Why is it so hard to provide a snapshot of yourself as a professional? Well maybe because there’s a lot that goes into what you do, all those behind the scenes bits coupled with this ingrained need to follow an old school recipe of placing buzzwords such as team player and motivated into the mix. Argh!!!!!
Time to leave all of that behind an follow a new but effective pattern – forget all you know about writing your profile and follow the below steps:
- Begin with a list of the core skills which are your strongest and you enjoy the most, put them in order of priority of enjoyment.
- Now look at what you actually do day to day – are you a deliverer, do you support, are you a specialist in a particular area such as risk or change?
- Think about areas that are relevant to the roles you’re applying for: managing/supporting teams/budget management/implementing frameworks/global interfacing etc
- Methodologies used and certifications gained: PRINCE2, APMP, PMI, P3O etc
- What type of projects/programmes do you manage or support?
- What industries have you worked in?
Now you should have lost of notes, put all of it together starting with a description of yourself with a job title and flow through the various specialities and core areas which will draw a strong picture of you as a professional. You only need one paragraph, but make it a powerful one – tell the reviewer all they need to know about you in one concise message.
The profile is an important part of your CV, an introduction to you as a project professional – ideally it should summarise you and what you actually do. However it is often an area on the CV which lacks any real impact, circling around expected skills such as being positive, dynamic, organising, good time keeping etc – as I said “expected skills” well they are, I would hope you have good organisation and a positive approach to your work in every job across the land. Focusing on core areas such as planning, change, business cases, strategy, project capability etc are what you need to be talking about, however, to start make sure you describe who you are. You may be a PM but your job titles don’t align so here is a good area to make sure you tell the reviewer what it is you do. Next think about the types of projects you manage, the environments you work in, the types of teams you work with and any technical competencies you have whether it be technology or methodologies. Then think about what your specialism or niche might be, such as implementing frameworks, dealing with difficult stakeholders, picking up part run projects (maybe they are failing etc) and overcoming cultural issues.
Once you have a short paragraph, read through it and see if this is a fair description of you as a professional, some call this an elevator pitch. By providing a strong descriptive profile you will stop calls from recruiters for roles that are inappropriate and increase calls from recruiters with roles that are a good match for you. It pays to spend some time getting the profile right as you need to create a good impression from the start of the CV, it speaks volumes if you can’t summarise what you do, how can anyone else?