This is the next part of my PMO CV writing tips series, last week we talked about relationship building, today I want to talk about process. PMOs vary drastically from programme to programme and industry to industry – so it would be fair to say that if you have worked in a few, you have a good variety of experience; one key area to a PMO is process. Now depending on your specialism, you need to look at addressing processes from different angles – first port of call is to identify what type of PMO professional you are. If you work in permanent positions, it is likely that you either set up and manage PMOs moving forward or pick up PMOs and manage them as they stand, maybe addressing bottlenecks and tweaking processes etc. A contractor is likely to be either a fixer or a builder – as a fixer you will go into organisations and identify areas for improvement (sometimes it isn’t actually a PMO but a PM environment which requires some structure), as a builder you will go in and build a PMO in-line with strategic goals and once in place you will probably move on, handing the reigns to a permanent employee. A lot of PMO people that come to me are contractors who work at senior level to address core issues with PM capability within the business, they work with the PMs and business heads to identify why projects aren’t deemed successful and re-engineer processes to work with the organisation. Processes can be typical PMO tool kit things such as planning, reporting, RAID log templates but quite often, the contractors need to develop new processes for specific areas of the business. It is these processes which really showcase their effectiveness within troubled environments and add great value. When you are writing your CV, you must talk about all of these and give examples of where you have worked with the business or suppliers etc to pull together an effective way of working.
Do not assume that employers know this is “just part of the job” – talk about it and sell your skills, organisations are always looking to improve how they do things, if your specialism is identifying weak areas and driving forward solutions, tell us!
As project practitioners we strive to manage benefits throughout the project lifecycle to ensure the project outcomes are meeting the stakeholders needs – however when it comes to job applications this key skill is often overlooked. Looking at the job application process as a project (in basic terms) can really enhance your chances of securing that next challenging role. We’ve covered planning and communications in previous posts, today I want to go through the benefits management aspect of the process.
First you should look to establish what the core benefits are you wish to achieve – in some cases it will be “a job” in other cases there may be other factors such as specific challenges (either because it is your specialism or because it is an element you wish to develop in your career portfolio) or money of course. Once you have determined your required outcomes then you should ensure that your actions are met with a constructive and structured approach. This is where research comes into play and some hard work – see the below checklist for ideas on how to strengthen your applications:
- Research similar roles currently being advertised to gain a good understanding of what employers are looking for at the moment, trends and needs change all the time so make sure you are aware of what they are after.
- Match up your CV with the relevant roles – put the CV next to the job description/advert and check off key skills/tools/experience on your CV. Have you addressed the areas required by the employer? Is it clear for all levels of reviewer (i.e. HR, Recruiters, Hiring Managers etc)?
- Research organisations which may be running similar projects etc, develop a list of employers who may be relevant to your applications.
The final part of the process is to ensure you are enhancing your own benefits on your CV – demonstrating how you can really add value to businesses. Think about all the process improvement, enhanced project management capability, team coaching/training/mentoring, reducing bottlenecks, relationship establishing/building/rebuilding, and trouble shooting. There must be a plethora of examples you could share, write a list and use ones most relevant to the role/business you are applying for.
It’s that age old question – to get your CV written professionally or do it yourself? The problem with asking someone else to write your CV is that you may miss a lot of the key detail required to secure you that all important place in the shortlist. However this professional CV writing service focuses primarily on you and what you have achieved over your career, making sure that all the key information sought after by recruiters and hiring managers is drawn out. We don’t just take your CV and reword it like many other CV writing services, we spend time with you to understand what your objectives are and ask all the right questions to produce a strong CV which really sings your praises and gets results. We have extensive experience of working specifically within the Project Management recruitment field and have actually worked in project management so we know that success is drawn by much more than just process. It is this unique skill set which makes us stand apart from other CV writers, you are taken along the journey to producing a strong CV which will equip you with knowledge and insight into how to update your CV in the future as your career progresses. Not everyone can write their own CV, often we are approached by clients who are happy writing others CVs but struggle to really convey their own experience. It usually takes someone from an objective perspective to be able to ask the right questions and put together a coherent document. We all have something we are great at – you are great at managing / supporting projects and we are great at getting all that detail down on paper.
I am often approached by PMO professionals who want to make their CV more appealing to recruiting managers, as they feel their roles are the same from company to company (or assignment to assignment). It is easy to fall into the trap of being repetitive or trying to rephrase the same information over and over – but this rarely adds value to the CV and makes for a boring read to others. The trick is to really think about each role and draw out the core areas relevant to the assignment, in reality, there is always a difference in these roles whether it be with process or people. But addressing the core areas pertinent to the role in question will not only make for a more interesting read, it also helps you ensure you are talking through core competencies and situations recognised in the PMO field which should ensure you are getting “ticks in the boxes” of the recruitment wish list and ultimately being put into shortlists for the roles you are applying for.
A key starting point would be to list all the core areas relevant to your role within the PMO and then match up specific areas to roles, that way you are not leaving out any required pieces but you are also then beginning to split out some interesting pieces of information which will provide a flow through the CV and paint a strong picture of how you work and your understanding of supporting projects / programmes / portfolios of work.
Think about how you fit into a PMO, do you create templates and provide consultancy work to PMs and PgMs, have you established project capability to an organisation, are you analysing key strategic data business-wide? As the PMO is a complex field, it pays to really address what your specialism is and spell it out to recruiters who might not necessarily know what a PMO is (never mind the roles within them).