What is the one critical proposal component that is key to winning a project yet most companies treat as throw-aways?

Project Team Resumes

Why are resumes so critical?  The client wants to know who they will be interacting with day-to-day while implementing your service or product? Just as significant as your company’s overall experience is the experience of your team. As one engineer colleague once said to me “I want to know who I’m going to be working with and if I think I can work with them!”

Many companies put in cookie-cutter resumes that do not reflect the strength of your team or the direct experience they have with the scope or the client.

So how do you go about creating a project resume that differentiates your team? By incorporating these elements in your team resumes:

  1. Make it Compliant: The RFP will often outline what you need to have in the resumes. For example, if they ask for references on the resumes, add them! If they ask for publications or presentations, include them! Otherwise, you will be disqualified!
  2. Benefit Pitch: Include a short paragraph that summarizes your candidate’s experience as it relates to the scope of work. Then state how that person’s experience will benefit the client. Here’s where you can incorporate your win themes! For example:

“Alice’s long experience working on contracts with [CLIENT] will provide continuity from the current program to the new one.”

John’s experience in [specialty] will enhance the development of innovative and practical solutions to [scope component].

The [client] will benefit from Bob’s experience on more than 475 [project type] projects with expertise that will reduce [benefit].

  1. Education/Training/Credential that fit: List degrees that are relevant to the candidate and the scope of work. For example, if your project manager has a Masters or D., you do not need to list the Associates Degree. Same goes for training. If training is important, for example, then list the correct type of training. If not relevant, don’t include. Make sure you document credentials with the organization and/or license number.
  2. Relevant Projects: Include only projects that are relevant to the role and scope the candidate will perform. Have at least two of the projects match the projects you list in the Company Experience section. Also, write the description to match the scope of work. Then include a “proof” statement that demonstrates the value they brought to the project, such as:

“Was able to bring his experience in managing [type] issues to prevent [describe].”

“Designed an alternative for a [scope] that produced an estimated savings of $500,000.”

  1. Atta-a-boy: Include a quote from another client, if you have one, that “proves” the quality of work performed by your candidate.

Lastly, spend as much time editing and proofreading your resumes as the rest of the document. Make sure the resumes follow the same formatting, punctuation, etc.

By giving the same attention to detail to your team resumes as you do for the rest of the proposal, you will increase your evaluation scores and improve your win probability!