Program managers are the overseers of the entire lifecycle of their programs. This is distinct from a product manager. The Program Manager Institute says the program manager can be thought of as a “super project manager” in that they manage all the projects with a business program. A winning Program Manager resume should highlight a candidate’s ability to work with various departments and lead strategic initiatives.
When you look for a job, your program is your entire job search. A big part of that is the resume writing project. Use our free resume examples and this guide full of resume tips help you to:
- Highlight the qualities that make you an excellent program manager
- Write a resume profile that will wow recruiters
- Turn your employment history section into a story of success
- Make a professional visual impression.
Our overall guide to resume writing goes into detail and offers resume examples to get you started, but here you will find information targeted to your chosen career as a program manager.
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What Does a Program Manager Do?
Program Managers are responsible for directing, coordinating, and improving the internal and external programs of an organization. They help to drive strategy and prepare and complete action plans to enhance productivity. Program Managers monitor the progress of various projects and work to ensure that milestones of projects and those relating to overall program development are met.
As a program manager, you will also be responsible for managing the following:
- The projects’ budgets
- Coordination of all projects within the program
- Communication with and among stakeholders
- The use of resources
- The main program documentation.
How to Write a Program Manager Resume
What should a program manager put on a resume? The basic structure does not differ from any other resume. It should follow a standard format with the following sections:
- Employment history
Your job is to convince hiring managers that you are the right person for the job. Being a program manager requires great attention to detail as well as deep knowledge of the types of program you are managing. That’s a lot to get across in your program manager resume. How do you do that? By detailing the strongest examples from your work history and using vivid descriptive language, without crossing the line into bragging territory.
Choosing the Best Resume Format for a Program Manager
Your position as a program manager requires great organization skills. Your program manager resume should echo those skills by being crispy organized with neat margins, legible fonts, and obvious section headings for easy reading.
Here are program manager resume design and formatting guidelines to follow to ensure you make a great first impression:
- Try choosing a san serif type such as Arial or Calibri for display text and a serif type such as Garamond or Constantia for your descriptions. Or try the opposite.
- Allow your contact information to stand out, but avoid a profile picture
- Proofread carefully to avoid an spelling, grammatical, or punctuation errors
- Create white space by varying your line lengths
- If you spill over to a second page, try not to break up sections
The first data a recruiter will look for are your contact information, your current and previous job titles and employers, and your section headings. If they can’t find those, you greatly decrease your chances of getting that coveted interview.
Check out resume.io’s professional layout templates for some customizable ideas. You may also peruse our Modern or Simple resume examples.
Profile Summary For a Program Manager Resume Example
The goal of the profile section is to show off both your professional achievements and your personality … all in 3-5 sentences! Describe one or two of your career highlights that best illustrate the skills you will need in your targeted job. Use a sentence or two to explain why your professional demeanor makes you a great fit for the job. Try to strike the right tone between being too modest and overplaying your hand.
Use the program manager resume example content below as a guide.
Innovative Program Manager with a proven track record of strategically guiding organizations to reach improvements and goals. Adept in overseeing the progress of operations, and monitoring cross-company projects. Experienced in working collaboratively with other department members and leading staff members. Skilled in evaluating project milestones and progress in a way that’s conducive to achieving results in a timely manner.
Employment history CV example: a ladder of success
The employment history section of your program manager resume takes up the bulk of your resume, unless you are new to the job market. The goal here is to show a pattern of growth in your career. That means spending more precious space on your most current one or two jobs -- the ones where you performed duties that make you a great candidate for the positions you are eyeing.
Use the CAR method in your bullet points to describe a Challenge, the Action you took to solve it, and your Results. Data and details make your case stronger.
The resume sample content below will give you a good starting point.
- Helped to build and lead teams of problem-solvers and managers.
- Provided comprehensive program management for the company and oversaw remedial designs.
- Prepared proposals and cost estimates for projects.
- Managed project contracts and schedules.
- Led a strong support team conducive to the company’s success.
Education Section Example
Many program managers have earned bachelor’s degrees in a business field or another area as some employers may require a degree in the specific field in which you work. Any degree you have is valuable and should be listed in your program manager resume. Any honors or distinctions should be noted here as well. If you hold a degree higher than a Bachelor Degree, you may leave out your High School.
Below is a resume example text of how you may choose to format your education section.
- 2008-2009 NYU, NYU, Master of Business Administration NY, NY
- 2004-2008 NYU, Bachelor of Business Administration NY, NY
Skills Section Example: You Have What It Takes
The skills section of your resume offers recruiters a quick way to see whether your abilities match the position they are trying to fill. You should offer a mix of hard, or technical and business, skills and soft skills. Choose a blend of these. Aim for higher level skills.
What soft competencies are highly desirable? IT Today lists communication, leadership, relationship building, negotiation, critical thinking, facilitation, mentoring, and an embrace of change.
Beat the ATS!
Analyze the job listing and make sure you match your attributes to the ones list. This keyword check will help you rank higher with the Applicant Tracking Systems that use algorithms to triage resumes.
Here is resume sample text you can draw from for your skills section.
- Project Management
- Problem Solving Skills
- Leadership Skills
- Program Management Techniques
- Time Management
- Analytical Thinking Skills
- Choose a crisply organized resume format
- Wow recruiters with the highlights of your career in your profile
- Choose achievements in your employment history section that illustrate that you are already doing the job
- Match your skills to the job listing to get you past the ATS.