General Manager Resume Examples + Expert Tips [2020 advice]

General Manager Resume Examples + Expert Tips [2020 advice]

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General Manager Resume Examples + Expert Tips [2020 advice]

Volen Vulkov Avatar
Volen Vulkov
8 minute read
Updated on 2020-07-07

General Manager Resume Samples: Tips, Examples & How-To Guide

When a potential employer looks at your general manager resume, they may be thinking two completely opposite thoughts.

Thought #1: They might handle our business.

Thought #2: Will this one bring us closer to bankruptcy?

There are thousands of #2 general managers resume, and employers won’t think twice before throwing them out.

Why? Because the stakes in hiring a general manager are high.

Hire an incompetent frontline employee, and you’ll get a few months of salaries wasted at max.

Hire an incompetent general manager and you might spend months trying to fix your whole customer pipeline.

Your general manager resume should not only prove you as an efficient leader, but also cater to the particular needs of the company you’re applying at.

Finally, it should be written that way so that recruiters won’t think much. They’ll just pick up a phone and call you.

How do you write such a general manager resume? Tune in.

In this General Manager resume guide you will learn:

  • How to make your General Manager resume stand out of competition
  • How to properly structure your resume sections and what is the best layout to highlight your strengths
  • Tips to get the most out of every General Manager resume section, including Summary, Experience, and Skill sections, among others
  • What recruiters and potential employers want to see in your General Manager resume
  • How to land more interviews by properly tailoring your resume to the specific position you’re applying for

General Manager resume example

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How to write a General Manager Resume

Frankly speaking, General Manager is a pretty vague title. There are many general manager positions out there and they all are different in terms of responsibilities, working environment, scale, and so on.

What a general manager does in one company may be an equivalent of what a store manager does in another.

If you want to write a general manager resume that lands you a job, your resume has to cater to the specific needs of a company, and there are three things you should have in mind:

  • Industry: a general manager in a hotel and a general manager of a convenience store chain have something in common, but are different at large.
  • Company size: in a small restaurant general manager is typically a jack of all trades, whereas in larger companies a set of responsibilities is more defined.
  • Company specifics: even two convenience store chains might be looking for different qualities in potential candidates for a general manager position because of their inner structure

In order to drastically improve your chance of landing an interview, you have to carefully study the requirements of a company and then frame every section of your general manager resume accordingly.

So we’ll go through every section step-by-step and give you tips on how to properly write them and make your resume stand out among hundreds of candidates.

The Most Impactful Sections of General Manager Resume

  • Properly titled Header section with link to your business profile
  • Concise and focused on results Summary section relevant to the position
  • Experience Section that focuses on your experience in the industry or management
  • Skills section with your skills put into work-related scenarios for better engagement
  • Education & Certifications sections
  • Optional Custom sections

What Recruiters Want to See In Your General Manager Resume?

  • If you know the difference between working in a small company or enterprise
  • If you have the skillset to achieve determined business goals
  • If you are flexible and can adapt to the fast-paced working environment
  • If you can work with people, organize, train, and motivate them to do their best job
  • If you are responsible for the results that your potential employer expects from you

How to Get the Most Value of Your General Manager Resume Header

As already mentioned, general managers can be titled differently in various companies, so when you’re looking for a job, sometimes the position can be titled differently.

In the hotel industry, a general manager can be titled as “Hotel Manager”, whereas in manufacturing it can be a “Plant Manager” and so on.

The safest course is, surely, to use the same title in your application as the job you’re applying for, however there might be exceptions.

If all your previous positions are tied to, say restaurant management, and you’re applying for a hotel management position, you might go for a broad “General Manager” instead of a specific “Hotel Manager” title even if the position is titled that way.

Or even drop the title from the header section altogether, because otherwise it may seem like you’re tailoring your resume into something that it’s not, and that may cause a bad impression.

Same goes for a position that includes several titles, e.g. “General Manager / Plant Manager / Coordinator”. If you replicate this in your resume it will seem that you’re trying way too hard.

You’ll have other sections to prove that you’re perfect for the role in a more natural way.

Remember that you need the Header section not only for the title.

Including links to your developed LinkedIn profile can hint to potential employees at your ability to connect with people and build professional relationships, and those skills are important for any GM hiree out there. 2 General Manager resume header examples

Here’s an example of a poorly written Header section that tries too hard and lacks business profiles and contact info.

Andrew White
General Manager / Plant Manager / Lean Production Manager
Phoenix, Arizona
WRONG

And here’s an example of a Header section with all the necessary information:

Andrew White
+359 88 888 8888
help@enhancv.com
https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-burm-2a75a584/
Phoenix, Arizona
RIGHT
PRO TIPSome employees are looking for an assistant general manager, so it might be a good idea to use this title if you’re applying for the assistant’s job and not “general manager”.

How to Write General Manager Summary to Draw Recruiter’s Attention

Summary section is the first major point of relevance for your general manager resume, and this is where your potential employer can start making certain assumptions whether you’re fit or not.

So how do you write a perfect summary for your general manager resume?

There are three important points that make all the difference between a good and a bad summary section:

  • It demonstrates relevant experience
  • It features relevant achievements
  • It’s short and concise

If your summary doesn’t provide relevant experience to the particular position, then you might be disregarded as a candidate no matter how good that mentioned experience is. If you're applying for a position at a large company where you’ll be managing several business units in a region, then being a general manager of a single hotel for several years is good, but not what the company is looking for. Both positions require different skillset.

At the same time, if you’re applying for a hotel general manager position, having several years in the industry as a waiter is a great addition to your resume, but not for the Summary section.

Good example: 5 years in a hotel industry management.

Bad example: 5 years as a waiter in a hotel industry.

If your achievements are bleak or irrelevant to the job, they won’t help you get to the interview.

Good example: for three years has been a general manager in a 2-star michelin restaurant chain

Bad example: (applying for position in manufacturing): for three years has been a general manager in a 2-star michelin restaurant chain

Instead, frame your experience to the particular position, omitting irrelevant details and focusing on important managerial processes.  

In the above case, instead of writing that you were a manager at a top-gun restaurant, write that you managed a staff of 40+ members and supervised the launch and the growth of two additional business units.

Finally, keep your summary short.

If it’s too long, recruiters might skip directly to Experience or Skill sections, and then you’re losing a precious opportunity to demonstrate your value. Also it’s generally not good when employers skip parts of your resume.

2 General Manager Resume Summary Examples

Here’s an example of a vague and needlessly long general manager resume summary that doesn’t bring any value into the conversation with your recruiter:

Summary
As a general manager with 9 years of experience I led the team to successfully reach annual business goals, trained staff, and created unique opportunities for customer management improvement. I also planned and executed numerous marketing events, and improved reporting policies. Also have experience working as a barista, waiter, hotel manager, and restaurant manager for several years and have deep industry insights.
WRONG

And here’s a tight, results-oriented Summary section that instantly lets recruiters know that you’re a promising candidate:

Summary
With 9 years of experience in hospitality & retail industries, I’ve led, organized, and trained teams of up to 70 staff members, with a proven record of increasing and surpassing annual P&L goals by 8%on average across 4 business units.
RIGHT

Simply put, you bring only the big guns to the Summary section and make sure those are the guns that this brawl needs.

If you feel like you’re running out of space, no worries. Keep your Summary short, we have a whole Experience section to prove your worth even further.

How To Outshine Other Candidates With a Tailored Experience Section For a General Manager Resume

There are no two General managers positions that are the same. And that’s why there’s so much confusion with this position hiring process.

At some companies, general managers are, in fact, managing directors, or they might be doing director of operations work.

The nuances between these positions may be subtle, so don't spend too much thinking about the title.

Apart from industry related experience, companies are looking for people that can address some pain points they are currently struggling with.

If you carefully study job requirements, your experience section might check all the right boxes.

And you can get a gist of it by simply looking at their job descriptions.

Let’s focus on the two critical aspects of your experience section: industry and processes.

Industry: if you are applying for a general manager position in a specific industry (hospitality, retail aviation), and have experience in this industry, emphasize it.

Here’s a good example of someone applying for a General Manager / Hotel Manager position

Experience
General ManagerBM Eats
06/2015 - 11/2018
San Francisco
Increased weekly restaurant sales form $10,000 to $20,000 within the first 6 months through effective cost control, implementation of new food quality policies, and local community events
Developed several marketing initiatives for the local community to increase the quality of reviews, which eventually led to going from top-25 district rating to top-5
Reduced the turnover rate for waiter and food quality staff by 15% through implementing new regulations, team building practices, and restructuring employee bonus system
RIGHT

If, however, you’re applying for a position in the industry where you don’t have much of an experience, downplay this industry-specific experience in favor of processes.

Imagine you’re applying for corporate management position with the same experience description:

Experience
General ManagerJD Limited
06/2015 - 11/2018
San Francisco
Increased weekly restaurant sales form $10,000 to $20,000 within the first 6 months through effective cost control, implementation of new food quality policies, and local community events
Developed several marketing initiatives for the local community to increase the quality of reviews, which eventually led to going from top-25 district rating to top-5
Reduced the turnover rate for waiter and food quality staff by 15% through implementing new regulations, team building practices, and restructuring employee bonus system
WRONG

Your potential employee will probably skip you in favor of someone with more related experience.

Instead, focus on processes and downplay industry specifics that are not necessary.

Experience
General ManagerJD Limited
06/2015 - 11/2018
San Francisco
Increased monthly profits by 200% within the first 6 months through effective cost control, implementation of new quality assurance policies, and new marketing initiatives
Reworked customer satisfaction pipelines across direct contact and outreach programs, increasing overall net promoter score by 30%
Reduced the frontline turnover rate staff by 15% through implementing new regulations, team building practices, and restructuring employee bonus system
RIGHT

If we talk about processes, here's the thing: different companies prioritise different processes.

Compare these two sections from two general manager positions:

#1: The General Manager bears the ultimate responsibility for safety, P&L delivery, customer satisfaction, and employee engagement while upholding the ethical standards and reputation of the organization in the community.

#2: The GM will work to achieve the objectives of the Regional Consumer Business Units objectives, with respect to but not limited to, profitability, revenue growth, facilities and asset management, supply chain excellence, product development, sales, marketing, materials, administration and human resources.

Notice how different those two descriptions are, not only with the words they use, but with their priorities.

The first position, although it mentions Profit & Losses, as almost any GM job out there, puts a great deal of emphasis into managing customer experience, customer satisfaction, and community reputation.

The second position prioritises growth, revenue, supply chain, and marketing.

Applying for the first one you’d prioritise your experience around customer satisfaction metrics first, and then proceed to other metrics.

Applying for the second job, you’d first highlight your experience in growing business units with metrics tied to revenue and growth, and then you’d mention your experience in hiring and staff management.

And remember that results speak the best. Notice that in all mentioned examples we’ve used this formula: Effort + Implementation = Results

Don’t simply list your job activities or responsibilities, but strive to demonstrate what you’ve achieved (preferably in numbers) and your resume will stand out.

Let’s talk about how to put Skills on your resume the right way.

How to Make a General Manager Resume Skill Section That Actually Feels Real

More and more recruiters are using applicant tracking systems (ATS) to automatically filter out resumes that don’t contain certain keywords specific to the position.

This is especially frequent with large companies who either have a devoted HR department or hire a staffing agency to source appropriate candidates.

If you want to get through the ATS filters, your best shot is to organically weave into your resume certain words that you find in the job description.

However, never lie in your resumes and feature skills that you can’t back up later during the interview.

For general managers those keywords might be: profit & loss, CRM, supervision, reporting, hiring, etc.

But no matter if the company has an ATS system in place or not, sooner or later your resume will end up in front of a human person, and simply listing “the right” words won’t impress anyone.

So the best way to demonstrate your skills is to show them in the context of some activity that you performed at your previous jobs and what you were able to achieve.

Pick up three skills that you think are the most important in the position you’re applying for and describe them as shown below:

How to describe soft skills on your General Manager resume

Strengths
Team Leadership
Drove an aligned and focused team culture, reducing the turnover rate by 15%, and increasing revenue per employee by 10% on average.
Financial Planning
Developed, planned, and implemented annual budgets ranging from $1 M to 10 M, optimising costs by up to 35% within the first 2 years of operation
Client Relationships
Established and maintained strong customer relationships across all business units, increasing NPS by 2 points, and public reviews by 0.4 points on average within the first 6 months of work
RIGHT

Here’s a list of soft skills that potential employers often look for in their candidates:

12 Soft Skills To Put on Your General Manager Resume

  • Communication Skills
  • Presentations Skills
  • Strategic Planning
  • Organizational Skills
  • Financial Planning
  • Team Leadership
  • Customer Experience
  • Profit & Loss Management
  • Negotiating Skills
  • Change Management
  • Lean Management
  • Mentoring & Coaching

What Tech Skills Are Important For a General Manager?

There aren't many tech skills that general managers should possess, but that may vary in certain environments.

A large retail network might require a working knowledge of CRM systems, or even more specifically, Salesforce.

A general manager position in manufacturing might require the knowledge of best manufacturing practices, such as Six Sigma and Continuous Improvement

5 Tech Skills to Put on Your General Manager Resume

  • CRM
  • Salesforce
  • ERP ( e.g.SAP)
  • Microsoft Office Suite
  • Specific Industry Software (e.g. property management software, LOS software, etc.)

What to Include in the Education section of General Manager Resume

The education requirements vary for different general manager positions. Most positions require a bachelor’s degree, ideally in the related to the position field, e.g. engineering, business etc.

In many cases a bachelor's degree can be substituted with relevant experience, and if your education section is bleak you should double down on emphasizing experience in other resume sections.

A great addition to any GM resume is an MBA degree, so if you have one make sure it comes through.

As for the certificates, those are largely optional, so include only those that are highly relevant to the position: product management, HR, and so on.Below are some of the examples of relevant certificates.

Showing The Right Certificates on Your General Manager Resume

Other Sections to Boost Engagement For Your General Manager Resume

If you are writing a general manager resume and you know for sure that it will be reviewed by top-brass (your future direct superiors), then it might be a good idea to stand out from your competition by adding some custom sections.Below are some examples:

Achievements: use this section to highlight any achievements in leadership or industry that wouldn’t fit any other section of your resume.

Most Proud Of
Turned around a struggling restaurant
Within 2 years after acquiring GM position implemented structural changes, new hiring policy and cost optimizations that led to monthly revenue increase of $9,000, preventing a failing business unit form projected shut-down.
RIGHT

Day of My Life: if the company you’re applying for encourages work / life balance among its employees, this section is a great opportunity to show some of your human side. A great example comes from thisMarissa Mayer resume that generated a lot of praise, especially from C-suite members of Linkedin and Mark Cuban himself.

Projects: if your general manager work was project-based, you can briefly talk about those in this section, e.g. opening new business units, creating a new training program etc. This project needs to stand out, otherwise it’s better to mention the experience in your Experience section.

Key Takeaways For Writing A Top-Performing General Manager Resume:

  • Carefully study position requirements as General Manager responsibilities vary a lot from place to place and your resume should tailored accordingly
  • Above anything else prioritise relevant industry experience and critical management processes that you have experience with
  • Make sure to include only relevant Certifications and Skills that a potential job requires otherwise you’ll general manager resume will quickly bloat and recruiters won’t be engaged
  • Make sure to pass the ATS test, especially when you’re applying for a position in a corporate or enterprise environment that usually automate some parts of recruiting process
  • Make your resume stand out by adding relevant custom sections and leave a lasting impression on your potential employers.  

* Data reflects analysis made on over 1M resume profiles and examples over the last 2 years from Enhancv.com. Use this General Manager resume sample as a base to create a unique resume for yourself.

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