Project and programme management support roles are often misunderstood as just a stepping stone to project management but they form an integral role in the successful delivery of large or complex pieces of work. There is a definite career path for those in the field of project support and as such today I would like to address some tips on how to make your CV more effective in gaining that next role within the PMO for support professionals.
So, typically one would begin their career as a project support officer or project administrator and gain experience / skills by assisting project delivery staff in the execution of their projects and /or programmes. This may come in the form of administrative duties (now deemed as a more old fashioned sense of PMO support) or more current uses are to advise the project and programme teams on effective uses of planning, reporting, risk & issues etc. tools as a consultant to the team. We see less of the diary management and more workshops and performing an interface between the projects and senior management. Working up through the ranks of PMO can see PMO analysts and PMO managers to heads of programme / portfolio management.
To effective sell your skills and seniority there are a few key areas to take into consideration when constructing your CV; such as:
1. Ensure you provide detail about the size of PMO you are working in, not all PMOs are 20 people strong – some are as small as one person strong. Let the reader get a feel for the size of team you are working in and how many project / programme managers you are supporting.
2. Type of PMO – how mature is the PMO, what frameworks and methods are you working to.
3. Job titles are often misleading – I have seen hundreds of CVs with job titles such as PMO coordinator who are managing the PMO, make sure you describe your function within the PMO. What you actually do.
4. Setting up the PMO – often PMO professionals sell themselves short by not stating they set the PMOs up, if you have a “tool box” which you amend and apply to new PMOs – talk about it.
5. Managing the PMO – some PMO professionals are experienced at picking up an established PMO and managing from there. Not all employers want employees who will reinvent the wheel, they may be happy with their PMO (and paid a lot of money via a contractor to put it in place) and want someone to “pick up the reins”.
6. What are the projects or programme of work being supported – a key element missing from most PMO CVs – employers like to understand the type of work supported. I believe it shouldn’t matter what the product is, however not everyone believes this and so some similarity in the types of projects may be the difference between gaining you an interview or not.
By taking these basic rules and applying to your CV with some detail about how you work – you should have a clear and concise CV which will see you gain a great deal of interest from hiring managers and recruiters alike.
The CV Righter has a wealth of experience in recruiting, providing careers advice and writing CVs for PMO professionals – for a free CV review get in touch: www.thecvrighter.co.uk