Posts Tagged “Advice”

Relationship Management – PM Tips

A key skill within project management is effective relationship management; I know some exceptional communicators and also know some who think they are exceptional communicators – unfortunately it is difficult to break through a hardened ego shell so this article is aimed at those who remain open minded to improving or honing their skill. Behaviours play a big part of relationship management and building – gaining respect doesn’t purely come from a shining track record of stellar delivery, it comes from a few factors:

  1. Respecting others – show interest in individuals and understand what their drivers are, listen to them and hold on to the information.
  2. Be genuine – we are all human, admit your mistakes and set your limits.
  3. Support others awareness of you, share interests and values.
  4. Demonstrate integrity – practice what you preach, roll your sleeves up and work with others.

handshake

Connect with others by listening, create a positive environment where you demonstrate a personal investment in the relationship, apply appropriate boundaries and gain a clear sense of what individuals are saying, build rapport and encourage others to listen in return.

When in a scenario you should look to apply the following:

  • Acknowledge what is being said, register what is happening.
  • Identify their intentions – what is it they hope to achieve.
  • Review – consider the conversation and either respond there or give a time when you will be able to provide a response.

Always ensure conversations have a healthy balance of input and response, listen, offer support or solutions, listen, confirm understanding, listen, reflect and summarise. Make observations; provide feedback and/or opinions, challenge views, offer relevant examples/stories and advice. Don’t talk over others – let them have their say, but keep in control of the discussion.

Preparing to move on after years in the same role 

I was approached by a client recently who has been working in a strategic role within the NHS for over 15 years, she is keen to make a move out to a different sector and has approached me to discuss how to go about making that change. It is always difficult when you have stayed with a role/organisation for so long, we do tend to become institutionalised and our confidence levels can really suffer when we challenge ourselves to move out of our comfort zone. At first we talked through the reasons behind moving on, an important factor whenever you are looking to make a big change. Having uncovered a deep seated unhappiness with how the role has been re-shaped over a number of restructures and changes to organisational policy – it has become very clear that a move away is important for her growth and well being. As such, we have structured a plan with which to work to.skeleton First of all we need to get down on paper what she has been delivering over the years, looking at how she works, and also what some of the key challenges have been. By pulling together a skills audit with workable examples we can start to work on the confidence issues. Sometimes it takes an overview of what you have achieved and the challenges you have overcome to make you realise just how good you are! We have decided to work together in constructing a CV as a good exercise where she will learn new skills in putting together a CV in the future but also gain a strong affinity to what is being included which will help when we reach interview stage. Once we have a strong CV I have agreed to analyse the types of roles which would be a close fit for her, we will talk through these roles and assist her in gaining a wider knowledge in how her current role fits into organisations outside the NHS. Once we have pinpointed some roles of interest, we will go through the application process and ensure the applications made are the best they can be to yield greater results. Whilst this part of the process is running we will begin interview coaching, making sure we include some fantastic and relevant examples to use whilst clearly articulating the right amount of information and understanding of what is being asked of her by interviewers. The service will not conclude here, we shall continue to work together right the way through the offer process and even through to settling into a new role. This is a big move for my client so it is important she feels fully supported whilst making the transition, there will be no point she will feel fazed or overly nervous as we’ve agreed a fully inclusive mentoring and support service. The CV Righter works with you to understand your needs and offer a bespoke service which will get you on the right track.

January detox – out with the bad and in with the good, CV advice

Time to strip back your CV to the bone, and build muscles back – rid that fat! Christmas is a time for celebration and usually means eating and drinking more than the usual quota, as New Year kicks in we take a resolution to fight back at the added pounds and detox our vital organs. This is also true for your CV, not just over Christmas but throughout the year we add more pieces of information to the ever growing CV as we achieve more and use more skills. So whilst you are trying to abstain from all the bad things and need a distraction from bad habits – now is a good time to give your CV that much needed detox.

Here are some tips on doing just that:

  • Back to basics – hopefully you already have a structured CV which provides the main skeleton to your work history; this is an excellent starting point. Strip it back to bare essentials and take all the “fat” out to one side.
  • Work that fat – now you have a list of all the bulk, separate from the CV take a good look at what is relevant to you as a professional and tone it up. Reduce the text down to clear and concise statements. Look to integrate similar pieces of information in that role into one bullet point.
  • Tone up the muscle – once you have strong statements make sure they are looking as good as possible, refrain from repeating terminology and buff up the content you have to ensure each statement looks as good as it can.
  • Exercise – yes, you can apply a regime to your workout by practising – don’t be tempted to take the lazy route and just write a statement leaving it at that. Write and rewrite until you have a well written piece of work.
  • Repetition – make sure you work through the entire CV applying the same structure (but not repeating action words such as managing, reporting, and delivering over and over).
  • Detox – remove all the parts the employer does not want to see, put yourself in their shoes – we expect you to be organised, motivated and energetic. Think about core competencies which are vital to achieving your goals such as planning, team management, applying structure and how you do this.

Employ key structure to each bullet point – the employer wants to know what you do/did, how you do/did it and some context in terms of size/locations of teams, budgets, type of assignment, timescales and challenges met along the way.

A new year means a new start for everyone – the employment market is still struggling but there are still roles out there so it is imperative that your CV is at its peak fitness; toned, free of fat and looking good. You will be surprised just how quickly your CV is picked up for interviews if you put the work in; don’t be disillusioned by the fact that there aren’t so many in your field applying for roles, employers are being every bit as stringent in their filtering process with job applications which means you have to really work at it!

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: www.thecvrighter.co.uk