4 IT Resume Tips for IT Project Managers and Program Managers

Posted on April 19, 2012. Filed under: Project management, Resumes | Tags: , , , , , , , |

project managementBy Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

IT Resumes for Project Managers

As I speak with IT project managers, IT program managers, and even PMO directors, I am amazed by how many think or know they do a great job but are unable to communicate it effectively. This is true with their resume, on their LinkedIn profile, in their cover letter, and in their face-to-face interviewing skills. Why is it such a struggle for PMs to talk about their successes?

Personal Branding for the IT Project Manager

The main reason that most PMs are unable to articulate why a company should hire them is that they lack a focused brand message. Wait! I know what you’re probably thinking now. And, no, this doesn’t need to be some highly complex process in which you need to do focus groups or polls to gain “customer insights.” Creating a personal brand is relatively simple when approached with the proper mindset.


Think Business Value

What you want to do is consider how your actions as an IT project manager impact the business. Obviously, the specific projects that you lead are intended to benefit the company in some way. So you’ve got to describe those projects on your IT resume. However, the focus of the discussion is not the project itself or the technology solution deployed. The key element has to be about value.

What do I mean by value? Think benefit. If the company did not benefit in some way by the project you led, what was the point? Benefits come in many different forms, including:

  • cost savings
  • revenue growth
  • process improvements
  • system or application enhancements

So you want to connect the dots on your resume so that the reader can equate benefits like these directly to your involvement in a project.

How to Achieve Distinction

Listing these benefits is a great start, but they may be things that any project manager could have contributed to. To truly differentiate yourself in the job market, you’ve also got to communicate how you are distinct from other project managers…and not just because you have the PMP. Lots of project managers and program managers have the PMP certification. The real focus here should be on how you lead teams, transform projects, streamline project delivery, and get things done where others could not. Gearing your information in this manner will communicate the unique you and help you to avoid becoming just a commodity.

Creating a PM Package

The final step is in creating a clear, consistent, and compelling message across all the job search forums. This includes the resume, the LinkedIn profile, the cover letter, your bio, your Twitter profile, Google+, and any other forum in which a prospective employer may find your information. Just use some caution here, as you don’t want to simply paste the information from your resume into these other platforms. The style in which you communicate on LinkedIn is different than on Twitter or Google+.

Stephen is the ITtechExec, a “Go To” Personal Branding Strategist for IT, engineering, manufacturing, telecommunications, call center, medical device, and other STEM/technical specialty professionals. By translating technical activities and leadership achievements into a clear, consistent message that’s meaningful to business executives and recruiters, Stephen generates at least a 5x return on investment. The ITtechExec offers a proprietary career lifecycle management approach that includes resumes, cover letters, online profiles and bios, interviewing preparation, job search strategy development, and online brand management. Contact Stephen today at (866) 755-9800, http://www.ittechexec.com, or stephen@ittechexec.com.

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IT: Why It Is Despised

Posted on April 16, 2012. Filed under: CIO, Technology | Tags: , , , , |

IT jobsBy Stephen Van Vreede (@ITtechExec)

The IT department is the most disliked unit in most organizations. A recent article on Forbes.com (Why Everyone Hates IT People) indicates that most corporate employees blame IT as the primary bottleneck for innovation and advancement. Can this be true? The majority can’t be wrong…right?

The article cites extended backlogs, long project cycle times, and onerous requirements documentation as the main culprits. Certainly, these things can contribute to business dissatisfaction with IT. I mean, every techie has probably worked with a business unit leader that keeps changing their mind or adding new requirements that are “critical” to the success of the project. In some of these cases, the IT project manager doesn’t have the wherewithal to cut off the stakeholder, push the new items to a future release, and contain scope creep. In other cases, the IT leadership permits the business unit to continue expanding their demands, creating an unending project cycle.

On April 5, 2012, I created a blog post discussing what I believe to be the primary reasons that IT projects fail. At the core, most functional business personnel don’t understand the role of technology or have the proper perspective for the purpose of technology in the operation. They also don’t appreciate the need for some pretty exhaustive analysis or discovery on the front end of a project so that the technology group can truly understand the business issue their trying to solve. So CIOs, IT executives, PMs, this is where your Business Analyst (BA) should earn the big bucks. They are the primary interface between the business and technology. A poor BA will lead projects that fail no matter how good the rest of the team of process is that’s in place. A great BA can overcome many of the weaknesses that exist on the project team or with getting the right level of face time and support from the functional business unit.

Don’t be categorized as the type of IT group in which “innovation dies.” Learn how to engage your business teams to set proper expectations, identify their true functional needs, and help to change the processes for business transformation.

The ITtechExec Way

To arm yourself with more tools in your technical job search arsenal, we offer a free Technical Jobs report & Online Identity Assessment to our followers. We also offer a 10% discount to our followers. Take advantage of our offer just by signing up to follow this blog or go to our website ITtechExec (be sure to indicate in the “How did you hear about us?” box that you found us through our blog).

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