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.

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