Writing a CV or resume for a Product Manager role can often feel like a daunting task. It’s not just about listing your experiences and skills; it’s about crafting a document that effectively showcases your ability to lead, innovate, and drive product success. Whether you’re a seasoned Product Manager or aspiring to become one, your CV is a crucial tool in your job search. It’s the first impression you make on potential employers and can be the deciding factor in landing that all-important Product Manager interview.
In this article, we’ll guide you through the process of writing a Product Manager CV or resume. We’ll provide practical tips and examples to help you highlight your achievements and skills in a way that resonates with recruiters and hiring managers. Our goal is to simplify the process and give you the confidence to create a CV that stands out, reflects your professional journey, and brings you one step closer to your dream job.
- 1 Read The Job Description / Advert
- 2 Research The Company
- 3 Find A Good CV Template
- 4 Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
- 5 Detail Your Employment History
- 6 Detail Your Education History
- 7 CV Structure
- 8 WHAT NOT TO DO
- 9 Product Manager CV Tips – Recap
- 10 Product Manager CV Sample
Read The Job Description / Advert
The first step is, of course, to read the job description. We need to know what the firm is looking for so that we can properly highlight these characteristics in our CV. So read back over the job description and try to pinpoint the important points. A lot of times a firm will call things “required”; if you see this, you need to make sure you include that in your CV. Similarly, if certain things are repeated throughout the advert, this indicates they are of high importance, so we will want to make sure our CV shows that as well.
When performing this analysis, take care to copy the ‘exact’ words and phrases that are being used by the hiring manager. We will want to pepper these into our CV later.
Product Manager Job Description Example
Product Manager – Exciting Opportunity at a Dynamic Company
Are you a visionary Product Manager looking for a new challenge? We are seeking a talented and experienced individual to join our dynamic team. In this role, you’ll have the opportunity to lead the development and execution of innovative products that meet market needs and exceed customer expectations.
- Define and execute product vision and strategy, ensuring alignment with business goals.
- Lead cross-functional teams through the entire product lifecycle, from concept to launch.
- Conduct market research to identify customer needs and market trends.
- Collaborate with engineering, design, and marketing teams to develop and implement product features that deliver value to our customers.
- Define and analyze key metrics to inform decision-making and measure success.
- Prioritize product backlog and development efforts to ensure timely delivery of product features.
- Engage closely with customers and stakeholders to gather feedback and iterate on product offerings.
- Work with sales and marketing teams to develop go-to-market strategies and support product launches.
- Proven experience as a Product Manager or similar role.
- Strong understanding of product management techniques and Agile methodologies.
- Excellent problem-solving, organizational, and analytical skills.
- Ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, dynamic environment.
- Strong communication and leadership skills, with the ability to influence cross-functional teams.
- Bachelor’s degree in Business, Computer Science, Engineering, or related field.
We offer a competitive compensation package, a collaborative work environment, and the opportunity to work on products that make a real difference. If you are passionate about product management and eager to drive innovation, we would love to hear from you.
Join us in shaping the future of our products and making a lasting impact in our industry.
Research The Company
Time to put on your detective hat and do some research on your target company. Look at their website, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other platforms. You are looking for any piece of intel that will give you the leg up.
- Find out about recent work/projects they have undertaken or will be embarking on (highlight your experience in these areas on your CV)
- Find out what software/processes they use and make sure you include your proficiency in them in your CV
- Learn what interview questions you might expect should you make it that far
See if you know anyone who works there and/or connect (LinkedIn) with people ahead of the interview. A little nepotism could never hurt, and you might be able to glean more information about the role/hiring process in the meantime.
Find A Good CV Template
When selecting a CV template, it’s essential to opt for a simple design and structure. Not only are straightforward layouts more compatible with Applicant Tracking Systems (ATS), but they also make it easier for recruiters and hiring managers to quickly identify and understand key details. A clutter-free and organized CV ensures that your most important information stands out, facilitating a smoother review process for potential employers.
Write 2 Or 3 Bullet Points As A ‘Professional Summary’
A handy approach is to craft three sentences: the first highlighting your qualifications and experience, the second showcasing your biggest professional achievement, and the third detailing your most recent experience.
Product Manager Professional Summary Example
- Over 10 years of experience in product management, with a strong background in leading cross-functional teams and managing the full product lifecycle. Expertise in Agile methodologies, proficient in using JIRA and Confluence for project management, and well-versed in market analysis tools like Google Analytics.
- Most notable achievement includes leading the development and successful launch of a groundbreaking mobile application, “TechAdvance,” which saw a 50% increase in user engagement within the first six months post-launch, thanks to strategic marketing and continuous feature enhancements.
- Recently focused on integrating AI technology into existing product lines, successfully overseeing a project that leveraged machine learning tools like TensorFlow to enhance user experience, resulting in a 30% improvement in customer satisfaction ratings.
Detail Your Employment History
Begin by listing your employment history in reverse chronological order, starting with your most recent role. This allows potential employers to see your recent experience upfront, which holds greater value. Keep in mind that brevity is key.
As you go further back in time, reduce the level of detail to ensure your CV doesn’t exceed two pages. Employers are less likely to read lengthy CVs.
When writing about your responsibilities on your CV, focus on how you’ve made a difference in your role as a Product Manager. Instead of simply stating your duties, highlight your achievements and the impact you’ve made. For example, rather than saying “Led product development teams,” you could say, “Guided product development teams in launching three major software products, resulting in a 40% increase in customer engagement.” This approach shows not only that you led teams, but also that your leadership contributed to significant product success and customer engagement. Remember, it’s about showing how your actions as a Product Manager have led to positive outcomes and successes.
Detail Your Education History
Keep your CV concise, aiming for a two-page limit. The education section can often be streamlined.
Highlight the most relevant qualifications. For instance, if you have a degree, your A-levels become less significant. Similarly, if you’re in the U.S., having an MBA overshadows your high school GPA.
Unless an older educational milestone is crucial for the job or highly pertinent, focus on showcasing your Bachelor’s degree, post-graduate studies, or professional certifications. If you lack these, mention your latest qualifications. Remember, having a Master’s suggests you’ve finished school, so no need to state the obvious. Only include your educational background if it’s pertinent to the job.
Tactically structure your CV to the ‘most wanted’ attributes of the job description. For example, if the job description values “qualified”, then place your qualifications first; if they want someone with RECENT experience, put your last job up top. If they want multiple years of experience, highlight your tenure.
We always recommend that you have a Professional Summary up top (after your name/contact info), as it will be the first thing that anyone reads. As discussed earlier, this should be tailored towards the job advert and showcase your experience and skills in what the employer is looking for.
A fairly typical structure would go:
- Name and contact info
- Professional Summary
- Current (or most recent employment)
- Education & Professional Qualifications
- Employment History
WHAT NOT TO DO
Now that we’ve discussed what you should be including in your CV, let’s look at some things that you should avoid doing.
- Do not include personal history or likes. Employers are not going to care about your hobbies, so unless you have some inside information that the hiring manager only hires people who play a particular sport, for example, then leave your extracurricular activities off your CV. This does not extend to things like volunteer or charity work. Definitely include that if you have the space.
- Do not list your skillset and the tools/applications you have experience with. It takes up valuable space and is often obvious (Skilled in Excel…?). Instead, include these in your achievements section (Example: “Used Asana to manage and coordinate tasks for a remote team of 25 members”).
- Do not include references or “references available on request”. If employers want a reference, they will ask you for them; otherwise, this is just wasted space on your CV.
- Do not include a photo of yourself unless specifically asked. In many countries, including the UK and US, you should not include a photo of yourself on your CV/resume. Companies don’t want you to do it, as it opens them up to liability, and there is absolutely nothing for you to gain by doing so – plus, you are making it easier for firms to discriminate against you, either implicitly or explicitly.
- Do not use any fancy graphic or artistic CV format. Most CVs come in a standard format, allowing Application Tracking Software, recruiters and hiring managers to easily pick out the key pieces of information they need quickly based on their experience. If you throw them a CV in an artistic format, they are more likely to get annoyed and throw your application away. This is not a situation where standing out is good. You want your skills/experience to be noted, not your CV format.
- Do not include your previous salaries. This will severely impact your negotiation abilities down the line.
Product Manager CV Tips – Recap
Let’s recap what we’ve discussed so far:
Understand the Role and Tailor Your CV 🎯
Every Product Manager role can vary significantly depending on the company and industry. Start by thoroughly understanding the job description. Tailor your CV to highlight experiences and skills that align closely with the specific requirements of the role you’re applying for.
Highlight Achievements, Not Just Responsibilities 🌟
Instead of listing your day-to-day tasks, focus on what you’ve accomplished. Use specific examples and quantify your achievements where possible. For instance, “Led a team to develop a new app feature that increased user retention by 20%.”
Showcase Your Technical and Business Acumen 💼🔧
As a Product Manager, you need a blend of technical and business skills. Make sure your CV reflects your understanding of both areas. Include any relevant technical skills, tools you’re proficient in (like JIRA or Asana), and highlight your ability to make strategic business decisions.
Demonstrate Leadership and Team Collaboration 👥
Product Management is as much about leading teams as it is about managing products. Include examples of successful team collaborations, leadership roles, and how you’ve fostered cross-functional partnerships.
Education and Continuous Learning 📚
List your formal education, but also include any relevant workshops, seminars, or courses that have contributed to your skills as a Product Manager. This shows a commitment to continuous learning and staying updated in your field.
Keep It Concise and Error-Free ✂️🔍
Your CV should be clear, concise, and free of any errors. Aim for a maximum of two pages. Proofread meticulously or have someone else review it to catch any typos or grammatical errors.
Use a Clean, Professional Format 📄
The layout of your CV should be professional and easy to read. Use a clean format with clear headings and a logical flow. Remember, the appearance of your CV is the first impression you make.
Include a Compelling Summary 📝
Start with a strong summary that encapsulates your experience, skills, and what you bring to the table as a Product Manager. This is your elevator pitch and can make a significant difference in catching the recruiter’s attention.
Product Manager CV Sample
Below is an example CV from someone with a number of years experience in the field. For an editable .DOCX version, click here.