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Perception – does your Project Manager CV really say the right things about you?

I know it may seem hard to believe, after slaving away over your CV that it might not be presenting you in the right light – but it is probably be true. As a recruiter I would take at least one or two calls a day from prospective candidates asking why they had been rejected for the role they had applied for. When I stated a number of key requirements for the role I would receive a response such as; “But I have this experience…” my answer was very commonly, why is it not stated in your CV?

It is very common to make assumptions when creating your own masterpiece – because you are working on it and understand it, you start to find it difficult to see the wood for the trees. You also assume that your target audience, know what it is like to work at your organisations. Wrong!! Every business runs its projects differently and even departmentally there can be significant differences in process.

When creating a CV, try to see it from an outsider’s perspective – assume the potential reader of your CV knows nothing about project management or you. The key is to write a concise CV which tells the reader all they need to know about what it is you have been doing and how. Try to avoid a barrage of “key skills” listed at the top of the CV and stick to contextualising the skills within the body of the CV.

Remember that in a project environment, communication is key – ensuring you are effectively communicating your skills and abilities in a written format is something recruiters, HR Managers and hiring managers will be looking for. You are being judged from the moment you make yourself known to these people and as such should remember that first impressions last. Not only should your CV be well written and tell the reader all they need to know about you for the job they are recruiting for, your method of delivery should also be demonstrated to a high standard.

Think about the email, to start, please use a sensible email name / address – not something which may be hilariously whacky amongst friends, you want to be taken seriously. Next think about what to add in the email body, putting nothing or “See attached” is neither professional nor polite. Think about the role you are applying for and match up your relevant experience and competencies, do not just cut and paste from your CV. Talk about the projects which are relevant to the role and how you delivered, even if the job advert is asking for PRINCE2 and you haven’t got the qualification, have you worked to PRINCE2 principles? Include this detail in the email. Finally, if you are following up your application with a telephone call, make sure you have some good questions to ask too. Do not ask what is already answered in the advert as this demonstrates you have not read the advert properly; think about other key areas such as the size of the team you would be working in. How far along the project is and what are the key areas which are attractive to the client for the role such as soft skills, personality fit etc.

The CV Righter can assist with all the above elements and is best placed to aid you with targeting specific roles as well as general roles in your PM arena. Take a look at our website:www.thecvrighter.co.uk to see the types of roles and industry sectors we cover and how we can help you secure short-listing for the all important next role in a very competitive market.

Unemployment in Project Management 

The PM job market has been up and down over the past few years but there have always been good roles available throughout, and although it has become more competitive offers have continued to be made to good project people. One of the key issues tends to be securing interviews with a application list of hundreds, it isn’t difficult to see why employers and recruiters will naturally pick out the best CVs over anything else. It’s not ideal as the best candidates may be left on the shelf because their CV isn’t telling us what it needs to. I was speaking to a seasoned project manager the other week who has exceptional experience but his CV was really letting him down – it just didn’t attract attention for the more senior roles he had the experience in. He told me he has no issue with delivering strategic pieces of work, improving corporate wide project capability however he really struggles to spend time on recording this detail in a CV. He can talk about it very coherently but putting it on paper to the in point the relevant parts over too much detail isn’t his strong point. When I pointed out that we all have skills in different fields he agreed and said that is why he decided to make contact with me. Having spent years working with clients from all industries in a recruitment capacity – I know what piques the interest of hiring managers and recruiters alike. There’s no shame in being unable to produce an effective CV, if it was that easy then there wouldn’t be so many professional CV writing services available. I have yet to come across another specialist PM CV writer with a background in delivering projects, specialist PM recruiting and over 8 years PM careers support like The CV Righter. I set up the business after being approached on countless occasions by all levels of PM professionals requesting their CV be rewritten, it makes sense that with a proven technique which really generates interviews I write your CV and you concentrate on delivering your projects – as with any resource planning within project teams there are “horses for courses” and achieving good results is what we all strive for.

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Taken this all into account, you will see why it is important to make sure you invest in your career by taking advice and making sure you are seriously considered for the roles that are available, whether in abundance or scarce.

 

Merry Christmas from The CV Righter

Well this year has flown by; we’ve seen a great deal of change in the recruitment market with rollercoaster dips and rises in jobs. Good to see a rise in contract positions which have suffered over the years and PMO roles coming back into play. Clearly organisations are yet again realising the benefits of a central control room for project capability, having spoken to a number of interim PMO specialists a trend of businesses cutting back on the support aspect of projects have seen a significant impact on project success. Businesses are not meeting targets and delivery is a major contributor to this, thank goodness the value of the PMO is so apparent.  Financial services are still the leader in volume of roles but technology is also a very healthy area too. Unemployment is reducing and I have worked with a number of candidates struggling to get back into work who I am pleased to say, have all now secured new roles.

Happy Christmas

I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Happy Christmas and look forward to working with clients new and old in the New Year. Hopefully the rise in new roles will continue and I wish you all success, good health and happiness for a promising New Year.

The Rise Of The Female Tech Entrepreneur

Women have always appeared in the Fortune 500 rich list here and there, but it’s only recently that their roles have become newsworthy – mainly thanks to two powerful women taking top jobs at the world’s biggest tech brands. As these companies become more powerful on a global scale, the actions of their CEOs come under scrutiny on a daily basis; if the CEO happens to be female, you can practically guarantee a news story will follow.

In this article, we’ll look at four female entrepreneurs that have climbed the ranks to positions of power.

First, there’s Sheryl Sandberg, the woman who assists CEO Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook. Sandberg is an ex-US government employee and was previously a high flyer at Google before becoming the first woman on Facebook’s board. Her official title is chief operating officer, and she appears regularly in the press.

Women in BusinessSandberg is a vocal believer in women’s ability to graduate towards senior roles in business, and her book Lean In is dedicated to discussing the topic. She extensively analyses the possible reasons for women holding back in the workplace. She also believes women should be comfortable in their own skin, particularly in a corporate environment, and is keen to promote equality at work and in the home.

Ursula Burns has served exactly three years as CEO of Xerox and has been tasked with the modernisation of the brand – no mean feat for a company that was founded more than a century ago. Her appointment is notable in the US: she was the first ever woman of colour to be in charge of an enterprise as massive as Xerox, and she is in the top 20 most powerful women on the planet.

On the company’s homepage, Burns says she values “ethical business practices”, and openly criticises organisations she believes to be sexist or discriminatory. It is estimated that she earned a cool $9.9 million last year, and her 2011 salary was comparable.

Marissa Meyer is perhaps the best-known example of a female CEO hitting the headlines. Now in charge of Yahoo!, Meyer started her working life at Google when the company was just starting out. Her speciality was A.I., and she quickly rose through the ranks to become Vice President of Search Products and User Experience.

Since 2012, Meyer has lead Yahoo! through a turbulent transition period. Rejecting extensive maternity leave, Meyer has banned employees from home working, although she herself worked from home towards the end of her pregnancy and paid to have a nursery built next to her corporate office. Despite ruffling feathers, she is determined to forge ahead with major changes.

With a background working in top jobs for The Walt Disney Company and eBay, and holding qualifications from Princeton and Harvard, Meg Whitman was well-placed to become CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Overall, Whitman is thought to be worth $1.3 billion; she spent $144 million on her campaign to become Governor of California three years ago. She lost.

Whitman has worked with some of the biggest names in the US, counting Steve Ballmer and Mitt Romney among former colleagues. At eBay, she was criticised for purchasing Skype, but that didn’t prevent HP from poaching her in 2011. Whitman is perhaps the most established high-profile CEO in the Fortune 500 list.

Sam Wright is a freelance writer working with prweekjobs.co.uk.