Category Archives: Recruitment

How to make your PMO CV more interesting – PMO CV Tips

I am often approached by PMO professionals who want to make their CV more appealing to recruiting managers, as they feel their roles are the same from company to company (or assignment to assignment). It is easy to fall into the trap of being repetitive or trying to rephrase the same information over and over – but this rarely adds value to the CV and makes for a boring read to others. The trick is to really think about each role and draw out the core areas relevant to the assignment, in reality, there is always a difference in these roles whether it be with process or people. But addressing the core areas pertinent to the role in question will not only make for a more interesting read, it also helps you ensure you are talking through core competencies and situations recognised in the PMO field which should ensure you are getting “ticks in the boxes” of the recruitment wish list and ultimately being put into shortlists for the roles you are applying for.

painting a picture

A key starting point would be to list all the core areas relevant to your role within the PMO and then match up specific areas to roles, that way you are not leaving out any required pieces but you are also then beginning to split out some interesting pieces of information which will provide a flow through the CV and paint a strong picture of how you work and your understanding of supporting projects / programmes / portfolios of work.

Think about how you fit into a PMO, do you create templates and provide consultancy work to PMs and PgMs, have you established project capability to an organisation, are you analysing key strategic data business-wide? As the PMO is a complex field, it pays to really address what your specialism is and spell it out to recruiters who might not necessarily know what a PMO is (never mind the roles within them).



Job offers – PM Job Tips

I have been working with a recent graduate to get his CV up to scratch for his first job in his chosen field, we have produced a good, strong CV and also been through some careers coaching to ensure he is applying for the right roles and in the right way. As he started to apply for positions he found a great deal of interest from recruiters and direct from employers, so much so that he had a number of interviews lined up and was now being prepped ready for these when he came across an awkward situation with a recruiter.

To set the scene; he had already been through a 2 stage interview with company A and was due to go for a 2nd interview with company B when he received a call from the recruiter representing company A telling him he had an offer for the position – great news! However the candidate wanted to go for his 2nd interview with company B later the following day as he had a preference for this position/company. Being new to all this, the candidate explained his situation to company A recruiter and asked for a little time to consider his application. Bearing in mind 24 hours since his offer had been made hadn’t passed this shouldn’t be an issue. However recruiter representing company A then started to pile on pressure, stating that the offer may be withdrawn if he didn’t accept now and that he had a list of other suitable candidates which he could supply to company A.

Offer letters

The candidate called me and explained the situation asking what he should do, he feared being left in a position where he would have no offers at all should company B not make an offer and company A may withdraw offer. I pointed out that he should be in receipt of an offer letter as a minimum from company A but ideally they should be sending over a contract as there is no real offer until you have something in writing. I also pointed out that I doubted company A were threatening to revoke the offer and that it was likely the recruiter was saying this as a bullying tactic to get him to take his role – clearly his commission was at stake.

After a lengthy discussion we agreed that any company offering and withdrawing within 24 hours might not be the company you would want to work for, but giving them the benefit of the doubt we said a positive move forward would be to ask for the offer in writing for consideration (and buying some time for the other interview to take place). When the candidate asked the recruiter for an offer letter/contract the recruiter said it is not normal practice to send out such documentation without acceptance of the role. As the candidate regaled the conversation to me it became clear that recruiter A was getting rather desperate and saying anything to get the candidate to accept the role.

This kind of practice is not on and can really damage the reputation of the company the recruiter is representing, not to mention lose a good candidate for them, the good news is that the 2nd interview at company B was a success and an offer was extended on the spot to the candidate who has accepted and starts next week.

It is important to stay in control in these situations, do not be bullied into taking a role and always ask for an offer letter/contract as you may find yourself with no firm offers in place – you are entitled to take some time to consider an offer and it isn’t unreasonable to take a couple of days, keep your cards close to your chest about other opportunities when being pressured as this can lead to additional pushing from recruiters. Gut instinct should play a good part in decision making, don’t let fear of losing an opportunity make your decisions for you. If you are commanding a good level of interest elsewhere then you won’t be on the shelf long before more offers come your way.


When buying a bespoke or made-to-measure suit or other piece of clothing, time has to be invested by the maker and eventual wearer. Getting something to fit perfectly isn’t about one brief meeting; it is about choosing the cloth, discussing what the wearer wants, the occasion and having measurements taken by the maker. After several fittings hopefully both parties are happy and the wearer takes away a beautiful hand-crafted garment that they are proud to wear and in which they feel really comfortable. The maker will also be proud to be named as the skilled person behind the creation.

Bespoke positions?

Finding the right position especially when you are already at the top of your game is not dissimilar. Or at least it shouldn’t be.

Both the prospective employer and the executive looking for a position first of all need an introduction. In the best case scenarios they are introduced to one another by a headhunter who has already done some of the hard work. If you like, offered advice to choose the cloth, discussed what the bespoke garment is for and taken the measurements for both sides.

The fittings are taken care of by the client and the executive to see if they can make the perfect garment together.

A good headhunter

A good headhunter not only know his clients well and understands their company culture so that they are well equipped to find the right executive but they are ably prepared to read a CV and understand potential. To interview executives and glean any extra information that will mean a good fit.

A personal service

For top jobs you expect top service so hunt down a service provider who will give you just that. You need a headhunter who will make it their business to ensure you are listened to, kept informed and understanding exactly what you are looking for.

From a company point of view the service you are looking for is not very different. You need the headhunter to understand exactly how your company works and the exact calibre of person you are looking for when recruiting.

Both sides need to feel as though the headhunter is working solely for them and kept informed of all dialogue with the third party.

Executive recruitment

At the top end of the scale it is almost more important that the fit between client and executive is perfect. At this level a new executive is expected to start running, know their stuff and understand the company culture. This means a lot of research and feed back of information by the headhunter and of course during interviews.

A headhunter’s reputation is also dependent on giving the best service and showing a good understanding of what is required from both parties. A good headhunter needs to know his clients inside out and to work better than any match-making agency in putting the two together.

Which ever side of this coin you are coming from, when it comes to executive recruitments make sure that the agency you use has the credentials and a good match-making record.

Wendy Lin is a free-lance writer who is enjoying her new countryside living in the peaceful land of England…

LinkedIn for Project Managers

LinkedIn has evolved over the years, what was once a business social network has quickly become a tool for hiring managers and recruiter to identify potential employees – with a pool of 200 million users reported it is one big database. The ability to be able to search on location, companies, industries, job titles and keywords makes it a fantastic resource for those tasked with recruitment.

This in mind, have you done the basics to ensure you are making your profile attractive and not overlooked; here are some basics to get you started:

  • Endorsements – contacting your previous employers, colleagues, former customers etc. to request a few words is definitely worthwhile. That said you should also look to return the favour with your associates. Endorsements are useful for potential employers to have a look at how others view you; they won’t stand in place of your references but certainly play a positive part in attracting interest.
  • Project Managers on LinkedInDetails – seems obvious, but I have lost track of the profiles I have viewed which barely state current or previous employment names and dates. Think about how this looks to others, lazy and uninteresting. Invest some time to add in details which can be (and I advise should be) different to your CV. A stripped down version which talks through your projects and basics on how you delivered should suffice – whet the appetite of the viewer.
  • Summary – this is a good area to introduce yourself, make sure you talk about you as a professional – what is it you actually do? But also ensure you add in keywords specific to your skill-set as keyword searches will scan for these. Also think about including industries etc into this section.
  • Free flow – as your LinkedIn profile isn’t an official CV you can add an element of creativity and it is important to do this. Not make things up!! But address areas which you merely don’t have the room for on your CV, where your passion lays and also what your outside interests are too. Look to build a strong profile which says all it needs to but engages others.

OK so now you have a profile which is interesting and you feel happy with, make sure it is searchable / open to others. This is a question I am often asked – should I make my profile public in my privacy settings, short answer to those who are looking for their next opportunity, yes! You can always batten down the hatches on your settings once you have secured a new role but in the first instance, how do you expect to be picked up by recruiters and hiring managers?

We have been approached by a number of clients asking for their LinkedIn profile script to be put together alongside their CV so they are set to start their job search; this is certainly another element of our services and something we highly recommend to put you in the right position moving forward.