I live outside Des Moines Iowa in the United States where the unemployment rate is currently hovering around 3%. That would tend to lead you to believe that it should be a job seekers market and that it should be real easy to find a product job when you want one.
That’s somewhat true. There are a lot of jobs out there. The question is whether there are a lot of the right jobs out there.
If you’re currently in a gig that meets your basic needs but isn’t the most fulfilling, or you’re looking to make a specific change in your career you’re going to be a bit more particular, and you should. But that also means that you’ll be looking at those opportunities along with a lot of other people who have similar or even better-aligned backgrounds and skill sets.
The secret to success in getting the right opportunity, whether it be full time or your next freelance gig, is setting yourself apart from the other product people suggesting themselves for the same opportunity.
One of the ways you can differentiate yourself is via your resume and LinkedIn profile. With that in mind, here are some resources I found provide helpful advice for crafting your resume and LinkedIn profile. Hopefully, you find them useful as well.
Treat your resume like a product: how to write a product manager resume
Your resume is the first point of contact between you and your dream company. Anna Buldakova has always been surprised when talented product managers have a resume that doesn’t reflect even a 1/10th of their accomplishments. As a PM, she tends to apply her product development knowledge to solve all sorts of problems. So when she started thinking how she could improve her resume, she decided to treat it as a product too.
By using the standard PM questions that you normally ask yourself while working on a new product, you’ll not only make your resume better but also demonstrate your PM skills in action. You’ll show your ability to communicate in a clear and concise way, to design tastefully and to be detail-focused and data-oriented.
The ultimate product manager resume guide
Product managers are products – for you to successfully sell yourself as a product, you must signal your value, and resumes are one of the most effective ways to signal value. Most product manager resume guides tell you which buzzwords to use in your resume, or what spacing and font you should use, or what side projects you should tackle, or which classes you should take. Clement Kao disagrees with that approach, because he believes product management is fundamentally about processes and frameworks, not about outcomes. Clement walks you through the process of creating an effective resume that authentically displays your true value proposition as a product, so that you can demonstrate your unique value in a crowded marketplace of product talent.
What a good product manager resume looks like and how to write your own
One thing everybody hates about job hunting is writing and revamping your resume. Why? Because if you were given a shot you could very possibly DO the job. Now, you just have to highlight that fact on paper in the form of a resume. If you’re interested in the path to least resistance, it’s important to know that a good resume is not about you; it’s about the reader. The folks at Product Gym discuss what to think about in terms of end user experience and how to think of your resume like a Product.
5 Skills Product Managers Should Put on Their Resume
Lots of people want to be product managers these days which means more people are looking for product management jobs. The best product managers focus on results — value you delivered to customers, the company, and your team.
Brian de Haaff asked his team at Aha! (most of whom are product managers) to help product managers at all career stages create resumes that highlight the skills that really matter. As a result of those conversations, here are five focus areas that should be included on a strong product manager resume.
How freelancers should create LinkedIn profiles
Many product people have made a successful career as freelancers, going from one product gig to another. If you’re one of those freelancers, you may have found that it’s important to cultivate your network even when you’re in the midst of a fulfilling gig. LinkedIn serves as your ever-present resume to help clue people in on your experience and establish connections that can help you find your next gig.
The problem you face is that if you only have one Experience section for your freelance work, you might not reap the full benefits of LinkedIn search. However, if you list them all out individually, your LinkedIn profile is hard to read.
Joshua Waldman asked several professional services groups what they would recommend to freelancers for describing their experiences on Linked In. Here is the four step strategy they all seemed to agree on.