing, managing and executing projects from beginning to end. The project scope can vary from single pieces of collateral to multifaceted, multichannel marketing campaigns.
These professionals commonly work under the direction of brand managers or creative directors from whom they collect project information — deadlines, objectives, budgets, etc. They also assign individuals or entire teams to tasks within the project, while creating and managing detailed schedules throughout the duration of the project. In some instances, project managers are responsible for budget management, as they are given a specific amount of money to work with and must complete the project in accordance to the stated budget.
Another critical function that project managers play a central role in is risk analysis. They must be adept at identifying potential roadblocks related to budgets, resources and timelines, and reporting these potential issues to their supervisors, when necessary.
At Paladin Staffing, we specialize in helping project managers and other candidates combine with great companies throughout the country. If you’re looking to break into the industry, or if you are looking for your next great position, browse our jobs or apply online today!
The Project Manager’s skill set
- Expert organizational skills
- Strong ability to multi-task
- Outstanding communication skills
- Knowledge of project management processes, workflow and terminology
- Ability to function well in a fast paced (sometimes chaotic) environment under tight deadlines
Related job titles: Project Manager (Level 1, 2, 3, Assistant, Senior), Director of Project Management, Creative Operations Manager, Creative Project Manager
Few colleges and universities offer formalized Project Management degree programs, though a handful do offer graduate-level degrees in project and technology management (MSPMs and/or MPMs). Some businesses require formal education, while others prefer those with hands-on experience within their industry. Expectations vary from company to company, so take stock of the stated qualifications when applying for jobs.
Related certifications & qualifications: The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Professional (PMP) certification program is a globally recognized and respected credential available to anyone with a four-year degree and at least three years of experience in the field.
Two types of Project Managers
Project managers in marketing, creative, communications and digital fields generally work either In-house or in an Agency. For both the employee and the employer, each category comes with its own set of implications, as well as pros and cons. Before accepting work, the Project Manager will have to decide if their job type will fit their lifestyle and personal preferences. One safe way to navigate this decision is to accept a few temp jobs in project management so you can try out a few different work environments and see what's right for you.
In-House Project Manager
In-house project managers work within the creative, marketing or communications department of a specific company or family of companies. In this role, you will be counted on to manage projects by coordinating both internal (company employees) and external (agency representatives and freelancers). You will serve as the interface between Brand Managers and Creative Directors and creative staff, making communication skills especially important.
In-house project managers are ideal for companies that produce high-volumes of work and want to keep the power to manage budgets and timelines in-house.
Agency Project Manager
In an agency setting, project managers work with their assigned teams to complete projects that are received from account managers. You may manage several projects — in several different industries – all at once, and you need to keep your team on time and on task. It’s imperative to be able to multitask and manage others.
Companies turn to agencies to turn out great creative, marketing and communications work without taxing (or having to employ) internal resources and budgets.
Prepare for these 9 job interview questions
When preparing to interview for a Project Manager position, do your homework. Get a solid understanding of the company and the industry by exploring websites, collateral, social networks and other sources. Come in prepared to discuss your qualifications and your experience.
Here are some questions you should prepare for:
- How do you set realistic schedules for the projects you manage?
- Describe the most complex project you have ever managed, from start to finish
- What project management software have you used?
- What project management methodologies do you employ?
- How often do you communicate with stakeholders and how do you communicate with them?
- You receive a project from your Brand Manager that has an inadequate amount of time or money to get done successfully. How do you respond?
- Have you ever been on a project that was doomed to fail? How did you try to correct course?
- Do you typically work with people in the same office or across the country?
- How do you get new team members up to speed on your processes?
Brush up on your Web Design knowledge
Project managers are passionate about what they do, and many are sharing best practices and insight online and at professional networking events. Take advantage of this close-knit community to enhance your career. Check out these blogs and events:
Top Project Management Blogs
Project Management Conventions & Training Events
Apply for Project Manager jobs with Paladin Staffing
If you’re looking for the next step in your career, Paladin Staffing is ready to connect you with an excellent Project Manager opportunity in your area. Start the next stage of your career by browsing our job listings or apply online to connect with one of or recruiters today!