How to Write the Best Product Manager Resume
The interviewing and hiring process has changed dramatically since the start of the pandemic. And with that, Product Manager resume expectations have also changed.
To write the perfect Product Manager resume, you need to:
- Optimize it with product management keywords and a skills chart
- Keep the format simple so it can be read properly by the ATS
- Highlight BOTH hard skills and soft skills in your work history bullet points
- Make sure your resume is two pages long.
Now let’s break that down into more detail. Before applying for your dream job, learn how to format your Product Manager resume and what keywords to include.
Why Your Resume Matters
Oftentimes before reaching the eyes of a recruiter, your resume will be put through an applicant tracking system (ATS). This system helps recruiters scan resumes for authenticity and relevance.
Unfortunately, the ATS does not do a great job at differentiating between good and bad resumes; it simply looks for keywords. This is why having a properly formatted and well-written resume is so important. If you cannot make it past the ATS, you will never get the opportunity to interview with the company and land your dream job as a Product Manager.
Ultimately what this means is that your resume is your golden ticket through the gates of the ATS. If you approach resume-writing strategically, you’ll be able to get the eyes that matter on your application.
What Are Recruiters Looking For in a Resume?
The top three things recruiters look for in Product Management resumes are keywords, experience, and skills.
Properly placed keywords are paramount to making it through the ATS. These Product Manager resume keywords could be in regards to UX design, strategic planning skills, or analytical and organizational skills.
Once your resume is in front of the recruiter, they will be looking at your experience to determine if it matches what they are looking for. If you have a Product Manager resume with no previous experience in a PM role, don’t panic. Past product management jobs are not the only form of relevant experience.
At Product Gym, we’ve helped aspiring Product Managers land their first PM job coming from all sorts of backgrounds, from marketing to finance to engineering (and more). Showing your experience on a PM resume is about how you communicate your transferable skills. This is where your hard and soft skills come into play.
Recruiters want to see both hard skills and soft skills on your Product Manager resume. Technical skills refer to skills that are quantifiable, like design, coding, or analytics.
Soft skills are more about your personality and how you are in a work environment. Working Product Manager resume keywords into your resume’s skills chart is the best way to gain the approval of both the ATS and the recruiter.
How to Format Your PM Resume
Whether you are using a template or not, changing your resume font can be a real game-changer if used properly. Be unique and think of your personal branding. You want your font to be clean and simple but it is also a chance to make your resume stand out from the crowd.
Comfortaa is a clean and simple font that is perfect for best Product Manager resumes. Calibri is nice, but it’s been widely overused.
Stay away from Times New Roman: It can make you look like a younger, less experienced candidate Why? Because Times New Roman is almost always the font used in college essay writing.
Something very small like changing your font can really add some color for the person that’s sorting and sifting through hundreds of resumes. With the right font choice, you can make a positive impression on the recruiter right from the start!
When it comes to the ideal Product Manager resume, do yourself a favor and remove your biography and summary from the top. Replace it with simply your name, contact information, and LinkedIn URL. No one will be reading your summary anyway and there are likely no keywords incorporated.
Instead, use the top center spot on your resume for your skills chart. Recruiters and applicant tracking systems are more interested in your Product Manager qualifications than your generic “about me” section. Below the skills chart comes your work history and experience. If you don’t have experience as a Product Manager that does not mean your experience is not relevant. Call a Product Gym career coach for free and we will help you identify how your experience relates to product management.
- Equal number of bullets per position. This is more aesthetically appealing to the recruiter and makes it easier for the ATS to read your resume.
- Use no more than five to six bullets per position.
- No more than three to four positions on your resume. Only the most recent positions are relevant.
- You need an equal number of hard skills and soft skills in your bullets. This shows that you are a well-rounded candidate.
- Keep your margins at one inch, all around.
- Your font should be no smaller than size 10.
You might find this surprising, but we recommend you use a boring Product Manager resume template. This will make it easier for both the ATS and the recruiter to read your resume and identify the most important information within it.
Make your Product Manager resume two pages long. You want the most opportunity to include keywords without losing the quality and integrity of your resume.
Why Should Your Resume Be Two Pages?
The majority of recruiters are working from home and reading resumes on their computers instead of printing them out in large batches every morning at the office. This change is the main reason Product Manager resumes no longer need to fit on one page. Two-page resumes are no longer an inconvenience and are therefore preferred by recruiters so they can learn the most about you as possible when filing your application.
Bad PM Resume Examples
Although it is important to differentiate yourself and your resume from the competition, you still need to keep the recruiter reading your resume in mind. This recruiter is reading hundreds of resumes each day.
An overly colorful or creative resume can be hard on the eyes and poor formatting can make it difficult for the recruiter to find the information they are looking for in your resume. You want to stand out because of your skills and experience, not because of the color and structure of your resume.
After speaking to more than 500 internal and external technical recruiters that conduct hiring for the leading technology companies across both coasts, we know for a fact that their eyes only roll one way: they start off on top and center then they scroll all the way to the left and work down.
Great Product Manager Resume Examples
Great resumes may look a bit boring to you, and that’s okay. Boring templates loaded with quality information have a better chance of making it through the ATS and they are easier for the recruiter to skim. When looking at a resume template, you should treat it as a product manager resume sample
Right below your email, you should place your Linkedin profile URL. If a recruiter likes your resume, they will look you up on LinkedIn to learn more. Make it easy for them to find you and they will spend more time learning about you instead of trying to discover your LinkedIn profile.
What to Include in Your Resume
Your resume content must be optimized to get attention. There should never be more than five to six bullets per position and they should contain very broad wording.
You want to sell your product management expertise either with hard skills or soft. For those of you reading this from a non-technical background, do not feel discouraged.
There are plenty of Product Managers out there that do not code and they are killing it on the job and the job hunt. You can write more than enough hard skills even if you don’t know how to code or don’t come from a technical background.
Think about optimizing a website — your resume is no different. Channel your inner Product Manager and think about all the times that you had to take on similar tasks throughout your career.
These are some very essential concepts you are expected to know and apply as a Product Manager. We cannot imagine a good PM resume without keywords like, “prioritization”, “stakeholder management”, and “product roadmap”, for example!
Where to Find PM Resume Keywords
So where do you find these Product Manager resume keywords?
We highly recommend reading a couple of well-written Product Manager job descriptions. They contain nearly all of the keywords that you should be using!
We particularly love this job posting from Google, as it contains everything you should know about product management practices:
All the underlined words here should be a part of your resume and your interview conversation. Sometimes, companies take the extra effort to include a description of what their Product Managers do on a daily basis. The examples below show that hard skills do involve a wide range of tasks that are beyond coding. You can also include quantifiable examples to show the recruiter the impact of your work in previous positions.
Examples of Hard Skills to Include on Your Resume
When it comes to hard skills, think of things you do with your hands or things you physically go out and hustle to get done. Here are some good examples of product manager skills resume to get you started:
- Managed mobile product development in a fast-paced, Agile environment, working closely with developers and stakeholders to ensure successful product and feature launches
- Prioritized backlog with ready-to-go feature requirements so that developers are never blocked
- Guided product priorities, product plans, and overall product strategy
- Worked with sales and marketing to understand the market potential and competitive landscape
- Captured customer needs, product scenarios, user stories, and stakeholder feedback to create new and improve existing products
- Created and worked with design resources to create wireframes and design comps in order to guide engineering efforts
Download Your Perfect Product Manager Resume Bullets
Use these strategically written resume bullet points to highlight your skills, optimize your resume, and beat the ATS.
Examples of Soft Skills to Include on Your Resume
When it comes to soft skills, these are bullets that exemplify your skills as a leader and/or communicator, such as your ability to collaborate. Collaboration is used a lot in these bullet points! Here’s a solid list of examples for soft skills:
- Identified operational and support requirements and facilitated their implementation
- Communicated with other cross-functional areas, sharing product plans, identifying possible issues and concerns, and collaborating to address them
- Facilitated and supported product training and launches
- Contributed to broader technology strategy; gave feedback to technical teams building products on top of the infrastructure
- Discussed the architecture/technical decisions made in the squad
- Interfaced with the rest of the technology organization to understand opportunities, requirements, and priorities to ensure the right focus of the team
Soft skill bullets are not easily quantifiable. Hence, verbs like identified, communicated, facilitated, contributed, and discussed are often used.
Unlike what many believe, soft skills form the backbone of your personal brand and story. As a Product Manager, you should be very good with communication and teamwork and therefore these skills are as important, if not more, as your hard skills.
One good way of emphasizing your soft skills is by talking about how you worked with technical teams to get tasks done. Many Product Managers are expected to have this experience. Therefore, using the soft skills section to expand your work history with the engineering team is a great opportunity.
How to Optimize Your Resume
What Is a Skills Chart and Why Do You Need One?
A skills chart is by far the most important component of your Product Manager resume. A skills chart is literally a chart on your resume which lists relevant skills. You need to have one on your Product Manager resume because the ATS works on a keyword algorithm so without your skills chart, your resume may not make it to the eyes of the recruiter. Your skills chart will also let your recruiter know that you are a relevant candidate they want to schedule an interview with.
Where Should Your Skills Chart be Located?
Your skills chart should be centered at the top of your Product Manager resume and it should be as jam-packed as possible. Some resume templates may suggest putting your skills chart on the bottom of your resume or in the side margin. These locations are not going to help you against the ATS. Your Product Manager resume skills chart tells the ATS machine whether the recruiter should call you or not.
What to Put in Your Skills Chart
While packing your skills chart full of keywords is important, it is equally as important to be able to talk about each skill in an interview. Anything you include on your resume can be — and likely will be — brought up during your Product Manager interview.
It is okay to include skills that you are just a beginner with, but you must not include skills on your chart that you truly do not have any knowledge of.
Finally, save the soft skills for your bullet points: include only hard skills in your skills chart.
Get Your Resume Reviewed by a Professional
You’ve updated your resume and formatted it to whiz through the ATS: congratulations! But if you want to go above and beyond to impress the Recruiter and Hiring Manager, take some time to get your resume reviewed by a professional.
A fresh set of eyes may catch typos and grammar errors, but will also be able to point out the areas where you can improve the wording, format, and strategy behind your resume. A Product Manager who’s gone through the gruelling job hunt and landed their dream role on the other side is going to be able to assess your resume from the perspective of the Recruiter and use their experience to help you polish it.
At Product Gym, our career coaches review our members’ resumes and full branding package as the first step of the program. They offer insight, constructive criticism, and tips on how to make your resume stand out before you start sending out applications.
Because we’ve been working with Product Manager job hunters for the past five years, we’ve had ample opportunity to test and perfect the resume template we share with our members. We’ve even compiled the top Product Manager skills and applicable bullet points to include on your resume to demonstrate your transferable knowledge and beat the ATS.
Complete List of Product Manager Resume Keywords
- Product Management
- Product Development
- Product Marketing
- Marketing Strategy
- Vendor Management
- Marketing Research
- User Experience
- Product Implementation
- Event Marketing
- UX/UI Design
- Digital Marketing
- Data Analytics
- Interpersonal Skills
- Strategic Thinking
The list goes on and on. To be sure that your resume has all the best keywords that suit your experience, talk to a Product Gym career coach.
Perfect Your PM Resume and Get Applying!
Ready to start sending out your resumes? Access to our exclusive job board for the best pick of PM job openings on the market. We use our extensive network of recruiters and hiring managers to update the list every week.
Product Manager Resume FAQs
How Many Pages Should a Resume Be?
Your resume should be two pages long. Most people think a resume cannot exceed one page, but that is simply not the case. Your Product Manager resume should be two pages long. Two pages give you the opportunity to include all the keywords necessary and have room to repeat those keywords more than once while still keeping a clean, well-formatted resume.
Should I Use a Resume Template?
Using a Product Manager resume template is a great idea. Google Docs, Microsoft Word, and any word processing resource provide more than enough options for professional yet original-looking resume templates.
While the options are nearly endless, we recommend starting simple: Google “Product Manager resume” and take a look at some of the templates that pop up. Career development sites such as Zety have great examples of resume templates specifically tailored for Product Managers.
Looking at these will not only give you a good idea of what a typical Product Manager resume looks like, but also provide a few real Product Manager resume examples to get you started. Remember, the content is the most important part of your resume. Don’t try to over-impress with a flashy resume template.
Should I Customize My Resume for Each Job Application?
The main goal is to apply to as many Product Manager job listings as possible. Taking time to customize your resume for each job application is only going to slow you down.
The members at Product Gym know that cherry-picking the companies you apply to is not effective. We encourage members to apply and interview at as many companies as possible. With this in mind, a customized resume just does not prove to be worth the time.
How Do I Get Past Resume Screening Software?
The best way to get past the resume screening software (known as applicant tracking systems) is to incorporate the right keywords into your resume without compromising the quality of your resume.
The skills you need to have to be a Product Manager are also keywords. These are words like product management, growth, design sprints, scrum, etc.