Category Archives: PMO

PMO CV tips for Project professionals

Project and programme management support roles are often misunderstood as just a stepping stone to project management but they form an integral role in the successful delivery of large or complex pieces of work. There is a definite career path for those in the field of project support and as such today I would like to address some tips on how to make your CV more effective in gaining that next role within the PMO for support professionals.

So, typically one would begin their career as a project support officer or project administrator and gain experience / skills by assisting project delivery staff in the execution of their projects and /or programmes. This may come in the form of administrative duties (now deemed as a more old fashioned sense of PMO support) or more current uses are to advise the project and programme teams on effective uses of planning, reporting, risk & issues etc. tools as a consultant to the team. We see less of the diary management and more workshops and performing an interface between the projects and senior management. Working up through the ranks of PMO can see PMO analysts and PMO managers to heads of programme / portfolio management.

To effective sell your skills and seniority there are a few key areas to take into consideration when constructing your CV; such as:

1. Ensure you provide detail about the size of PMO you are working in, not all PMOs are 20 people strong – some are as small as one person strong. Let the reader get a feel for the size of team you are working in and how many project / programme managers you are supporting.

2. Type of PMO – how mature is the PMO, what frameworks and methods are you working to.

3. Job titles are often misleading – I have seen hundreds of CVs with job titles such as PMO coordinator who are managing the PMO, make sure you describe your function within the PMO. What you actually do.

4. Setting up the PMO – often PMO professionals sell themselves short by not stating they set the PMOs up, if you have a “tool box” which you amend and apply to new PMOs – talk about it.

5. Managing the PMO – some PMO professionals are experienced at picking up an established PMO and managing from there. Not all employers want employees who will reinvent the wheel, they may be happy with their PMO (and paid a lot of money via a contractor to put it in place) and want someone to “pick up the reins”.

6. What are the projects or programme of work being supported – a key element missing from most PMO CVs – employers like to understand the type of work supported. I believe it shouldn’t matter what the product is, however not everyone believes this and so some similarity in the types of projects may be the difference between gaining you an interview or not.

By taking these basic rules and applying to your CV with some detail about how you work – you should have a clear and concise CV which will see you gain a great deal of interest from hiring managers and recruiters alike.

The CV Righter has a wealth of experience in recruiting, providing careers advice and writing CVs for PMO professionals – for a free CV review get in touch:

Value Proposition CV – does your Project Manager CV say £30k or £80k?

Having reviewed thousands of Project Management CVs, I, like many others who have worked in the recruitment business can generally pitch a salary level for a candidate. However, there are lots of CVs out there which do not demonstrate the salary level the candidate is currently on or would like to achieve in their next role.

When constructing your CV you need to think about how you add value, it is always good to highlight some key achievements – as project management is all about achievement. But to think out of the box will help the reader of the CV understand a little more about you and how you work. Key achievements don’t have to be grand in regards to size; working on large high profile projects is great however I would expect to see this in the remit of your role in order to contextualise your work. And, you were paid to deliver them so simply putting; “delivered on time and to budget” doesn’t add a lot really.

What sets you apart from others delivering similar pieces of work? Not all projects are delivered to spec for a number of reasons or maybe they have been but it took a great deal more than straight forward management to get to that point. Understanding issues you have come up against and how you have overcome them tells us so much more about your skill-set.

Strategic involvement on projects also demonstrates a higher level of project manager and as such typically would command a higher salary. Demonstrating an awareness of key business objectives and also implementing structure to an organisation are key areas potential employers look for.

The most disappointing CVs are the bland ones – bland being ones which have barely any detail about projects or methods of delivery and lack areas such as stakeholder management and benefits realisation. As project professionals gain more experience and move onto new projects and organisations the room to express any such detail reduces significantly. Ideally a CV should be 2 pages long although 3 pages are acceptable, put greater emphasis on the most recent roles and reduce detail as you move down through the CV. If roles are >10 years ago, simply add a line for dates, company name and role title. Do not make the mistake a lot of project professionals commanding £60k+ do by thinking “less is more” and writing a short statement under each role and assuming that their seniority in each organisation will say the rest – it doesn’t! All businesses are different and do things differently, job titles are misleading and assuming that the hiring manager will recognise the skills without them being stated will often leave your CV in the “reject” pile.

Candidates looking for salaries pitched at circa £30k need to put good emphasis on experience gained thus far and responsibilities – ensuring you are demonstrating your understanding of the project lifecycle and where you have gone above and beyond the role requirements. Again, it doesn’t necessarily mean ground breaking ideas (although they would be great) – areas in the business which you identify for improvement and ideally when you have put new processes in place to reduce time wastage or increase productivity.

The CV Righter has many years experience both delivering projects and recruiting for project professionals, for a free CV review make contact today:

Perception – does your Project Manager CV really say the right things about you?

I know it may seem hard to believe, after slaving away over your CV that it might not be presenting you in the right light – but it is probably be true. As a recruiter I would take at least one or two calls a day from prospective candidates asking why they had been rejected for the role they had applied for. When I stated a number of key requirements for the role I would receive a response such as; “But I have this experience…” my answer was very commonly, why is it not stated in your CV?

It is very common to make assumptions when creating your own masterpiece – because you are working on it and understand it, you start to find it difficult to see the wood for the trees. You also assume that your target audience, know what it is like to work at your organisations. Wrong!! Every business runs its projects differently and even departmentally there can be significant differences in process.

When creating a CV, try to see it from an outsider’s perspective – assume the potential reader of your CV knows nothing about project management or you. The key is to write a concise CV which tells the reader all they need to know about what it is you have been doing and how. Try to avoid a barrage of “key skills” listed at the top of the CV and stick to contextualising the skills within the body of the CV.

Remember that in a project environment, communication is key – ensuring you are effectively communicating your skills and abilities in a written format is something recruiters, HR Managers and hiring managers will be looking for. You are being judged from the moment you make yourself known to these people and as such should remember that first impressions last. Not only should your CV be well written and tell the reader all they need to know about you for the job they are recruiting for, your method of delivery should also be demonstrated to a high standard.

Think about the email, to start, please use a sensible email name / address – not something which may be hilariously whacky amongst friends, you want to be taken seriously. Next think about what to add in the email body, putting nothing or “See attached” is neither professional nor polite. Think about the role you are applying for and match up your relevant experience and competencies, do not just cut and paste from your CV. Talk about the projects which are relevant to the role and how you delivered, even if the job advert is asking for PRINCE2 and you haven’t got the qualification, have you worked to PRINCE2 principles? Include this detail in the email. Finally, if you are following up your application with a telephone call, make sure you have some good questions to ask too. Do not ask what is already answered in the advert as this demonstrates you have not read the advert properly; think about other key areas such as the size of the team you would be working in. How far along the project is and what are the key areas which are attractive to the client for the role such as soft skills, personality fit etc.

The CV Righter can assist with all the above elements and is best placed to aid you with targeting specific roles as well as general roles in your PM arena. Take a look at our to see the types of roles and industry sectors we cover and how we can help you secure short-listing for the all important next role in a very competitive market.

PMO CV Writing Service

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.

PMO office


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.