Highlighting Key PLM Achievements: 10 Tips on Writing a CV that Stands Out
It is essential to maintain an up-to-date CV highlighting key achievements from latest roles and recent project engagements, getting for the next PLM challenge, when the opportunity appears. As discussed in a previous post, it is recommended to maintain an up-to-date CV at all time and performing a full review once a year to simplify, align and adjust the overall content with the latest aspirations. PLM job description can be very technical or sometimes not referring to PLM at all. Getting ready for the next PLM challenge may not always mean finding a new job; it might also imply finding / winning a new client project.
Putting aside the fact that nowadays many employers use applicant tracking systems (ATS) for pre-screening (which is not to be ignored), it is recommended to customize one’s CV or resume accordingly to the target job description. Past PLM achievements typically include business and technical objectives, value realized, enterprise architecture, data integration, teamwork, problem-solving, stakeholder management, data migration, deployment planning, etc.
In this post, I highlight 10 tips on writing a CV that stands out when applying to a new PLM role, focusing on key achievements as relevant to the job description expectations.
The following 10 tips on writing a CV for a PLM job application take into consideration the current context of the wider recognition of what PLM is, and the types of role that relate to the discipline (not just the PLM systems):
Use industry accepted ‘mainstream’ keywords; just don’t abuse the use of the “digital twins”, “digital thread” and other “industry 4.0” jargon as these can be alienating outside of a marketing-led context. Do not explain each and every technical acronym when referring to past projects and achievements, but only use the relevant ones for the target role and align them to industry current usage.
Use business-relevant and consistent examples which align to the job description; for example, applying to a PLM solution architect role, it is important to ensure that the relevant elements are highlighted, from functional domains, industry expertise, technical frameworks, platform implementation assessment ability, also covering infrastructure and integration design and validation.
Focus on people and relationships with the business champions, leads, key-users, support functions, as well as with other roles when engaged on past projects; describe how were responsibilities and accountability split or shared, how one’s role contributed to the project success—rather than remaining high-level on what the strategic objectives were.
Adjust, and if needed, change job titles to reflect what was achieved; in many cases, “PLM consultant” simply means everything and nothing. It is not about lying about past roles or achievements, but using standard concise overviews, in the target language and level of details as expected by the hiring manager (which can be appreciated when comparing a CV to the job description—assuming there is one available to consult).
Focus on business value, what problems were solved and how, highlight how benefits were measured and provide examples, explaining which business functions benefited from the initiative, which aspects were challenging and why.
Focus on data, what were the data challenges and how they were overcome, in context of a giver role; for example, acting as a business analyst, illustrate which use cases and requirements were impacted, how data cleansing activities were conducted, how processes were adapted to the target system and based on data quality, and how were users educated.
Focus on platforms, apps, tools and technologies in scope of past projects; provide sufficient information to explain the required detailed level of engagement based on the target role; for example, for a solution architect applying to a business analyst or project management role, focus more on stakeholder management, trade-off discussions, planning and issue resolution.
Focus on integration, based on project boundaries, which interfaces and data migration requirements and challenges were experienced (such difficulties always exist), and more importantly how these were managed.
Describe which relationships were established and managed with third parties, including other vendors or delivery team, possibly external key-users from engineering or manufacturing suppliers, etc.
Link the above to business context and change maturity; what was achieved in terms of organizational change or de-design, what resistance was experienced and how was it managed.
CV-writing tips discussed in this post are somewhat generic. Nevertheless, implications can amplify multi-fold when referring to PLM jobs due to the fact that the industry uses many acronyms which span across multiple dimensions, covering both business and IT / technical aspects.