While there is plenty of specialisation in the area of project management, there are certain key skills common to all project managers – Delivering projects on time, agreeing realistic objectives, milestones and timelines; as well as managing and leading project teams. Also coming under this umbrella is the ability to manage the magical triangle of cost, time and scope. In order to differentiate your CV from that of other candidates it is essential to highlight your successes in these areas.
Used in many CVs this is an especially important section for a project manager’s CV. Bearing in mind that a clear statement of objectives is the foundation of any successful project, your objective must be defined in a direct and unambiguous manner. For example:
“To obtain a challenging project manager role within a biotech environment, where my strong project delivery and stakeholder management skills can be utilised by an innovative, agile organisation.”
When writing it try to include key words that recruiters will search on e.g. ‘project delivery’, ‘agile’. It is very important that you write your objective for each vacancy. This means a little more work on your part but it will make a much better impression on the reader and may help you to secure an interview.
As a side point, it is worthwhile thinking about what you actually hope to achieve in your next role and then let this guide your objective.
Major Project Achievements
Think about your major project achievements and describe approximately 8 – 10 of these. Include details such as: project title, spend, timeframes, scope, key objectives, challenges and outcome. You can also include ancillary achievements such as relating to risk management, implementing process improvements. Remember to make this about your contribution rather than that of the team.
Your CV will only include 3 – 5 of these achievements but you will select those that are most relevant to the specific vacancy. How do you know what these will be? The key criteria of every vacancy will be outlined in the advertisement. If you are fortunate you may also be able to access the job description, either from the agency or the company’s own website. As an example of an achievement:
“Successfully managed the integration of two divergent document management systems to a common Sharepoint database; involving coordination of 16 departments and 4 overlapping functions. Project completed within the agreed 6-week time-frame.”
For project management CVs it can be very useful to include a line about the organisation, as it informs the recruiter or hiring manager about your industry experience. It is often the case that companies prefer project managers to have direct experience of their sector and it may be a deciding factor in whether or not you secure a meeting.
You will also include details of your key activities but this does not have to be an exhaustive list. You only really need to include those key activities most relevant to the vacancy. When describing these it is also very effective to incorporate your achievements into the activity description.
Education, Qualifications & Training
The most relevant information in this section will be your PM qualifications. In addition to confirming that your Prince2 or Six Sigma status (with relevant candidate numbers) remember to include any additional training on IT or other areas that is relevant to the vacancy. If you haven’t mentioned it already it may also useful to include the types of project environments in which you have worked e.g. agile.