Monday, 18 April 2016 05:10

Career Corner: 5 Unique Experiences a Project Manager Should Include on a CV

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Recruitment for project management jobs can be ruthless and fast-paced. Experts say you have 6 seconds to make a great first impression before your CV lands squarely in the rejection pile. In this case, well-established experience, a diverse skill set and unique character will set you apart. But how can all this be communicated quickly on a piece of paper?

The best way to stand out from the masses is to look beyond standard experiences that decorate the resumes of every other management candidate. Hundreds of professionals have earned a degree in business, but employable attributes can come from many experiences. A skill-based hobby, extra study or work abroad are a great addition. The best CV examples will incorporate experiences that are unique to the applicant in order to land that dream job.

Extra Study

Adult education is an important part of professional growth for every employee. Additional study, whether undertaken in the form of an online course or workshop, compliments your skill set and can give your resume great curb appeal.

Related Article: Attributes of an Exceptional Project Manager

As a project manager, it is necessary for you to actively demonstrate an ability to learn new ideas quickly and process information efficiently. These attributes can be cultivated in the classroom. A Diploma of Project Management that sits alongside additional training in an Agile Management will greatly increase your appeal to employers.

A great CV will need to go beyond simply listing the course title and date, and provide a clear outline of the tangible abilities learnt and how these are applicable to the role of project manager.

Travel Abroad

Working abroad can be an incredible experience to include on your application. It is a unique opportunity that will not only add interest to your CV but indicates your good character to recruiters. Travelling requires maturity, adaptation, and responsibility - all attributes of a leading project manager.

Your travel adventures are a great way to display your personality during an interview. Sharing some of the exciting moments and achievements with a potential employer will set you up as a professional who is relatable and most importantly, open-minded.

It is no secret that most international work opportunities involve rigorous selection, making it an inspiring milestone to be included on the CV of every professional.

Volunteer Work

Your leisure time is valuable and using this to support a not-for-profit activity signposts excellent moral fibre. It suggests to a recruiter right off the bat that you can recognise and respond to your values and are loyal to more than just the highest dollar. An employee that has genuine care for their work is an invaluable asset to a business.

Exemplary managers will lead their team with complete dedication and careful attention to detail. This kind of attentiveness is cultivated by more than the promise of a fortnightly salary and makes an important component for a successful career in project management.

Whether you are a regular volunteer at charitable fundraisers or spend the weekend participating in community workshops, these are all different experiences that can help you to succeed in your next application.

Coaching

Taking on the position of head coach for the senior basketball team should not be undervalued. Project management involves functioning as part of a wider team and ensuring that everyone works productively - coaching a sport is no different. In fact, this experience can instill many of the great leadership qualities valued by employers.

Coaching is a prominent example of your ability to transform a leisure activity into a highly sought after skill. As a coach, you would be expected to understand each player, develop tactics, coordinate roles and monitor individual achievement. Each of these tasks forms an intrinsic part of project management.

Of course, it’s important not to write an essay on your in-depth understanding of the position of point guard, or how you won the premiership 5 years ago. Keep it concise and focus on your role and the skills you gained.

Side projects

A venture that you have invested time and passion into is worth a mention to any potential employer. Whether it’s a personal blog or public speaking stunt on the weekend, acknowledging your interests will enhance your experience, show individual character and in doing so, catch the attention of recruiters.

Side pursuits are great to incorporate into a small summary or in the opening letter of your application. Balancing the professional and the personal will help your CV to stand out in the job search as exactly the leading project manager they’re looking for.

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Helen Sabell

Helen Sabell works for the College for Adult Learning, she is passionate about adult and lifelong learning. She has designed, developed and authored many workplace leadership and training programs, both in Australia and overseas. Helen also works with a select group of organisations consulting in People Management & Development, Education and Change.

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