The perfect product manager resume has several qualities, but above all, it needs to stand out. After all, the software product management job market is highly competitive—you can't afford not to pull out all the stops!
Ideally, resumes for product management jobs should be brief, easy to scan, highlight your skillset, and be tailored to the specific company and role you're pursuing. No pressure, right?
Don't worry, you got this. Here are the need-to-haves to write a standout PM resume, whether you're going for an entry-level associate product manager job or gearing up for your first senior PM position.
What Should an Associate Product Manager Resume Have?
One thing that sets an associate product manager (APM) resume apart from those standing higher on the career ladder is the fact that the future APM probably has zero years of experience in product management.
But what does it mean in terms of structuring a resume? Usually, an APM resume will focus on showcasing the skills and past experiences that are either directly or indirectly relevant to the job of managing products. Here’s what you can showcase in each of your resume sections.
Pretty standard stuff. This is where you'll want to put:
- Your name
- Contact information
- LinkedIn profile URL
An ideal product manager resume summary should highlight:
- Any relevant experiences and skills that you have
- Emphasis on your enthusiasm and energy
- Clear evidence of your ability to learn and grow as a product manager.
Hard Skills Section
Technical skills are usually not mandatory for an associate product manager job, but they're definitely a competitive advantage. Skills to list (if you have them!) include:
- Any product management software you're familiar with, such as Jira or FigJam
- Digital marketing experience
- Product marketing experience
- User research and/or market research experience
- UX design experience
- Data analysis experience
- Any other experience that translates well to a product management skillset, such as problem-solving or conducting user interviews
Soft Skills Section
In this section, you'll want to describe your experience working with people. Make sure to highlight things like:
- Experience working with cross-functional teams
- Examples of your ability to manage multiple project stakeholders
- Examples of empathy and conflict management
- Customer service and/or customer success experience
- Written and verbal communication skills
By the way, speaking of written communication skills—sometimes what you write is just as important as how you write it. Make sure to check your resume for spelling, grammar, and formatting errors. Trust me, it matters!
Work Experience Section
It’s absolutely ok for you to have no product-related experience. However, if at any point you:
- Worked in areas that were directly or indirectly related to new product development initiatives
- Worked on or collaborated with a development team
- Ran any digital marketing campaigns
- Worked directly with users of a software product
...than this is where you should make note of it!
Your educational background is, again, not something super important when it comes to evaluating your ability to be a great associate PM. However, you should still list your prior education, especially:
- Business degrees or diplomas
- Computer science degrees or diplomas
- Marketing degrees or diplomas
Traditionally, HR teams give preference to applicants with a computer science or business background.
This is a 'nice-to-have,' but if you have the option to take a certification, I would suggest it! If you have any of these certifications, move them to the top of the list:
- Any product management certification
- Courses on project/product management methodologies (i.e. Agile product management certifications, training in Kanban or Scrum)
- Product analytics certifications
- Programming certifications or evidence of coding skills
What’s Important for Recruiters in an Entry-Level Product Manager Resume?
Recruiters will usually look at all the experiences and skills that you have mentioned in the resume and try to answer an important question—“will these non-PM skills transform into PM skills after we hire this person?”.
So, your goal is to make sure that the way you represent the information so that your resume screams, “YES, there's great PM potential here!”
Senior Product Manager Resume Requirements
Unlike associate PMs, a senior product manager position is much more demanding regarding your experience in building, launching, and managing software products.
In a senior PM resume, you would usually showcase your experiences and successes in the following areas:
- Product Lifecycle Management, including product launch and GTM.
- Successful product feature ideation and development.
- Pricing and monetization.
- Retention and activation.
- Product strategy and product roadmap development.
You would also need to have basic technical skills (or advanced if you apply for a technical product manager position) and excel at essential product management skills like communication, leadership, prioritization, and stakeholder management.
Finally, the presence of product management certifications—particularly if they demonstrate a commitment to ongoing learning—will also help you stand out among your competitors.
Recruiter Priorities for Senior PM Roles
Recruiters and hiring managers look for tangible results and successes when it comes to evaluating senior PM resumes.
Senior PMs usually get significant compensation for their work, so the expectation is that your contributions must be significant to the business as well. Recruiters are asking questions like:
- Has this candidate found a product-market fit?
- Has this candidate successfully helped a startup get an investment?
- Has this candidate directly contributed to a significant business impact, such as adding +30% in ARR?
These resume tips for product managers should guide and inspire you to build one that highlights your talents, skills, work history, and experience.
List your best attributes first and then fill in the rest with all the solid abilities you have to offer a company. You can also save a ton of time by trying these ChatGPT prompts for product management job hunters, which can not only help you tailor and write your resume, but actually help you find the juiciest job opportunities for your skillset!
Your resume format is also important—make sure it stands out with easy-to-read fonts, large headings, and by keeping it clean and sleek.
Pair your product manager resume with a stellar cover letter to secure the interview. Don't forget to check your LinkedIn as well, to make sure it matches your resume in case recruiters take a look at your profile as part of their decision process.
Whether you are just beginning your career in product management, or are looking to move into a product manager role, you can build a resume that will make a hiring manager take notice, and put you at the front of the line for an interview, hopefully ending your job search with a job offer that will advance your career.
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