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Arras People Project Management Newsletter

Project Management CVs

Project Management CVs

In this edition of tipoffs we revisit the project management CV, take a look at what the future could hold for CVs and provide some guidance on completing your own LinkedIn profile. Read on to find out more about project management job seeking tools.

Take a Look at Our CV Advice Pages

Every so often, a project manager's CV needs something of a tune-up. Arras People's Project Management CV Advice pages have now been revamped to give you even more help in creating your CV.

The CV Advice pages have been around for a while and they've recently been updated to reflect the ever-changing employment market. CV assistance was then - and still is today - among the most frequently asked questions that people seek advice on from Arras People consultants. We also continually update advisory guides on a variety of job topics similar to the Project Management CV, including:

  • Cover Letters
  • Job Interviews (both for PMs and PMOs)
  • Advice for Career Changers
  • Advice for Graduates
  • Qualifications and Certifications
  • PM Career Paths

The advice offered is pretty unique in that it's totally tailored to the project management marketplace. Take a look at the careers advice guides.

A Good CV Means Good Salesmanship

Recently, a Times article headlined, "To make people buy, first you must sell yourself". This is what you are trying to do with your CV. Thinking about the recruitment process for a moment, think of all those CVs an organisation receives – either solicited or not – in response to a recruitment campaign. Sometimes its hundreds, which can sound like a huge amount of competition to face. But before we get too downhearted, the good news for your CV is that many people still don’t know how to sell themselves effectively so the chances are the organisation isn't buying.

The CV Advice pages look at how you need to effectively sell yourself on a piece of paper. These tools intend to help you better evaluate what things you need to include and what things you don't. It can't be ignored in a competitive market that no one is going to just give you £XX,000 salary unless they can be effectively certain of what they’re getting for their money. In the CV advice pages, we look at the whole 'sales pitch' and cover areas such as;

  • Your unique selling points (USP)
  • Benefits to hiring you
  • Elements and experience that sets you apart from your competitors

Catch Them Early

In my work as a journalist, the worst thing I could have heard from my editor was the following kiss of death: "Kid, you buried the lead." The CV Advice pages spend plenty of time emphasising just how crucial your ability to grab the reader's attention is. For example: If you're going in for a job that places a major emphasis on a characteristic like business change, it is imperative that you put business change on the top half of the CV page with emphasis and feeling. If you don’t, you’ve buried the lead, kids.

Without good, eye-catching words (especially keywords) written in a concise, meaningful way, you’ll lose the audience before you've even told them who or what you are, and, most importantly, what great things you’re bringing to the table.

The CV advice pages also looks at how to grab attention in a way that makes you stand out for all the right reasons.

Learn About Yourself

Have you ever sat down and mapped out exactly who you are professionally? The reconstruction of your CV allows for this, as you'll learn with the CV Advice pages. Through techniques like SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) and Gap Analysis, you can determine what your skills are, what you bring to the table, and the gaps and valleys of your professional potential. In essence, the CV is not merely about laying out what you’ve done in your career - it requires that you thoroughly understand who you really are and what you have to offer. It's a great process to go through and proves quite helpful throughout the process of looking for a new job. You'll be much more confident and self-assured throughout a process that continually asks questions of you.

Moreover, it’s good to take a look back every now and again. You may recall those instances on the job years ago, and discover experiences and characteristics long since overlooked or unnecessarily minimised. Could they now be the lead in a role you’re going for now?

The Future of the CV?

A few weeks ago, a Twitter pal* sent a tweet that made me start thinking about the future of job advertisements. She shared something called JobGram, which attempts to put job advertisements in an 'infographic' format. Infographics have become more and more popular in recent years, especially in marketing as a way of graphically representing information. It appeals to a lot of people because we seem to be in an age where we have less time to read through pieces of writing (or is that attention span?)

JobGram is an interesting concept for job advertisements because I can certainly see that many job seekers don't take the time to read through a large job specification. A lot of organisations also don't seem to be able to capture the true essence of their positions in a way that conveys to a job seeker exactly what they are looking for. JobGram goes some way toward forcing organisations to really think about what is important in a job advertisement.

However: is the JobGram enough? At first glance it may seem oversimplified, but the JobGram's job is to catch the eye or grab attention before passing the job seeker to the organisation's website to see the full job specification.

I like that, and it got me thinking about how the job seeker can also capitalise on this type of marketing tool - after all, a CV is your marketing tool, so why not - in turn - think about a 'CV Infographic'? The CV Inforgraphic is there to attract attention, give the reader key highlights about yourself, complete with a link out (possibly) to your traditional CV for more information.

Could this be the future of the CV?

Take a look at one CV Inforgraphic I put together. You can click on it to see it in more detail.

Project Management CV Infographic Copyright Arras People 2012

Imagine for a moment that the CV Inforgraphic could be

  • included on your LinkedIn profile;
  • hosted on a free blog website;
  • easily passed to contacts & people you network with, and of course;
  • sit at the front of the full traditional CV.

Ideally I'd like to imagine a world where something like the CV Infographic is enough to get you an interview and the traditional CV becomes a thing of the past.

What do you think? Is this CV for the future?

*Thanks to @unlikebefore for the JobGram tweet. If you're looking for inspiration visit the Cool Infographics blog

Getting the Most Out of Your LinkedIn Account

LinkedIn, the bastion for social networking in a professional setting, has moved up in the world in recent years. With professional groups and associations sharing their wares with like-minded individuals and members, coupled with companies forging a stronger presence in selling their appeal and attraction of top-notch job candidates, it's becoming more important than ever that you maximise your LinkedIn profile to get them interested in you.

How do you do that? For those registering an account, we put together a short video on how to register with LinkedIn.

For specific help on the things that can enhance your LinkedIn profile's ability to attract interest, check out some specific details and images we've addressed below.

A PM's Guide to Completing the Important Parts of LinkedIn

Let's take a closer look at tailoring the LinkedIn profile for a project manager. We've created a sample LinkedIn profile based on a project manager to give you some ideas to update or create your own profile.

Meet Arliss Peoples!

Project Manager LinkedIn Profile


Let's take a closer look at tailoring the LinkedIn profile for a project manager. We have the option to include a summary about ourselves and this really is a key area. Sitting just below the high-level career details, this is an area where we need to ensure prominent keywords are displayed.

Try to keep the summary fairly short and think about your two-minute elevator pitch - if you had to highlight the most important things about your career to date in a clear and concise way, what would you include?

The Summary below is taken from our sample LinkedIn profile. In here, we include what we do, who we do it for, how we do it, where we do it and what we're interested in.


LinkedIn for Project Managers


The trickiest part of the LinkedIn profile is the part where you write about your experiences. One of the easiest traps to fall into is that you use it like a CV. Remember: LinkedIn is all about profiling yourself, not merely re-creating your CV online.

The LinkedIn profile is an opportunity to complement your CV (more and more CVs take advantage of this by including a link to their LinkedIn profile within the CV).

So how can your profile complement your CV? By writing just enough to make it clear to the reader what type of project management professional you are.

A great way to do this clearly and concisely is to think about your main career highlights within each post you have held. The profile example below takes advantage of the fact project management - regardless of where you have performed the role - has distinct areas that make up what is important in the profile of a project manager.

This example concentrates on areas such as the sector worked in, the technical competencies, the size of budget and team. It also includes particular expertise (which, incidentally, are great keywords when it comes to people trying to find you).

It's also a great way to neatly convey who you are as you have progressed through your career - the reader can also easily make distinctions between your positions, due mainly to the fact it sticks to a certain style of representing the information.


Project Management experiences in LinkedIn


Finally, we look at a recent new addition to LinkedIn, the ability to choose keywords which are associated with you and your career.

Again these are an excellent way for people to find you - you should include obvious project management terms, as well as industry sectors, tools, methods, etc.

Project Management Skills in LinkedIn