IT Role-in-Review - Product Manager
Learn about the top skills and competencies companies look for when searching for a Product Manager.
Are you a seasoned IT Product Manager struggling with streamlining and optimizing your career documents (Resume, Cover Letter, LinkedIn Profile)? Working on transitioning into IT or already in IT but working on transitioning into a different role? Interested in Product management as a career path but not sure how to effectively communicate transferable experience and skills in a way that fits entry-level product management roles?
This month’s Role-In-Review article focuses on the Product Manager role. Regardless of your experience level, continue reading to learn what companies look for when searching for a Product Manager, including:
Use these insights and examples provided to optimize your career documents.
⇒ Role Description: what would a Product Manager normally do? How do they support technology projects and what value do they create?
Product management attracts a particular type of individual with the ability to turn a theoretical idea into an actual product. It’s the art and science of guiding a product through the entire product life cycle—from conception and planning to delivery, launch, and beyond. There is no one version of a product manager profile that fits all. This role can vary from one industry to another, and even within the IT industry. For example, a Product Manager of infrastructure solutions has very different goals and involve unique groups of people from that of a Product Manager for software products. Furthermore, each category listed above can be broken down further to different areas of product management specialty such as cyber security, business applications and SaaS solutions. Therefore, the role relies on someone with a diverse mix of hard and soft skills—many of which can be transferred from other fields. For example, a successful Product Manager has excellent verbal and written communication skills, has a knack for strategic thinking, is a strong motivator and an effective critical thinker.
The following is a general role description of a product manager:
IT Product Managers understand market trends, customer needs and pain points. They influence a wide range of stakeholders and drive technology teams to design and implement innovative solutions that create value. Product managers manage complex projects and processes, define success metrics for a product, and work with customers and business teams to define strategy / product roadmap, and drive technology teams through the product lifecycle to design, develop and launch solutions that meet customer needs and support business objectives.
Your introduction, throughout all of your career documents, should demonstrate how you master the core expectations of a product manager and what unique value you are able to create for the hiring company. For more tips on optimizing your introduction, visit our previous post on how to create an effective IT professional profile introduction (Resume and LinkedIn).
⇒ What are the business / technology areas and type of projects a Product Manager can support? The following are just a few high demand specialty areas product managers we have worked with in 2023 possess.
⇒ What are the top competencies hiring companies look for? At IT Career Transformation, we develop a Target Role Analysis for our clients’ targeted IT roles to identify the appropriate keywords and competencies. It is essential that keywords and core competencies are included as many times as possible throughout all career documents. You can include these in your Introduction, Key Areas of Expertise / Competencies and Professional Experience sections. This highlights what sets you apart from other candidates and the unique value you can bring to hiring companies. Here are the top ten core competencies hiring companies look for in a Product Manager:
Specific areas of specialty depend on the hiring company’s particular industry and technology environments. Your career documents should contain specialties you possess and are relevant to your target role. Here are some examples of product management specialty areas in high demand:
⇒ Don’t forget to include your soft skills. In today’s competitive job market, companies are looking for the right soft skills in all IT roles. It is essential to include those interpersonal / leadership skills in which you excel throughout all of your career documents. Again, the more often they are included, the better your chances of standing out from the crowd. Include terminology such as relationship development / management, adaptable and self-confidence. Here are a few more examples of soft skills recruiters and hiring managers look for in a Product Manager:
⇒ What type of desired capabilities, professional experience and accomplishments are hiring companies looking for when searching for a Product Manager. Most often, these are included in the “Responsibilities” or “What you will do” sections of the job description. Here are few examples of Product Manager desired capabilities in high demand:
It is essential to write accomplishment statements in a form of “action—impact—results,” highlighting the value you created to your employer or customers, ideally providing tangible results (numbers) from your projects. Here is an example of an optimized accomplishment statement.
Partnered with strategic clients and business stakeholders to define strategy and roadmap for a SaaS consumer analytics product. Led design, development, testing, deployment and product launch, enabling $10MM increase in annual revenue.
⇒ What are the technical skills hiring companies look for when searching for a Product Manager? This depends on the business, technology stack and development environment (Agile / Waterfall) the hiring company uses. Here are some of the technical skills often desired for a Product Manager:
Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Visio), Business / Collaboration Applications such as Microsoft Teams, Slack, Confluence and JIRA.
We hope this review provides useful recommendations for you to use and share with your friends when optimizing career documents. Visit our Contact page and sign up to receive additional career tips.
IT Career Transformation is devoted to helping IT professionals and leaders advance their career. We work with IT professionals from entry-level to senior management and all types of IT roles to create the Optimum IT Professional Resume, Cover Letter and LinkedIn Profile, optimized with keywords relevant to the target IT role and specialty areas. We provide specialized career development services that help IT professionals accelerate their job search.
Do you need help optimizing your resume to your target IT role?
Visit us at https://www.itcareertransformation.com/ for more information and to schedule your complimentary initial consultation.