Tag Archives: Project Management

Covering your projects whilst on holiday

OK so we’ve all been there – summer is fast approaching and you are reaching critical stages in your projects, your holiday has been booked for months and your family are excitedly packing their cases ahead of the break. Short of taking your work mobile and laptop on holiday and praying for a decent WIFI connection by the pool – you need to look at how and who can be trusted to keep momentum on your projects in your absence!

I have learned my lesson sorely by entrusting my critical workload to colleagues who promise the earth but when it comes down to it – they are either far too busy with their own schedules or figure it’s not really their problem. So what can you do to ensure all is not lost in your absence?

  • In an ideal world, there would be enough slack in the budget to cover an interim for the period you are away – but reality often dictates no spare cash for such resource. Depending on the impact on the business due to slippage and current investment – you may be able to present a business case to secure funding for a contractor.
  • Speak to the PMO, in another ideal world – there is an established corporate level PMO in place which holds extensive resource maps, (and should already be aware of your absence) to which they can work around resources to ensure a dedicated individual with experience (who has been briefed) can pick up the reins.
  • Plan ahead and create your very own second in command – from the outset, ideally, employ a project coordinator / junior project manager / project assistant who is not used as an admin tool (although if you cover this aspect in your role then exposure to this is required), he/she works alongside you and learns all about the project, suppliers, stakeholders, business requirements as you work together. OK so you may now be saying this is an expensive resource. Is it? You are offering to provide some strong work experience to a professional who is already on the cusp of promotion into delivering a small project. I think we could all easily write a strong business case for this and also gain good buy in from the person to take the role.

Planning ahead and thinking outside of the box are key requirements for a good project professional, don’t leave it to chance – make sure you have cover in place so you can enjoy your holiday and save yourself from stress when the only thing which should be worrying you is which factor sun cream to use. Or of course in the UK which raincoat to take!

Are you currently using these skills in your role? Does your CV tell us this? Are you missing a trick? Get in touch with your CV for a free review exclusive to Project Management professionals! www.thecvrighter.co.uk

Cover Letters

Whenever anyone mentions cover letters I hear the same old sigh and comments such as; “Does anyone actually read them?!”. It is a bit of a lottery depending on who is reading your application but it cannot hurt to write one specific to the role and especially when applying direct to an employer it is courtesy. Remember you are being judged from the moment you make contact with an employer or recruiter – simply writing, “See attached” or even sending a blank email with your CV attached is not good form. Equally, writing a cover letter which is generic is also not adding to your application.

  • When writing an effective cover letter you should look to address the person you are sending properly – if the job advert states the name of the person accepting the application, make sure you address it to them personally.
  • Ensure you state where you saw the advertisement and what the role is (remember HR and recruiters deal with numerous roles at once).
  • Look to add some strong content which matches up your relevant experience to the role itself – if the job advert states it requires someone who has implemented PMO procedures then make sure you add detail about a time or times when you have had this input.
  • Do not copy and paste detail from your CV – you’ve already stated this.
  • If the business product has a strong synergy to a current or previous employer – talk about this, demonstrating your understanding of the way the industry works.
  • Do not be afraid to add into the letter that you will follow the application up with a call to discuss your experience further and state a date; then do as you say you will.

Remember you are one of a number of applicants for any one role – making an effort to tailor your application not only demonstrates your enthusiasm for this role, it also demonstrates your written communication skills and ability to follow up on pieces of work. As a project professional these are key qualities and as stated above, will be judged from the outset.

Making a smaller number of tailored applications will return a higher number of call backs and interview possibilities rather than applying for everything with the word project in it. Remember when dealing with recruitment agencies you will soon gain a reputation if you apply for everything, especially when the roles as so dissimilar. Create a good impression first time around and be remembered for the right reasons – you may not make it into the shortlist for that role but a new role may just be being qualified that has your name on it, a good recruiter will recognise this and have you top of the list to speak to for that role.


The CV Righter is a professional CV writing service aimed at project and would be project professionals – we can assist you in tailoring your CV and cover letters for specific roles too.

For a free CV review visit: www.thecvrighter.co.uk

CV reviews for Project Management professionals

When was the last time you had your CV reviewed? Your CV is the key tool to gain interest by hiring managers and recruiters. I have had a fair few enquiries recently from candidates wanting to understand why they had applied to many roles with little or no feedback; often describing their job applications disappearing into a “big black hole”, never hearing anything back. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that you may be one of up to 100 applicants (sometimes more depending on role type, location, salary etc.), as a rule of thumb the recruitment process will filter down the list of applications to a manageable shortlist of candidates to speak to or interview outright. When I asked the candidates if they had chased up their applications, a good percentage said yes but felt fobbed off with standard responses such as “candidates with a closer match to the experience required made the shortlist”. When pushed for further feedback the recruiters and HR staff were reluctant to provide any useful feedback stating the CV was OK. However, if the CV is “OK” and you feel you have a strong synergy to the role requirements, why are you not making shortlist? I always recommend going back to the recruiter for further feedback as it is important when you feel your CV says XYZ – why it doesn’t to the person reviewing it for the role.

As a professional CV writer, specialising in the field of project management I have sat on the recruitment side of applications too – I have spent many an hour discussing candidates CVs with the applicants in order to assist them in getting the right information down on the CV to ensure successful applications for roles in their field. As such one of the services we provide at The CV Righter is to perform a free CV review for candidates where a one to one appointment is made and areas of the CV are discussed. I have found the feedback for such a service to be very positive, after all another person’s perspective is always beneficial but particularly when that other person has actually done the job and recruited for hundreds of roles spanning, PMO, project management, programme management, portfolio management, change management and business analysis to name a few.

If you feel your CV needs that competitive edge and you feel you have gone as far as you can with it but still are not securing interviews – then it may be time to let a professional CV writing service take a look. We offer a competitive value for money service which is tailored to your needs. If the CV does not require a complete rewrite then we talk through areas that do need work and charge accordingly. We also offer an insight into the recruitment aspect of applications and advice on how to move forward with success by taking a detailed account of what you do at the moment and equip you with new approaches to applications and getting noticed in your field.

Get in touch with your CV for a free CV review – be prepared for honest and constructive feedback, we believe you can only add value if you know where you are going wrong. Visit www.thecvrighter.co.uk and make contact through our contact page.

Basic CV tips

Getting your CV right from the start is important – in this article I will address the basic format of an effective CV. There are hundreds of CV templates available for free on the internet, all slightly differing from each other – some more effective than others. If all CVs were the same it would be a rather boring process for recruiters and hiring managers to sift through the piles of applications they receive on a daily basis, therefore it is OK to take on your own creative style as long as the CV remains professionally written and readable.

Some areas for consideration in your CV:

1. Contact details – make sure you add your mobile number, email address and basic location as a minimum. You would be surprised how many CVs I have seen with no contact details at all, how does the hiring manager reach you?

2. Profile – a good way to introduce yourself on your CV; stick to a clear and concise paragraph which details your key skills and abilities.

3. Objective – this is an interesting section to add into a CV, personally I don’t think it adds a great deal to the application however some employers appreciate the effort gone into clearly stating your career goals and matching up this statement to the role you are applying for (this section should be fluid so it changes per application).

4. Achievements – project management is all about accomplishment so why not highlight some towards the top of the document. Don’t go beyond 4 or 5 bullet points and make sure you demonstrate how you add value, utilising a structure such as STAR (Situation or Task, Action, Results) will help you keep on track.

5. Employment history – this should ideally start about half way down the first page of the CV.

6. Education and training – placed after the work experience if you are a seasoned professional or on the first page of the CV if you are a recent graduate.

7. Additional skills – such as IT skills can be added here if they have not been integrated in the remit of the roles. Any sought-after IT skills such as Primavera or MS Project etc. should be included.

8. Hobbies – not essential on the CV but it does add some personality to the CV and gives the reader an insight into you, outside of work. This has been key additional criteria in some employers I have recruited for previously.

9. References – at the end, state “available on request”

Utilising the above as the structure of the CV you can then flesh out with experience and skills to ensure you have covered the required elements of the CV.

At The CV Righter we recognise how difficult it can be to put together your own CV – there’s no shame in it, some just find it difficult to sell themselves on paper. That is why we work with you to understand exactly what you do and how you do it, we then take that detail and put together a clear and concise CV and ensure you are comfortable with all the content so you are not overselling or misleading the potential employer and will be comfortable at interview. Visit www.thecvrighter.co.uk for advice on how we can help you.