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I have an identity crisis: I just earned my PMP credential, and now I am not sure how to refer to myself.

In what situations is it appropriate to refer to myself now as "William J. Marshall, PMP"? My initial thought was to only refer to it in the most formal of situations (e.g., resume, business cards, etc.), but I'm not sure.

So, I would like to toss the question to the community and learn from your experiences. I don't want to come across as braggish or pretentious, but neither do I want to downplay the PMP credential.

Cheers,
BJ

US41's picture

I have given this topic a lot of thought. I have an MBA, but I don't put MBA after my name in my email signature. I also have an extravagant title, but I don't put that after my name either. I just put my department's name, my phone, and email. That's it.

This may depend on company culture (?), but at my company, we managers laugh at our individual contributors who put accolades at the ends of their names. In human social circles, titles and certificates do not mean much. It is your name itself that means something. When the CEO writes an email telling everyone to focus on something, he doesn't have to put CEO, MBA, Chairman of the Board, PMP after his name. He can just sign the message with his first name.

It is your name that either has power and reputation or does not. Not title will make up for a first name that no one recognizes or thinks highly of. No credential can add to the reputation of someone with proven ability.

Some of the most powerful signatures simply say "Pam" or "Joe" and little if anything else.

dhkramer's picture

Business card is good, formal letters to clients and the like, but in regular correspondence it's not necessary.

The rare "Oh, I didn't know Joe was PMP" is offset by the more frequent "yes, yes, we know already" and "what is PMP, anyway?"

Does depend on the culture, of course. MD and CPA are pretty important in hospitals and accounting firms.

DinaHenryScott's picture

Use it on your business cards, letterhead, e-mail signature. Attaining a PMP designation is an accomplishment and it does mean something in the project management world. I believe using your educational degree after your name is a little goofy (like MBA) but a PMP is a professional designation like CPA.

PeterPM's picture

In answering this question consider why you went to the effort of gettimg the PMI certification. There should be a common thread.

BartMasters's picture

IMO it depends on what 'type' of work you do. My firm is a consulting firm, and as such we all use all our certs in business cards etc, since part of our job is to impress upon our customers how experienced and professional we all are, so they should be happy paying thousands of dollars a day for us. If you are part of an internal support organisation then things could work a bit different for you...

tcomeau's picture

I use it when I want people to know I have the credential. It it prominent on my resume, for example, for when I may be a project manager. (Sometimes my resume gets attached to proposals.) It's not in my default signature block at the moment, but I have used it at times.

For what it's worth, it was on every email I sent out for the first two weeks after I passed the exam. I really wanted to people to know I'd passed. :D

pmhut's picture

I see the points of some people saying that you should add it and that it means something in the Project Management World (probably it means more to the uninitiated than to a real PM). Nevertheless, PMP is just a certification, it's not a degree, and I do find it a bit odd. Again, I do accept and acknowledge the reasons behind putting PMP after your name.

erikko's picture

it's not necessary, just indicate it though that you finished PMP

igniz's picture

... sorry po double posting... seriously i'm sorry. :(

igniz's picture

[quote="wmarsha1"]I have an identity crisis: I just earned my PMP credential, and now I am not sure how to refer to myself.

In what situations is it appropriate to refer to myself now as "William J. Marshall, PMP"? My initial thought was to only refer to it in the most formal of situations (e.g., resume, business cards, etc.), but I'm not sure.

So, I would like to toss the question to the community and learn from your experiences. I don't want to come across as braggish or pretentious, but neither do I want to downplay the PMP credential.

Cheers,
BJ[/quote]

you skip and just present your certificate .. :D everybody has been into newbie stage.

stephenbooth_uk's picture

I'd go with if it's directly relevant to your work then put it on your business cards and formal letter head. Email signature almost certainly not.

Personally I don't often put anything after my name, when I do it's because the specific piece of correspondence relates to that specific item. To put them all in would firstly be gauche and secondly mean I'd literally have more letters after my name than in it, most of which would be meaningless to everyone outside the specific fields they relate to.

Stephen

refbruce's picture

IMO, probably yes on business cards, but not on most e-mails or letters.  The best guide is to watch what others do and listen to how that's received.  In my world, many of my colleagues have doctoral degrees.  Those who use "Dr." or "Ph.D." in routine communication are generally considered to be braggarts.  The convention is that the initials and title are only appropriate in very formal communications (like a letter of reference or a formal communication of opinion/finding) or where it's clear that the recipient needs to understand the credentials and position.  I have five different signature blocks for e-mail, with the default simply listing my name, organizational affiliation, and e-mail address.

uwavegeek's picture

I have a PMP certification and initially put it on my email signature and business cards.  Eventually I removed it as most people in my industry did not know what it meant and the more 'witty' individuals creatively placed an 'i' in it and changed the meaning entirely.

If you boss or VPs have this certification, then yes I would certainly add it.  If you are alone in the organization, it will raise more questions than anything else and might even look presumptuous. 

I also use it, from time to time, when I'm dealing with customers that recognize the certification (large military or IT companies) and can add to my aire of credibility when making  a sales pitch or bidding on an RFP.

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adc1120's picture

I agree with an above comment about whether you are dealing with internal/coworkers/intracompany versus outgoing correspondence.  I currently work with a contracting firm and we do contract work for multiple larger companies.  Anytime I'm sending a message going outside the "walls" of my company, I always include my official signature, PMP, contact info, etc...  After all, they're paying us well and expect us to be professionals - (it's not bragging to reassure someone from another company that you and your team are "a notch above the other guys" when you're doing work for them.)  Many times, these are people you've never met before and never will, and it's nice to be taken seriously and professionally from day 1...  it's especially helpful if you're working on a new project and you're somewhat out of your element.  Perhaps you don't know diddly-squat about, say, chemical engineering...  Pointing out your credentials as a PMP will often buy you some grace in areas where you are out of your element at first and will make new acquaintences at new companies more confident that -- although you may not be a subject matter expert within their industry -- you ARE a subject matter expert when it comes to the methodology of project management.

However, when communicating between coworkers, bosses, and/or subordinates within my own company, I don't paste in my "official" signature, there's not much point...  After all, they've already hired me and there's no reason to try to impress the guy down the hall who works in another department..

Make two signatures and use accordingly.  Formal and informal, etc...

williamelledgepe's picture

The only reason I do is that is a mandatory job qualification for some of my staff. And I only use it on business cards, the long version of my email footer, and formal letters. When I present at industry conferences I include it on the paper/proceedings, but on the PowerPoint only if it a management topic. For me I always have PE right behind my name because it is much more important to me and in my industry.