“Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”- Dorthy, The Wizard of Oz
Imagine this; you’ve just gotten your Project Management Certification after all the juggle of office work and homework from a grueling Online Project Management course you had joined, seems to have been finally worth it.
Only it turns out you’ve now landed in a dystopian novel where the world has come to a halt because a deadly virus is destroying the only way humans know how to live. The year is 2020, and this setting is unfortunately very real for a lot of us.
There is a crisis emerging, people are losing their jobs, and unemployment levels are hitting all-time highs. The companies recruiting at this time are looking for the best of the best and what worked Pre-COVID in terms of a good resume may not ever work again. Let’s see how you can showcase your skills in the best way possible to get that job!
TIP NO. 1: MAKE IT LOOK GOOD
Did you know that on average recruiters only spend 6 seconds on any particular resume? (TheLadders).
Resumes should not be taken lightly. Sending the same resume to different companies with the same job title might seem like a rookie move but it’s surprisingly very common.
To get started, you need to get the basic outline of your resume looking professional and easy to read. Seems simple enough, right? But many professionals still struggle with the basics; let’s make sure you’re ahead of the curve!
A professional resume should look like one, no? There are many paid and free templates and tools available online to get the outline of your resume/CV ready. The ones that are a google search away are great when you have no prior editing or relevant artistic skills. Even MS Word provides good samples to get you started.
We’ve made it easy for you, listed below 5 websites you can get templates to make your own professional looking Resume/CV!
- Novoresume – Free on registration, very intuitive editing
- Zety – Free and available as word template
- Myperfectresume– Free for 14 days (trial)
- CoolfreeCV – Input your information, and the CV will be built for you, and it’s free!
- Cavna – Very attractive and easily editable. It’s free!
There are templates available in word, google docs and PDF editable version you can choose according to your preference! Remember, one of the Cardinal rules of Resume-making is making sure the resume is short and sweet. If you have a lot of job experience and your previous CVs turned out to be
TIP 2: RESUME/ CV SUMMARY:
Recruiters will, at any time, only view a CV for an average of 6 seconds. In 2020, the post-pandemic world will have many people trying to find a job, so it is safe to say that those 6 seconds are more crucial than ever.
A summary of your skills and experiences in 3-4 sentences will push the recruiter to read the rest of your resume.
The best way to frame your summary would be to mention your profession, biggest achievements, and top 1-2 skills. It is absolutely imperative that your resume stands out from the crowd, this summary is the only way to achieve that in the eyes of some recruiters.
The only way to stand out would be to tailor the summary to the company’s needs. Make sure relevant research about the company is done before drafting a resume, relying only on the job description may not help at all. Many people end up talking about what they’re looking for in a job, how they are keen to learn and describe their character as an employee (dedicated, detail-oriented, experienced professional). Don’t tread in those waters, stick to facts and keep it short.
TIP NO. 3: USE THE RIGHT FORMAT
Depending on the level of experience you have, making sure you give some attention to the format of your resume/CV is a must. There are many ways you can structure your content, but the trick is to give the most amount of information possible to the recruiter on one go without overdoing it.
Rather than listing the most used formats, we’ve listed the ones that work the most in terms of preference by the recruiters. Based on experience level, there are 3 ways you can structure your content:
1. Inverse Chronology: If you have a lot of experience in the Project Management field which happens to span many years and even many projects then using this format, to very conveniently and neatly display them on paper would be in your best interest.
Writing your experience from the most recent to the first ones would allow the recruiters to accurately gauge your level of growth and skill set and how you arrived there at first glance, this would focus on the experience you have, which has a greater appeal.
Don’t try to explain your skills gained during your projects, as this would make your resume very bulky and unattractive.
2. Straight-forward: If you have a couple of years of work experience and a Project Management Certification under your belt, or if your experience within the world of project management isn’t very extensive, a straight-forward list of all experiences you have regarding work would be best.
Making it obvious that you have less experience is not recommended, so the previous method may not be the best way to format your resume. This format would highlight the skills you have more than the experience, playing to your advantage. Make sure to structure the points well and not overdo it with useless technical jargon. Double-talk is tedious enough to listen to in person, reading it would be much worse. Recruiters are human too, so cut the unnecessary explanations and stick to facts in this format.
3. Combination Format: If you have a reasonable amount of experience and would not necessarily be considered a rookie in the Project Management world, this format would be of best use.
It incorporates both experience and skills set into the resume. Using some technical jargon would be fine but being able to see the line between a teaspoon and an unwanted fistful of jargons, would be counted as having 2020 vision, and much appreciated by the person reading the resume/CV. Be sure to note down both your experience and the skills gained in inverse chronological order.
TIP 4: DO YOUR RESEARCH
Before you start listing your experience and skills till kingdom come, make sure it’s relevant to the Project Management job you’re applying for. Tailoring the content to the companies needs will never hurt and will always appeal to the recruiter. Depending on what role you’d be taking on if you joined the company, the language in your CV should change. Keeping in mind the usual responsibilities that come with a particular title always helps in setting the tone for future discussions.
If you’re a candidate who has a Bachelor’s in Project management or the equivalent, the usual PM job titles that can be associated with it would be that of Junior/Assistant- Project Manager, Project Scheduler, Project Coordinator or Project Manager. The roles as responsibilities attached to these titles vary from industry to industry, but there are similarities too.
Junior/Assistant Project Manager: Their primary objectives are fulfilled by being able to communicate with the teams set up, guiding them and using Project Management skills to coordinate a project successfully. Identifying client needs accurately, and having dedicated action plans that cater to these needs, keeping in mind budget constraints is also a part of the role they have to play.
Most common responsibilities of a Junior/Assistant Project Manager:
- Facilitating collaboration within team members during the planning stage of any upcoming project
- Keeping track of project progress by being organised and mindful of project documents
- Being able to recognise and evaluate challenges in a project and utilising resources to overcome it
- Keeping tabs on Project spending and report on the Project Budget
- Helping to keep seamless communication between client, employees and vendors
- Reporting to the Project Manager on the progress of the report
Most basic skills of a Junior/ Assistant Project Manager:
- Communication: Not only is being able to converse essential but the latter half of communication- listening, is an even more vital skill that is much needed to be able to read and understand clients, vendors and even team members.
- Organisation: They are responsible for organising the people that will be working on the teams, the planning for the project itself and the budget. They need organisational skills as all these things come with strict deadlines.
- Budgeting: They are usually kept in charge of the client’s spending. They need to be able to plan and evaluate on the go and not miss any critical steps. They help the team to reach the financial requirements of the project.
- Problem-solving: Being able to gauge client needs and communicating with the team members has its own set of problems and figuring out the path of least resistance is a skill that is much needed.
The Project Scheduler is, for the majority of the time, responsible for designing, periodically revising and coordinating project schedules. If your job title is of a project scheduler, then there are few important skills and responsibilities you should pay special attention to when drafting your CV.
- Scheduling Skills: It’s probably apparent this particular skill, but recruiters focus on the reasoning more than anything. Make sure to write how you can set up a realistic schedule and to stick to it also that you can manage resources to keep the schedule on track and finally, seeing to the completion of the project.
- Budgeting Skills: Showing awareness of the importance of this skill is vital. You should know how budgets ultimately get projects properly funded and under control. If you have any relevant experience where this skill is utilised, it would be best to note it here.
- Strategy: If you can build compelling strategies, it would show that you have a mix of skills already such as foresight, ability to analyze and an innovative streak.
- Negotiation Skills: This job will need you to negotiate for resources, budget and many other unavoidable issues that will invariably pop up during the project’s life.
- Communication: All understand its vital role , especially the Project Management Certificate holders, but few excel at it.
If you have a Master’s or the equivalent in Project Management, then the job roles and responsibilities will vary. Some common Job roles and their skills are noted below. A recruiter will appreciate these listed responsibilities and abilities.
Project Manager /Senior Project Manager:
A Project Manager’s role in a team is that of a person who plans, procures the resources needed, and executes the project while Senior Project Managers lead teams that deliver projects spanning across business units. When writing the skills/responsibilities, make sure you give heavy emphasis on some of the more essential skills of a project manager as these skills are relevant in any industry, and are vital.
- Communication: You should be able to convey messages to clients, vendors, and team members as it is crucial for a project. Vision and goals have to be shared to be able to have a plan of action ready to achieve them.
- Leadership: This skill is critical for project managers. The team members are human after all, and any rough patch in the project life should be handled by them being the source of motivation and encouragement.
- Organisation: For the Project to be running as per schedule, the inner processes should run smoothly and in line with the goals set up by the team. A project manager should ensure this smoothness never loses its shine.
- Team Management: Bringing the team together and streamlining their efforts in one direction when there is a glaring time crunch is indeed a skill that is very sought after.
- Risk Management: Being well versed in implementing risk mitigation strategies is a core skill since issues are inevitable in any project during its life. Knowing which tool to use to reduce risks and analyse potential risks, especially in 2020 will become a much sought-after skill.
- Tech-Savvy: In the era of IoT and Artificial Intelligence, not being able to use the latest technology that can drastically increase a team’s productivity will be looked down upon. With the environment we are living in now, there is no escaping the fact that not being tech-savvy means running the risk of becoming redundant as an employee living in the modern world.
- Policy Knowledge: knowing the health, safety, environmental and business best practices policy will help the Project Manager to ensure smooth sailing if their project.
TIP 5: READ OTHER PEOPLE’S RESUME/CVs
It might seem like an unscrupulous thing to do, but these are tough times, and you need to know your competition in order to beat them. These are sights available where you can see all available resumes according to your job title. We have noted some down for you:
- Indeed.com – you can search job profile and skill-wise and make a note of all essential keywords they use to attract attention to their resume/CV.
- LiveCareer.com– although this might show resumes from America, it’s the right place to get started or to have a relevant sample CV.
- LinkedIn– searching for people who are actively also looking for a job might lead you to profiles that have their CVs attached.
This may seem a little sneaky, but it goes a long way when you’re trying to see what people are focusing on and you can understand the need of the hour from valid resumes well especially if you’ve been off the job market for a long time or if you’ve just joined. Make sure you add your two cents and display your resume on such platforms to attract active recruiters. Remember to include all keywords when entering into a digital resume.
“You know what they say, brother – luck is where opportunity meets preparation.” -Eddie Murphy, Rudy
If you manage to incorporate each tip mentioned here onto your CV, chances of a recruiter noticing you will surely increase. A nicely formatted and structured CV never goes unnoticed. Best of luck!