December 08, 2000, 3:39 PM —
Part 1 of this series, we examined the basic challenges that face a veteran project
manager making the transition from traditional corporate America to the Internet
economy. Faced with competition from the Net generation, you, the veteran, must find
effective ways to reposition your skills to fit the needs of the Internet workforce.
It's not so much what you've done as how you've done it.
You can increase your chance of landing a satisfying position with a dot-com
enterprise by considering the following strategies:
- Your resume must change. Make your resume bristle with know-
how. Do not try to dazzle with technobabble. Add a section listing software and
hardware skills; include knowledge of graphics, communications, and authoring tools if
you have it. Describe the scale of your accomplishments in terms of the people you have
managed, deadlines you have met, and dollars of revenue you have supported. Keep it as
short as possible.
- Emphasize technical skills if you have them. Startups love
people who have dabbled in code, can use PhotoShop, understand Flash, and know their
way around some HTML editing tools. If your position will be technical in nature, you
must demonstrate some level of technical proficiency.
- Demonstrate that you can get things done. In some situations,
the magic words are "on-time and on-budget delivery." Given the chance, describe your
step-by-step development process.
- Swamp them with examples. Quietly challenge their experience by
explaining your own. Leave them with a binder of project documents that demonstrate
your skills in describing and managing projects.
- Look for gaps in their experience that you can fill. Your most
valuable commodities are experience and good judgment. You have seen it all; you've
made the mistakes and know how to avoid them. Can a team of twenty-something developers
truly say that? You may be able to invent your job on the spot after finding out what
they desperately need to succeed.
- Realize that your experience with human nature may be a key to their
success. Development is all about interpersonal relationships. If a team
cannot blend and collaborate, it won't produce good work. If you are uncomfortable with
a collaborative environment, stick to bricks and mortar. An experienced manager,
however, can lend a sense of organization and calm to a frenzied development effort. If
you are that person, let it be known.