Writing a CV can be daunting at the best of times – some struggle to write a page others write a 10 page document fearing that everything they do needs detailing. To a point it does but it is important to ensure you are getting to the point as I am yet to meet an employer who will gratefully receive a lengthy CV. Put yourself in their shoes – they will have a number of CVs to read and are already very busy.
Understanding your target audience is a good way to making a start with writing your CV – do some research, get a feel for what is attractive to the line manager for the roles you wish to apply for. Once you break down into a few categories, what it is you wish to do next, you will soon be able to start formulating a CV which will gain a greater buy-in from the reviewer.
For example – you may be in a permanent programme manager position and having had good exposure to realigning failing pieces of work, feel that you would like a change and want to go into contracting. OK great so the biggest challenge you will need to overcome is demonstrating that you can “hit the ground running” with your potential employer. Therefore starting to list the types of projects and programmes you have picked up in various states of health and detail what you needed to do to bring them back in-line. By talking through the ability to do this you are clearing the first hurdle in the transition from a permanent employee to a contractor. Next look at the types of work being offered in the contract world at present – a good deal of business transformation and IT systems integration are glowing areas particularly for the financial services. Take a look at your portfolio and pick a handful of relevant programmes and projects to talk about, If you do not have a financial services background you make look to place more emphasis on the IT systems you have integrated or the types of transformations – politics, stakeholders, any regulatory / compliance exposure you make have and document this in the CV.
You may have a good length of service within in the PPM domain so ensure the emphasis is kept to the more recent roles and anything over 10 years ago is kept to a line; stating dates, role title, company name and location. Draw out specific key achievements relevant to the types of change you are looking to continue with and take care to add the benefits.
Do not assume the first person to read your application will understand the role – HR staff are often given a list of competencies to work through when reviewing your CV so make sure you address the job description when writing the CV and any buzz words are also embraced, terminology can differ slightly from methodology to methodology so make sure you are consistent with the definitions used in the JD.