How do Professional Recruiters View PMPs?

Perception is reality. What other people perceive about us as individuals is their reality. Have you wondered what perception Professional Recruiters have of PMPs? Recent conversations with recruiters have shown that having a PMP Certification, especially for those positions in the 100K-125K range, has become ever more important.

Candidates who have their PMP Certification provide a professional recruiter a key differentiator that can be called out to the hiring manager. (see What do the Experts Think? in the right sidebar) Additionally, PMP Certification is used as one of the first filtering mechanisms when hiring managers have to sift through a flood of resumes. Requests for PMP Certified Project Managers have increased in other areas besides IT, software development and telecommunications. Manufacturing, engineering, construction and other industries have all seen an up-tick in their request for PMPs over the past five years.

There are multiple reasons why. The following perceptions that many recruiters have of PMPs provide insight into these reasons:

  • PMPs have a unique Thinking Process: PMPs have the ability to sort their thoughts in a structured manner. This thought process is vital in the complex environments in which everyone works. Understanding Gantt charts, timelines, resource utilization and forecasts require an individual to interact with systems, processes, and workflows and then let others know about these with a broad range of communication skills. These analytical and communication skills are learned and sharpened through the PMP Certification process and result in more tools to work with than a non-PMP project manager.
  • PMPs bring Structure to an Organization: Once a PMP moves into heading up a department, such as a Program or Project Management Office, the perception is that the department will follow a structured, streamlined and time-proven methodology. This results in a tighter, more organized department whose primary focus is getting things done that move the business forward.
  • PMPs are very interested in their Careers: A PMP Certification shows that a person is extremely interested in their career. Whether their company has sponsored their certification or they do it on their own, it is a lot of hard work, studying, and preparation. To accomplish this takes initiative and ambition, two qualities employers like to see in potential candidates.

Keep these points in mind when compiling your resume or preparing for the interview. Show how you have been able to look at things from a different perspective, or have brought structure to chaos or have advanced in your career because of obtaining and maintaining your PMP credential.

A word of caution, however. Professional recruiters follow the “trust, but verify” mantra and will validate that someone that claims to be a PMP is in good standing. Make sure you have taken the time to log your PDUs in order to pass this preliminary audit.

The good news is that the perception that professional recruiters have of PMPs is a positive one. Use this perception to turn your reality into a successful and prosperous career.

Professional Recruiters who have been in the staffing business for years provide the following thoughts about what how they view PMP Certification.

“Having a PMP Certification in and of itself does not guarantee an All-Star. However, it is a hopeful predictor.”

Mark Thrapp
Manager of Recruiting
The Grapevine Group, Inc.
Atlanta, GA

“One of the things recruiters look for is that that the candidate has a selling point that differentiates them from the rest. I highlight their PMP Certification in the summary when I submit their resume for consideration as that differentiator.”

Paula Brock
Senior Executive Recruiter
Atlanta, GA


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