Edited By: Christa Reed
Content Creator and Career Writing Editor
A program manager is a professional who coordinates initiatives across a company or department. Because these roles are cross-functional, they tend to oversee and collaborate with numerous stakeholders and employees with different backgrounds. With so much variety in program management positions, along with the diverse group of people program managers are constantly working with, crafting a program manager resume can require careful planning and consideration.
Before we begin creating a program manager resume, it is important to create an outline. Having the framework for a well-formatted resume allows you to just fill in the information and make the resume creation process that much smoother.
HEADER First name, last name Email Address | Mailing Address | Phone Number | Linkedin URL SUMMARY OR OBJECTIVE If you are new to the field, you need to write an objective for your program manager resume that says what you want to get out of the role and why you’d be a good fit, despite less prior experience. If you are a more senior candidate, you’d write a summary for your program manager resume that says what you’ve done in the past and how that prepares you for this role. Either one should be 2-4 sentences at the most.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY Most Recent Job Title Organization Name Start Date - End Date
Program Manager Resume Examples
Once you’ve created program manager resume templates, you’re on to the next step – filling it in. But before diving into tips to maximize the info on your resume, let’s take a look at a few good program manager resume samples.
Example resume for entry level program manager
Jane Smith firstname.lastname@example.org | 456 Main Street, New York, NY. | 987-654-3210 Recent college graduate with internship experience in program management on teams focused on IT, operations, and go-to-market strategy. Seeking an entry-level program manager role with the opportunity to grow internally. Experienced in project coordination of a research team and leading a team as captain of the varsity soccer team.
EDUCATION AND CERTIFICATES University of Southern California Bachelor of Arts in Economic Studies September 2016 - May 2020 GPA 4.0
Why this program manager sample resume works:
When writing a resume for an entry-level program manager position, you want to focus on a program manager skills resume. Since you have limited full-time experience, focus on the skills you have gleaned from courses, certifications, and internships. When your experiences aren’t directly in the field, use the objective section to highlight how your skills translate. For example, being the captain of a sports team is similar to leading a group in a project at a job. Additionally, when you’re newly out of college, a GPA can be appropriate on a resume. However, it is not necessary or recommended after you’ve been in the workforce.
Example resume for senior-level program manager
Time Brown email@example.com | 456 Main Street, San Francisco, CA | 192-837-6546 Program manager with 6 years experience at high-performing tech companies. Specialize in optimizing communications processes to cut back on time spent on meetings and increase team output. Key accomplishments in go-to-market launch of key mobile features, managing initiatives across marketing, engineering, and product management teams.
EMPLOYMENT HISTORY Technical Project Manager Google May 2019 - Present
Why this sample program manager resume works:
Given that this person is applying for a more senior role, the resume focuses on prior employment more heavily than education. At this point in one’s career, it isn’t necessary to dig into extracurriculars from your college days. Instead, focus more heavily on your project management experience. Include metrics where possible
- how much of a budget did you manage
- how many people did you oversee
- what was the return on investment (ROI)
Lastly, references should always be someone who worked closely with you. It is preferable to use someone who was your manager, so they can speak in-depth to your work quality.
Let’s take a look at some of the common skills that hiring managers look for when adding a program manager to their team. While these are good skills to add to a resume, be sure these skills actually reflect your expertise. Also, before you add them to your resume, be sure that it is something the hiring manager is actually looking for.
Identify and Manage Stakeholders
This involves making sure all the right people are involved in different stages of a project. The program manager ensures people know their role. This prevents bringing in too many people and wasting resources.
At minimum, competitive candidates must understand technical concepts. Even having knowledge of project and product management processes and software is beneficial. Researching job descriptions will give you a good idea of some technical skills you could be building while job searching.
A program manager needs to be able to communicate with the stakeholders directly involved in a given project. Communication comes in the form of
- writing skills
- presentation skills
- crafting audience-specific messages
- digital communication (etc.)
- oral communication
Data analysis skills are necessary to be able to understand the costs of a project and the return on investment. This doesn’t always mean you need to be a statistician. However, you need to be able to understand what challenges data can solve and when to use data.
Even if a program manager doesn’t have direct reports, they have to manage project teams. Being able to identify strengths in individuals and build teams that can work together well is critical.
Key Certifications: Project Management Professional
Many people ask — what is the difference between program management and project management? At its core, a program manager will typically be managing multiple projects within one program. Given the numerous projects that can take place, a program manager needs to think strategically about resource management, project scoping, and stakeholder management. Meanwhile a project manager thinks more technically about an individual project at hand.
Given that a program manager is overseeing interconnected projects, a certification in project management is a great thing to show on your resume. There are different types of project management certifications. One of the most popular certifications is called a Lean Six Sigma. Lean Six Sigma relies on collaboration to improve performance – finding ways to remove waste and reduce variability in processes.
Having a certification like this gives you a common language to speak to recruiters and hiring managers about. A good candidate may have a preference for a particular project management style. He or she will also be able to speak about ways they’ve used that style.
With different types of program management roles, you can expect to turn your one resume into multiple program manager resumes to fit multiple applications. So, here are different types of program management positions, in which you would have to adjust your resume.
A technical program manager resume needs to highlight more hard skills. Look to the job description to see what systems and softwares the team already uses and highlight what systems you have experience using in your past roles.
An IT Program Manager resume should highlight the various technical systems you’ve been responsible for — Salesforce, accounting ERPs, JIRA, etc. A job description will often speak to the IT systems a given role will interact with, so if you’ve worked with or been certified in a given program, be sure to include it.
This is a growing field as more businesses build Diversity and Inclusion programs into their companies. As a result, many competitive candidates may not have prior job experience that directly matches this role. So, translating your past experiences to the current role will be key.
There are many stakeholders in recruiting, like the hiring managers, the candidates, the finance team, and the partners. Consider including metrics like time-to-hire in your resume and what departments you have a history of hiring for, like if you specialize in recruiting software engineers.
More and more companies are building in-house media and content teams rather than relying on PR. Managing these programs involves stakeholders such as freelance writers, designers, SEO specialists, subject matter experts, and occasionally content agencies. This takes a creative approach, so proving your success with metrics takes on added value when the best approach is subjective.
Remember, program manager resumes will likely be tailored to the position described in the job description. At larger companies, such as Meta, they could be hiring program managers for very niche departments. However, small companies may need program managers who are a jack-of-all-trades. So be sure your resume expresses the needs of the company.
You’ve written a great resume for program managers. Now you need to share it. The best candidates don’t just passively submit their resumes to roles they find online. They share them with recruiters or mentors, often via Linkedin.
If you’re looking to build a network, start by searching Linkedin for people with the same title you are aiming for. It’s also smart to pursue loose connections — you went to the same college, you have a mutual connection, or maybe you volunteer with the same organization. Send them a message and ask for a short call to learn more about their role and what makes them successful. Then, at the end of the call, share your resume and ask for them to keep you in mind if they hear of open roles. Many companies have referral programs that incentivize team members to recommend individuals for roles, so creating connections in your field is extremely beneficial.
Then, start posting on Linkedin or contributing to other communities with people in program management. Talk about great projects you’ve worked on, lessons you’ve learned, and other related topics that show your passion for the field.
With a great resume and a growing network, you’ll find a perfect role in no time.