Project Manager Resume: How to Get Noticed (And Invited for an Interview)
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Project Manager Resume: How to Get Noticed (And Invited for an Interview)

resumes its what we’re talking about in
today’s video you know so many of you have said Jason I have sent hundreds of
resumes out and nobody’s calling me back what do I do
I’ve been reading resumes now for over 15 years of an hiring project managers
for for 15 years and I’ve seen a lot of resumes so today this the topic of
today’s video the point of today’s video is to help you fix your resume woes once
and for all because I’m going to give you an inside view of what hiring
managers look for when they look at project manager resumes alright let’s get started resumes is a
meaty topic so we have a lot to cover today first we’re gonna do a bit of a
perspective exercise I’m going to tell you about the number one thing that most
people get wrong about resumes and it’s the the primary reason your resume is
not getting read then I’m going to follow it up with 8 tips just general
tips on how to make your resumes a thousand percent better and then I’m
going to get into eight steps that you can follow to prepare a resume that will
get you the interview but before we get into that I have a little announcement
to make I’m right now putting together a project
management we’ll call it a project management 101 course right now the
working title is the scheduling master class although maybe I could use your
help to figure out what the the real title should be for this thing but I’m
putting together a course it’s based on a course that I have traditionally
delivered live and in-person and it’s it’s traditionally been a three
day long full day bootcamp if you will for folks who are just getting started
out in a project so it takes you through the process of establishing yourself as
a leader building your project team you know putting your project plan together
by doing a WBS and network breakdown putting it all into Microsoft Project
doing the resource scheduling to make sure that nobody is overloaded it talks
about how to do effective status meetings it talks about how to get the
right how do you know you’re getting the right status information because you
know everyone says yeah we’re doing fine it tells you all about how to report
this information and package this information back to your executive team
it’s everything you would need to know if you’ve just been assigned a project
it’s especially handy for those accidental project managers and what I
mean by accidental project managers it’s people who have been just assigned or
not project managers bye-bye you know profession or trade but like
someone has given them a project once at a run with it and they want to do an
awesome job but they don’t know how this course is perfect for them so this will
be the first time I have pulled all of my material that I normally would give
in this in-person training into an online course and I am just getting to
the point where I think I’m almost ready I’d like to pilot it so that I can test
it I want to make sure that it all works because this is the first time I’m doing
all of this online and with video and all that wonderful stuff so if you’re
interested in I’m looking for volunteers to be a part of the pilot group if
you’re interested in being them being able to participate in the pilot I’m
gonna offer it coming up very soon it begins on June the pilot begins on June
the 1st if you’re interested I’m gonna put a card in the upper right hand
corner here of the screen you’ll see it flash just now if you don’t see it just
click the little eye icon up in the upper right hand corner and if you don’t
see that just put your mouse over the screen and it will pop up and then click
the card and you can go to the sign up screen or you can add yourself to the
list of people who are interested I’m going to charge a whole whopping $5 to
people to participate in the pilot so if it sounds interesting to you and you’d
like to be a member of the pilot group please click on the card and put
yourself on the list okay so let’s talk about that number one mistake that
people make with their resumes and here it is the number one mistake that people
make is that they fail to recognize that the resume is a piece of marketing
material it is not simply a place for you to record
all of your employment history a lot of people would say that sounds a little
bit crazy Jason like my whole life that’s that’s how what I believe the
resume is is to put all of my experience so that people know whether or not I’m
the right person for the job and what they end up doing is they end up listing
their where they worked their title and their responsibilities
and I have to say as as a portfolio lead or someone who would hire project
managers within a PMO that’s really not that useful for me I know what a project
manager does and great that the job description that you put there matches
the role but it tells me nothing at all about why you’re the right person for
the project management role that I have available right now what I need to know
as the hiring manager is what makes you different from the next person what I
need to know is what experiences have you had and what have you learned from
those experiences that will be beneficial to the projects that I would
put you on if I were to hire you as my next project manager I can’t tell you
how many times people have said to me you know Jason I sent out all these
resumes but you know these people they don’t bother to bring me in for an
interview to get to know me to see if I’m right for the job and what I have to
say to them is you’re not quite getting an understanding the situation that the
hiring manager is in in order to be successful at putting out resumes and
getting a response you first have to put yourself in the shoes of the hiring
manager so let’s do that for just a second because I think it’s really going
to help you draft a much better resume so let’s take a moment to understand the
world of the hiring manager what’s going on in their life right now because I
firmly believe that if you understood this you would be able to write a resume
that gets their attention if you’re applying to a job in a larger
organization that has a PMO chances are the hiring manager is going to be a
portfolio manager that is a project someone who who manages multiple project
managers to deliver on a portfolio of projects for an organization that
portfolio manager might may have a portfolio of 10 40 a hundred million
dollars worth of project investments that’s a lot of a lot to oversee they
may have two ten fifteen different project managers working for them to
deliver on this portfolio this managers day is probably filled from 8 a.m. until
6 p.m. completely full of meetings I know because I’ve lived this so they’re
in a meeting after meeting after meeting after meeting and every night they
probably go home and think to themselves at some point I need to actually get
some work done not sure how I’m going to do that because I’m in back-to-back
meetings all day but at some point I’m gonna need to get to some work done and
their anxiety levels are high because their work their to-do list just keeps
getting bigger and bigger and it’s not actually they’re not actually able to
make any progress against it many of you can relate to this you don’t have to be
a portfolio manager to have a day in the life that looks just like that but
understand that your hiring manager probably has this going on in their life
right now to make matters worse there’s one thing I know for sure about this
person and that is that this person is short-staffed that’s the whole reason
why they’ve got a a job posting out there that you are now replying to they
have projects in their portfolio that they do at they have more projects in
their portfolio than they have project managers to manage them and so what does
that really mean what that means is is that this portfolio manager is probably
in even more meetings to keep things moving on those projects that he or she
does not have for managers for so it further compounds the
issue that they’re being pulled in a hundred different directions so they put
out a job posting and what ends up happening is is they’re going to get I
guarantee you anywhere between 100 and 600 resume responses from that posting
given the situation that they’re in their deepest hope their deepest desire
is that they will be able to very quickly skim through the resumes pick
out about three to five of them that they think might be good candidates have
three to five interviews again these three to five one-hour interviews have
to be fitted to this already packed meeting schedule and they better damn
well at the end of those three to five interviews with the time invested have a
really great candidate that will help them alleviate some of the pressure so
when you’re out there submitting your resume and you’re lamenting the fact
that well you know if they only just took the time to get to know me if they
could have at least just called and interviewed me then they would have
understood would you have to what you have to understand is that we don’t have
time to interview hundreds of people in order to figure out whether or not those
people might work out really our only choice is hiring managers is to bring a
stack of resumes like this home and to do our best to go through as quickly as
possible in one evening and pull the three to five resumes out that we think
might be promising but it’s a hard thing to do because almost every resume in the
pile is going to list where they worked the job that they did title for the job
and the actual responsibilities which again we know we know what the
responsibilities for that job title are very hard to know whether or not a
person is going to be the right person for the job just based on the resume so
you have to understand that and so I’ll go back to my earlier comment your
resume is actually a piece of marketing material now what is
Marketing all that marketing is all about standing out in in an out of a
bunch of noise and getting a person’s attention so that you can deliver a
message that is all marketing is and there is a lot of noise out there in
this particular process because you are one of a stack of hundreds of resumes
now a lot of hiring managers will leverage their HR departments to help
them weed out some candidates and they’ll pretty they will have some
pretty ruthless criteria that they ask the HR folks to follow keep in mind the
HR folks probably don’t know a lot about project management so they’re literally
just looking for specific keywords and if those keywords don’t exist in the
resume then they’re they’re fitting the herd so to speak they’re pulling those
resumes out and then making this stack this stack so that the hiring manager at
least has a chance in hell of getting through all of them to further
illustrate my point just a little bit more and then we’ll move on to the the
eight tips that I have for you I’m going to give you an example of two different
advertisements and tell you what’s in each ad and then I want you to tell me
which one is more appealing which one catches your eye just a little bit more
or your ear so just because I know I’m going to sort of tell you about two
different ads okay so you tell me which one you think is more appealing so let’s
pretend there’s a computer company and computer company a puts out an ad
and it says we’re a computer company we do research and development we source
parts from suppliers we put all of those parts together and make computers we
established a distribution network by our computers so that that’s a
advertisement number one here’s advertisement number two
as a computer company were focused mainly on students and schools we found
ways to keep things affordable because we understand the financial pressures
that students face we found a way to stay relevant through the economic
downturn of 2008 and we’ve discovered creative ways to provide high-touch
service in a market where margins are getting pretty thin we’re passionate
about students and education and we’ve dedicated ourselves to providing the
right tools at the right price for education please buy our computers so
what do you think about the difference between those two ads now if you’re
being honest and I hope you I hope you are ad 2 is definitely more appealing if
you happen to be a student or perhaps someone associated with education ad
number one is very similar to what we see in a lot of our resumes basically a
list of all the things that we do ad number two it talks about what they do
but it talks about the challenges you might even can even maybe even be able
to infer some of what they’ve learned right like in order for a computer
company to have high-touch service in today’s world they they probably had to
think outside of the box like it gives you a lot more to think about and it it
gives you a sense that they’re passionate about what they do this is
how we want our resumes to feel and sound and so we’ll talk a bit today
about how do you do that how do you make your resume stand out in that way so
that a person who reads it would say yeah you know what that that’s for me I
think that is a good candidate for the open rule that I have before we proceed
to the eight tips that I have for you though I’d like for you to leave me a
comment below are you guilty of writing resumes where you just put your
responsibilities would you like to perhaps get better at that
tell me a little bit in the comments below what your experience resume
experience has been and whether or not you have fallen victim to that
misconception that a resume is actually just a document where you list your
experience and also if I just if I if I sort of given you a bit of a lightbulb
moment there don’t forget to give me the thumbs up with that let’s talk about the
tips for res I have for you for resume writing tip number one is the one that
drives me crazy the most is please do not
carpet-bomb your resume out to hundreds of different job ads it’s obvious to
those people who read the resume that you have just blasted it out to as many
people as possible and the reason for that is is because I don’t see anything
in the resume that’s specific to the job that I’m offering and sometimes I will
even see people with progressive experience that doesn’t actually make
any sense for the job that I’m offering so I know those people are out there
just o open job probably pays about what I’m looking for send send send send if
you’re carpet bombing the the world with your resume then you’ve adopted the
wrong tactic and you’re probably one of those people that says I’ve said my
resume to a hundred people nobody’s responded that’s because they know that
you’re spamming the entire world with your resume because it doesn’t say
anything specific that would appeal to that particular manager who has that
particular role open so that leads to my next tip which is if you’re not going to
carpet-bomb what are you gonna do you’re going to
actually be very specific well and you’re gonna be laser-like focused on
specific jobs that are in line with where you are in your career right now
and will help support you in your journey to advance in your career you
will get far better results if you spend the majority of your time searching for
the just the right opportunity and applying to that those few opportunities
and I’m talking to a handful five maybe ten but the perfect opportunities and
then crafting our resume that markets you as the perfect person for that
perfect opportunity that’s what job hunting should be about
not just spamming the world with your resume and hoping for the best that
never works out and and I’m telling you on the other side of it like it is
completely obvious that’s what you’re doing and it’s a complete turnoff so be
laser-like focused and then you tailor your resume to the specific job opening
the third tip that I have for you is yes a cover letter is important it is not
dead I know in this day and age where you know we’re used to communicating
with far less words than we used to use letters are kind of a thing of the past
but when it comes to job searching a letter that summarizes why you should be
considered with it goes a long a long way for a hiring manager now I’ve met
some hire managers say I don’t read those things but the majority of the
hiring managers that I know and I myself can tell you that we read those cover
letters now they should only be a paragraph or two long treat the hiring
manager like you would any executive out there they don’t have a lot of time but
thought one or two paragraphs should truly summarize exactly why you’re right
for the role and why the role is right for you and it pulls the reader in to
the resume because once they’ve read a compelling cover letter they say well I
want to learn more so let’s dig into that resume and see if we agree with you
that you’re the perfect person for the job
so cover letters are important number four yes
listing your education is important and you should do it but dates on that
education are not required I’m going to say that although it isn’t
fair I know from personal experience that ageism is still very much alive and
well out there and if you have you know your degrees and your education and it
shows that you got those degrees in education 40 years ago if it’s a more
junior role that you’re applying for it’s going to be a turn-off for a lot of
people it really shouldn’t be a factor it
shouldn’t be a factor at all but I’m telling you like based on experience
with family and friends the deep in my gut I believe that that ageism happens
and so to avoid any of that my recommendation to you my YouTube viewer
and subscriber is you don’t need to put any dates on that stuff it’s not
relevant the only thing people need to know is what did you study and what did
you learn tip number five along the same vein is
tip number four one of the things I recommend that people do is they only
put the last five to ten years of relevant experience on their resume if
you have 20 or 30 or 40 years of relevant experience I would suggest that
you leave it off and that it’s something you talked about in the interview
because ten years of relevant experience should be more than enough for any job
that you might be applying for so to eliminate any chance whatsoever of
ageism getting in the way of you getting that interview and getting that
opportunity to sit in front of somebody and showcase what you have to offer
I say list just five to ten years it should be more than enough for you to
get the interview that you’re after tip number six we do not need to see your
personal interests and what you do after work on the resume I know a lot of
people have said in the past that maybe it makes you more personable or perhaps
you’d maybe the the the hiring manager might have a similar interest to you and
therefore they might hire you and maybe there might be a hiring manager out
there that this would work for but I can tell you that for myself and for any of
the other hiring managers who are living the nightmare of not having enough
people to get the job done I’m not entirely it’s not that I don’t care that
you like to play tennis it’s just something that I’ll probably learn once
you get the job it’s not something that’s going to get you the job and it
kind of is a waste of space on the resume so you don’t need to put your
personal interests on the resume as far as I am concerned tip number seven I see
a lot of people listing references directly on the resume this is
absolutely not required I would only need to see references if I’ve decided
that I wanted to move forward with you I’m certainly not going to if I don’t
have time to read every single resume and if I don’t have time to interview
every single person that applies I certainly will not have time to call all
of the references when in time when the time comes and it looks like you might
be a good fit for the role that’s when we will ask you for your references but
you do not need to put those on the resume the eighth and final tip that I
have for you is about resume length now a lot of us have had conflicting
information about how long a resume should be I’m here to tell you that the
resume should be as long as it needs to be you’ve got a certain message that you
need to deliver and that takes two pages or three pages you know as the case of
my resumes seven pages that’s fine it doesn’t really matter what matters is is
that the person is interested enough to keep reading it if it’s seven pages of
of total blase like job role job description information it’s a complete
waste of paper but if it’s seven pages of here’s all the wonderful valuable
stuff that I’ve learned over the years that can help you deliver on your
project portfolio then it’s definitely a good read I wouldn’t want anybody to
paraphrase them or to try and heart really hard to paraphrase their
experience down such that it fit on one page again the cover letter pulls me in
and the first experience r2 gives me a general sense as to what I might see in
the rest of the pages and the resume if you’ve done a poor job there and the
cover letter and the first page and the other pages won’t get read if you’ve
done an awesome job there and the other pages will get read that’s pretty much
as simple as that so don’t stress about the size of the resume or the length of
the resume the resume is as long as it needs to be and that’s pretty much the
rule of that I follow when it comes to resumes now I’m going to take you
through the eight steps that you need to go through in order to create a resume
and cover letter that gets noticed and gets you the callback for the interview
also don’t forget to down your checklist which will be available to you I’m going
to put a link here another card so click on the eye icon here in the upper right
hand corner and you can download a checklist that you can use to help you
prepare and tailor each resume for each job opening that you have selected that
you’d like to apply for alright so step number one if we’re not carpet bombing
for the world with our resume then what we’re doing is we’re finding those
specific jobs that are right for us and we’re applying to those so step number
one’s quite simply go find those jobs now in a previous video I talked about
there’s a couple different ways for you if you’re just getting started out in
your career to get started and that was either find a small company and grow
within that company and become well-rounded and
vidual but kind of scary because you have to learn everything on the fly or
go to a large company and start from the bottom and work your way up the benefits
there are you’ve got lots of really experienced people around you that you
can learn from so make you just make your choice what kind of organization do
you want to work for and then go and find those organizations go to the job
pages to those for those companies see if they’re offering any jobs for project
managers going directly to each company’s job board or Help Wanted page
on their website yields the best results one tool that you can use is come as a
as a job board called or you can use if you’re in Canada Aleut ax e
LUT a dot CA and what those things I call those sites aggregators what they
do is they have bots that go out to company websites and mace they find job
descriptions and they scrape that information and then they put it in
their search engine so that you can find them I find I find a lot of new
companies that I didn’t think about when I go to indeed and in luta but then I
typically then try to go to the directly to the company’s website and apply
through their system sometimes you also will have it’s kind of funny what you’ll
see is you’ll see the recruiter a recruiter listing in luta or indeed and
then maybe two or three down below it’s the exact same job descriptions like is
oh somebody cut and paste with it but it’s for the actual company just go
directly to the company in that case and then and then submit your resume there
that’s what I would do once you find the jobs that you want to apply to and I
would recommend that you find maybe between five and ten jobs and it could
take you a several days to to pull all of that together but once you do and
you’ve got five or ten job descriptions in your hands and you want to apply to
them the next thing you’ll want to do is to
read those descriptions a couple of times and what you’re looking
for is what kinds of challenges might that employer be experiencing right now
that they need your help with now this could be very difficult and this this
exercise sometimes it yields results sometimes it doesn’t what I typically do
is I grab my highlighter and I start highlighting things that that might
reveal what some of their challenges are maybe their challenge is that’s a larger
project or program than they within their organization are used to handling
that might come through in the text maybe the issue is there’s an external
vendor they’ve never dealt with before or maybe they have an issue because
they’re trying to implement technology that they don’t have a lot of
familiarity with or perhaps they have an issue with difficult stakeholders
sometimes that information can be implied or inferred in the job
description grab your trusty highlighter try to read between the lines a little
bit and then make notes and highlight wherever you think there might be an
indication that there’s a special need and if there are any then you’re in luck
it’s done so always a case a lot of these job descriptions are cut and
pasted cookie cutter and they don’t tell you a whole lot which is part of the
problem but if you do happen to find some of those statements in there that
are unusual then highlight them and you’re going to use them in subsequent
steps to tailor your resume some other ideas on what you might potentially look
for are any mentions of sizes of projects mentions of project type an
environment type like they might be very specific you know of having a person a
person who has worked in a particular kind of environment you know highlight
all of those statements another thing you might be able to do get a little
background on on what some of the company’s current challenges are is to a
bit of reconnaissance on LinkedIn again we’ve only picked 5 to 10 opportunities
here that we’re interested in so we can we know have the time to do a bit of
reconnaissance we can figure out who works within that
department via LinkedIn they may list what you know some of their colleagues
are you might be able to get an idea as to some of the structure you might even
happen to know someone who works at that company and LinkedIn will tell you if
you’re connected to one of those people now if you’re maybe you know two
connections removed maybe you can get an introduction and have coffee with
someone again this is the beauty of narrowing your selection of which
opportunities you want to go for it down to you know five to ten now you don’t
have forever to do this research but it’s very important that you at least
try another thing you could do is you can go directly to the company’s aboutus
webpage they might have their company history they might have press releases
they might have if they’re a public company you know various and you will
reports and other things that you can read to give you a little insight as to
how does this company intend to differentiate itself is it branching off
into new areas like the finance industry it happens to be branching off into AI
of all places right so the these but reading press releases and things will
help you understand that if nothing else it might give you a little something to
talk about when you get in for the interview and it is very impressive when
we’re interviewing people and we can tell that that person is interested
enough in our company that they’ve taken the time to learn a little about what
that company is doing the direction it’s heading what what is its strategy for
the year ahead all of these things could be very useful to you as you tailor your
cover letter and your resume and respond to those particular job openings step
number three is to prepare your resume to get through the HR filters what I
want you to do on any of the job descriptions or the help-wanted ads that
you have I want you to scroll right down to the skills section the skills and
requirements section and see what’s listed there if they are requiring a
four-year degree or if they are requiring a specific kind
certification or a requiring previous experience with a specific type of
technology mark those things down I’m assuming because you’ve selected this
job opportunity that you meet those criteria but what you have to remember
to do is to make sure that for the inexperienced HR person you need to have
those things those keywords showing up very prominently in your resume so that
you don’t get the they you know the HR filter issue where it doesn’t even get
to the hiring manager they’ve weeded it out so look at that
that there’s the skills and requirements section and make sure that you have each
of those things represented in your resume so that you can at least be
reassured that you’re going to be handed off to the hiring manager for a review
step four is where it all comes together so you’ve done your research on the
company you’ve gone through the job opening in great detail detail several
times to figure out if there’s any particular things that they’re
struggling with you’ve looked at their skills section you know that you can
help them that your experience actually will go a long way towards helping them
deliver on whatever projects they have now is the time to go through your job
experience section by section job or employer by employer and make sure that
you’re highlighting the skills that would be very useful for that particular
job when you look at the bullet points that you have in those sections where
you described you know the job itself here are some questions you can use to
help you re-evaluate what you’ve got there
some of the things that that we look for when we’re looking for project managers
as information on the size and scope and environment that you were working in so
if you are working in a company of 8,000 people then you may want to mention
something about the size right of the stakeholder groups and some of the
projects that you were in you may want to mention environments like if it was a
you know Microsoft shop versus something else when you you may want to mention
some of those things so that the person reading the resume can get a sense as to
okay yeah they have worked in an environment
that’s similar to mine they may not necessarily always know based on the
employers name what goes on at that employer what that employer is all about
so this is especially true if you’re not working if your previous experience
isn’t from like some a well-known company like IBM or you know Bank of
America or something like that so put some things in there that describe the
projects and the environments that you’re familiar with other things that
we want to know about are you know the size and complexity of the projects that
you’ve managed so mentioning numbers like you know projects with a total
project investment up to 20 million 40 million or 250 thousand whatever it is
mention the size of the project it’s very important again for the project the
the the hiring manager to know the size of those projects I know that cost isn’t
always a great indicator of complexity but it certainly is the most accepted
way of doing it quickly so we want to know relative size if there’s any other
information that that that lends itself to helping us understand the complexity
that kind of information is very useful as well make sure also that your bullets
talk a little bit about what you have learned what challenges you’ve faced now
this can get a little bit tricky and it takes a little bit of copywriting acumen
to get to get this right you know we can’t be seen as sharing all
of our previous employers dirty laundry so instead of saying something like it
will learned how to deal with difficult stakeholders thereby calling out people
at your previous employment play employer were difficult you could say
something to the effect of expanded stakeholder management skills to address
the specific needs of the project that’s more than enough to get it to pique the
interest of an experienced a hiring manager the fact that you needed to
expand your skills to ensure the success of the project means there’s something
that we might be able to talk about in the interview and it’ll help me I mean I
would probably would take a note if I saw that comment to say let’s talk about
what kind of expansion you’re talking about here because I’d like to know what
did you learn in that situation so being able to articulate what you learned and
the challenges that you faced those that is some of the most important
information you can include on a resume and finally for each section where you
highlight your experiences we want you to put down any evidence that you have
that your efforts were appreciated so if you won some sort of an award like a
quarterly or annual award for your performance putting that there also is
very helpful because again that’s the kind of thing we would talk about in the
interview you know why did you win that award what what what did you do that
that warranted that kind of recognition this is the kind of thing we want to see
that your previous efforts were appreciated might be a bit difficult if
one of the reasons why you’re looking is that your previous efforts are not being
appreciated but if you happen to have evidence that it was putting you in the
resume is a really great idea don’t forget to do that next step number five
after you’ve gone through section by section and you’ve highlighted the
things that you’ve learned and the challenges and all the environmental
type information you are now ready to write a summary
you will put it a top of the resume and that summary will list the things that
makes you the best candidate for that role I’ve seen some people use like an
objective statement or whatnot and those objective statements can work providing
that your objective isn’t generic like I want to leverage my unique set of skills
to make a big difference for company XYZ which I see that all the time if the
objective is actually really quite crisp which is looking to to work for an
organization where I can be with other more experienced PMS and build a career
such that I can become a senior PM in a year or two and the open position is a
PM role that sounds pretty good it tells me that you’d be motivated in the role
that I have available that kind of thing as an objective would work but I much
prefer the summary the summary is like it’s an executive summary it’s all the
reasons why you are an excellent candidate for the role go back through
your job history and highlight the points that you think are the most
important would be the most impactful for this employer to see and bring those
together and summarize them such that all of those salient points are right at
the top of the resume like I said a resume is a piece of marketing material
and as with all marketing you have just a few moments to catch a person’s
interest those first few centons will either draw the hiring manager in and
get them to invest more time and looking at those other bullets that you just
worked so hard on or or it will turn them off and and then you’ve missed your
opportunity so that summary is so important it’s what actually gets them
to read the rest of the resume spend some time on it the next step after
you’ve written the summary is to write the cover letter the cover letter in the
summary are going to be very similar to one another it’s the same kind of
information it’s just that the summary is kind of written in third person about
about you and you know candidate with this much
experience blah blah blah blah the cover letter is more first person in
the cover letter you’re going to say things like you know where you saw the
the job posting you know why you’re interested in the job posting and the
company if you were referred you’ll want to mention the name of the person that
referred you and then you’ll go on to talk about a lot of the stuff the same
stuff that you talked about in the summary but rewording it a little bit to
be more in the language that you would normally see in a letter again that
cover letter should only be a couple of paragraphs at most not too many because
you you you don’t you you’re gonna lose interest if it’s way too long make it
short make it punchy and and get it done but
you do have to write a cut up cover letter to be taken seriously by a lot of
hiring managers and then there’s the final step and it’s one that most people
forget to do even I forget to do it from time to time and that is after you’ve
gone through and you’ve overhauled your resume and tailored it to the position
you’ve done your summary and you’ve done your cover letter the next step is to
walk away from it all for 24 hours and then come back to it and then go through
and read it again what you’ll find is a whole bunch of mistakes that were not
visible to you the day before you’re gonna go oh my goodness there’s a whole
word missing here what the hell was I trying to say there look at all these
spelling mistakes how did I not see this I guarantee you and so it’s so very
important for you to walk away for 24 hours come back with a fresh set of eyes
and do a final set of edits after that you’re ready to apply now
depending on the company that you’re applying to you may have to convert all
of this to text and upload it into a system you know or upload a PDF or what
have you or even email in some cases people are still accepting email email
it to particularly email address once you’re done editing
you’re ready to send so in short if you have the right perspective and you
understand that the resume is for marketing not just listing your job your
job duties over the last X number of years
and you don’t carpet-bomb but you get very specific and targeted on the jobs
that you want to apply for and then you spend now that you’ve narrowed it down
you can afford now to spend the time to tailor the resume and the cover letter
to the job and you’re featuring information that’s important like what
if your what is your what have you experienced what challenges have you
overcome if you put in the effort and the time I guarantee you you’re going to
get interviews you won’t be saying Jason I sent a hundred resumes out and did a
didn’t get a call you’re gonna say I sent out five and three of them have
asked me back for an interview I guarantee it because no one else is
taking the time to put together the right message so that they can get
noticed everyone else is just doing that carpet bombing and hoping for the best
don’t be that person be the person who was very intentional with their
marketing message that they wanted to put in front of a very specific person
do that and you will get an opportunity to sell yourself in person
okay so I have homework for you I want you to click the I icon in the upper
right hand corner and I want you to click the card so that you can download
your resume preparation checklist then I want you to go online I want you to find
companies specific companies that you’re interested in working for I want you to
find positions that are that are very specific to your career goals that you
know for sure that you can make an impact in and then I want you to take
that checklist and use what you’ve learned today to craft the right resume
a tailored resume and a tailored cover letter for each of those five positions
do that and I guarantee you you’re going to get a phone back or an interview and
if you get an interview I want you to post in the comments below that you did
it and you’ve got the interview I want to hear from you and your story will be
inspirational for those who are struggling and trying to get noticed in
a sea of people who are trying to get jobs as project managers finally I just
want to encourage you one last if you found this information useful and
you’d liked you think other project managers would benefit from it interact
with this video we are notoriously bad as project managers for interacting with
videos so please press the like button give me a comment tell me what was the
most important thing you learned today you know what are you going to apply
what are you going to do differently on your resume tomorrow or if you already
have a job you’re not out there looking maybe you can share with the audience
what are some of your experiences do you have any tips in addition to the ones
that I’ve given that might be useful for the audience please we’ll leave those
tips in the comment below with that I want to thank you very much for sticking
with me this afternoon I hope you found this was time well spent
and with that I want to say goodbye and we’ll see you in the next video

About Ralph Robinson

Read All Posts By Ralph Robinson

56 thoughts on “Project Manager Resume: How to Get Noticed (And Invited for an Interview)

  1. Sorry it took two weeks to get this video out! I've been sick and down for the count for the past two weeks.

    I hope you find this one useful.

  2. Thank you! Actually, I'm still working on my resume; However, I have tge one that I completed and sent to the job market. But still I need to work on it!

  3. This is seriously a gold mind of a video. Tons of super valuable information that couldn't have come at a better time. I'm currently in the process of revamping my resume, so the info here along with the checklist will be incredibly handy. The information about the cover letter and summary was great. I have always been on the fence about whether or not to include it. Also, the suggestions about not including dates due to agism was insightful. I'm no longer a young 20 year old, so this hit home with me. Granted I'm only 32, but I think it's important for even someone my age. Especially during a career change. Thanks again, Jason!

  4. I'm loving these videos! I truly wish I had found them before the Masterclass Deadline. Keep the material coming, though. It's truly appreciated.

  5. Jason, thank you for this information.
    Will you open the masterclass pilot again at some point?
    Also, I am getting a Norton Symantec web attack notification from Azle's link below. Not sure what this is about, but please be aware.

  6. This video is gold!! Thank you so much for going over what to do/don't do on a resume. This definitely provided me with a better understanding on how hiring managers may view my resume and what i should add/change in order to stand out. Also liked how you touched on the importance of talking about lessons learned. I have definitely been guilty of listing responsibilities!

  7. Thank you Jason. I have been working on the exact same things after talking to people I networked. This video is awesome, giving the whole process around hiring. Very important tips and explanation why you need to do so are valuable.

  8. Thank you Jason, i will have an Interview this week, I am from Dominican Republic and this will be my first interview as a Project M. for a desing Companie, I am an Architect and you have help me a lot with your videos.

  9. Just as you mentioned the resume is a list of my. The problem is if you are in need of a job you carpet the job market. I have not been successful bur I am with an agency that says exactly as you mention.

  10. Cookie cutter type of project requirements … I am in Nuclear ans they use a standard form that requests a Senior Manager but really they need a Project Manager.

  11. Very good presentation … and I do not put the any of the lessons learned in the way you have expressed….. impressive

  12. I put my education upfront of the resume….. and I have not added a cover letter so maybe that is why I have not heard from anyone.

  13. a good Idea on the 24 hour turn around…. Every time i have sent something through I wished I had held off as I end up changing and sending a later change through which I know was ther reason for no response to the resume

  14. I have definitely fallen victim to this. My resume is a combination of passion and work experience. Sometimes my collateral material speaks more to how I am

  15. To anyone looking for clients, check out GUAVABEAN's FB group; we post new remote jobs every day and its free. To those looking to start out, there is a "Freelancer Roadmap" at 🙂 Good luck!

  16. I must disagree about personal interests section. At one international company that I worked at, the HR manager declined all resumes without this section and it didn't go to the departments. Personaly I think it was ridiculous

  17. Very inspirational! A lot of crucial information! But couldn't download checklist. No link in confirmation letter.

  18. I noticed that you never mentioned Programs or Program Managers under your portfolio. You just work directly from Portfolio to Projects? Meaning that none of your projects are not strategically related to be qualify to group them into a program?

  19. Great tips, Jason, thanks for sharink. Always good to have the other side's point of view, helps get out of our bubble. An great books, by the way 😉
    Our team at Zenkit manages project everyday but we also had to learn at first, we even wrote an article about, we'd love your feedback:

  20. Hello Jason,
    I was just watching your video about breaking in to the PM field. I like your plan B. It seems that it would be good to get into a large company and to get mentored by those already experienced in the field and avoid the many mistakes of trying to make your way alone without a mentor. I liked your video. It was helpful to me as well as the other videos I watched of yours. I watched the one about is PM for you. It helped me to determine that I have the traits for a successful PM. Also the video about focus on outcomes rather than tools and processes was also helpful. I missed the deadline for the pilot course but would like to learn how to take it.

  21. Im working as a PM in phone camera industry in Asia and i have watched all of your videos except this resume one. My goal this year 2019 is to grow my career since its been quite a plateau for last 2 years! I feel too bad this is gonna be the last video i have left with 🙁 seriously~! Even though i have been working as a pm for like 4-5 yrs so far, i was not able to have this much useful and motivating talks. Thank you so much for all of your videos! Appreciate it.

  22. Jason.. I appreciate this video. When you're trying to break into this career how would you change the resume to gear it towards their job descriptions without experience please???

  23. Uhm…yeah, I've always done that sigh guilty, I need to get better to prepare for my search as a Project Manager.

  24. Hi Jason, many thanks for the tips. I will start writing my resumes as job specific in future. I was also interested in what you said about ageism. I am 48 now and have been a Construction Project Manager for the last 8 years. So far I have not experienced this, but it is something that I am aware of and concerns me for the future. I was always told that experience is king and if you have years of work experience then you become an asset.

  25. Hello Jason, this was really helpful. However, to make this even more effective, could talk about a real-life PM job posting and a sample resume to show how and what to include. That will be soo very helpful. But otherwise a big thumbs-up to your video. Great content, thank you

  26. Super super long…not sure exactly why I watched this entire thing. For the future, Jason, might be great to follow your own advise and keep things concise. Easily could’ve been half the length. BUT, thanks for making regardless

  27. Thank you – very helpful in seeing the hiring manager's perspective as well as a good reminder (for those who already do) and good points on what to do or not do! The video itself could be shortened quite a bit – I was interested in viewing it but had to find the right time to have a free hour to pay attention to what was said.

  28. I have chosen a different approach. I once tried to craft the "perfect" resume and the "perfect" personalized cover letter just to be ignored. I never took it personally because as you say, hiring managers don't have time. That's when I learned how to spam more effectively.

  29. This video was time well spent indeed! I shared it to a non-PM job searcher because it reminded me of the many lessons from my Resume work shops of customizing every resume and selling yourself in the first half of your resume. What was new to me was the Cover letter is to be in 1st person and about 2 paragraphs long. I also appreciated the suggestion of having passion written in the summary at the top versus cold facts. Thank you!

  30. the only person I've been interested in PM perspective for a long time its very effective hope you continue to publish more videos wish all the best thank you

  31. all the links say you maybe impersonating the real website and will still my finances – even opened up a new tab and also tried on my phone…same thing happened.

  32. Thank you for the great videos. Are you still doing any masterclasses? I get a security alert when I click the links above.

  33. Yeah i am guilty of writing resumes like ad #1, and that is because i try to match keywords with Job description

  34. @PM Perspective Thanks for the info! I tried to download the checklist, but wasn't able to. Any tips? I got a confirmation email, but then no checklist.
    I'd also love to see you working through a specific example on how to do this!

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