A great resume, or CV, is like a summary of a whole person. But a project manager can sometimes find it difficult to present a complete image of themselves in a page or two. Because of how much a project manager does, how many qualifications they possess, and the changing rules about disclosing personal information, it can be awkward to fit everything into an ordinary resume.
And yet if a project manager were to present twenty pages explaining all their achievements, it would probably end up in the bin instead of being read.
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A great solution when we need to create a great resume is to use a mind map. In this case the mind map may be a sort of tree, starting with the most essential elements of the CV and going into details later on. This way the project manager can identify everything their resume needs and work out what to get rid of when there is not enough space left.
Although it may sound simple, it can be challenging to put together. It is important to remember that the essential elements are categories such as “profile”, or “key achievements”, and that all the details need to be under these as main headers. This way successes and qualifications are all neatly organized and easy to find. On the other hand, things the project manager may not wish to highlight do not need to be mentioned, or can be discussed further down the resume. The key is to take these abstract ideas and form connections which we can visualize.
Cecil D. Williams, a Project Manager from Big Assignments, explains the importance of using a mind map to plot out your CV:
“A mind map is a visual representation of everything that’s going off inside our head. We don’t really think with words, we think with people, places, emotions, and actions. We think by visualizing. So when we want to work in reverse, we can visualize to encourage our thoughts to become organized.”
Once the image is constructed, it is essential to make sure it is cohesive. Although a mind map is a great way of getting all ideas on paper, it can also end up producing a CV that looks very much like a series of bullet points. It needs to be finished.
To polish a resume, it can help to use some writing tools. These hold together all the points which the mind map uncovered, but help lay them out in an attractive, easy to read, completely accurate document, ensuring that the recruiter will take your document seriously and gives you the best shot at securing your next project manager position.
1: Writing guides
If you aren’t sure what the current standards and styles are, check out writing guides such as ViaWriting, State Of Writing, or Simplegrad, to see what your choices are. This should be the first step you take when it comes to writing your resume since you can brush up on your general writing knowledge to ensure that it’s accurate and what your reader – the HR manager or recruiter expects.
You’ll also be able to learn all about the current styles and the most up-to-date practices, helping your sentences flow, your content read well and gives the reader the best reading experience, making it far more likely that they’ll read through your resume fully.
There are so many ways that you can approach writing a resume, as well as many tried and tested formulas that work best for certain recruiters. If you’re really not sure about the best way to approach your resume – remember, it’s important to write a new resume for every single job you apply for – you can use the sites linked above to source professional templates that you can follow to make sure that everything is nicely laid out and easy to digest.
2: Keep it concise
If you are struggling with your word count, the Easy Word Count tool can help you rein in your characters. And if you need to make a reference, Cite It In will help you find a brief, clear reference format. When you consider the fact that the job market is currently more competitive than it has ever been before, keeping things short and sweet is an obvious essential.
If the job that you’ve applied for has received 50 applicants, that’s 50 resumes that the recruiter has to read through. Of course, this is going to take time; time they probably won’t have, especially if your resume is 1,000+ plus words. If your resume is too long, they’ll simply skim over it instead of reading it properly. This runs the risk of them missing important information which could cost you the interview.
When you’re writing up your project manager resume, as a rule of thumb, try and keep your entire resume to a single A4 page. This is the ideal amount of space since a recruiter can easily browse through your content to pick up and extract the information they need. Don’t forget to use formatting tools, such as headers and bullet points, to break up the sections of your resume which will help to keep it concise, and makes it easier to read.
3: Writing consulting
This is an ideal way to review and evaluate your writing skills. Since your resume will most likely be the first impression that you give your recruiter, you’ll want to make sure that it counts. Writing is a skill that will be used throughout the working day, whether you’re writing reports, emails, or instant messages, so it’s a skill that is worth improving for all aspects of your social and working life.
4: Grammar tools
Proper grammar and spelling can make the difference between an OK resume and a great resume. Handy tools such as My Writing Way or Academadvisor can make sure your grammar is perfect. Grammar is such an essential part of writing, but it seems that many people in the modern-age haven’t taken the time to learn it properly.
It goes without saying that this is a serious consideration for your recruiter since your level of grammar will directly affect your resume’s readability and the impression that you give your reader. Get your grammar right first time, and you can be sure that your recruiter will have no complaints when it comes to your application.
Once your resume is complete, it’s great to get someone to give a second opinion. Services such as BoomEssays and UKWritings offer proofreading services to make sure your resume reads well and is wholly accurate.
Put yourself in the shoes of your reader. If you were reading through somebody’s resume and it was littered with typos, spelling mistakes, and misplaced punctuation, this is going to affect your first impressions of the writer, and as a recruiter, would you give someone a project manager job who was unable to spell properly, or at least check their spelling to see if it was right?
A clearer way to see this point is the fact that, as a project manager, if you’re writing up project reports, or any form of writing in your day-to-day working life, if there are errors in your work, this dramatically increases the risk of misinterpretation and will cause problems within the business. This is why it’s vital that you check your work.
It’s also so important to remember this point when it comes to every other aspect of your writing. Make sure that you’re re-reading your resume through several times to ensure that it makes sense and there are no errors. As mentioned above, it’s difficult for any writer to see any errors in their work since they wrote it, so it can always be extremely beneficial to get a second pair of eyes.
6: Writing communities
By joining writing communities, this is a great way to connect with other writers who have also written resumes and received feedback on them. This means you can learn where others have made mistakes, so you can avoid them at all costs. Sharing knowledge in this area is one of the best and most effective ways to learn to practice your new skills, ensuring you’re able to craft a comprehensive and captivating resume that your recruiter will simply be unable to ignore.
By using a mind map, a project manager can succinctly display all their skills and accomplishments. And with a few handy writing tools that resume can be elevated to a point where it is attractive and smooth to read, standing head and shoulders above other resumes.