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We are currently working with a number of NMA top 100 agencies as well as several in house teams, of course their needs differ when they are looking for a new PM but there is a definite trend within the market.
The overwhelming response we get when asking clients what they are looking for is 'Fit'. You can easily find a Project Manager who claims to have worked on budgets similar to David Beckham's salary and manages an enormous amount of projects but if they don't have those key personality traits, there is no point them even coming through the door.
People tend to forget the role of a Project Manager. They have to keep all parties working together; this is rarely an easy task in the world of advertising.
Clients are looking for those that are adaptable and will fit into both the agency and the client's processes. Remember personality is key as clients look for character and leadership qualities.
We are finding a high number of Junior Project Managers looking to make a move in their career as they are becoming increasingly frustrated at not being able to make that jump to a mid-weight level. Within the London scene, this seems to be the main pre-cursor at this level.
It can be difficult to really explore the character of a candidate during the interview process. Clients are increasingly asking Project Managers to prepare a presentation after the initial interest on previous projects they have managed, here are some key points to consider to make you stand out in the interview process;
• Pick two digital projects; one you're proud of, and one that didn't go very well
• Talk through the project objectives
• The Systems and tools you used as a PM
• The Process you went through to ensure delivery
• Challenges (technical/team memberts/Client expectations) and how you overcame them