How to Create a KickAss Product Management CV?

Do you have a kickass Product Management CV?

At our last Product Talk, we were lucky enough to get not only a presentation, but also listen to Anthony’s first-hand advice on creating a new KickAss Product Management CV.

Anthony Sochan has spent approximately fifteen thousand hours recruiting. In those fifteen thousand hours, he’s looked at over fifty thousand CV’s. Since 2010 alone, a thousand of those CV’s belong to Product Managers. He has years of experience in Product Management teams, recruiting with and working with over thirty local businesses and international companies, and has a personal interest in start-ups. That said, Anthony’s knowledge is undoubtedly an awesome resource to use when building your next Product Management CV.

Here’s what he had to say…

· Before you begin building your CV, you must first question who your audience is. Try to understand who these potential audience members might be because once you’ve captured their attention, your CV gets noticed. Furthermore, your CV is not just going to be looked at by one single individual. It needs to have the flexibility that can capture multiple personalities.

For example, you go to Seek and find a job you like. Once you’ve applied for that job, your CV goes into a recruiting system list where it sits in purgatory and it feels like nothing happens for you. Nothing happens because your CV is among hundreds and possibly thousands of other documents just like it. Eventually, it will go through a typical order of people between the moment you’ve applied for the job and the moment you’re hopefully asked to interview. Because your CV will go through this stage, you need to build a single CV to effectively engage three different personas. In this scenario, these three personas are:

1. The Recruitment Consultant
2. Human Resources Manager
3. The Hiring Manager.

· A CV is about getting noticed, but a recruiter is likely to have hundreds of CV’s and maybe a few hours to go through them. This means that your CV will have less than 10 seconds to get noticed. The goal is to get someone engaged in your CV immediately! Think of it as marketing document and not a biography.

So how do you stand out among the rest? The answer is simple: get yourself noticed!

In order to get yourself noticed, be reflective of who you are and all that you have accomplished. The first page needs to state: exactly who you are, what you do, and how well you do it. Your audience should have a basic understanding of the investment you have in your work. Details can be added on the following pages- where attributes like your passion, discipline, ideas and tenacity can be exemplified by the impact and measures of successes. Although you want to keep your CV short and to the point, you can still engage your audience by balancing this approach with some flavour. If you’ve kept your audience engaged for longer than 10 seconds, they’ll be able to note how driven you are. If people can see drive, they are more likely to give chances.

· It seems like there’s an endless list of factors to consider when constructing your CV. Your language needs to be precise, you font needs to be attractive, your wording needs to be appropriate, and that’s just getting your checklist started. However- and perhaps more importantly- it’s crucial to instead remember that a CV must be easy to digest, easy to extract information from, include a list of achievements and be considerable in length. You can tweak, add and delete later.

· Remember: a CV will not get you the job, just the interview.

· Do your research about the position and company you are applying for.

· Have the mindset of an interview process that allows your ability and capability to shine over your years of experience.

· The discipline of a Product Manager is always changing and evolving, so be able to illustrate your professional development through this.

Anthony Sochan’s rules regarding Product CV’s:

Rule #1: PM’s make shit happen, so demonstrate that in the CV.
Rule #2: PM’s often have lots of skills, so don’t be afraid to show them off.
Rule #3: Don’t be too serious, let a bit of personality shine!

Anthony Sochan’s Ten General Rules to Get Noticed

1. Less than 10 years of experience: 2-3 pages
2. More than 10 years of experience: 3-4 pages
3. Give yourself a title
4. All personal details (name, address, LlinkedIn, etc)
5. Page one summarises who you are
6. Pages two through four expands on your experience and credentials
7. Show how you develop your craft
8. Love what you do and do what you love – passion is everything!
9. Keep it simple
10. Focus on the great things you have done