Candidate Guide: How To Write A Successful Product Management CV
Pentasia’s Cara Kerr shares insight for aspiring and ambitious Product Managers on how to write a CV that will impress employers and kick-start your career journey
In 2018 we’ve heard from many clients how that this is “the year of Product.”
Within many companies, there’s growing realisation that strong product management teams are THE essential ingredient to ensuring goals are met and innovation remains world-class. Product Managers set the roadmap, unite specialist individuals and teams, and provide all-important leadership.
At Pentasia, we’ve seen “the year of Product” reflected in ever-increasing job opportunities for talented product managers. Product Management jobs are up 50% from last year, with employers committing much of their recruitment efforts to filling these high-priority positions.
Yet despite increasing hiring activity, good product managers often fail to make it to interview. Why? Because their CV lacks crucial elements.
Product Managers can come from all kinds of backgrounds – business analysis, CRM, customer service, marketing. Whilst most employers are open to hiring from other disciplines, though, the most common feedback we hear from clients is “they’re not a true Product Manager” - and that's because the CV isn't working hard enough.
We believe your CV should open doors, and present the best of what you can offer a new business. It's crucial to get it right.
Here’s my advice for aspiring product specialists on how to write a CV that will properly demonstrate your experience and ambitions, ensuring you obtain that critical first interview:
What I’m looking for in a Product CV:
As a recruiter, here’s what I look for in a product management applicant (and what I’d love to see in every CV that lands in my inbox!):
“Buzz words” for example: Business case builds, Roadmap, User Stories, Prototyping, A/B Testing, Customer engagement, Competitor Intelligence…
Progression, how long specifically have you been a Product Manager / Owner position for?
Specific products you actually work on/manage – be specific
Essentials for CV Success
Start your CV with a strong summary of what you do, and what your ambitions are in relation to product management. Tell me why you’re valuable, and what motivates you.
You must include:
Achievements – Financial, personal or otherwise, be specific, write about products you manage, the life cycle and the results
If you are passionate about the product you are applying for, make it shine in your CV, love sports, it should be in your hobbies if you play or the team you support or like to watch
Make your CV relevant – don’t send a CV that’s about B2B products to a role that’s focusing on B2C products
How you run a project, from end to end? Be specific on your exact involvement in a project & the teams you managed & which teams you interacted with. If you run workshops, put it in there!
Data, data, data – It’s all about the facts and Product Managers have to demonstrate commercial acumen and good business decision making decision abilities using the facts available to them.
Get your CV right and you’ll be well on the way to an exciting career in the driving seat that is a product management role.
Some Extra Inspiration...
If you still need a little more inspiration on where to start, I highly recommend the Product Management Insights report by Alpha, which profiles the growing importance of product.
Here, for example, is their breakdown of what it is that a product manager actually does - their key responsibilites:
Get the full report here: insights.alphahq.com/product-management-insights-2018
Author: Cara Kerr
Connect On LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/carakerr
Contact Cara: pentasia.com/about/meet-the-team
Check out our current Product Management Jobs:
Our Product Management Jobs
More to explore: