PMOs have been around for years, although originally underutilised, they now play a major role in the successful delivery of projects and programmes within organisations across all fields. As such the salaries commanded for support roles have improved dramatically along with the role remits, therefore the field of project and programme support has become a competitive field to get into, no longer are PMO professionals glorified secretaries, you’re the drivers behind project capability. As the support roles are now no longer a stepping stone to project management (although still can be) there is a clear career path in this field which is well suited to those who have a passion and flair for process and people improvement.
Your CV is the key to the gateway of recruitment, ensuring you are being put forward for roles and more importantly, for the right roles. I have spoke to a number of PMO contractor who are persistently put forward for project coordinator positions – completely the wrong role for them, after reviewing their CVs the theme is that the CV is not focussing on the strategic aspect of project support. At the CV Righter, we have specialist PMO recruitment experience which is used to underpin the core areas looked for by both recruiters and HR professionals in the field, producing a strong document which clearly depicts your experience, specialities and needs moving forward.
Why use a PMO CV writing service? Because that’s what we do, we specialise in PMO and PM, just as you specialise in implementing structure and guiding project teams. Horses for courses, we are a well established business which focuses on PPM and having worked with multinational to small businesses within every field and sector we know what the employer actually wants to see and what makes them interview.
Over these past few weeks I have written a series of blog articles aimed to give you some ideas about putting together a strong PMO CV, as a definitive guide to cores areas which you should look to address when tackling your CV here is a list of all the articles related to the series with links:
The key thing to remember when putting together your CV is to ensure you add in some context, do not fall into the trap of writing a job description (or copying and pasting one), this will lead to a flat piece of writing which demonstrates you are either lazy, not adept at presenting pieces of information or do not really understand what or why you have been doing things. Your CV is the first thing an employer will see about you, how it is written speaks volumes about you, your intelligence, professionalism, and how you feel about your roles. As a PMO professional, you will be required to write reports, presentations and guidance notes, therefore if you cannot be clear and engaging in your own CV then it doesn’t look too good for the documents you will be producing at work. It goes without saying that spelling and grammar are always checked and do not get me started on formatting – how many of you state “advanced or intermediate user of MS Word” yet you cannot get your font right or bullets aligned?? That screams less than basic user to those reviewing your CV.
We are all different and view our careers in a variety of ways; however one theme I have seen with a lot PMO professionals is passion. They really do enjoy going into organisations and making their mark, whether it be picking up the reins of a PMO, setting up a PMO or putting together programme strategies. The passion comes from seeing their work really making a difference to the business and of course, working with people. So when it comes to a CV, how can you really demonstrate this passion?
- The first point would be to think about some of your favourite examples of when you have added value, by listing some cases you will no doubt identify some themes.
- Bunch the instances into categories and think about what you enjoyed most about the experiences.
- Start to draft short statements which run through a basic overview, actions you took and results / benefits achieved.
- Now some examples may well be worth highlighting – these can be placed in the key achievements section, make sure you drive home the bits you are proud of and are demonstrated in your bullet points.
- Other pieces of work which are notable but may be better placed under the specific roles, I would suggest reducing the content down in this instance but you can still ensure you are getting the message across about your enjoyment of your work.
I have read many a PMO CV and some are fantastic, some are OK, others are not doing the candidate justice. On discussion I often find that there is a real passion and warmth around the work being done but the CV reads rather flat, when I point this out I am met with agreement. It often takes an independent evaluation of the CV to really highlight where improvements can be made, I always actively encourage people to ask for feedback from anyone they can as there will always be something brought to your attention.
I remember a few years ago I attended one of the APM PMOSIG events and took part in a group session talking through what is important for a successful PMO, lots of great suggestions were thrown into the hat but did tend to be along the lines of process, people, buy-in etc and not one of the PMO professionals had considered passion until I pointed it out. The winner of the most important element for a successful PMO ended up being “passion”.
Now job applications tend to be faceless with the process being “submit your CV for review” – you are not given the opportunity put across your personality or passion in person, so make sure you do it in your CV. PMO roles are very competitive (especially the well paid ones), you could be up against dozens of really strong candidates, what actually makes you think your CV will be picked over someone else??