When you’re looking for your next big career move as a project manager, writing an interview-winning CV is the first hurdle.
With a role that involves the coordination of so many different functions, it can be challenging to squeeze all of your experience on to the recommended 2 pages without losing important features.
So what exactly are hiring managers looking to see in strong project management CV?
Apart from a flawlessly professional outlook and an easy-to-read structure, employers also want to see exactly how you successfully lead projects to completion in your CV. Although every project manager’s CV will vary depending on industry and discipline, there are certain skills that every project manager should be demonstrating in their CV if they want to secure job interviews.
Effective scheduling defines when tasks need to be performed, which resources will perform them, and when they need to be completed by. As a project manager, you will be expected to demonstrate a detailed level of understanding of scheduling in your CV, in order to prove that you can successfully coordinate resources to hit project milestones and deliver your projects on time.
Overseeing and managing project expenses is a vital part of a project manager’s role which ensures that sponsors are kept happy and projects remain viable or profitable. It is also the job of the project manager to identify potential financial risks and plan for them accordingly. Throughout your CV’s role descriptions, you should provide plenty examples of strict budget control to give employers the confidence to invest in you as a candidate and entrust you with their valuable resources.
Proper risk management enables a project manager to minimise the impact of project threats and also take advantage of any opportunities that occur. Your foresight to identify risks in the early stages of your projects, communicate them and clarify ownership, should play a big part in your CV. No projects come without risks, so a CV that doesn’t feature risk management will not be very appealing to hiring managers.
As a project manager, you will be responsible for leading people towards individual and team goals. But leadership isn’t merely about telling people what to do; it involves motivating, influencing and inspiring to ensure everybody is pulling towards a common goal. When writing your CV, don’t simply state that you lead people, show readers how you lead, by detailing your methods; whether they be catch-up meetings, performance reviews, reward sessions or any other means.
Methodologies such as Prince2 and Agile are defined as rigorous systems of methods, and are designed to keep projects on track. Hiring managers will expect to see methodologies on your CV and recruiters will often search for them in candidate searches, so ensure you include yours and that you detail qualifications and examples of implementation within projects.
Business case writing
Strong business cases are required to gain senior buy-in and initiate projects or tasks, so a good project manager needs this skill in their arsenal. Obtaining essential resources through business case presentation is certainly something worth bragging about in your CV and shows that you have gravitas and a solid understanding of the business you work in.
The overall goal of any project manager is to deliver their allocated projects on time and within budget. When writing your CV, don’t forget this goal and ensure that you use facts and figures to quantify your results and clearly show the impact you have made in each role. Whether you deliver relocation projects or IT system upgrades, show recruiters why somebody would employ you.
Your own personal project management CV will have many more skills but the above list is a good base to start building from. Ensure that your CV is well structured, professionally formatted and headed with a punchy profile to make a big first impression upon opening. In addition to including your skills, you must build context for each role by explaining who your employer is, where you sit within the organisation and how your work feeds into the overall running of the business.