CVs can often make or break a tender submission

As tender evaluators increasingly focus on the Quality component of PQM (Price Quality Method), the Relevant Skills section of an RFT is becoming ever more important and can account for a large weighting in Non-Price Attributes. And within the Relevant Skills section, CVs are often a requirement.

A well-written CV can be worth its weight in gold – but conversely, a generic CV can potentially detract from your overall score, so here are our three ‘must haves’ for making your CVs stand out from the crowd.

1) Competence

A compliant ‘generic’ CV confirms to the evaluators that the person nominated for a specific role (such as Contractor’s Representative or Site Safety Manager) has industry-recognised qualifications and training, and a certain number of years of experience.

A winning CV, on the other hand, directly links a nominee’s experience to the critical success and risk factors for this specific project. It also provides a context for Management and Technical Skills and how these are directly suitable for the role and aligned to the contract’s requirements.

2) Relevance

Effective communication is all about having a two-way conversation. For that to occur, we’d suggest you consider who will be reading and evaluating your CV and ask yourself what’s important and relevant to them.

Make it easy for the evaluator to align their needs with what they’re reading on your CV:

  • Don’t assume they know everything about you, even if you have worked for this client before
  • Consider if they have prior knowledge of your specialist area. (If not, you may have to explain complex technical terms)
  • If possible, highlight your experience with the projects featured in the bid’s Relevant Experience and Track Record section
  • Create links for your reader between your experience and the project to be delivered. In particular, highlight similar features and identify how your experience will mitigate specific risks associated with the project being tendered.

3) Evidence

We’ve seen thousands of CVs which have only scant details of relevant project experience, and little or no evidence of achievements. How will the evaluators know if you’re any good at what you do? The key is to tell them. Describe your involvement in each project and the outcome or benefit from that involvement. Be as specific as you can about your achievements or about your application of innovative techniques to deliver value for money – these are powerful differentiators that evaluators should know about (but might not if you don’t tell them).

Above all, sell yourself. Be positive!

This is your chance to shine – and remember, you’re taking part in a competitive bid process.

Your CV should therefore fully support your intent to win this contract and demonstrate how your team is ideally positioned to deliver the project at hand.

Did you know that fully customising a CV to a specific bid can take several hours or more of planning/ research / interviewing/ writing and reviewing? The return on investment can be substantial though, especially when professional services or project management skills are heavily weighted and critical to the success of the project.

Kerrie McEwen is a senior consultant with Plan A. She has over 20,000 hours of tendering experience and a track record of responding to bids in over 30 countries. For more information, advice or support contact the team at Plan A – Tender Specialists.