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.
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!
When you submit your CV for a job, where does it go? Well it depends on where you apply for the role – whether it is direct to an employer or through a job board. So we’ll take a look at the various scenarios:
- Direct employer: In this scenario the CV will generally go into a pool of applications to be sorted by HR or outsourced recruitment services, at this point the reviewer will skim read your CV and review for various elements required for the role. At this point you will be placed into a YES, NO or MAYBE pile. A shortlist will be prepared from the YES pile; if they are low on numbers then the MAYBE pile will be reviewed again for weaker possibilities. The shortlist will be sent to a number of personnel including the hiring manager and HR manager, at this point the shortlist will be reduced to a number of candidates deemed fit for interview.
- Job board applications: Similar to the above scenario, another layer of scrutiny will be added into the mix prior to reaching the HR department at the employer. The recruiter will receive a (generally) larger pool of applications, and the sorting process will begin. Using a list of key requirements the recruiter will review CVs and quickly sort into YES or NO piles, due to the volume of applications there is little room for a MAYBE pile. If the recruitment business is PM specific then they will tend to be much more focussed on PM requirements and more ruthless when rejecting CVs which do not meet the mark. Once a shortlist is put together, they will be sent to the employer to start the above process, unless there is already a relationship in place where the hiring manager may deal direct with applications.
Because the recruitment process is so stringent, it is important to make sure you really work on that CV and make sure it ticks all the boxes for your applications or you face being placed in the recycle bin.