A lot of people come to me for advice and help about their CVs, not because they cannot write their own CV but because they want to understand how others view it and if they are being clear. It is common for those who create a document to assume others will know what it is they are trying to say. As you are doing the job it makes sense to you but it may be baffling to others – striking a balance between clearly defining your role and projects whilst engaging a number of levels of understanding can be tricky. The reviewer of the CV could be a non-specialist recruiter, HR administrator and equally a line manager who hasn’t got the PM experience (hence wanting to bring a subject matter expert into the team). Therefore it is important to ensure you have others look over the CV for you to gauge how clear the information is and if it is hitting the mark in regards to including the relevant detail. Those who assist others with writing CVs will know only too well how easy it is to reshape the document to say the right things even if not entirely au fait with what recruiters need to see in an evolving market place.

An apple is an apple??

I would recommend having a number of people review your CV – from those who have no understanding of PM to those who are seasoned PM professionals, remember you are asking for feedback so take all comments and criticism on the chin. All feedback is good feedback, take on board what is being said and see how you can address the CV to ensure it makes sense to a wide audience.

Remember project management is all about communication, often we need to address a variety of technical and non-technical stakeholders. As your job application is being judged from the moment of contact you need to ensure you are displaying all the right qualities, engagement being very important you should be treating every step of the application process with this in mind. Instead of stating you are a clear communicator – demonstrate it with your CV and the all important email. Don’t tell us you understand PM methods, tools and strategy – demonstrate it, it is very obvious who truly understands their role (and trust me, a lot don’t) by how they communicate the what, how, when, who and where’s of an assignment. Employers want to know what the benefits are to the work you have delivered, do you know what they are… I would hope so, have you communicated this in your CV?? Probably not!

Put yourself in the shoes of those recruiting; don’t assume they will know you have had exposure to a structured approach to PM just because you have the PM badges. Demonstrate your knowledge and use of structures as these are the core criteria being assessed on your CV when you apply for a role.

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