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How To Get Into Product Management

By: brunchwork

How To Get Into Product Management

How to get into product management?

We know why you’re asking the question! Product manager jobs rank fourth on Glassdoor’s list of best jobs in America. And that’s no surprise — these days, they’re one of the hottest careers in business. Product manager jobs have solid six figure earning potential and entail high-leverage responsibilities across many different business functions.

To put it simply, we’re living in the “golden age of product management.”

Product manager jobs are relatively new, but quickly growing. In fact, the increase in demand for product manager jobs in the US outpaces the increase in demand for overall roles by a factor of five.

So, what exactly do product manager jobs involve? Product managers (PMs) define and realize a product vision through a process of investigation, experimentation, and coordination.

Yet, despite the increase in demand for PMs, there remains a significant skill gap in the talent pool. With over 12,000 open PM jobs at the start of 2021, there’s plenty of opportunity for you to get into product management and land an amazing job.

Every product manager should have these five skills:

Product sense
Commercial sense
Technical sense
Analytical sense
Executional sense

If you’re interested in learning how to get into product management, keep scrolling for advice on:
• The product manager job search process
• Product manager resume and cover letter tips
• Product manager interview questions.

We’ve included more details about each of these skills in our guide:

How To Get Into Product Management.

All the frameworks and strategies you need to get a product manager job.

    How to Find Product Manager Jobs

    When embarking on a job search, the first step is to check for opportunities within your network. Once you’ve defined what types of product manager jobs you’re looking for, make inquiries among your peers, mentors, former coworkers, and bosses.

    Then, expand your search to:

    • Internal job boards: Does your current company have any product manager jobs open?
    AngelList: Great for researching and finding jobs at startups
    ProductHunt: Job board hosted by popular product-focused forum
    ProductHired: Product-specific job board, mostly tech companies
    HackerNews: Job postings for tech startups funded by Y Combinator
    LinkedIn: More commonly used by larger companies, recruiting agencies
    **Twitter:** There is an active product manager community on Twitter where you can often find open roles. A thoughtful DM can help get you noticed.

    Product Manager Resume and Cover Letter Tips

    Product manager jobs are competitive to land. It may take more than application submissions before you even receive your first interview. Assuming you know the fundamentals of crafting a resume and cover letter in general, here are a few tips to put together a product manager resume and cover letter that’ll get your application to the top of the pile.

    1. Customize each cover letter through a product management lens.

    Demonstrate your understanding of each company’s specific pain points. Many times, these pain points are not secrets. They’re part of broader trends in the industry — you can read about them on TechCrunch, HackerNews, Twitter, and other business and tech forums.

    Bonus points: Come up with your own unique ideas for how to solve a company’s pain points, and share them in the cover letter.

    2. Keep your career transition story succinct.

    Very few people start their careers in product management, meaning everyone will have some story to tell about why they decided to transition into product management from a different domain. Don’t feel the need to over explain yourself — just a few concise sentences will do.

    3. Clearly convey that you’re a product person on your resume and cover letter.
    Give strong proof points that, despite no formal experience as a product manager, you actively think like one — and enjoy it! You can do this by:

    • Linking to your online portfolio on your product manager resume.
    • Highlighting your side project in your cover letter.

    4. Highlight relevant experience in UX, business, and/or tech.

    If you already have significant professional experience in UX, business, or tech, call this out on your product manager resume. If you’re applying for a job at a tech company, highlight specific technical skills you have, such as programming language experience.

    Product Manager Interview Questions

    Before applying to jobs, set aside at least two to three weeks for interview practice. We highly suggest reading Cracking the PM Interview, which is considered a must-read book by product managers. It includes excellent example product manager interview questions from companies like Google, Facebook, and Amazon.

    In addition, join StellarPeers, a community consisting of aspiring and current product managers. On this platform, you can pair up and do mock interviews.

    Finally, do your homework on the company where you will be interviewing. “Study three to five products you like, study the company’s products,” advises Elena Chen, who transitioned from a role in finance to a product management job at Google. “You can tackle most interview questions by going through the exercise of writing down a product goal, users, main use cases, product strategy, personal story, competitors or substitutes, key metrics, and moonshot-ing ideas for each product.”

    There are generally four different types of product manager interview questions you’ll be asked: strategy, product development and design, behavioral, and analytical. With a strategy question, the goal is to explore your unique problem-solving process.

    For example, let’s say the interviewer asked you, “How would you approach the issue of a competitor undercutting our pricing?” To answer this, you should be methodical and thorough. Explain what influences your decision making and what data points you’d pay attention to.

    To learn more about the other three types of product manager interview questions, download our guide on how to get into product management.

    How To Get Into Product Management.

    All the frameworks and strategies you need to get a product manager job.


      Becoming a strong candidate for a product manager job won’t happen overnight. The best way to prepare yourself is to begin now. Soak in new knowledge and then put it to practice. Continuously look for real-world opportunities to build product skills, whether at your existing job or through side-projects.

      Getting into product management is both a skill set and a mindset — a culmination of experience and expertise that’ll ultimately help you land the job. Good luck!

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