The title “Project Manager” covers a multitude of roles under its umbrella therefore it is important to paint a clear picture of what your role actually involves. Remember that project management is all about delivery, the reviewer needs to see what projects and programmes you were engaged on, were these multiple concurrent? Were they interdependent?
All PMs work differently and organisations work differently. Some organisations are matrix managed and others have dedicated PM teams. This can make a huge difference to how you get things done.
Programmes are more strategic by nature so giving the reviewer an idea of how involved you are strategically is paramount as is team and line management exposure.
A great deal of PMs fall into the trap of writing a long paragraph about the company – think about it, the CV isn’t a marketing document for them, it is a marketing document about you. Don’t waste valuable space, a short statement (a few words) can easily encapsulate the business and then you can use the space to talk through what you were engaged to do, including some detail about the project. This statement should be clear in that is states the type of business and what you are/were doing there. Then run through core competencies in the bullets underneath, do not cut and paste the job description – apart from it being so very obvious to reviewers it reads as lazy and we all know that the job description isn’t necessarily the reality of the role. We need to have some context which is where these questions come into play:
- How big are the teams you are leading / working within?
- Who do you report to?
- Are you hands on or do you manage teams to deliver?
- Who are your stakeholders?
- Where are your stakeholders based and how do you communicate with them?
- How structured an environment is it you work in?
- What structures / methods are adopted?
- Have you Introduced and embedded new processes / structure to projects and programmes?
- Do you have full budgetary responsibility?
In addition to this, make sure you highlight out some key achievements, talking through the challenges you have come up against. Project management is rarely straight forward, it is this additional piece of information which will make you stand out from the crowd and bring some personality and management style to the document.