I have been working with a new client who is a PMO guru – she has an impressive portfolio of contract positions in a variety of industries and is highly regarded in her field. When I was first presented with her CV for a review I was pleased to tell her that her CV says all the right things although it was missing some key facts, and as a recruiter I would be delighted to receive her CV. However I also stated that her CV was a little too good, as a recruiter passing on CVs to potential clients my fear was that it is just too good. Now at this point you may ask how can a CV be too good – well you need to think about who will be screening CVs when you apply for roles, as a project management specialist I can understand the terminology, but a great deal of clients would struggle to get their heads around it. Also when you apply for roles you may not be sending your CV to a PMO specialist – there are a great deal of recruiters with no specialist knowledge in the project management field and also HR representatives alike.

My suggestion was to add in the key areas missing in the CV and break down the information supplied into a more reader friendly piece of information. Not dumb it down but use plain English with a good level of keywords put into context within the CV.

Don't make it too complex

Assuming the reader will know what it is you are trying to say is one of the biggest mistakes professionals can make when writing CVs – by sitting on the other side of the table you can start to think about how you communicate with non-project personnel, perhaps in a work environment. Therefore you are demonstrating on your CV an ability to be able to turn complex pieces of work into easy to digest information.

Working with my client has been very interesting – we agreed a plan of action and worked together to clearly promote her experience and skill-set so she has a balance of what is expected recruitment wise and what she wants to say.

This is a clear example of a client recognising she needs to do something right with her CV and accepting that change is the order of the day – that’s a great project person, taking a pragmatic approach to ensuring she comes across in the right light.

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