PMOs have been around for years, although originally underutilised, they now play a major role in the successful delivery of projects and programmes within organisations across all fields. As such the salaries commanded for support roles have improved dramatically along with the role remits, therefore the field of project and programme support has become a competitive field to get into, no longer are PMO professionals glorified secretaries, you’re the drivers behind project capability. As the support roles are now no longer a stepping stone to project management (although still can be) there is a clear career path in this field which is well suited to those who have a passion and flair for process and people improvement.
Your CV is the key to the gateway of recruitment, ensuring you are being put forward for roles and more importantly, for the right roles. I have spoke to a number of PMO contractor who are persistently put forward for project coordinator positions – completely the wrong role for them, after reviewing their CVs the theme is that the CV is not focussing on the strategic aspect of project support. At the CV Righter, we have specialist PMO recruitment experience which is used to underpin the core areas looked for by both recruiters and HR professionals in the field, producing a strong document which clearly depicts your experience, specialities and needs moving forward.
Why use a PMO CV writing service? Because that’s what we do, we specialise in PMO and PM, just as you specialise in implementing structure and guiding project teams. Horses for courses, we are a well established business which focuses on PPM and having worked with multinational to small businesses within every field and sector we know what the employer actually wants to see and what makes them interview.
Over these past few weeks I have written a series of blog articles aimed to give you some ideas about putting together a strong PMO CV, as a definitive guide to cores areas which you should look to address when tackling your CV here is a list of all the articles related to the series with links:
The key thing to remember when putting together your CV is to ensure you add in some context, do not fall into the trap of writing a job description (or copying and pasting one), this will lead to a flat piece of writing which demonstrates you are either lazy, not adept at presenting pieces of information or do not really understand what or why you have been doing things. Your CV is the first thing an employer will see about you, how it is written speaks volumes about you, your intelligence, professionalism, and how you feel about your roles. As a PMO professional, you will be required to write reports, presentations and guidance notes, therefore if you cannot be clear and engaging in your own CV then it doesn’t look too good for the documents you will be producing at work. It goes without saying that spelling and grammar are always checked and do not get me started on formatting – how many of you state “advanced or intermediate user of MS Word” yet you cannot get your font right or bullets aligned?? That screams less than basic user to those reviewing your CV.
Love it or hate it, reporting is a part of business life and plays a huge role in project management – continuing with our PMO themed articles, today we shall look at what to include in your PMO CV. So there are a few versions of reports used within the PMO which are (or should be) targeted towards specific groups of people, depending on your PMOs service you will invariably be required to create, maintain and update an overall programme plan and more than likely hold the control of individual project status reports.
Pulling together information to create a management report is an essential part of successful PPM support, knowing what is going on within the programme and ensuring interdependencies are aligned are core competencies asked for by hiring managers for their PMO. I have read thousands of PMO CVs over the years and more than half of them have no reference to reporting within the role remits, regardless of seniority of role this information is missing. It is also important for those wishing to make a career change into project management and specifically a PM support role talk about reporting in their CVs. It is a transferable skill which does tend to closely align with job descriptions in the field of PM.
So, what kind of reports are you generating/updating/monitoring/presenting? Financial reports are very important, especially for the more complex programmes of work which can easily spiral out of control. Let’s look at some of the other core project documentation which is reviewed against reports to ensure the project/programme is still inline with strategic goals.
- The Business Case should describe the value to the sponsor from the outcomes of the programme.
- The Project Plan should define the product being produced, resources and time needed for all activities, also covering any dependencies between activities
- Project Initiation Document (PID) defines significant aspects of the project and forms the basis for its management and the assessment of overall success.
- Stage Plan will detail how and when the objectives for the stage are to be met by presenting the deliverables, activities and resources required.
- The Work Package provides information needed to deliver one or more specialist products.
- The Change Control Strategy documents the procedure to ensure that the processing of all Project Issues is controlled.
- Highlight Reports provide the Project Board (and other stakeholders) with a summary of the stage status at intervals defined by them.
- Project Issue Log – an issue can have a negative or positive impact on the project.
- Risk Management Log – risks can be threats to the successful delivery of the Programme or Project.
- End Stage Reports summarises progress to date and should provide an overview of the project.
- Post Project Review documents if business benefits have been realised and recommendations for future improvements should also be recorded.
Of course you know all this, but looking at it listed in black and white should really prompt some thoughts about just how important reporting is and how embroiled it can be, so don’t assume that the recruiter/hiring manager/HR know you are analysing all this data and pulling together information for your programmes of work – talk about it on your CV!
Carrying on with the PMO CV tips series, today we will look at Planning. Planning is one of the key areas to success with every element of project management and the PMO pays a large part in ensuring plans are in place and fit for purpose. There are many areas of planning you may be involved in and it is important that you are addressing this core competency on your CV. I have come across many PMO roles which take a different slant to the amount of input required to programmes of work – some PMOs write the project plans for the project managers whereas others coach PMs to write them and of course the is cross programme planning to take into consideration also.
Portfolio planning is a strong area within PMOs and again it comes down to who is putting these together, monitoring and updating them. Think about all aspects of your input into planning and write a list, once you have a strong list, you need to then think about how you should convey this information on the CV. For example you may be able to box together certain elements of the planning into 2 or 3 core areas, if one area is around coaching and advising PMs on putting together plans then talk through what you actually do to achieve this. In larger organisations with big teams you may find that running workshops is an effective approach. Talk through how you put together the workshop materials and run the events – are you performing presentations or taking a more collaborative approach? Are your PMs actually business heads who have been asked to manage projects, so they are subject matter experts but haven’t formally managed projects. Or are you implementing a new project management structure to the business and working with experienced PMs? What are the templates you are introducing to the team? Are they based on any specific models and what software are you using? By pulling together these pieces of information and placing in a concise bullet point within your role remit, you will be greatly enhancing your CV and making it much easier for recruiters and hiring managers to really understand what your input is into this core area which is almost certainly always asked for in a job description.