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Will PRINCE2 Help Me Get a Foot in the Door?

“Being a project management professional who has been made redundant and actively seeking a role to no avail for the past few months, would employers take notice of me if I gained my PRINCE2 qualification?”

A simple answer is maybe – it’s always difficult to say based on a job advert, most asking for PRINCE2 practitioner are actually asking for a project professional, who has and can work within a structured project management environment. Having worked with hundreds of organisations across a diverse range of industries I have yet to discover a company working stringently to PRINCE2. If you have a background working in project management using a formal approach you can get around the request for the dreaded PRINCE2 “tick in the box” by clearly demonstrating core competencies within the remit of each role you have worked in.

To start, simply take a blank piece of paper and draw a line with the project lifecycle from start to finish and fill in the core areas with your own personal experience; i.e. areas such as writing the business case, project initiation document (PID), planning, gate reviews, benefits case etc. Once you have a concise list of competencies it is time to add them to the CV and contextualise – don’t just list like a job description, this is your opportunity to really demonstrate your understanding of the importance of clear communication within the field and remember managing a team of 5 is completely different to managing a team of 50+ across Europe.

Of course you may have a project management qualification which is not PRINCE2, maybe APMP, PMI or similar – it is important to make sure project management terminology is in your CV and be sure to mention methods, don’t assume the CV reader knows what these qualifications are!

There are a few good deals out there at the moment (being a competitive market) with trainers; if you have set aside some funding for professional development and have previously worked within a PRINCE2 environment then it will not hold you back taking the qualification. As with all qualifications, these should be taken to compliment your experience – we never advise simply taking the exam unless you have practical experience in projects previously.

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About Lindsay Scott

Lindsay Scott
Director of Arras People, the programme and project management recruitment specialists. You can find out more about Arras People and follow me on Twitter and Google I also write the careers column for PMI's Network magazine and other project management organisations too. Recently created the first PMO Conference and currently running the PMO Flashmob

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