The resume focuses on you and the past. The cover letter focuses on the employer and the future. Tell the hiring professional what you can do to benefit the organization in the future. ― Joyce Lain Kennedy
Initiating a project or securing funding from project sponsors often requires a persuasive business case. So as a project manager it is vital that you can not only construct a well written and coherent document, but also that you produce solid facts, figures and projections to prove the viability of your suggested actions.
No project comes without risks that could impact your objectives and a core part of the project management role is to manage these risks effectively. When writing your CV, include examples of identifying and assessing risks as well as managing them to minimise their impact on your project deliverables.
For a project to be delivered within budget, it’s vital that the project manager has sound cost control skills. Your CV should show recruiters that you have tight control over project spending by detailing budgets, optimal spending allocation and cost effective vendor management.
Effective scheduling will ensure that your projects run smoothly and are delivered in line with stakeholder expectations. Any employer will want to see that you are able to plan activities and coordinate resources in line with project plans, so be sure to demonstrate this throughout your CV role descriptions.
Leading a project to successful delivery will naturally require strong leadership skills, so make them prominent in your CV. But leadership isn’t just about telling people what to do; it’s about motivating people and driving them towards a common goal. Activities such as running team meetings, staff performance reviews and reward are good signals of strong leadership in project management.
Methodologies are rigorous systems of methods which are used to keep projects on track and drive them forward. Whether you utilise Prince2, Agile, Waterfall or any other methodology, employers need to know your experience, knowledge and qualifications in those areas. It’s also important to explain how you implement these methodologies into your projects as opposing to simply listing qualifications.
The ultimate measure of success for a project manager is the results they deliver. Clearly explain the benefits your projects have provided and use figures where possible to quantify your value. Whether you have transformed a finance system across multiple global locations or project manged a large office relocation, be sure to detail your results along with any significant achievements made on the project.
In addition to including the essential project management skills above, you should also make sure you include factors that are important to your own industry along with any tools you have experience in using, such as Microsoft Project. Keep the CV to around two pages in length and break up into easily digestible sections so that busy hiring managers can read through it quickly.
Andrew Fennell is an experienced project management recruiter, founder of CV writing service StandOut CV and author of the Project Manager CV Writing Guide
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