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.
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:
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.
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.
The best management resumes are packed full of facts and figures to evidence your skills and experience as a manager.
Consider the following statement:
This is vague and unimpressive.
Now consider this statement:
By simply adding figures, this candidate suddenly appears much more competent.
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.
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:
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%.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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):
Remember these key points, and you should be good to to write a great resume for a management role:
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