I am often asked “what can I be doing to enhance my CV further to attract employers” – it’s an interesting question which is often followed up by “should I take a PM qualification?” It is the 20 million dollar question, some organisations ask specifically for PM qualifications whereas others are happy with the experience in delivering through structured methods. My first response is have you set aside some funds to take a course? If you have been made redundant you may have an agreement with the business for them to pay for a course or two and as a seasoned contractor I would expect you to be investing in your business (i.e. you) with some courses. However if you are new to PM or looking to break into PM then a course may not be the best use of your time or money, I would always say it is good to back up practice with a formal qualification but just taking an exam when you have little or no exposure to putting the theory into practice isn’t going to set you much further ahead of your peers. An introductory course might be a good option for those new to PM, this will provide an insight into how projects are run and assist you in the terminology used within the PM field.
As a practitioner with a number of years exposure to structured methods, it is a clear indicator that you are dedicated to the field by gaining the PM badges and is always good to get back in the classroom now and then to brush up on current practices. Also those wishing to move from PM to programmes may look at qualifications which are relevant to that level of delivery, as you are likely to be managing a programme or two within your portfolio it would be a good exercise to apply a more robust structure to the delivery and set you in better stead moving forward.
In regards to which PM qualification to go for – it is always difficult to know which one the employer will be asking for, my advice is to research the roles you are relevant for and see what the adverts are asking for. However if you have a PM badge or two which are not what the employer is asking for, don’t be put off applying if you fit the rest of the job wish list – some employers just name a qualification but don’t necessarily use that structure, they may just be looking for a PM with a structured approach as opposed to a “just do it” approach. Another good idea is to talk to PM recruiters and ask what they are being asked for most within your field, they have their fingers hot on the pulse of what the trends are in reality.