40 product manager resume keywords recruiters look for

Writing a killer product manager resume is challenging. Should you really include that work experience from five years ago? And does this bullet point capture what you achieved as neatly as it could?

A good way to make sure your pm resume gets selected by companies like Google, Facebook or Amazon is to focus on the skills they want their product managers to have. And to use keywords which signal that you possess these competences (e.g. Analysis skills => "Analysed large datasets to ...").

That approach will both force you to use relevant keywords in your resume and to write a balanced list of bullet points covering the full spectrum of PM skills. As mentioned in our pm resume and pm cover letter guides, recruiters essentially look for the following attributes in your application:

Technical skills
  • Strategy. Building products starts with identifying and prioritising business opportunities. Good PMs therefore need strategy skills to make product decisions.
  • UX / UI design. Once an opportunity has been validated the next step is to turn it into a user experience (UX) and a user interface (UI). Good PMs aren't necessarily former designers but they need to be able to contribute to that design phase.
  • Coding. Once the product is designed, the engineering team will start building it. Good PMs aren't necessarily former developers but they are technical enough to discuss how the product will be built with engineers. 
  • Digital marketing. The product is ready, it’s now time to launch it. Good PMs aren't necessarily former marketers but are familiar with a range of digital marketing practices and channels.
  • Data analytics. Once a product has been launched, PMs are in charge of assessing whether it's a success or not. They therefore need to be comfortable setting success metrics, analysing data and writing reports for the other project stakeholders.
Soft skills
  • Leadership. Shipping products requires a broad range of skills and teammates (e.g. designers, engineers, marketers, etc.). Good PMs are comfortable leading groups of people over which they don't have direct authority.
  • Communication. Product managers spend a good part of their day in meetings and writing emails / instant messages. Good PMs are strong communicators both verbally and in writing.
  • Organisation. Finally, PMs are usually somewhat involved in making sure the project they work on is delivered on time. Good organisational skills are therefore critical.

Your resume should therefore highlight that you possess these skills. And here is a list of keywords that will easily enable you to achieve this:

  • Strategy keywords
    • Developed a product vision and strategy
    • Created product personas
    • Built a product roadmap
    • Conducted a strategic review
    • Recommended strategic initiatives
    • Etc.
  • UX / UI design keywords
    • Designed initial wireframes
    • Gathered UX feedback from users
    • Researched competitors' UX
    • Provided feedback to design team
    • Contributed to the development of a design system
    • Etc.
  • Coding keywords
    • Wrote detailed user stories for engineering team
    • Made initial tech difficulty assessments for features
    • Negotiated timelines with Lead Engineer / CTO
    • Helped make engineering trade-off decisions
    • Built front-end / back-end features for app XYZ
    • Etc.
  • Digital marketing keywords
    • Created value props with marketing team
    • Provided feedback on copywriting
    • Coordinated launch with marketing team
    • Tested 5 acquisition channels
    • Scaled 1 channel to X number of users
    • Etc.
  • Data analysis keywords
    • Set key success metrics
    • Measured metrics' improvement
    • Performed analysis on large datasets
    • Generated actionable insights
    • Summarised data findings
    • Etc.
  • Leadership keywords
    • Lead a team
    • Aligned stakeholders
    • Managed a project
    • Took an initiative
    • Set a vision
    • Etc.
  • Communication keywords
    • Communicated next steps
    • Summarised a complex situation
    • Ran product meetings / reviews
    • Presented in front of large audience
    • Wrote product requirement documents
    • Etc.
  • Organisation keywords
    • Delivered a project
    • Ran 2-week agile sprints
    • Organised an event
    • Improved shipping cadence
    • Optimised a process
    • Etc.

You will probably have noticed that all the key phrases above start with an action verb. Using that format consistently for all your bullet points will make it easy for your resume screener to quickly identify that you have the right PM skills. And if you make your resume screener's life easy they are definitely more likely to give you an interview!

If you would like to see these different keywords in action you can sign up to our product manager resume and cover letter email course below. We analyse a resume which used that technique and got multiple interviews as part of the course.

Questions about PM resumes?

If you have any questions about product management resumes don't hesitate to ask them below and our team will answer them. All questions are good questions so go ahead!

Keep reading: product manager interview articles