Planning a Successful Career in Bid and Proposal Management
It is important to remember that career planning is not an exact science. There will be many crossroads on the journey and you will have to react to whatever life throws at you. As with anything, the better prepared you are, the better chance you have of success. We believe you should seriously consider the following when planning your career:
Have a Plan
Consider your long term goals and try to think beyond what’s in front of you. Do you have target companies and do you follow them? Do you want to work in a certain location? How proactive are you in making the plan happen? We firmly believe that hope is never a strategy when it comes to climbing the career ladder. Don’t be disheartened if you make a wrong career move. It happens to more people than you would expect. Acknowledge your error and move on professionally.
Create a Stand-Out CV
- Make it easy to read – use bullet points and avoid large blocks of text
- Ensure any claim on your CV passes the ‘What? Why? Where? When? Who? How?’ test and be able to justify each line of your CV at interview
- Proofread your CV and get someone else to check it too. 99.9% of CVs have at least one error
- Be honest and up front about any gaps – you will be asked at interview and building trust at this stage is key
- Include relevant stats that outline your achievements e.g. win rates, deal values, etc.
- Keep it to two pages and be concise – hiring managers can spend as little as six seconds looking at a CV
- Keep it relevant to the role to which you are applying – if you are applying for a Bid Writer role, make sure you outline your skills in that area. HR will often filter out CVs without understanding the complexities of roles within our profession
- Don’t assume that your current job title will be understood by your target organisation. The last salary survey had over 300 titles for 6 core roles.
Maintain a Professional LinkedIn Profile
- Keep it up to date – ensure it mirrors your CV and include an informative summary
- Use a professional photo – no party pics
- Ask for recommendations / testimonials
Polish your Interview Skills
- Prepare – know the company and its competitors, know the panel and know your CV back to front
- Bring the job description with you and ask questions about it to demonstrate a genuine interest
- Don’t be late, look presentable, make eye contact and don’t waffle
- APMP provides you with a solid foundation of proposal best practice and is a great starting point
- Think about role-specific training – InDesign? Writing? Risk? Commercial? Think about what you want and go after it
- Utilise available resources, such as:
- Bidding Quarterly – free e-zine that addresses issues / trends / ideas within the bidding profession
- Bid Solutions’ Ask the Expert – free resource to tap into the knowledge of industry gurus
- Job Seekers Guide – online resource to get you ‘interview ready’
For more information call us on 020 8158 3952 for a confidential discussion.