Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Qualifications and Skills

Our CEO, Melanie Franklin, talks about her newest project - our Qualifications and Skills Free Briefing and how it will help people find their way around Project and Programme Management related training for 2009.

"A new year and new presentations to write. Today I am back from my holiday, and my first task is to write a compelling and relevant briefing that explains the different project, programme and change management examinations. This feels like a useful spend of my time, because as the CEO of this company, I am receiving so many queries from people in and out of work about how to improve their CVs and how to make themselves more marketable to potential employers.

In part, this is driven by fear – I think there is a genuine concern, by many people who appear to have stable jobs, that redundancy is just around the corner. Even though they are overworked and under pressure, and leaving the office for a few days feels risky, people realise that if they have to apply for new roles, a CV that only says they have been on a couple of internal training courses over the last couple of years is not going to make them that marketable.

Employers look favourably on people who are already qualified, as it gives them a sense of comfort. An examination qualification is external validation of what the CV is saying about the person - making them a much less risky hire. Also, it means that the employer will not have to release them for training once they are employed, which is a bonus when times are tough.

My job is to help people identify what training and development activities are most relevant for their situation, and that’s why I enjoy the open forum that we create at our briefing evenings. I really enjoy the two way flow of questions and answers between myself and those that attend the briefings, because at the end of the evening, I feel I have been able to answer questions that often employees don't want to ask their employers.

Having re-read this article, I am even more committed than ever to making the briefings a great event – so I had better stop writing this and get on with putting my presentation together. Hope to see you there!"


  1. Hi Melanie

    We're also seeing an increase in people frustrated that their CV is not doing the best job it can in a competitive market (Arras People is a project management recruitment business). I agree with the statement about training validating experience, I also believe that many project management CV's don't go into enough detail about their project management capability, skills, competencies etc making it difficult for employers to assess and understand the calibre of the shortlist presented to them. In the current market, which is not quite a seller's market yet, the competition people face from other project management professionals will become increasingly tougher. Training is one differentiator but clearly setting out skills and competencies is very powerful.

  2. I agree. I have been reviewing CVs all day for a project management position, and so many of them give too few details. I think the problems fall into 2 categories:
    Those who give no information about the project at all, so you don't know what it was about, what the deliverables were, and they use acronyms for the different areas that sponsored the project that means nothing to someone who wasn't there
    Those who don't mention any specifics of what they have done in terms of project management. For example, no use of the phrases: stakeholder engagement; benefits realisation; planning, scheduling and budgeting; risk analysis or change control. Any of these would indicate that this was the CV of someone who really does know project management, but instead candidates seem to prefer generalities which do not convince the reader that they have any specialist knowledge in terms of how to run a project. No specialist PM knowledge, no reason to invite them to interview!