How to Write a Winning Product Manager Resume

An excellent resume is absolutely important to any product manager. After all, product managers are products—for us to effectively market ourselves as products, we need to signal our value, and resumes are one of the most powerful ways to signal value.

Most product managers resume guides concentrate on the prescriptive “outcome-oriented advice.”

In other words, several guides will tell you which buzzwords to use in your resume, or which space and font you should use, or which side projects you should discuss, or which classes you should take.

Instead of a detailed representation of all the stuff you are capable of, think of your resume as a highlight reel.

From software and finance to retail and pharmacy, you’ll find product management positions in all forms of businesses. The examples here will primarily concentrate on technology (after all, I’m writing this from my home office just north of Silicon Valley!), but the advice is still important no matter what kind of role you’re pursuing in product management.

1. Tailor your CV for each role

It is fair to assume that most products, whether offering a better user interface, developing a safer medical device, or making an existing product more effective, are designed to address a particular issue.

Your CV isn’t any different. It should be designed for a particular purpose: to make it easy for your prospective employer to understand what you are capable of and how your abilities can fit with their current needs.

Take note of all the abilities and duties that are described as you read through a new work posting. You’ll want to include them on your resume if you have experience with all of them.

Typically, cutting any skills or achievements that are not listed in a post is secure, too. Think about it this way: what do they need to see in order to be happy with the product if the hiring manager is your customer? If you knew your customer didn’t care about it would you add a feature to a product? Most definitely not!

Another advantage of tailoring your resume for each position you are applying for is that it would be more likely to pass the applicant tracking system (ATS). To assess if an individual has the right experience, these programs search resumes for specific keywords and phrases. If the ATS doesn’t find enough of the right keywords, even if the candidate has the correct experience, it could automatically reject an application. Before they get to a human recruiter, most applications will pass through one of these systems, so it’s important to ensure that you integrate appropriate keywords into each draft of your resume.

The “right” lingo can differ from one work post to the next, but here are a few examples of widely used keywords for product managers to help you get started:

• A/B Testing

• Best Practices

• Beta Testing

• Budgets

• Cross-Functional Teams

• Customer Analysis

• Customer feedback

• Data Analytics

• Digital Advertising

• Financial Analysis

• Forecasting

• Marketing

• Milestones

• Presentation

• Product Cases

Product Design

Product Launch

Product Life Cycle

• Project Management

• Quality Assurance

Release Management

• Revenue

• Risk Management

Roadmap

• Stakeholders

• Strategy

SWOT Analysis

• Troubleshooting

User Research

• UX/UI Design

• Value Propositions

2. Highlight your experience in problem-solving

Product management is a dynamic process and you need to make sure that hiring managers can handle every move. “Hiring managers want to understand that an applicant has a strong sense of the product,” says Chen. Can complex issues be broken down, use cases prioritized, and a solution eventually designed? Should they set simple and achievable targets and use data to break down challenges in a systematic way?”

On your resume, make sure to provide a summary of your problem-solving prowess. Do you have experience, like Agile or Waterfall, in a particular methodology? In connecting teams, are you particularly good? With money, are you exceptionally efficient? Drilling down on focused topics like this as you write will help you build a persuasive resume that is rich with relevant details about how you work.

3. Keep the emphasis on outcomes and performance

When a hiring manager reviews the resume of a candidate, they are looking for consistently demonstrated outcomes in previous roles in product management. Specific, tangible results from the products and features they have shipped should be included in summaries, with metrics and numbers if possible.

So, your goal is to build a resume that focuses on your unique skill set and accomplishments, not just a vague list of past duties.

“Which means, instead of writing a simple bullet point such as “Developed new items for the advertising team,” you might say, “Partnered with the digital advertising team to identify and design six new targeted ad-serving applications, resulting in a 140 percent increase in consumer spending.” Although both of these examples represent the same job responsibility technically, the latter transmits a lot more data in a m

Here you will find excellent advice on quantifying your knowledge. But on a shortcut, I’ll let you in. Using this formula, most bullet points can be converted from basic to snappy:

Verb of action + job duty + tangible result, number, or metric

If you have worked on multiple items for a single business or consumer, using a “key achievements” subsection, it may be easier to distinguish your relevant day-to-day duties from your particular achievements. In order to see how it works, check out the sample resume below.

4. Showcase your skills in technical terms

An appreciation of best practices is one of the most significant abilities of product management. I propose that product managers learn about several different systems, methods, and methodologies,” says Davis. If you have experience with frameworks such as AARRR, prioritization, or Core, or methodologies such as Agile, Kanban, Scrum, or Waterfall, make sure you include them in your resume, especially if they are listed in a specific job posting. In a dedicated skills section, you can do this and, better yet, place them in the background of the projects that you have worked on.

There are also several resources that a product manager may use to guide their processes, so you may want to list experiences using applications such as Jira, Pendo, ProductPlan, Typeform, Gartner, Trello, Visio, or Hotjar (to name only a handful), or familiarity with coding languages such as CSS, HTML, or JavaScript, depending on the job you are applying for. Only bear in mind that the most applicable hard skills will differ from job application to job application (which is why it is so necessary to tailor!).

5. Don’t forget the fundamentals

There are a few universal rules for resume writing that cover every work, specialization, and industry, including product management.

Just be succinct. You’ll just want to keep your resume on a single tab, unless you’re a super-tenured executive. This will assist (or force!) you to minimize less important content and concentrate on what matters most: your talents, experiences, and achievements that are relevant.

Keep it clear. A conventional resume style favors most recruiters, with the job history displayed in reverse chronological order. It is easy to follow this simple style, which is crucial when recruiters can only spend a few seconds on each resume. That said, to help you highlight your main skills, a combination resume can also be a great choice. And if you’re making a career pivot, you can be offered more flexibility by a functional resume, allowing you to concentrate on the most transferable experience. Need help making choices? It’ll help this guide!

Make sure it is easy to search your resume. It will make it much easier for recruiters and hiring managers to easily understand your background and decide if you are a candidate for the position you have applied for by developing simple section headings, drawing up succinct bullet points, and leaving just enough white room.

FINAL: An Example Resume for Product Manager

The following summarizes, in addition to checking all the basic boxes (single page, chronological layout with scannable section headers and succinct bullet points), the experience of the applicant using descriptive, personalized terminology, quantifiable metrics, and the results displayed. In order to let their present position shine without spilling over into another tab, this nominee has also abbreviated their less recent (but still relevant experience.

You May Also Like…

How to Become A Product Manager

How to Become A Product Manager

Why do so many people ask, "How can you become a Product Manager?" It's because a "dream job" is the product...

Product Roadmap

Product Roadmap

Product Roadmaps The Product Roadmap is a common source of truth that describes a product's vision, course, goals and...