There’s this firm, right, and it’s looking to hire various people but one particular group is proving a problem because they write rubbish applications. Apparently Project Managers are so bad at managing to project an image of themselves that the person hiring them was driven to write an article about how they should do it. Remarkably, just as with so very many other pieces of advice for job applicants, the answer is to write better.
You can do that. You’re a writer. We forget sometimes that what we do is hard and that many, many or even most people just can’t do it. So use your skill, use your talent, write your way into a job interview.
I also think that Product Managers need to write better resumes. Designers have, for the most part, figured out that it’s more about showing than telling. It’s easy to go to someone’s sites and portfolio to get a sense of what they’re about. Product Managers still appear to be stuck in the “Let me tell you how awesome I am” rut, though. This is a generalization, of course, but what I’m mostly seeing right now is resumes that excel at vagueness. It’s not uncommon to see a sentence like “Applied world-class methodologies to create a successful customer-centric product”, or some variation of that. What does that mean?
It’s great to see proof of success, yes — stats about conversion improvements, etc. are extremely useful. But hiring managers need more than that to assess Product Managers. We need to know how you think. We need to know how you approach problems, how you work, what methods you like and don’t like, and why. And for some reason most PMs I speak to seem surprised by those questions and have trouble answering them.