You're excited and ready for the interview. You're confident that you can answer all the hot interview questions and secure that new job - but is your project manager resume ready to land you an interview?
You don't need years of experience to ace an interview, you just need a good resume.
Developing an effective product resume from scratch can be difficult. As a former product manager and current a partner of Product Manager HQ (28,000+ product manager members) I've learned a lot about creating a great product manager resume.
According to recruiters, most applicants are good with their soft skills. However, when it comes to writing, including cover letters and resume writing, a lot of people lack the proper technique and know-how. Now, you don't have to become a resume expert, but you should know how to describe your work experience in an attractive way.
There is no singular resume template that's a one-size-fits-all, it all depends on the job description. For example, if you're applying at a creative-savvy SaaS, a custom-designed resume will go a long way.
The Product Manager Resume Format
The organization of information is extremely important in product manager resumes. The project management field itself dictates that anyone considering a role in it needs to be highly organized. The product marketing field constantly gives birth to new products and product visions.
If you're one of those job seekers who aren't receiving many job offers, it might be time for a change. For a successful job search, you need to know what hiring managers want.
Here are some things to add to your resume when applying for product manager jobs:
- Summarize and highlight your product management and project management skills.
- Add your entire career progression, show a roadmap of the progress. It can have titles like project manager, senior product manager, product owner, Jira expert, etc.
- Mention your key technical skills. This can include things like product launches, LinkedIn management, Google expert, Scrum expert, etc.
- Use bullet points and make use of the cause and effect methodology.
- Make sure you quantify the points you make. Mention if you were part of any development teams or cross-functional teams.
You won't be needing a resume builder or any writing tips if you can make sure you take care of the aforementioned points.
Product Manager Resume Responsibilities List
If you want to be the go-to-market product manager, there are some must-have abilities you should possess. People might suggest the typical must-haves, like having a social media presence and being agile. However, it's much more complicated than that since you'll need to prove to hiring managers that you truly possess such qualities.
Here's a typical work-flow if you want to become a product manager. While these aren't set in stone, it doesn't mean you can avoid them. You can, however, always add additional steps.
Regardless of the company or business, product managers can expect, at minimum, the following responsibilities:
- Envision, define, and actualize the organization's vision of the product.
- The capacity to direct the life cycle of the product development process from beginning to end.
- Coordinate with stakeholders, both internal and external, to learn product demand.
- Identify potential customers and find ways to gain their support for the product.
- Participate in fair product pricing for the company, market competitiveness, customers, and outstanding market shareholders.
Understanding the importance of these responsibilities is the first step towards getting better job offers.
Product Manager Resume Sample Writing Guidelines
A lot of hiring managers will go directly to the experience section of your resume. That is because professional experience tends to be prioritized while going through a CV - it makes for a good cut-off point.
That is why it's necessary to be concise, yet clear, about your product management experience.
The professional experience section shows your understanding of the product development process and how well you cope with it. It also shows your ability to complete your tasks and listed responsibilities.
Additionally, it's best to detail the value behind each considerable task you carried out. For example, you can say that you drove product sales by 25% by executing a well-rounded content strategy, rather than simply saying you managed content production.
Here are some things to remember when writing your product manager resume's professional experience section.
- Career Progression - Break down all responsibilities, contributions, and positive changes you've made or been a part of. Include any targets and goals you achieved and use known metrics and statistics to show your success.
- Relevant Contributions - Avoid including any non-product management-related experiences, even if they're unique achievements. Instead, put them in the extra-curricular or other achievements section.
- Break Down Into Details - Each contribution you mention should be broken down into steps and actions. This helps recruiters understand exactly what you did and how you did it. It shows your specific contribution, its impact, and the outcome.
- Bold Wisely - If you're applying at a high-demand job, chances are hiring managers will look at your resume for 10 seconds, max. Bold relevant keywords that dictate your position, experience, and achievements to help recruiters spot relevant information quicker. This emphasis will most likely garner enough attention to move your resume on to the next stage of recruitment.
While you are limited to product management-related experience, it doesn't mean you can't be agile. Try to include any extra-curricular or freelance product management experience, as well.
Important Product Manager Skills
While your experience speaks for itself, you still need to list down all the relevant skills you have. This section also gives you a chance to shine in other aspects. You can add non-product management-related skills, such as market research capabilities, to further solidify your resume.
However, start off with your product management skills and then move on to others. Here are some skills you should have and can add to your resume.
To be an effective product manager, you need to have all or most of the skills listed above. In case you don't, only mention the ones that apply to you since you will be tested on them.
Training and Certifications
Training and certifications are a huge part of the product management industry. That is why it's imperative to showcase any training and certifications you have.
You're not limited to the training and certifications received from past places of employment, either. You can also list down third-party entities.
Certifications also need to be recent, since that shows that you're up to date with the latest developments in the industry. A PMBOK/PMP certification from the Project Management Institute holds the most leverage. A lot of product management jobs accept project management certifications.
The training also shows that you're ready to practically apply the concepts even if you're inexperienced.
Selected Product Management Projects
Your product manager interview questions will mostly be based on past projects you've completed. Therefore, you need to provide details about the projects you've done, how you did them, and what the results were.
Keep in mind that if you're under a confidentiality agreement with your previous employer, you may not be able to give as many details.
Your Executive Summary
Any professional resume or product management resume is incomplete without an executive summary. Your executive summary includes your best assets, soft & hard skills, as well as your professional experience and achievements.
Make sure you break down your skills in management, product, and analytical categories.
Additionally, it's okay to leave your sentences incomplete in your product manager resume summary.
Significant Takeaways in Writing your Product Manager Resume
Being a product manager is about being organized, consistent, and up-to-date on the latest processes and trends. Not only that, a competent product manager is expected to have several skills outside of their domain, too.
To get past the skimming phase of hiring managers, make sure you optimize your resume for the 10-second overlook rule.
Use concise, yet detailed sentences, prefer simplicity over complexity but try to relay all relevant information.
Most important of all - be confident.