Tender Submissions: Writing a Winning Employee CV


Handed business proposal

Whether you're a goods or services supplier, a large part of your business might stem from submitting proposals in response to invitations to tender (ITT).


These invitations to tender generally present the nature of goods and services to be supplied. In addition, they require documentation concerning the prospective supplier, including a presentation of the company, its suggested action plan, and project team members.


Be more competitive when submitting tenders

As invitations to tender are extremely competitive, companies are required to submit complete, convincing, and impactful proposals, bids, or tenders, in order to be selected as the most qualified supplier of goods or services for the client's project.


An essential part of this proposal is the section presenting the CVs of the team members who will be in charge of supplying, coordinating, and delivering those goods and services.


This article will present how employee CVs and resumes are to be structured and worded, in order to be as impactful as possible and win tenders.


The importance of employee CVs in your tender submissions

Work colleagues talking

Showcase team members assigned to the project

While your company experience, clients, and portfolio are essential parts of your proposal responding to invitations to tender, the team that will be in charge of the project - should you be selected - is arguably as important, if not more.


Regardless of your company's achievements, the team you present to the prospective buyer will be the face of your company and the main assets the buyer will assess. Hence the importance of highlighting their skills, industry experience, and academic background in the best possible way.


Following this approach, make sure to attach one CV per team member proposed for the project (select team members who have relevant experience of course!).


Build trust between the buyer and your team members

Trust test

Essentially, a successful proposal aims at not only demonstrating your competence in catering to the client's needs but also at establishing rapport and building trust.


Your team members are the individuals the client will be in contact with during the entire project, should you be chosen. In other words, your project team constitutes the main party the client will need to trust, right from the moment they read your proposal.


This is why putting effort into drafting tailored, professional CVs for each project member is essential. This employee's CV, or tender resume, should include their skills and experience, academic background, and past relevant completed assignments. All these elements constitute important trust signals for the buyer.


Highlight your company projects

Well-crafted and thought-through employee CVs can actually help you hit two birds with one stone.


Indeed, while these CVs aim at primarily demonstrating your team's competence for the invitation to tender you're applying for, they also constitute an opportunity for you to highlight past completed assignments by your organisation, in addition to your technical knowledge.


More specifically, writing a solid relevant completed projects section helps you both add complementary information about your capabilities as a company, and emphasize your employee's capacity to lead, coordinate, and deliver such assignments.


Tailoring project team CVs to tenders, bids, or proposals

Measuring tape

A tender resume should be tailored to the invitation to tender to maximise the chances of being selected. The tender process often consists of two or more rounds of selection. A tailored tender resume for each project team member will demonstrate solid compatibility with the client's needs.


The invitation to tender may or may not specify how many team members are required for the project. This of course also depends on the project's size.


Regardless of the project size, teams presented in tender submissions usually consist of a senior manager, in charge of leading the project, and a project management team, supervised by senior management and coordinating the tasks and deliverables for the client.


Outline of project team CVs for tender submissions

As previously stressed, the CVs of your team are an essential part of the tender documentation.


The client's appreciation of your employee's relevant experience, skills, and academic background will in large part be determined by your ability to present each team member's level of expertise and strong compatibility with the required services.


Let us dive into the best way to write each section of a tender resume tailored to an invitation to tender. We recommend these sections be presented in the following order for each employee's resume.

Employee resume outline for tender submissions

1) Profile summary

While we put this section on top for clarity purposes, we recommend you write your employee summary last, after having written all other tender resume sections.


Here's why: the profile summary constitutes a compact paragraph presenting the team member's level of expertise, skills and experience. Just like the entire resume, it should be entirely tailored to the invitation to tender. To illustrate: should the invitation to tender to call for expertise in management consulting, you'll want to highlight the management consulting assignments your team member worked on within your company or during past experiences.


2) Professional experience

The second section of your tender resume is your employee's professional experience. Depending on the invitation to tender or terms of reference, you may want to allocate more or less content to this section.


This professional experience section aims at giving an overview of your team member's professional journey, years of experience and industry experience. Make sure to stay concise and use 4-5 bullet points to present the main relevant achievements for each professional experience.


Just like in a classic resume, make sure to include:

  • Company name

  • Role

  • Dates

  • Responsibilities, achievements, and skills put to use (use bullet points!)

  • Relevant keywords, aligned with the invitation to tender or terms of reference (ToR)

3) Relevant completed projects

The past relevant projects section enables you to list relevant completed assignments similar to or almost identical to the one presented in the invitation to tender.


This is a great opportunity to emphasize both your company's capability to successfully deliver such assignments and your employee's ability to lead, manage or contribute to such projects. Make sure to only mention assignments that are relevant to the client (e.g.: conducted within the same industry, covering the same area of expertise).


Depending on the number of projects you wish to list, provide details on the achievements for each one of them, in addition to the approach and tools used to reach these goals.

Use bullet points! The number of bullet points to be used depends largely on the importance and size of the listed project.

Business proposal

For each project, make sure to include:

  • Employee/Manager role in the project

  • Client(s)

  • Dates

  • Country where the project was delivered (especially if you deal with international clients!)

  • Responsibilities, achievements, and skills put to use (use bullet points!)

  • Relevant keywords, aligned with the invitation to tender or terms of reference (ToR)

4) Academic background

Many Terms of Reference (ToRs) and invitations to tender require applicants to have degrees, generally a Master's degree in the field in question.


You will thus need to include an academic background or education section in each of your team members' CVs. Do not neglect this section, even if your team member has substantial experience in the field. Higher education is an important trust and credibility component of your tender resume.


Make sure to include:

  • Type of degree (e.g.: Master's, Bachelor, MBA)

  • The area of expertise (e.g.: International Communication, Engineering, Procurement, Marketing)

  • The establishment where the degree was obtained (e.g.: University of Groningen)

  • Country of the establishment

  • Date of graduation

5) Languages

Some assignments may require specific language skills, especially if you're dealing with international stakeholders and different project parties. Including your team members' language skills in a dedicated section is thus recommended.


Here's a format to consider to ensure the client has all the information needed:

  • French: Native

  • English: Full working proficiency (C1)

  • German: Conversational (B2)

By providing both an institutional level and illustrating the level with "everyday" terms, you avoid the risk of ambiguity when sharing your team members' language levels.


6) Skills

You have now shown that your team members have the professional experience, project experience, academic background, and language skills to cater to the prospective client's needs. Time to wrap up your employee CV by listing the relevant soft skills and hard skills your team can contribute to successfully delivering.


Again, the objective here is not the list every single skill your employee possesses. It's about selecting the set of skills that are most relevant for the project at hand. For instance, if the project consists in designing a digital marketing strategy, list skills that will be essential to this end, for example:

  • Project management

  • Strategic digital marketing planning

  • Social media

  • Email marketing

  • Written communication

  • Time management

  • Communication skills

Skills


To conclude

The purpose of this article was to present the importance of employee CVs in tender submissions.


Regardless of your industry, or whether you supply goods or services, we recommend allocating sufficient resources to building solid and impactful employee CVs to maximise chances of winning tenders, bids, and proposals.


Most important takeaways:

  • Tailor each CV to the invitation to tender: only list relevant skills, experience and completed projects

  • Include keywords used in the invitation to tender or Terms of Reference: speak the same language as your buyer!

  • Keep your employee CVs structured, clear, and concise




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