Last week I wrote about key factors which make a PMO really work and how you should be including these in your CV to attract employers. As part of a series I will be talking through the various elements to assist you in building a strong CV which will enhance your job applications.
Relationship building is an important part of life; we are constantly doing this whether it is in our personal lives or at work. However in a PMO environment it is particularly important to be forging strong relationships across the board. If your PMO is a new function then it is inevitable that you will need to gain buy-in from a few entities but even well established PMOs must strive to keep communication open and realistic. We come across issues with all areas of business from time to time – whether it be suppliers being difficult, PMs not adhering to governance, business heads not allowing sufficient resources to work on projects in matrix environments, the list goes on…
The mistake most make when it comes to writing a CV is to assume that the reviewer (hiring manager/recruiter/HR) will know that you constantly work on building relationships – it is a huge oversight and as such can be the difference between being shortlisted or rejected for the role, and it simply isn’t good enough to merely state “relationship building”. Therefore it is good practice to make a note of specific examples where you have overcome blockers/brought teams on board etc. When you have a list, work through it to identify which ones you feel added most value. Turn the list into bullet points, short statements which tell the reviewer what the issue was with some context and how you added value. Then you can use selected examples in your CV when applying for jobs, if you know a little about the environment in which you are applying to, such as issues they are currently facing then you can tailor your CV with relevant examples. For the more generic job adverts/descriptions you can supply a variety of examples covering all bases, these examples can be added into key achievements so they are highlighted to the reviewer and/or integrated into the role remits also which will add a little diversity to the roles which may appear to be a bit “samey”.
You set up PMOs, manage them and enhance project capability within complex business environments but when it comes to putting a CV together – you suddenly run dry of ideas. There’s the time old guilt complex of PMOs being a team effort which makes you not want to talk about all your achievements as you may not have lead them, and the issue of roles being very “samey” from assignment to assignment which can have you stuck beyond writing that first role. There is help out there, so don’t panic! I am approached by PPM professionals from all levels who really need assistance with writing that all important CV. Let’s face it, the job market is very competitive and becomes even more competitive when it comes to core specialist areas such as PMO positions. There’s no shame in asking for help – “horses for courses” is my motto, those who can do, those who can’t will pay those who can to do it. Having a specialism in PMO recruitment, as we have, makes The CV Righter a perfect solution – you do not lose control as the approach we take is collaborative, therefore the CV remains yours but will contain all the right information for employers and recruiters to pick you for interview.
If you choose to take the steps to create the CV yourself, then you’ll need a few tips! Think about the core skill-set or requirements for a successful PMO – what makes your PMO successful?
- Relationship building
- Change management
- Benefits Management
- Interdependency management
- Coaching & mentoring
I am going to write a series based on the above points, drawing out ideas and providing tips on how to maximise your potential within your CV, over the next few weeks.
As project practitioners we strive to manage benefits throughout the project lifecycle to ensure the project outcomes are meeting the stakeholders needs – however when it comes to job applications this key skill is often overlooked. Looking at the job application process as a project (in basic terms) can really enhance your chances of securing that next challenging role. We’ve covered planning and communications in previous posts, today I want to go through the benefits management aspect of the process.
First you should look to establish what the core benefits are you wish to achieve – in some cases it will be “a job” in other cases there may be other factors such as specific challenges (either because it is your specialism or because it is an element you wish to develop in your career portfolio) or money of course. Once you have determined your required outcomes then you should ensure that your actions are met with a constructive and structured approach. This is where research comes into play and some hard work – see the below checklist for ideas on how to strengthen your applications:
- Research similar roles currently being advertised to gain a good understanding of what employers are looking for at the moment, trends and needs change all the time so make sure you are aware of what they are after.
- Match up your CV with the relevant roles – put the CV next to the job description/advert and check off key skills/tools/experience on your CV. Have you addressed the areas required by the employer? Is it clear for all levels of reviewer (i.e. HR, Recruiters, Hiring Managers etc)?
- Research organisations which may be running similar projects etc, develop a list of employers who may be relevant to your applications.
The final part of the process is to ensure you are enhancing your own benefits on your CV – demonstrating how you can really add value to businesses. Think about all the process improvement, enhanced project management capability, team coaching/training/mentoring, reducing bottlenecks, relationship establishing/building/rebuilding, and trouble shooting. There must be a plethora of examples you could share, write a list and use ones most relevant to the role/business you are applying for.