I thoroughly enjoyed presenting at the APM PM CV Workshop on Thursday 5th Dec – not only was it a pleasure to give something back to the PM community but it was also great to meet a bunch of really enthusiastic and engaging PM professionals. I was in talks with Graham the NW Branch Secretary about running a session back in April 2013, and I hadn’t expected the year to fly by as quickly as it did. Unfortunately on the evening we were met with horrific storms which lead to a reduced number attending the session, but this in no way reduced the energy in the room. For those who missed out here’s a synopsis of the evening. The session was broken down into sections, first we talked through an introduction lead by myself on who we were and a little about our backgrounds so we could establish a relevant theme to take throughout the evening. We then talked through structuring the CV and the importance of getting the right kind of information presented without producing a lengthy document. We discussed what employers look for in a CV and how the market has changed over the years, delving into experiences from the recruitment aspect and also how the delegates had found the shift. It was interesting to have a mix of delegates from permanent and contractors to those happy in their roles but recognising a need to have an up to date CV. We had stories from those who had never really needed a CV as their contract assignments had usually been secured through word of mouth and networks but had seen this type of behaviour dip over the years and those who had been in their current employment for over 10 years. It was interesting that one of the delegates pointed out that the demographic of the attendees was 40 year old plus, which sparked a discussion about ageism and how this could play a part in recruitment whether beneficial or discriminatory. However as the group was reduced due to the storm it was not a true reflection of parties interested in improving their CVs, although the willpower to attend against the blocked roads and gale force winds was noted. The session lasted a good hour and a half due to lots of discussions about various aspects of the CV and talking through examples, lots of great questions were asked and by the end of the session although some felt their CVs needed shredding and starting over. Everyone felt reenergised about how to put together a winning CV. I also gave some personal CV reviews after the session and provided all attendees with a CV template sample and guidance notes to achieve the winning CV. Asking around the room (also receiving some fantastic feedback afterwards via twitter and the blog) everyone felt the session had been a real eye opener and useful for them moving forward.
I must say I tend to find presentations quite stale when too formal, so taking a more collaborative approach to delivering and sharing information came as a refreshing change and a style I shall adopt for future workshops.
I have been asked to present at future APM events, which I look forward to – hopefully next time we won’t be faced with adverse weather conditions!