You may have the passion and drive to be a great manager – but unless you can write a great resume showcasing your talents and demonstrating your experience, it’s unlikely you’ll get the chance to lead.
This article will explain how to craft the perfect manager resume and how to describe your management skills, even if you have no past management experience.
- What Should a Resume for a Managerial Position Convey?
- Where Do Many Management Resumes Fall Short?
- How to Write a Management Resume
- Final Thoughts
- Further Reading
What Should a Resume for a Managerial Position Convey?
With management resumes, you are required to show a lot of information to someone with a minimal attention span, statistically speaking at least. Studies suggest that hiring managers spend as little as six seconds scanning your resume.
Therefore, it must be concise and optimally structured, to capture and retain your reader’s attention.
Your resume needs to convey:
- Your understanding of the purpose of managers to organize, communicate, motivate, delegate, further the company's objectives, implement a commercial vision and ensure measurable targets are set and met.
- Your demonstrable management skills, such as your ability to lead a team, inspire your employees and coordinate workflow.
- Specific examples of achievements, particularly where you have taken an active role. Use action words to convey your achievements, for example, ‘organized’, ‘coached’, ‘oversaw’, ‘handled’, ‘delegated’ and ‘supervised’.
If you don’t have management experience, you need to demonstrate how your skills and experience are transferable to a management role. Read the section on ‘Showing off your Soft Skills’ below on how best to do this.
Where Do Many Management Resumes Fall Short?
1. Being Too Long or Wordy
Your resume should be concise and straightforward to read. Avoid using long paragraphs or including irrelevant information. For example, hobbies that do not demonstrate transferable management skills.
2. Failing to Provide Examples of Measurable Achievements
The best management resumes are packed full of facts and figures to evidence your skills and experience as a manager.
Consider the following statement:
- ‘I oversaw project budgets for my team.’
This is vague and unimpressive.
Now consider this statement:
- ‘I managed a team of forty people and oversaw project budgets of up to $2 million.’
By simply adding figures, this candidate suddenly appears much more competent.
3. Failure to Tailor the Resume to the Job Application
Management can make or break the success of a company. Therefore, your employer wants to know what you can do for the company and how you can contribute to its success.
Take the time to research the company before writing your resume. Check its website and review the job description carefully; get a feel for the company’s commercial objectives, values and culture, and consider how your skills and experience can contribute towards its future success.
For example, if a company is dedicated to providing excellent customer service, write about skills and achievements related to that.
How to Write a Management Resume
Many candidates structure their resumes chronologically, and while this can be a neat way to organize your work history and education, key skills or achievements can become buried.
On the other hand, some candidates focus their resume on skills and achievements, with no chronological order to their work history. This is called a functional resume.
For management positions, a combination of both resume styles is generally an excellent way to prioritize your skills and achievements, without sacrificing the clarity of a chronological structure.
A possible structure is as follows:
- Name and contact information
- Resume objective or summary, and list of key skills
- Relevant certifications and qualifications
- Reverse chronological work history, each with its own ‘key achievements’ section
2. Manager Resume Objective/Summary
Start your resume strongly with a punchy objective or summary.
A resume objective is a short paragraph outlining your goals and your reasons for applying for the position. These are generally best suited to candidates looking to change careers or enter a leadership role for the first time.
When writing a resume objective, remember to include management-related examples of your experience to boost your credibility.
‘Digital marketing professional with over six years’ experience, looking to transfer my supervision and administration skills to a challenging management position. Past experience includes providing training on digital marketing strategies to employees at [company] and coordinating with three coworkers to produce a series of Twitter stories which boosted traffic to our client’s website by 65%.
- Agency experience delivering integrated digital marketing campaigns
- Managing output across PPC, social media and display advertising
- Using Google Analytics to monitor site performance.
- Managing marketing budgets in line with sales targets and performance
- Supervising and coordinating content auditing’
Conversely, a resume summary is a short paragraph outlining your management style and how it will benefit the company. It is best suited to seasoned managers, and needs to include strong examples of management experience.
‘Accomplished management executive with a proven track record of boosting sales and implementing adaptable sales strategies. In 2018, I led a team of 12 to record-breaking sales of £2.4 million, representing 130% of our annual target.
- Developing and growing revenues
- Setting and managing performance criteria
- Daily motivation, mentoring and coaching of sales teams
- Supervisory management
- Identifying sales opportunities, generating leads and establishing sales management processes’
As you can see from the above examples, your resume objective or summary should be supplemented with a key skills section that is tailored to the position. Use your company research and the job description to evaluate which of your skills are most applicable to the role.
3. Certifications and Qualifications
When considering your resume, the hiring manager will be scanning for required information such as specific management certifications. If your certifications are buried within your education section, they might not get found.
Therefore, make your qualifications easy to find by creating a specific certifications section. For example:
- Certified Professional Sales Person: NASP
- Certified Sales Executive: SMEI’
4. Showing off Your Soft Skills
Your work history should be listed in reverse chronological order and be focused on demonstrating your soft skills through specific experience and accomplishments.
Relevant soft skills for managers include:
- Time management
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
- Interpersonal skills
Before writing your work history, make a list of those soft skills that are most relevant to your industry. Even if you have no direct management experience in your chosen industry, identify the skills required and use your own experience to demonstrate that you possess those skills.
For example, below are some vital skills for different industries:
Sales Manager Skills:
- Interpersonal skills
Operations Manager Skills:
- Decision making
- Problem solving
- Critical thinking
DevOps Manager Skills:
- Problem solving
If you’re stuck for skills to focus on, refer back to the job description, which will list key specifications for candidates.
Below is an example of how to demonstrate your skills through your experience:
‘Assistant Manager at [fast food outlet]:
Motivating, coaching and guiding a team of four to six employees, delivering excellent customer service, and being responsible for the profitability of the store.
- Developed and implemented a customer feedback system through which 96% of our customers rated our service 10/10.
- Using feedback from the system, introduced a ‘condiment counter’ for faster service; a success which was subsequently adopted by our district manager across all stores.
- Facilitated behavioral-based coaching for employees to boost morale and increase productivity.
- Oversaw an increase in revenue of 35% over three years.’
This example demonstrates soft skills such as leadership, organization, motivation and problem solving, all vital skills for a manager in the food industry.
When it comes to management positions, experience is more important than education. However, that is not to say that your education is irrelevant. You can also use experience gained through your education to bolster your resume.
‘BS in Business Information Systems – University of Pittsburgh (2011–2015):
- Experience with modern business models and using technological innovation to develop competitive advantage and business strategy.
- Was in the top 10% in my project management course.
- Was treasurer for the “Women in Business” club from 2014-2015.’
Remember these key points, and you should be good to to write a great resume for a management role:
- Understand what your resume needs to convey. You need to show the company what you can do for them as a manager and how you can further their commercial objectives.
- Structure your resume clearly in reverse-chronological order but prioritize your relevant skills and experience.
- Include a strong resume objective or summary and follow it up with a list of your most applicable skills.
- Include a specific certifications section to ensure any required qualifications are clearly visible to your reader.
- When outlining your work history, evaluate the essential soft skills required by the role and demonstrate your possession of those skills through key accomplishments. Remember to back up your accomplishments with facts and figures to boost your credibility.
- Save your education until the end but don’t miss the opportunity to convey your educational accomplishments.
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