An effective management resume will demonstrate your leadership abilities and present you as the best fit to manage whatever that company needs managed.
Let that sink in for a minute.
Does your management resume accomplish this? For most of the clients I help to secure management roles either for the first time or with progressively advancing responsibilities, the answer is no. Most non-professional management resumes focus more on typical tasks that leadership strengths. They don’t tell the employer what problem is being solved by hiring this person.
The perfect management resume is immensely different than a professional resume that highlights job-related skills and experience. Management resumes have to be results-oriented and present you as not just a candidate but as a solution. I’ve translated my typical management resume writing process in a step-by-step guide for you to create the perfect management resume.
1 | Start With An Outline
Do you remember having to create an outline before writing a report in high school? Writing an outline helps you organize and prioritize your thoughts before diving in too deep. When I work on a new resume for a client, I start with an outline.
An outline will start with your name and contact information and list your employers, the position titles you have held with the dates you were employed, any degrees you’ve earned or are pursuing, any certifications you’ve earned, and any job-related training you’ve completed.
2 | Reflect On Your Leadership Experience
Whether you are applying for your first management position or are transitioning from a mid-manager into a senior leadership role, taking the time to reflect on all of your leadership experience is critical to creating the perfect management resume. Leadership experience starts with supervising, managing, or directing people or teams but covers a wide variety of job functions.
Leadership experience you should reflect on may include developing and managing budgets, creating and executing strategies (for sales tactics, marketing initiatives, business growth, etc.), or mentoring and training others. Managers will be expected to lead not only teams but business units or functions as well.
3 | Keep Your Perspective Employer-focused
An employer-focused resume is the key to landing any job. If you have never held a management role where you have been in charge of hiring others, this may be a difficult concept for you. As a manager, you have been assigned the task of hiring someone who will ultimately make your life easier by performing certain tasks so you don’t have to. When you’re looking at resumes to find someone to fill such a role, you don’t necessarily care what professional affiliations this person is a member of. You’re goal is to find the most qualified person for the job and the best fit for the company (because hiring a replacement will be time-consuming and more expensive).
When writing a management resume, you need to know exactly what role you need to fill and write your resume to broadcast, “I am the best manager for your team!” If your role is to manage a department and keep that department’s costs down, then your resume should be focused on your staff supervision/training and budget management experience.
4 | Summarize Your Responsibilities
Your resume should not bore the hiring manager with a long list or blocks of text describing your typical tasks. Whether your typical day-to-day was non-managerial or you have been a Director for the last ten years, you should summarize your responsibilities rather than focus on them.
Certain job titles will imply certain tasks. As a Manager, you’ve likely managed and trained staff in some capacity. You shouldn’t omit your responsibilities completely from your resume because these are also keywords that Applicant Tracking software will likely be looking for. By summarizing your responsibilities, you will optimize your resume with the keywords that rank you as a top candidate for your job target and keep the focus on more important details.
5 | Highlight Your Achievements
Those more important details are your achievements. Employers (especially the employers of management professionals) love measurable achievements. It’s important for the perfect management resume to indicate the size of the teams you lead, the budgets you managed, and the results you generated.
Your goal as a manager is to achieve certain business goals such as customer satisfaction rates and cost savings. Make these achievements easy to find on your resume by listing the top 2-4 in a bullet list beneath each position title you have held. This strategy will also show your progressive contributions over time.
6 | Identify Your Top Skills
What type of manager are you? Are you a hands-on or servant leader? Are you more strategic and excel at delegating? While a manager needs to wear many hats, there are just certain strengths that you should be leveraging on a daily basis to really thrive in your career. These are the traits that should be most valued by your employer, too.
When you identify and showcase your top skills in your resume, you make it easier to spot jobs that will be a great fit for you. You also make it easier for employers to select you for the right job. Your top skills may not be the best fit for the job you apply for, but the company may contact you for another opening that you would excel in. Some companies even create jobs for top talent like you!
7 | Create A Results-oriented Branding Statement
While you should highlight your achievements within your Experience section, you should capture the attention of employers with a results-oriented Branding Statement. A strong Branding Statement starts your resume and compels employers to keep reading by presenting you as the most qualified candidate for the job.
Your Branding Statement should introduce your qualifications, highlight your most valuable skills as pertains to the job target, and identify your value to an employer. For the perfect management resume, your Branding Statement should focus less on your experience and more on your success.
8 | Re-target Your Experience & Skills
You now have a solid foundation for your resume! For each job that you apply for, you should target your Experience section and the skills listed in your resume to reflect the terminology used in the job posting. This will ensure that your resume is ranked as a top match by the Applicant Tracking software you’re sending your management resume to.
Another area you should target each resume for if your Branding Statement. Your Branding Statement should highlight the most relevant successes you’ve had and the goals for that role. Re-targeting your management resume is a critical step that too many job seekers skip! Don’t make this fatal mistake.
Change your perspective and write your resume with the primary goals and concerns of senior leadership in mind.