Writing a resume skills section is often an afterthought for product manager candidates. Many focus on padding their professional experience with industry terms like product research or data analysis. However, if you see that the product management job you're considering requires specific skills that you have successfully used in your role, writing a resume skills section is a golden opportunity to showcase your qualifications for the job.
Should You Include a Skills Section in your Product Manager Resume
When considering writing a resume skills section, read the posting carefully and look for mention of job-specific skills in the requirements. If you don't see any or only a few are listed, do your own research for postings of product managers at other companies like the one you're considering. You will likely see requests for someone skilled in areas such as market and competitor analysis, data assessment, adaptability, management skills and product improvement. All these are specific to the role of a product manager. A recruiter wants to know that you have the creative and technical skills to take their product line to the next level and that you have a knack for understanding the changing needs of the customer in your market. Your work experience and education may convey that to an extent, but writing a resume skills section can quickly confirm your ability to help the company increase market share and product sales.
What to Include in a Product Manager Resume Skills Section
Include all skills you have that are frequently requested in job postings for product managers and particularly the one for which you're applying. There are three types of skills you might include as a product manager:
1. Job related: product positioning, constant creative vision for new products, analyzing competition
2. Transferable: market research, data analysis, staff management, professional writing skills
3. Adaptive: working well in teams, problem solving, analyzing
The hiring manager needs to see what your existing skills are and decide if it is worth the investment to teach you about their product lines and goals. The most important skills to include when writing a resume skills section for a product management role are the job-related and transferable skills; they will imply the adaptive skills without you having to list them. A concise list is more attention grabbing than a long, cluttered paragraph. Choose no fewer than 10 but no more than 15 skills that align with the job description to make your case. Select applicable skills such as "recognizing pertinent business risks and trends," "professional writing skills," "defining market potential" or "managing staff of team members for product design."
Example of a Great Product Manager Resume Skills Section
A good example of a great product manager resume skills section for a video game developer would communicate that the applicant can keep up with the needs of an increasingly demanding production schedule while satisfying the market for new and exciting products every quarter and making improvements to existing product lines. For example, an applicant might write:
- Expert in Lean and Six Sigma
- Skilled in multiple production scheduling software, including TACTIC, EnterpriseIQ and Simio
- Effective oral and written communicator; excellent professional writing skills
- Proficient in basic wire framing
- Excellent at identifying opportunities for process improvement and implementing change
- Train and develop product and design team leadership
- Design new product lines and sequels in anticipation of market demand
- Design multivariate tests for feature optimization
An effective product manager wears many hats as a scheduler, researcher, creative designer and sales forecaster. Writing a resume skills section will help you convey that you are an excellent fit. You may find the library of resources at LiveCareer useful in making that clear.