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I would like to know what is the best way to market myself for a project management position without practical experience in the field or without having my PMP certification?


Joseph stafford Tampa, FL

I just completed my MBA with a concentration in Project Management

9 November 2017 9 replies Career Exploration



Kimberly Eckhardt Framingham, MA

Hi Joseph!
Thanks for your many years of service!
By your background, I would guess you have plenty of relevant skills, in addition to your latest degree. Try building your resume around all of your former project management skills. Focus on the tasks you performed in your duties that are a direct carryover. Schedules, budgets, risk analysis, etc are all highly marketable and transferable skills for a project manager position. Your degree is great, and will help in the online/bot searches, but your relevant experience will be even more of a draw to hiring managers.

You may want to look for a company or industry in which some of your military background could be even more relevant. Do you have any technical skills (communications, supply chain, operations, etc) that might be relevant to a particular company or entity? As an example, I worked at Harris Corporation for many years and they hired a large number of veterans for field service and sales roles, based on that many veterans had experience with the Harris Radios in the field.

If you have a resume or a LinkedIn profile I would be happy to take a look and provide some suggestions. Or even if you just want to PM me to discuss your skillset. I've been in the Defense and Commercial worlds as a Program Manager and Systems Engineer, and have spent plenty of time tailoring my own resume to many different PM type roles with a high success rate (offers).

Best of Luck in your search!

9 November 2017 Helpful answer


Merry Vickers Richardson, TX

Thank you for your service. There are several suggestions that most services and internet sites recommend, and they are right.

Give your resume a format change and lead with a summary that outlines your skills and qualifications. Share generalities from past positions to translate how it will be beneficial in new roles, like skills, duties, projects or management. Use clear civilian language to describe your career objectives, but highlight key wording from job descriptions and any accomplishments you have achieved. Keep the verbiage in present tense and have others read through it for feedback. If you can pursue any volunteer opportunities, contract jobs, certifications or even CEU (Continuing Education Units) courses will show how interested you are and make recruiters take notice. Take advantage of in-house professional development and training programs available, which always shows you are willing to do and learn more.

I hope this helps you on this new journey and I wish you all the best.

Kindest regards,
Merry Vickers

9 November 2017 Helpful answer


Jim Starr Saint Louis, MO

Thank you for your service. One of the ways in which I have grown my toolbox with regards to PM work is by working as a project coordinator or business analyst. These are roles where you may often find yourself working in a PM type of environment, or at least on a project that may be following a formal methodology, where you may have the opportunity to work with PMs who may be able to help with developing your experience. These types of roles can also help open doors into the larger PM specific roles, so they may be worth researching as well. Bring your experiences with various tools and areas of focus to the top part of your resume. Refine your resume so that someone looking at it will be drawn in and decide relatively quickly "I want to talk to this person" without any focus on certifications.


Ashutosh Mehta Berkeley Heights, NJ

Thank you for your service, Joseph.

Your large experience may not depend on any certification but truth is certification helps at some extent. It helps hiring manager to understand that you know what it takes to earn that certificate. Getting PMP is not that easy but surely there are many sources available these days. Also, I would suggest starting from Scrum Master certificate which is different way of handling project/program, and much practical and less theory based to earn certificate. Please check for PSM or CSM types of certificate for Scrum/Agile.

Good luck!

Ashutosh Mehta


Deb Yeagle Tampa, FL

Hi Joseph-
Thanks for your service!
I highly recommend you visit the website
It is full of great advice on how to translate your military experience to civilian PM skills so you can market yourself and update your resume, whether you are seeking your PMP or not.
Good luck, and feel free to send me a private message if you would like F2F mentoring in Tampa.
Thanks again-


Andrea Hannah Nashville, TN

In this case, I would advise to lean on your degree. Use all the tools in your arsenal to identify a problem at your current place of employment or a non-profit you may volunteer at and create a project plan to rectify or remediate the issue. Volunteer experience counts along with military experience for most major employers these days. You may be able to go back and identify years of practicing project management without that official certification or title being in play. Use these experiences to craft your resume and build a portfolio for future interviews.


David Akre New York, NY

Love the ambition but without experience it'll be hard to land a meaningful PM position. Therefore what I'd do is go talk to some smaller local companies that could hire you now as a PM and use that as your springboard. Hey you may find more upside with smaller firms anyway.
Best of luck.


Scott Pawloski Allen, TX

Hello Joseph - Thank you so much for your service. Project management requires a lot of different skillsets. The most challenge aspect is how to motivate a team to achieve what may be impossible and to overcome barriers. I'd be happy to review your resume if you want to send it to me



Joseph stafford Tampa, FL

Thank You Merry Vickers for your advice. I will definitely rewrite my resume to include your suggestions in addition to seeking feedback.

Best Regards
Joseph Stafford

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