If you are considering applying for the Project Management Professional (PMP) certification and feeling worried about the PMP application process, do not fret; you’re not alone. While you may find the PMP application process daunting, using these PMP application examples and with the guidance and approach we will provide in this article, getting your PMP application approved would become a lot simpler.
We’ve outlined ten valuable tips for you that will help you translate your work experience precisely the way PMI wants it, thus allowing you to avoid rejections and the distress and frustration that come with it.
Understanding the PMP Eligibility Requirements
It’s essential to properly understand the PMP eligibility requirements before diving into the intricacies of the application process. PMI has 3 requirements which you need to fulfill to be eligible for the PMP exam: academic education, professional education and professional project management work experience.
- With a four-year Bachelor’s degree, you require 4,500 hours leading and directing projects, and 35 hours of project management education.
- With a secondary degree (high school diploma or equivalent), you need 7,500 hours of leading and directing projects and 35 hours of project management education.
Most people find translating their project management work experience into PMI language difficult, and seeing these PMP experience examples would help understand what PMI’s expectations are from an application. Further, project management education can be acquired through taking a PMP prep course.
Assemble Your Application Information
Gather all the necessary information which you will show on your PMP application. It’s important to gather project dates, objectives, deliverables, your responsibilities, timelines, and contact information of your project supervisors. Collecting all this information and organizing it will enable you to structure your PMP application properly.
Ensure your projects are articulated
One extremely crucial element of a successful PMP application is the ability to articulate the projects you’ve worked on clearly. Every project described must have a project title, objective, outcome and deliverables. Try to keep the project objective, outcome and deliverables precise, brief and easy to understand. When your projects are clearly articulated, it not only makes the reviewer’s job easier but also demonstrates your practical communication skills, which is a fundamental quality for a project manager. The objectives, outcomes and deliverables should be written in a way that anyone can understand, including someone not familiar with your industry.
While starting a sentence, you can use generic verbs such as ‘Managed’, ‘Determined,’ ‘Defined,’ ‘Planned,’ ‘Implemented,’ etc. and show the specific project management tasks you’ve performed. For example, one of the responsibilities you would undertake for a software upgrade project would be ‘Developed and executed a project plan for a software upgrade’. Writing your responsibilities in this way will significantly enhance your chances of success.
Be Specific and Concise
The PMP application has a character limit of 500 words for each project. Stick to the word limit and provide specific and concise information about your project management experience. Avoid too generic or vague statements, and focus on the essential details that demonstrate your knowledge of project management.
Highlight All Five Process Groups
The PMP application will require you to demonstrate experience in all five process groups: Initiating, Planning, Executing, Monitoring and Controlling, and Closing. Make sure to include examples from each process group to show your well-rounded project management expertise. If you don’t have experience working in all process groups in one single project and combining your projects, you should demonstrate experience in all 5 process groups.
Review the PMI Talent Triangle
While writing about your project management experience, it is crucial to consider the PMI Talent Triangle, which consists of 3 skills: Technical, Leadership, and Strategic and Business Management. Technical project management refers to project management processes related to skills such as schedule, cost or risk management. Leadership refers to mentoring, coaching and engaging in team building or team management activities. Strategic and business management skills refer to the ability of a project manager to understand areas of project strategy such as cost-benefit analysis, project compliance and external and internal influences on the project. You must ensure that your experience covers all three areas to align with PMI’s expectations.
Get your PMP application reviewed by experts
Once you write a draft of your PMP application, it’s a good idea to have someone who is already a PMP review your application. They can provide valuable feedback and advice, help identify potential weaknesses in your application and help you fine-tune your project descriptions.
Proofread and Double-Check the application
Thoroughly proofread your application for grammatical errors or inconsistencies. As a project management professional, you want to ensure that your application is free from errors and is well-written.
Verify Your References:
Before submitting your PMP application, contact your project supervisors and inform them that PMI might contact them for verification. Ensure that they are aware of the role they played in your projects and the specific experience you are highlighting.
Be Prepared for an Audit:
PMI conducts random audits of PMP applications, so be prepared to provide additional documentation to verify your experience if you are selected. Audit documents would include copies of your academic education, professional project management education certificates and names and emails of references who would verify your experience. Documents submitted should be consistent with the information provided in the application.
Additionally, prior to submitting your application, you can contact your project supervisors and let them know that PMI might contact them for verification. Ensure that they are aware of the role they played in your projects and the specific experience you are highlighting.
In summary, by understanding the PMP eligibility requirements, using the correct language, being specific and concise and, covering all process groups and ensuring your references back you up in the event of an audit will all help you get your PMP application approved on the first try. Further, aligning your experience with the PMI Talent Triangle and seeking feedback from experienced professionals can enhance your chances of approval.
Obtaining a PMP application approval is a massive relief for the majority of PMP exam candidates, and it will bring you one step closer to earning your PMP certification.
You can also think of a PMP application approval as written evidence of your ability to manage projects, people and processes, so you should invest time and effort to make it shine. Using the right approach and with careful preparation, you can easily navigate the PMP application process with confidence and move closer to achieving your career goals.