5 Skills Product Managers Should Put on Their Resume
July 19, 2018

5 Skills Product Managers Should Put on Their Resume

by Brian de Haaff

Lots of people want to be product managers these days. No wonder — this is challenging work that currently brings in the highest average salary offers of any tech job. But more interest means more competition. Product managers seeking new job opportunities must fight to stand out. Easier said than done?

The best product managers focus on results — value you delivered to customers, the company, and your team.

Our Customer Success team members at Aha! are all product management experts. They all spent many years working as product managers. Together they have led hundreds of products, totaling billions of dollars in revenue.

We know what it takes to be successful in this demanding role. So, we gathered the team’s recommendations — designed to help product managers at all career stages create resumes that highlight the skills that really matter. Of course, the demands for an entry-level position and those for a more senior product leader will be different. But we have seen what works in both cases.

You want to highlight your skills and experience in a way that instantly shows what you have accomplished.

If you have limited product management experience, you will want to highlight areas of responsibility and value creation — without overstating or exaggerating. For senior product leaders, the trick is limiting your focus so you do not overwhelm recruiters with all the details of your experience bringing products to market.

It is worth noting that this is not a template — not everybody will have all of the skills and experience we list out below. And even if you do, you should be judicious about what is most relevant to you and the roles you are applying for.

Here are five focus areas that should be included on a strong product manager resume:

Strategy Product managers are instrumental in defining the direction of the product and evangelizing their company’s reasons for making it. If you were not solely responsible for this work, then include experience that shows how you supported other senior team members in setting goals and planning strategy. More seasoned product managers will want to highlight how they go beyond maintaining the status quo, from overcoming product challenges to responsibilities outside their everyday purview.

  • Analyzed market trends and modeled potentials

  • Executed actions that directly aligned to organization’s strategy

  • Identified and tracked metrics that supported overall objectives

  • Collaborated with marketing on product positioning/go-to-market launches

  • Delivered products with demonstrable business impact

Roadmap Product managers are responsible for creating and updating the product roadmap, as well as coordinating tasks and timetables related to the plan. If you are newer to product management, you will want to focus on your role in executing on product plans and supporting senior leaders. If you have logged a few more years, you should detail how you prioritized what was built and championed it across the organization.

  • Established key roadmap themes

  • Determined which features to add to the roadmap

  • Produced clear, thorough feature specifications

  • Built and shared roadmap presentations

  • Clearly communicated status for roadmap items

Release management Whether your development team practices agile, waterfall, or another methodology, how you manage releases defines your product journey and turns your strategy into actual work. Describe how you led the cross-functional team, the cadence of your releases, and how you kept senior leadership updated. Also share how you adjusted the plan in light of new information and feedback and communicated changes to key stakeholders.

  • Led product team meetings

  • Managed backlogs and prioritized technical work

  • Wrote user stories and defined requirements for design and engineering teams

  • Collaborated with design and engineering teams

  • Drafted release notes for product launches

  • Measured adoption, usage data, and business impact of launches

  • Monitored and optimized release cycle processes

Ideas Product managers take ideas — your own, plus those from customers, executives, and peers — and determine which ones will push the product forward. If possible, newer product managers should list out their involvement in prioritization. Veteran product leaders will want to highlight how they reviewed those ideas and the tangible output of their decisions.

  • Worked with internal teams and stakeholders to generate ideas

  • Identified ideas that aligned with strategy

  • Explained why certain ideas were prioritized and others were not

  • Created repository for submitting product feedback and requests

  • Percentage of shipped features related to ideas

Customers Product managers represent the voice of the customer for internal teams. This means you must understand what problems customers need to solve, what they like and dislike about your product, as well as how they currently use it (and want to use it in the future). New and experienced product managers alike should showcase their completed customer research, including how often they spoke with users directly.

  • Developed and reported on customer analysis

  • Proactively captured customer feedback

  • Conducted user interviews

  • Delivered product demos for new features

  • Increased new customer trials/add-on revenue

Bonus tips Some final things to consider when writing your product manager resume:

  • Keep it short — most hiring managers and recruiters will not read beyond the first page

  • Be specific — list the applications you have used to manage your work

  • Write clearly — use common terminology, rather than your company’s lingo

  • Tell the truth — present real numbers and do not inflate what was accomplished

Your product management resume should show you are ready to step into the role and start contributing right away.

Product managers must possess a wide range of abilities and experience. Obviously, you should only list the skills and experience that you actually have. If you see anything above that you fall short on, now is the time to start developing those areas. That is how you will become a product manager who is in exceptionally high demand.

What else should people include on a product management resume?

Our team is happy, productive, and hiring — join us!

Additional resources

Brian de Haaff

Brian de Haaff

Brian seeks business and wilderness adventure. He is the co-founder and CEO of Aha! — the world’s #1 product development software — and the author of the bestseller Lovability and The Startup Adventure newsletter. Brian writes and speaks about product and company growth and the journey of pursuing a meaningful life.

Follow Aha!

Follow Brian

Related articles

The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read
April 13, 2017
The Best Cover Letters That CEOs Love to Read

A well-crafted cover letter is a great way to get noticed. Find out what to include in your cover letter to catch the attention of a CEO.

New Marketing Managers — Do These 8 Things in the First 30 Days
January 28, 2019
New Marketing Managers — Do These 8 Things in the First 30 Days

Are you a new marketing manager? Check out these suggestions from eight marketing experts on how to show your true value in your first 30 days.