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PMO Advice from Apex's Top PMO Recruiters

May 2017- Tips from Christy, Holly, Stephanie, Jamie, Steven, and Wendy, Sr PM/BA Recruiters with 45+ years of combined experience supporting PMs/BAs in job search

As a Project Manager or Business Analyst, what truly stands out on a resume? What skills should you learn to position yourself to get a leg up over other applicants during your next job search? What certifications are companies looking for? Where should you invest time preparing for interviews? We polled six of our most tenured Project Management and Business Analysis focused recruiters across the U.S. to get their main pieces of advice for PMO candidates. Over the next few weeks, we’ll post their responses here!

1. What is your best piece of advice around having a strong resume?

Create two versions to identify the best content
“I love when candidates have two versions [of their resume] – one that is more to the point with each role and no more than 2-3 pages, and another that can be more lengthy with all their experience.”

Be clear, concise, and focused
“Show the actual SMART outcomes (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely) of the projects you have worked on. Simply having generic job duties of a PM/BA listed will not separate your experience from the next candidate.”

“Managers should not have to decipher if you are a Project Manager, Program Manager, Business Analyst, etc. Most managers only look at a resume for 5-10 seconds before determining if they want to take a deeper look so if your job title, summary, or if the first page of the resume does not relate to their position, they have probably already passed on to the next candidate. Your bullet points should be in the priority of where you spent the most time, so if you are a Project Manager and your first bullet point is about technical support or something not directly related to managing projects that is a big red flag to managers.”

Pay attention to formatting
“Resumes should be very easy to read and formatted cleanly (i.e. steer clear of multiple fonts, colors, random underlining and bolding) and each position should be formatted the same way so it’s easy for the manager to see where you worked, what your position was, dates of employment, and responsibilities. Going along with this, spelling, grammar, and parallelism are all things that should be triple checked!”

“Formatting is everything – it needs to be clear and concise and easy to read. Some examples: consistent fonts, bullet points vs. paragraph style, technical skills and education listed in a separate area, etc.”

2. What certifications are clients in your area seeking for Project Managers? For Business Analysts?

“PMP is always a plus for our Project Managers, but here in Charlotte at least, we’ve recently seen a major spike for Certified Scrum Masters and Agile Coaches."

“In Kansas City, a lot of our clients prefer PM candidates with a PMP, Scrum Master and some Lean Six Sigma certs. On the BA side, very few of our clients require any of the IIBA certifications.”

“CBAP – this is probably the top BA certification that is requested in the market.”

“Similar to PMs – Agile Certs (CSM, ACP) for software and ITIL for infrastructure focused candidates are always a plus.”

Check back next week for more PMO tips! Click here to view all of our job openings and submit your most recent resume today!