12 Program Manager Resume Examples & Guide for 2023

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Program Manager Resume

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In the role of a program manager, you face daily challenges like team management, problem identification, and task delegation.

While you excel at crafting plans and managing budgets, creating your own resume might be a different story.

Your program manager resume should convey to recruiters that your strategic planning and team management abilities will be an asset to any organization.

But how do you design a program manager resume that sets you apart from other well-qualified applicants?

In this guide, you will discover:

  • Customizing your program manager resume for each job opportunity
  • Presenting your relevant work experience effectively
  • The ideal mix of hard and soft skills for your program manager resume
  • Appropriate resume formatting techniques
  • Targeted resume examples for technical, senior, and IT program manager positions

Examples of program manager resumes

Technical program manager resume example

Effective aspects of this example include:

  • Emphasizing technical expertise
  • Incorporating appropriate resume keywords

Utilizing custom sections in a hybrid format resume is an excellent strategy for showcasing technical projects. While leading teams and projects is a common trait among program managers, technical experience provides a competitive edge for technical positions.

Technical program manager roles often demand specialized experience in a specific domain. Employ the right keywords to ensure your resume isn't eliminated by ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems).

If job requirements mention aspects like "bottom line project management experience" and "strong knowledge of GD&T principles," be sure to include relevant examples from your previous work.

IT program manager resume

Effective aspects of this example include:

  • Aligning skills with the company's tech stack
  • Adapting experience to suit the target company's program management methodology

Examine current and former employee LinkedIn profiles to gain insight into the technologies used by your target company. If you possess experience with some of these technologies, highlight them in your experience and skills sections to stand out to technical recruiters.

If your target company employs Agile methodology, showcase relevant certifications (e.g. Scrum Master certification) and successful experiences within the Agile framework (e.g. implementing Continuous Improvement approaches, change management, etc.).

If your target company utilizes the waterfall approach, emphasize traditional waterfall deliverables such as plans, system design, deadline estimation, and pertinent KPIs.

Senior program manager resume

Effective aspects of this example include:

  • Emphasizing growth and scaling experiences
  • Accentuating business outcomes

In detailing your past experience, demonstrate that you are not only a supervisor but also a strategic thinker. Showcase your most strategic projects, intricate multi-project developments, and experience in scaling successful strategies at a company-wide level.

As you advance in management positions, your vision should increasingly align with business objectives. Prospective employers will be interested in understanding how hiring you will benefit their business.

Underline your business acumen and the ability to deliver business outcomes throughout all relevant sections of your resume.

Youth program manager resume

Effective aspects of this resume include:

  • Excellent presentation of summary and skills, providing a concise overview of the applicant's career
  • Strengths and language proficiency reinforce their relevant experience

Education program manager resume

What works in this resume:

  • Reverse chronological order of job titles as well as diverse background
  • Passions brings out the applicant's personality

Principal program manager resume

Effective aspects of this applicant's resume include:

  • Well-executed format, with the left column primarily emphasizing skills and strengths
  • The right column concentrating on experience and accomplishments

Deputy program manager resume

Effective aspects of this resume include:

  • Sections are arranged in a prioritized manner for hiring managers, beginning with summary and experience
  • Inclusion of certifications contributes to a comprehensive application

Mental health program manager resume

Strengths of this resume include:

  • Abundant experience is effectively condensed into a single page using a compact template
  • Key information is clearly presented at the beginning of the page, increasing the likelihood of being called for a second interview

Public health program manager resume

Strengths of this resume include:

  • Effective use of the subheading beneath the name for a brief introduction to the applicant, including a notable accomplishment
  • Each bullet point emphasizes a significant metric influenced by the applicant

Nonprofit program manager resume

Strengths of this resume include:

  • An effective summary that establishes the overall tone of the resume
  • Prominent achievements listed throughout the resume; we recommend repeating some of your most noteworthy accomplishments in various sections, such as the summary and experience, as there is no guarantee your resume will be read in its entirety

Microsoft program manager resume

Strengths of this resume include:

  • As a technical resume, it places a greater emphasis on software expertise, skills, and certifications
  • Soft skills are skillfully integrated, with examples from work situations

For similar jobs, explore our guides on:

How to format your program manager resume

When writing your program manager resume, the first decision to make is the format. The optimal resume layout depends on factors such as experience, position, and industry.

A conventional reverse chronological resume format is a popular choice for most industries. For your program manager resume, we recommend using a hybrid resume format.

Ensure your resume is simple and easy to scan. Recruiters should be able to quickly grasp the most crucial information about you.

Utilize color, white space, readable fonts, and headers to create a pleasant reading experience for recruiters. Steer clear of excessive jargon or overused buzzwords.

Including custom sections will highlight your unique qualities and help your resume stand out from the competition.

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Recommended resume sections:

  • Resume header with contact info and relevant links
  • A professional summary that highlights career accomplishments
  • Work experience
  • Overview of education and certifications
  • A mix of hard and soft skills
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what hiring managers want to see:

  • Experience relevant to the job you’re applying for
  • The right skills for the job (based on the posting)
  • Quantifiable achievements (Mitigated risks by identifying, escalating and resolving issues)
  • Examples of what makes you unique (Your usual day or your favorite books)
  • What you’re most proud of (displayed creatively)

Create a powerful first impression with your program manager resume header

The header appears at the top of your resume and is the initial element hiring managers will notice.

Begin with the right approach by incorporating the appropriate information.

Let's examine two examples of program manager resume headers to understand best practices.

Jason Smith
Program Manager
Boston, MA

Issues with this header:

  • Contains only basic information
  • Lacks personalization

While it's crucial to provide essential contact details, don't miss the chance to distinguish yourself. Incorporating a few small touches can significantly impact your resume's appeal.

Jason Smith
Sr. IT Program Manager
Boston, MA

Significantly improved!

Effective elements in this example:

  • The job title is descriptive, including the seniority level and specialization
  • Provides all relevant contact information
  • Includes a LinkedIn profile URL, allowing the hiring manager to learn more about you

Incorporating a job title demonstrates to hiring managers that you're the ideal candidate for their specific role.

When indicating your location, the city and state are sufficient. Providing a full address is outdated and unnecessary.

Program manager resume summary: Two sentences to stand out from the competition

Your professional summary is a brief yet comprehensive overview of your experience, contributions, and goals in your field.

In 2-3 concise sentences, describe your seniority level and specialty, examples of tangible business successes, and an objective for your future role.

As with every section of your resume, be sure to customize your summary to your target job using keywords from the job description.

Let's examine two examples of program manager resume summaries.

Program manager with 5 years of experience leading projects and programs at multiple companies. Seeking my next full-time opportunity.

This summary is overly vague. Stating "Leading projects and programs at multiple companies" reveals nothing about the types of projects you led or their success rate.

As far as the hiring manager is concerned, they might have been complete failures.

Don't expect them to simply take your word for it. Support your claims with examples using concrete numbers and statistics.

Now, let's examine another summary example.

Technical program manager with 5+ years of experience leading operations for various projects in the SaaS industry. Certified Scrum Master with proficiency in project management techniques (Waterfall, Automated Testing, Kanban). Increased activation rate by 20% after leading user onboarding improvement project. PMI Agile Certified Practitioner.

This is a significant improvement. It uses a descriptive job title and is tailored for the target company. Industry-specific technology is mentioned, and actual figures are provided to demonstrate success.

The summary is an opportunity to showcase skills in managing multiple projects simultaneously. The core principle of program management is deriving benefits from several projects that work together.

Now that you've crafted an amazing summary, let's move on to the experience section.

Program manager resume experience section: How to differentiate yourself from other candidates

Your work experience will give hiring managers an idea of what you will contribute to their company.

Show them your history of managing budgets, scope, meeting deliverables, and ensuring high performance for their team.

Use every bullet point to demonstrate your accomplishments in previous roles. Recruiters are familiar with the job description of a program manager. They want to see how you made a tangible business impact on projects.

Enhance your credibility on a resume by supporting your claims with data and metrics.

"Met project deliverables" is not nearly as impactful as "Achieved an on-time project delivery performance score of 99%."

Let's examine a few program manager resume experience sections more closely.

Program Manager
WorkSmart Inc.
Ottawa, CA
  • Managed budgets and costs for projects
  • Recruited project faculty and managed them
  • Assigned and monitored KPIs
  • Identified funding opportunities

Issues with this example:

  • Bullets are too generic
  • No specific accomplishments

This experience section focuses on duties rather than achievements. The hiring manager may assume you weren't good at your job since you can't provide any specific examples of success.

Use action verbs to make your resume sound more authoritative and impactful.

Program managers collaborate with various departments to create high-quality programs. Showcase that you have worked with cross-functional teams and stakeholders by providing specific examples.

Describe yourself as a leader of matrix cross-functional teams (including internal and external subject-matter experts, customers, suppliers, and partners). Alternatively, mention how you were responsible for overseeing third-party program administrators.

Let's make some improvements and examine the example below.

Sr. Program Manager
WorkSmart Inc.
Ottawa, CA
  • Coordinated project budgets of up to $2million and reduced operations costs by 30% by applying new controls.
  • Recruited and managed a team of 10 people, including interviewing, onboarding, training and monitoring progress.
  • Oversaw strategic objectives and KPI targets for all project teams, resulting in a KPI success rate of 99%.

What works in this example:

  • It's tailored to the target job description by focusing on their most significant requirements
  • It supports claims with real numbers, showcasing overall business success

Examine the requirements and keywords in your target job description. There is no standard definition of a program manager for every organization. Customizing your experience section for your target role will increase your chances of getting an interview.

Additionally, identify company dealbreakers.

All program manager jobs have deal-breakers or essential qualities that an ideal candidate must possess.

Examples of dealbreakers include experience within a specific niche, experience working with a team of a particular size, or utilizing a specific project management methodology.

If you don't include this in your experience, recruiters will quickly discard your resume.

Investigate the target company blogs, interviews, or employee LinkedIn profiles. What project management methodology are they using? How large are their teams? Are they facing challenges?

By using this information, you can emphasize relevant achievements or highlight unique skills that demonstrate to hiring managers that you're the right choice for their company.

If you need more guidance on this section, check out our How to Cover Work Experience On Your Resume guide for more tips on building a job-winning experience section.

Education section: What to include

A bachelor's degree is almost always a prerequisite for securing a program manager position.

Generally, the most common major is business administration or management. More senior positions might require an MBA.

For program manager positions in specific industries, there is usually a requirement for a degree in a relevant field in addition to some combination of education and experience.

For instance, a program manager position in education might require a bachelor's degree in education or a degree in another field, along with work experience in an educational setting.

To highlight your educational background on your resume, include the school name, degree type, major studied, and years of study.

Depending on the industry and your experience level, you might also want to include relevant coursework, projects, and GPA for entry-level program manager jobs.

Certifications: Do you need them?

This varies by industry, but in most cases, relevant certifications will give you a significant advantage.

A large number of companies require their program managers to be PMP certified.

Here is a list of other certifications that can enhance your program manager resume, depending on your experience and target job:

The format of your certification section only needs basic information. List the name of your certification and the issuing organization.

Program manager resume skills: The optimal combination for maximum impact

Program management is a highly skilled job that necessitates both hard and soft skills.

Emphasizing strong organizational and leadership skills is crucial.

However, you're also responsible for strategy, budgeting, reporting, and presenting.

Deciding which skills to prioritize can be challenging. Refer to the job description to determine which skills the employer values most in their ideal candidate.

For instance, will procuring and managing vendors be a significant part of the role?

Or do they need a technical program manager who can build and maintain a KPI dashboard?

Or perhaps someone with excellent communication skills to present strategy, risk assessment, and recommendations to key stakeholders.

Ensure honesty when including skills, and make sure your resume accurately reflects your impact as a program manager.

Here are the soft and hard skills you may want to include on your resume.

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20 soft skills to include on a program manager resume:

  1. Collaborating cross-functionally
  2. Leading teams, ensuring milestones are met
  3. Time management
  4. Organizational skills
  5. Client relationship management
  6. Attention to detail
  7. Change management
  8. Program schedule development
  9. Excellent problem-solving and identifying skills
  10. Creative thinker
  11. Negotiation skills
  12. Time Management
  13. Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  14. Report writing (Progress reports, annual reports, financial reports)
  15. Presenting to key stakeholders and executives
  16. Remote working experience
  17. Decision-making
  18. Self-motivated
  19. Analytical skills
  20. Conflict resolution

It is crucial to note that soft skills may be perceived in various manners. To make them more impactful, support your soft skills with concrete examples within your experience section.

For instance, merely mentioning "time management" holds little value for recruiters. Instead, stating that you "effectively managed 3 organization-wide projects while surpassing KPI targets by an average of 14%" offers a tangible illustration.

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19 hard skills to include on a program manager resume:

  1. Project management tools (Jira, Trello, Confluence, Microsoft Project, etc.)
  2. Product development
  3. MySQL
  4. PHP
  5. Microsoft Office
  6. GSuite
  7. Kanban
  8. Documenting SOPs and processes
  9. Establishing and monitoring KPIs
  10. Procuring and managing vendors
  11. Budgeting
  12. Scope definition
  13. Hiring and onboarding new employees
  14. Resource planning
  15. Timeline planning and ensuring deadlines are met
  16. Strategic direction
  17. Attain funding
  18. Risk assessment
  19. Technology acumen

If you're interested in learning more about crafting the skills section of your resume, visit our article on Creating a Resume Skills Section That Impresses Recruiters.

Program manager cover letter

Although a cover letter isn't always mandatory, numerous program manager positions necessitate one.

Given the variation in PgM roles and responsibilities across industries, companies often seek additional information about you beyond your resume. If the application doesn't explicitly require a cover letter, you may choose to omit it.

However, cover letters help you narrate your story in an appealing and engaging manner. They also allow you to share a personal experience or convey a personality trait that may not fit on your resume.

If you decide to write a cover letter and need guidance on perfecting it, consult our cover letter checklist and explore our 60+ cover letter samples.

Essential points for crafting an outstanding program manager resume:

  • Customize each resume for the specific job you're targeting, reflecting the keywords used in the job description
  • Exhibit a proven history of business success by utilizing data and metrics to substantiate your claims
  • Feature a mix of hard and soft skills that demonstrate your unique qualifications for a program manager position
  • Ensure every section of your resume is clear, concise, and captivating.

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