Professional Timeline

Professional Timeline

Professional Timeline is a simple single slide visual presentation I created as a summery of my now crowded personal CV.



I get a lot personally from being a volunteer skills development coach. Helping others to find their direction and push forward empowered by their growing passion to pursue their personal self development objectives. This is never as true as it is when it comes to some of the wonderful people and their personal stories they share as they struggle against the odds to break away from long term unemployment, a major personal impediment or the realisation that what was previously impossible could now being transformed into something entirely possible.

One of the most common requests I’m asked during coaching is …

“can you take a look at my CV and tell me what you think?”

Its a funny old world because no two CV’s are ever alike, the same can be said of both candidates and employers. So why do we struggle so much to create the ultimate CV when they are often selected by database query criteria rather than a researching mind?

CV’s are most often digitized or indexed into searchable documents managed within HR department database systems. These systems then refine down the vast number of CV applications using intelligent search algorithms that sub-select a small number of the most organically optimized CVs for interview. So it maybe more about how your CV ranks rather than how it reads. I’m going to avoid recruitment agencies because I’ll never get finished with this article if I start down that nightmare. Personally, I feel this approach while most efficient some how falls short of “Respect for people”.


Where I came in …

Today, I was reviewing a document I named my ‘Past Projects CV‘ I had compiled a few years back.  At the time I had written the document as a method of communicating a summary of my most notable past projects and now I was pondering the question …

“How could I improve on my ‘Past Projects CV’ and make it more visual?”

How could I visually represent the milestones of each successful project conclusion? … that’s when it came to me … project timelines!  In project status meetings, often the main point of our discussions are around the milestones and deliverables represented in a simple project timeline.  This same timeline can also represent a number of projects within a programme of projects … I wondered what other opportunities could this same idea be used for?  Over dinner as I looked aimlessly out of the window at the usual wet grey day in March, I again found my self once again challenging myself with an even harder question …

“How could a project timeline be used to summarise a persons professional CV as a quick and simple visual snapshot?”

For me, a big part of successful lean thinking is cultivating cultures that practice “respect for people”.  Personally I’m always searching to simplify plain black on white textual documents into colourful informative visually appealing narratives.  Lean visual management demands that I graphically narrate data whenever possible so as to empower an open lean culture that respects people by keeping things simple and engaging (I wish I could write that way also).

As lean thinking also demand that we lead by example, I decided to combine a fish-bone diagram with a project time line to tell a short story of my own personal CV (and avoid the nightmare that is my now over crowded CV).  I have called it a ‘Professional Timeline’ and I’d welcome other peoples ideas as to how it could be built upon, in any case here is the final deliverable …


Professional Timeline

Thoughts Anyone?



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