Template and tips for writing one

The growing demand for product managers, especially in technology companies, is attracting candidates from both technical and non-technical backgrounds. However, since the roles a product manager can play vary widely by company size and industry, writing a great resume that will impress hiring managers and recruiters is like trying to hit a moving target. .

In a tech context, product managers often have a complicated job. They must determine (and prioritize) business and customer needs, guide the product through its development and maintenance cycles, and communicate effectively with all kinds of stakeholders, including those in senior management and engineering. This combination of skills is one of the main reasons product managers can unlock higher compensation.

For product managers applying for new roles (or those approaching the role for the first time), it helps to think of your resume as the product. When writing it, apply your product management skills and strategies, especially your knowledge of user experience best practices, advised Cliff Flamer, Certified Resume Writer and CEO of BrightSide Resumes: To create a personalized resume for each job or industry you want to apply for. »

In this guide, we’ll cover the key steps to creating an outstanding resume for this complex role, as well as some of the qualities and skills that hiring managers look for when evaluating product managers.

Showcase both sides of your brain

Since product management sits at the intersection of engineering, design, and marketing, hiring managers are looking for someone who can straddle multiple worlds, Flamer explained. The ability to balance big picture and detailed thinking and take ideas from concept to production is the central message you want to convey in your resume.

A startup may be looking for someone to create a roadmap, manage the entire product development cycle and code the product, while an established business might just need someone to manage or build modules for a core product. For this reason, it’s important to demonstrate how your skills are relevant to the specific job and provide examples and context.

Another way to clear things up is to explain what type of product manager you are, noted Lucy Chen, career coach for product managers and executives and ex-chief product officer at Oculus/Facebook and LinkedIn. Examples include technical product manager, data product manager, software product manager, growth product manager, consumer product manager, etc.

Imparting mastery of the end-to-end product management process and the ability to perform right and left brain activities starts in the profile section at the top of your resume. For example, Flamer writes a short summary statement explaining who the candidate is and the value they offer, followed by keyword-rich bullet points that provide examples of industry-specific in-demand technical and soft skills. He provided this example:

Jane Jones

Technology Product Manager and Support Systems Designer with 10 years of experience in all aspects of product development, from ideation and requirements to design, development, integration, testing, marketing and support.

Full product lifecycle management work, with extensive testing/validation and training for sophisticated imaging and analysis software, device firmware, touch screen controllers and embedded systems.

Additional expertise in designing learning modules, knowledge bases, and supporting tools, including wireframing and prototyping an SQL-based query and bug report database.

Strong cross-functional coordination of onsite/offshore engineering teams, product partners and stakeholders, while constantly gathering customer feedback to ensure a seamless user experience.

It then discusses the technical aspects of the business (ie the skills and methods necessary to design, create and implement technical solutions that meet the needs of the company). Tip: Adjust the placement of the categories and corresponding skills in the toolbox to match the job requirements.

Technical expertise

Methods : Agile development, project management, product management, product release process, Lean Six-Sigma principles, ANOVA and statistical modeling (for testing)

Software: MS Project, TeamGantt, Jira, Trello, Salesforce, Zendesk, Siebel CRM, MS Excel, MS Access, JMP, Quantstudio, Minitab, Matlab Scripts, Flowjo, CODEX Analysis Manager, MAV

Material: Controllers, Microscopes, Solid State Sequencers, Multiplex Imaging Platforms, Eye Tracking Systems, Electrophoresis Systems, qPCR Machines, fMRI Scanners

What did you ship?

“What did you ship?” That’s what hiring managers want to know when looking at the professional backgrounds of aspiring product managers. “Product management is about delivering impact,” Chen noted.

Hiring managers want to know if your initiatives were actually implemented and what impact they had on users and on organizational results.

Therefore, it’s best to focus on high-impact projects and quantify the results of your work in some way, whether it’s quoting increased revenue from a product or the number of products you were responsible for out of the total portfolio.

Reviewers will be looking for specific information about the process you used to develop a new product and the results, Chen continued. Be sure to include the following components when describing previous roles and projects:

  • Vision/strategy
  • Prioritization of the roadmap
  • Feature Scope/Specification
  • Iteration/test/measure
  • Transversal partnership with design
  • Engineering
  • Data science
  • Marketing

Provide context to the reviewer, especially if you’re changing industries. For example, consider using a functional title and putting your actual title in parentheses so it gets past applicant tracking systems and human reviewers. Also categorize projects by type, such as product, service, software, tool, etc. Explain names of obscure tools or systems that the reviewer may not be familiar with. Here is an example of an easy-to-understand work history:

ABC BIOSCIENCES 2017-Present

Product Manager | Support Manager

Agile design, engineering, go-to-market and support support for flagship product line. Mastery of ABC systems, software and equipment as well as partner technologies to design an integrated solution, reinforced by a self-created intranet knowledge base. Shipped final product in Q4 2019, generating high demand and a 3 month waiting list.

product: Instrument management software

Fluidic control system software that integrates with 3rdfluorescence microscope firmware to automate reagent loading and image capture.

system: Intranet knowledge base

Internal product support platform, based on KCS and integrated with Salesforce and Jira.

Final Tips and Features of an Effective Product Manager Resume

To increase the chances that your CV will be read from cover to cover, limit the length to no more than two pages. Stick to simple, no-frills formats that help the reader focus on the content.

As well…

Match the job description: To capture the attention of both automated and human reviewers, make simple changes/customizations to meet job description requirements, including hard and soft skills, organizational culture, and industry expertise, before clicking ” To send”. Better yet, use a free tool like Jobscan or Resume Worded to compare your resume to a specific job description, make changes, add the right keywords, and bypass applicant tracking systems.

Provide work samples: Providing a link to non-proprietary samples or a portfolio that reflects how you work and communicate with technical and non-technical audiences is a plus.

Be sure to include certifications and courses: You should include top certifications, as well as courses that demonstrate mastery of product management fundamentals and must-have technologies. Indicate that you are always interested in learning something new. Note that the list of side projects is essential for recent graduates or career transitions with limited hands-on experience. (Also, more specialization and skills will allow you to potentially negotiate a higher salary.)

Scott R. Banks