How to Use Product Manager Resume Keywords to Make Your Application Stand Out

product manager resume keywords

In 2021, most Product Manager recruiters are still in work from home positions. They are not printing out piles of resumes and reviewing them with their red pen. Instead, they are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to review resumes, check for Product Manager resume keywords, and get the application through quickly. 

But you need to find a way to include Product Manager resume keywords without making your application look disingenuine. This is where the skills chart comes in. Dedicating your resume keywords to a skills chart is the key to getting your Product Manager resume through the ATS and into the hands of potential employers.

Should You Use a Skills Charts for Your Resume Keywords?

When you optimize your resume for keywords, you might be tempted to group them into a long bulleted list of hard and soft skills. The skills chart is the alternative to this, and by far the better option.

The skills chart is debatably the most important component of your Product Manager resume. It’s the piece of your resume that recruiters and their applicant tracking systems are paying the most attention to. Essentially, the skills chart takes all your relevant hard skills and collects them into a formatted, easy to read chart the top of your resume.

It clearly highlights the product management skills on your resume so the ATS can read them and mark you as an eligible candidate for the Product Manager position. If your skills chart does not pass the ATS test, you may miss out on an interview.

Where Should You Place Your Product Manager Resume Keywords?

You want your relevant keywords to all be accounted for in your skills chart, and you want your skills chart to stand out! Placing the skills chart at the top of your Product Manager resume is crucial. Make sure that it is centered, not aligned to the left or right. The ATS may not catch every word that is buried in your job history, but it will catch every word on your skills chart when it is properly placed.

Your skills chart should be the center of attention and jam-packed with relevant product management skills. This will tell the ATS that those skills are what you have the most experience with, and what you’ve experienced most recently. The top center of your resume is also an ideal position for recruiters. The average recruiter spends around 6 seconds on your resume. You want the skills chart to be the first thing they see, because using the right resume keywords shows them immediately that you’re a qualified candidate.

What Keywords to Include in your Skills Chart

Before you start stuffing your skills chart with every skill mentioned in the job description, take note: anything you include in your skills chart is fair game to be brought up in your interview. Product Manager resume keywords are great for getting past the ATS, but they also need to be relevant to your background, your experience, and what you honestly feel you bring to the table as a Product Manager. Be ready for your interviewer to ask about your proficiency level with the product management keywords you’ve used in your skills chart.

This isn’t to say you need to be an expert at everything you include in your resume — you simply need to be confident that you can speak on the key phrases you’ve listed. Here are key tips to keep in mind when choosing your resume keywords:

  • Are they relevant to product management?
  • Can you talk about them in an interview?
  • Is it a hard skill or a soft skill? Remember to dedicate your skills chart to hard skills.
  • Are you being honest? Positioning your background is one thing; lying on your resume is another.

10 Examples of Product Manager Resume Keywords

Do any of these resume keywords relate to your transferrable experience? Think about how you might talk about these in an interview:

  1. Agile
  2. User Research
  3. Python
  4. SQL
  5. Google Analytics
  6. JIRA
  7. A/B Testing
  8. Wireframe
  9. Feature Prioritization
  10. Roadmapping

How to Talk About Product Manager Resume Keywords

Maybe you’re just getting into product management and fear that you don’t have enough relevant skills to fill your skills chart, let alone talk about them in an interview. Don’t stress.

Whether your past experience was in a product management role or not, the skills you used in your previous position still apply here. You may be coming from marketing, engineering, sales, finance, QA — we’ve seen it all. And we know that you developed skills that translate to product management. To decide what Product Manager resume keywords to include in your skill chart and prepare how you’ll address them in an interview, consider three simple questions:

  1. What skill are you genuinely hoping to bring to the role you’re interviewing for?
  2. How did you use this skill in your previous or current role?
  3. How did you develop this skill? (Did you learn it on your own, or did you undergo formal training? Both are impressive and will distinguish you in an interview.)

You’ll need to prepare for four rounds of interviews and aim to convert them into a final offer: you’ve got to keep the conversations interesting. Product Manager resume keywords that you can actually walk an interviewer through and provide insight on will make for a profound and compelling interview. Having a story or an interview response in mind when you write your resume and update your skills chart will help you through the gruelling hiring process.

What If I Don’t Have Enough Skills?

It’s easy to get intimidated when you look at Product Manager resume templates and see gigantic skills charts jam-packed with technical skills. The truth is, technical skills are only a small fraction of what you’ll need under your belt as a Product Manager just starting out. What can you do about not having enough skills? You can always go ahead and learn them.

In this video we cover 29 skills to crush it as a Product Manager. And guess what? These skills are all absolutely learnable. 

But based upon your background, there are probably certain skills that you want to go ahead and highlight. Of the 29 in the above video for example, focus on what skills are the most urgent or relevant in your own situation right now. Then, ask yourself, where do you want to end up? That will determine what skillset area you should look at developing. Everything else can go in your backlog.

Pick Your Product Manager Resume Keywords

Need some more advice on building your skills chart and refining what Product Manager resume keywords to include? Schedule a free call with one of our career coaches and we can figure it out together.

We will help you determine how to best highlight the skills you do have and provide you with the resources to develop the skills you are missing. You do not need previous experience as a Product Manager to break into this field. The skills chart is intended to help you land more Product Manager interviews.

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