Product Manager Resume Advice – Make Connections
Here at PMMPC I get many emails that go something like this:
I’m trying to make the jump from being [insert role here] to Product Manager. I have an engineering degree and a few business classes. However, I’m not an MBA. How I can position myself to be competitive with MBA candidates?
I’ve previously shared my thoughts on why I got my MBA so I want to focus today on the resume itself, and some ideas for making the best possible, truthful impression on your resume reader… even if you don’t have an MBA.
Disclaimer: You might be out of luck
I’m going to give you, frankly, some great advice in a couple paragraphs. But I’d be totally misleading you if I didn’t say this: If the hiring manager truly only wants MBAs, and you don’t have one, you’re likely out of luck.
But if that’s not the case…
Try a Practical Product Management seminar to supplement your experience with formal PM training.
Can’t afford formal training? Try a ProductCamp.
Marry the trainings above (which demonstrate a great interest in product management) to the work experience in your resume, and you’ll be on your way to building a compelling resume.
Next step: Connect your work experience to the stuff that really matters.
As a Product Manager, activity will not be your end goal.
Your job as a PM isn’t just to launch stuff, or execute programs, or field calls from customer service or sales.
Your job isn’t about looking busy.
So your resume shouldn’t just be a list of actions.
It’s the results that matter.
The biggest area of opportunity I see in most resumes is connecting the core activities you performed with the results achieved.
For example, say you earned an award for demonstrating leadership in a critical project. What challenges did you overcome? What skills did you employ? Why did your supervisors find your performance so noteworthy?
Or if you launched a new project, what was its goal? Did it succeed? Did it fail? What did you learn?
Here’s a fictional example
Disconnected activity bullet point from a resume…
- On July 4th, stopped Doctor Octopus dead in his tracks.
Nobody likes Doc Ock.
But let’s connect it to some results…
- On July 4th, stopped Doctor Octopus from annihilating New York, saving millions of human lives and preventing millions of dollars in property damage. Took stunning pictures of the battle; sold pictures to Daily Bugle for $10,500, a personal best.
They’re both honest assessments of an activity.
But which makes more of an impression on you as a reader?
Connect your activities to the results you achieved, and you’ll get noticed. Regardless of whether Doc Ock is involved. Just don’t wear a bag over your head to the interview.