You’re a brand whether you like it or not—too many project managers forget that. Don’t fall into the trap of neglecting your professional brand.
Wait! Don’t go! I forgive you if you thought about skipping this piece as soon as you saw the headline. But the truth is, it’s a risk I was willing to take to get project managers to understand that their livelihoods now depend on reputation management and their professional brand.
We are now moving to a project-based economy. Contract, freelance and project work is growing at a faster rate than full-time salaried positions. Project managers, even those drawing a salary from a project-managed organisation, already know they are only as good as their last project. It is here where many project managers stumble. How can you manage a professional brand if your projects aren’t very impressive?
It’s not the project, it’s you. Whether or not you’ve been involved in a marquee project shouldn’t matter; what you did and how you achieved it are much more important. Don’t forget it’s not just about the outputs of the project, focus on outcomes including highlighting gains within your project team.
Speak the language of your potential employer. Too often, project managers write about themselves and their achievements in their CV as if the person reading it is another project manager when ideally they should address an executive level. Even if the reader is another project manager, being able to articulate value rather than an ability to follow process stands out.
Don’t be afraid to collect testimonials. Professional platforms such as LinkedIn are great for requesting and publishing testimonials. Even if you’re salaried, it doesn’t hurt to gather a few positive words from happy sponsors. If you have a website for your services, consider adding a testimonial page with past clients.
How do you market yourself?