How to Apply for a Programme Co-ordinator Job

We continue the series of articles which focus on the different types of roles you’ll find in PMO and project support and how you can better understand the job advertisement and make a great application. The first in the series – Project Administrator – can be view here.

In this article, we take a look at the role of a Programme Co-ordinator– a role which is found at a programme level or within a Programme Management Office but as this job advertisement shows, a programme level PMO does not need to be in place for this role to exist:

a PMO that supports a singular programme, which will constitute a number of projects which all – when all project delivery is completed – will reach the intended objective, benefit or strategic objective.

Here’s a real example of a job advertisement for a Programme Co-ordinator (retrieved 28th September 2020)


Programme Co-ordinator

Job Hunt - Programme Co-ordinatorHave you got experience of working in a manufacturing, engineering or medical device environment with experience of multiple projects in cross function teams? Are you looking to develop your career in project/programme management? If so we have a role for you!

You will join our team in a newly created role as our Programme Coordinator. You will contribute to the effective management of projects associated with our core Inhalation sectors and will coordinate projects within this remit by taking ownership to enable these to be delivered on time, within budget and at the highest level of quality.

You will ensure that there is robust project scope and planning activities completed and seek resource from key stakeholders within our business including but not limited to commercial, engineering and manufacturing. You will ensure that there are defined budgets and KPI’s set for each section of the programme and maintain these throughout the project lifecycle while contributing data to our site and executive level reporting.

This role reports directly into one of our Senior Programme Managers and you will have the opportunity to assist and get involved with programmes for major CAPEX spend as well as NPI (New Product Introduction) opportunities, therefore, this is a great role for someone who is looking to develop their career into a programme management position.

To be successful in this role we’re looking for you to have the following skills, experience and knowledge:

  • Demonstrable experience of working within a programme, product development or technical role with a similar level of exposure and responsibility
  • Experience in preparing project plans and coordinating cross-functional teams
  • Desired is a degree level or equivalent in a technical discipline but minimum requirements are ’A’ level (or equivalent) standard.
  • Experience with using business management software tools such as SAP or similar

There’s a full job specification for this role too – take a look here.


Let’s take a look at each line in this job specification and see what we can learn from it and share some tips on how you can use that knowledge in your CV.

Have you got experience of working in a manufacturing, engineering or medical device environment with experience of multiple projects in cross function teams? Are you looking to develop your career in project/programme management? If so we have a role for you!
  • It’s got to be prominent on your CV – ideally in the profile section at the top – and evident in your career history that you have experience working in a similar type of sector.
  • It should also be clear that you’re a programme level co-ordinator – and you have experience of co-ordinating multiple projects
    • In your CV – in your career history, when you introduce your last role, make it clear here what type of support you’ve done – mention programme and multiple projects.
  • Some evidence that you’ve already made some commitment to developing your career in project/programme management should also be prominent in the profile and education/training sections. I would expect to see APM, PRINCE2, MSP, PPSO Essentials or P3O.
You will join our team in a newly created role as our Programme Coordinator. You will contribute to the effective management of projects associated with our core Inhalation sectors and will coordinate projects within this remit by taking ownership to enable these to be delivered on time, within budget and at the highest level of quality.
  • Does this role also deliver projects? It’s a tricky one – in one respect it talks about contributing to effective management and in the other, by taking ownership.
  • If you have experience of also managing small projects you should make this clear in your profile and also in the career history.
  • If you don’t have any experience of managing projects yourself, let’s keep reading and see if this rules you out.
Managing Successful ProgrammesYou will ensure that there is robust project scope and planning activities completed and seek resource from key stakeholders within our business including but not limited to commercial, engineering and manufacturing. You will ensure that there are defined budgets and KPI’s set for each section of the programme and maintain these throughout the project lifecycle while contributing data to our site and executive-level reporting.
  • You have to be able to demonstrate that you have the planning and scoping experience – whilst this doesn’t necessarily mean you have been a Project Manager before it does indicate a senior Project Analyst type role before.
  • This is not an administrative role – you will be expected to demonstrate advanced communication skills and working with senior executives.
  • In your CV you might want to demonstrate what kind of service you have provided previously to executive or senior management – this will allow you to provide some context whilst talking about stakeholder management; resource management; budget management; metrics & measures and reporting – all of these are the meat of the role and should be clear in your CV.
  • Cross-departmental working should be evidenced too – how relationships are built and maintained.
  • Reporting is always a big part of the PMO role and in this one, it would be wise to demonstrate what kind of reporting, challenge and advice you normally offer.
This role reports directly into one of our Senior Programme Managers and you will have the opportunity to assist and get involved with programmes for major CAPEX spend as well as NPI (New Product Introduction) opportunities, therefore, this is a great role for someone who is looking to develop their career into a programme management position.
  • Throughout the advert there is a strong sense of commercial and budgetary requirements – it may feel like too far a step if you have not worked in this type of environment before. If you’ve had no experience with P&Ls, this might not be the role for you.
  • It’s also stressed a few times that they’re looking for someone who might be interested in progressing to the Programme Manager role – is that you? If not, could this be an opportunity to build a PMO instead? Who knows until you reach the interview stage.
To be successful in this role we’re looking for you to have the following skills, experience and knowledge

P3O Distance-LearningLet’s take each one of these in turn:

  • Demonstrable experience of working within a programme, product development or technical role with a similar level of exposure and responsibility
    • It’s one of those roles where they’re absolutely clear that they need a programme co-ordinator who is not just about providing administrator style support – it’s hands-on with the scope, planning and budgets – without this evidence on the front page of your CV, iterated a few times through the profile and the career history – you’re not going to make the shortlist.
    • Likelihood of them being able to find someone who meets this requirement – fairly high, there are lots of Programme Co-ordinators on the marketplace who have had the right kind of exposure in previous roles but never, for whatever reason, decided to go down the Project Manager route.
  • Experience in preparing project plans and coordinating cross-functional teams
    • This should be a prominent service that has been previously offered – widen the project planning part to include business cases; scope development; requirements gathering workshops; stakeholder management; communications; document writing; breakdown structures and so on – show that this aspect is more than just writing a project plan.
    • For the cross-functional teams, it’s about showing which kinds of teams and departments and what you have had to co-ordinate before – include successful outcomes due to your approach and actions taken.
  • Desired is a degree level or equivalent in a technical discipline but minimum requirements are ‘A’ level (or equivalent) standard.
    • With your education section, move it to the end of the CV, but in your profile, make reference to it like “degree-educated Programme Co-ordinator”
  • Experience with using business management software tools such as SAP or similar
    • A key skills area on the CV – normally placed between the profile and the career history is the best place to demonstrate experience with tools and so on.
    • Use the space wisely with two-or three-columns – how do you think this example could be improved?

Top Ten Tips for Your Programme Co-ordinator CV

PMO CV DevelopmentNow we’ve looked at the job advertisement; now it’s time to think about your CV. You can gain further help and practical guidance on your CV by taking a look at our CV Development for PMO Professionals short course.

Here are ten tips to get you thinking about what you would need to do with your CV to apply for this and other Programme Co-ordinator roles:

  1. It’s a senior Programme Co-ordinator level role because of the focus on the planning and finance side of the role – you tend to get this experience over a number of years so your CV should be demonstrating that depth in those two service areas.
  2. Make it very clear in the profile about the sectors you’ve previously worked in – you can expand out from the manufacturing, engineering or medical device environment areas they specific but there should be at least one overlap.
  3. Think about including budget sizes of previous projects and programmes you have worked on.
  4. Make it clear that you have both the project and programme management knowledge – it should be obvious when writing your career history.
  5. Bring in other services you are capable of providing in a programme level PMO – include the things not explicitly mentioned in the advert – it will be a good talking point in the interview.
  6. In your profile you can include an objective line – this is about making clear what you’re looking for. They are interested in someone who is committed to a career in programme management – you could include words to that effect in an objective.
  7. Don’t be afraid to go deep into the tasks and actions you perform around the main services they are looking for – planning and finance.
  8. If you have previous experience managing small projects, make sure you include that in the career history – ideally alongside your PMO work at the same time. Sometimes a good way to go it is to show the PMO experience at the top and then include a few lines towards the bottom which might be headed Projects managed: and then include a one-liner about each if there is more than one.
  9. Where business or project management tools are used in your tasks make sure they are mentioned in context rather than just using them as a bullet point in Key Skills – sometimes its the context that makes all the difference, for e.g., executive-level reporting utilising MS Project Server and PowerBI.
  10. If your previous career history features less programme management experience than more recent roles – make sure the PMO and any project experience mentioned also brings in planning and finance skills.

So there we have it, a job advertisement for a Programme Co-ordinator – what they’re really asking for and how you can reflect that in your CV.

Programme Co-ordinator positions can vary from organisation to organisation – they’re never quite the same because the way the organisation is delivering change is different. a good course to undertake to understand how the PMOs differ and the different PMO roles which come from that is the P3O Foundation. It’s a good high-level course with just enough detail about PPM and PMO services. It’s also available as a distance-learning option for the cost-conscious too.

Another course to consider is the Essentials for PMO Analysts certification – the course is based off the PMO Competency Framework and learners will understand and articulate the core roles and responsibilities of a PMO Analyst role, as well as learn about the essential competences, knowledge, skills and behaviours required to perform the role of a PMO Analyst successfully.

Watch out for future roles we will tackle in the same way, and remember if you’re looking for work now or need to give your CV a rethink to get better results, take a look at the PMO CV course – just £25+VAT, delivered over two weeks with forum support.

PMO CV

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