Category Archives: CV Tips

The Project Lifecycle – Project Management CV Writing

One key area not considered or talked about in a great deal of project management CVs is the project lifecycle – assuming that the reviewer knows you work through a structured approach is a big mistake. As project practitioners we all work differently, some don’t work through any methodology and governance is none existent. Therefore a great starting point for writing out the remit of each role would be to use the lifecycle framework as a core structure to then build on. Let’s have a look at the project lifecycle:

project lifecycle

Initiation – The beginning phase where objectives are defined and a business case is drawn up. At this point a decision whether to initiate the project itself based on a review of core areas such as cost, deliverables, scope, purpose, resources, timescales, structure, impact, etc.


Planning – The project is now assessed in terms of time, cost and resource; as a starting point but should be continuously updated, changed and evolved throughout the course of the project.


Execution – The project actually happens, usually overseen by the project manager and supported by the project team. Activities will be monitored and controlled throughout this phase and regular updates will be presented to the senior management team/sponsors/customers etc.


Close – Like all good things, everything must come to a close. It is especially important that projects are closed down effectively and success celebrated or lessons learnt from failure.


Now take a look at your CV and see if any aspects of the above are actually addressed? I bet there’s a list of skills but no real information or examples; am I right? Then you need to go back to the drawing board and produce a CV which employers want to see and recruiters will fall over themselves to sell you to their clients.

Project Management CV writing services

The project management job market is up and down all the time, having tracked the PM job market for 8 years or so from a buoyant time and through a double dip recession I can honestly say there has always been PM jobs about. OK so employers changed their recruitment methods and processes, it became more difficult to secure a role and the salaries have yo-yo’d throughout. One thing which hasn’t changed is the need for an excellent CV, employers expect the best and will shortlist based on how well they relate to the CVs presented to them. As a standard, a CV must be well written with no spelling or grammatical errors but much more than this you need to be selling yourself in the right light. I thoroughly believe you can actually have less of the experience if your CV clearly demonstrates what you can do and how you do it. If you can match 85% (previously I would’ve said 90-95%) of the role requirements but have some excellent examples of how you have added value to employers, talk through core skills with context and generally have a shining example of your skill-set versus experience then you are more likely to score more interviews.

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I’ve always said, if you can write the CV yourself, then do it, however it is difficult to separate yourself from the document and be objective and this can really hinder you. Working exclusively with a former PM recruiter you can really build a CV that works and really talks about you. For a free quote and honest feedback for how your current CV comes across, get in touch!

Project Management CV profile – selling yourself for new roles

The profile is an important part of your CV, an introduction to you as a project professional – ideally it should summarise you and what you actually do. However it is often an area on the CV which lacks any real impact, circling around expected skills such as being positive, dynamic, organising, good time keeping etc – as I said “expected skills” well they are, I would hope you have good organisation and a positive approach to your work in every job across the land. Focusing on core areas such as planning, change, business cases, strategy, project capability etc are what you need to be talking about, however, to start make sure you describe who you are. You may be a PM but your job titles don’t align so here is a good area to make sure you tell the reviewer what it is you do. Next think about the types of projects you manage, the environments you work in, the types of teams you work with and any technical competencies you have whether it be technology or methodologies. Then think about what your specialism or niche might be, such as implementing frameworks, dealing with difficult stakeholders, picking up part run projects (maybe they are failing etc) and overcoming cultural issues.


Once you have a short paragraph, read through it and see if this is a fair description of you as a professional, some call this an elevator pitch. By providing a strong descriptive profile you will stop calls from recruiters for roles that are inappropriate and increase calls from recruiters with roles that are a good match for you. It pays to spend some time getting the profile right as you need to create a good impression from the start of the CV, it speaks volumes if you can’t summarise what you do, how can anyone else?

Putting skills on your Project Management CV

Skills are an obvious subject to address in your CV, but are you actually writing the right things? We’ve all heard that recruiters keyword search on specific words which are relevant to PM and delivery/support etc, and this is true, however a list of keywords just doesn’t cut it. Anyone can write a good list from a little research which will have your CV come to the top of a search but with no context it is just a list or a word, we can’t actually see where or when you have used the skill. Equally, copying and pasting your job description may look like you’ve made more effort but it is obvious this is what you have done to recruiters and HR professionals, they read bland and generic (and dare I say….Lazy!).


If you have already created a list then you are half way there to getting some really good pieces of information on the CV, have a think about how you have used the skill, some skills are a daily requirement so you can talk about how you regularly do XYZ and talk about why you do it, if it is a skill you don’t use as regularly but for more specific pieces of work then talk about specifics for using it. You’ll soon have a good list of bullet points which incorporate the keywords but they actually tell a story and make your use of them more realistic to the reviewer. Not rocket science, but an area that a lot of project professionals fail to do with their CVs, placing more focus on the project which in turn makes for a great marketing pitch for the project and/or business but does nothing to sell you and your skill-set.