Presenting is a fantastic subject to talk about today – further to my PMO CV tips series, I think this article will really give you some food for thought. So, we have talked about presentations being a big part of PMOs, from presenting at workshops to senior stakeholder updates we’ve all had put part in this area. Have you addressed this on your CV though? No? Why not? Talking of presenting skills…. You’re not providing demonstrable evidence of your fantastic information delivery skills if you forget to mention it on your CV are you!?
Remembering that you need to be meeting the core criteria for the jobs you are applying for, presentations are often mentioned in job descriptions and therefore, will be checked for on your CV making it important for you to include some detail or risk being rejected for the role. Yes, screening CVs is that harsh, with hundreds of applications for any one role, the reviewer will use a check list to decide whether to reject or short list.
Time to make another list! Think about the types of presentations you are involved with, your input and core objectives. What format do they take, who are the audience (PM team, stakeholders, project board, sponsors and consider if they are internal/external/customers/suppliers etc) presentation content, handouts, format etc. there’s lots you can include, which should make for an interesting bullet point to add to your role remit and ensure you are putting a tick in the presentation requirement box of the hiring manager.
Don’t underestimate what employers want to see in your CV, assuming that it’s “obvious” you have done it, remember all organisations, business units and people work differently. If you are not including the detail on the CV then it will be assumed you haven’t done it.
Creative writing does not need to be fictional – in fact a good story teller should be able to apply a style to factual events to make them an interesting read. Some readers actually have a greater buy-in to pieces of literature which are true and this often makes for a larger following. As the web has grown into huge proportions and businesses are reliant on websites, Facebook pages and blogs to market their products it has become necessary for copywriters and content writers to look at different approaches.
Having a creative background albeit visually, I found quite early on in my degree that I could apply my abilities to written form – at first it was a lecturer who read one of my journals and said he liked my humorous approach to writing and from there I was encouraged to write more. I did this throughout my degree but when I left University I went on to forge a career in project management and found that a straight forward factually based style was required especially as I was dealing with a number of teams based across Europe so language barriers became an issue. However I believe that a more creative approach to writing presentations and particularly for workshops, the style can be much more engaging than stuffy communication.
It was when I started working for a project management recruitment agency that I found a balance between writing factual pieces of work and being creative – I was quite heavily involved in contributing to the company blog, newsletter, and I also wrote my job adverts for prospective candidates. I noticed the more inclusive a job advert was that I received a greater focussed set of applications for my jobs. By noting down key elements but also trying to give the reader a flavour of the organisation, I was starting to generate a great deal of interest. Talking through what they could receive in return for working at the organisation such as culture and making a mark, could easily make up for less competitive salaries.
The interest was not just from the prospective candidates but also other businesses who were particularly interested in my style and I was approached on countless occasions by head hunters. It is true to say that this style of writing has also proven very successful for my current business of professional CV writing – taking a bland piece of information and applying a creative slant to the document has struck a chord with my clients and employers. Bringing some personality to the CV and really painting a picture about the individual in regards to abilities, skills, management style and problem solving.
It just goes to show that you can apply your creative writing abilities to many aspects of work and making an extra effort can really help you get the message across… No more death by powerpoint!