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17 Program Manager Resume Examples...

17 Program Manager Resume Examples & Guide for 2024

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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

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
555-555-5555
jason@website.com
Boston, MA
WRONG

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
555-555-5555
jason@website.com
Boston, MA
RIGHT

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.

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

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.

Summary
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.
RIGHT

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.

Experience
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
WRONG

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.

Experience
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%.
RIGHT

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.

Program Manager resume examples

Explore additional program manager resume samples and guides and see what works for your level of experience or role.

By Experience

Senior Program Manager

Applying for Senior Program Manager positions requires strong evidence of leadership. Emphasize large-scale project management, focusing on timelines, budgets, and resources. Don't just list these details; demonstrate how they led to project success or efficiency improvements, such as 'reduced production time by...'. Strong communication and negotiation skills are also key, so highlighting positive relationships with stakeholders can be a winning point.
View Senior Program Manager Resume

By Role

Acquisition Program Manager

The Acquisition Program Manager job is crucial for purchasing goods and services, greatly influenced by trends in procurement and acquisition management. To apply effectively for these roles, a strong grip on contract management and negotiation strategies with comprehensive knowledge of procurement rules and procedures is vital. Underline relevant skills to avoid early elimination in recruitment. Highlight the impact of your role in prior jobs, especially if you have a background in commercial or financial roles, and demonstrate how these skills positively impacted acquisition programs. Instead of just listing these skills, prove their effectiveness in achieving certain outcomes. Use the 'skill-action-results' method in your resume.

Agile Program Manager

Having a deep understanding of Agile methodologies is crucial when applying for an Agile Program Manager position. Showcase certifications such as Certified Scrum Master or SAFe Agilist. Discuss how successful sprints or scrum roles led to improved outcomes in past projects. Highlight 'Emphasizing Agile principles' led to quicker product iteration or improved team dynamics.
View Agile Program Manager Resume

Aerospace Program Manager

To succeed as an Aerospace Program Manager, mix technical skills like system or structural engineering with program management expertise. Present experience in risk and safety management can also add value. Don't forget to demonstrate how such specialized skills led to achievements, e.g. 'Managed successful design and delivery of XYZ aircraft systems'.
View Aerospace Program Manager Resume

Education Program Manager

For an Education Program Manager, focus on curriculum development and instructor management skills. Experience dealing with accreditation bodies can be a strong point. Share accomplishments using a 'cause-effect' format, e.g. 'Improved program ranking by implementing an innovative curriculum'.
View Education Program Manager Resume

Engineering Program Manager

For an engineering program manager role, your technical background should feature alongside your leadership skills. Project management certifications like PMP can be helpful. Show outcomes like 'resolved engineering roadblocks leading to quicker product delivery'.
View Engineering Program Manager Resume

IT Program Manager

In IT Program Manager applications, detail your understanding of IT infrastructures, network security, or application development fields. Highlighting vendor management skills can also help. Document your outcome-based achievements, such as 'facilitated scalable solutions that improved system efficiency'.
View IT Program Manager Resume

Mental Health Program Manager

For a Mental Health Program Manager role, bring to light your experience in counseling, treatment plan development, and working with diverse populations. Showcasing regulatory compliance knowledge is beneficial. Include results, e.g. 'implemented a program resulting in improved patient satisfaction'.
View Mental Health Program Manager Resume

Microsoft Program Manager

For a Microsoft Program Manager position, emphasize your managerial skills aligned with knowledge in Microsoft's portfolio. Demonstrate how you spearheaded programs or projects, making sure to discuss the quantifiable results, for example, 'Led a team to develop an app feature increasing user retention by...'.
View Microsoft Program Manager Resume

Nonprofit Program Manager

When applying for a Nonprofit Program Manager, discuss experience managing budgets, fundraising, and working with volunteers. Also focus on your familiarity with grant writing and compliance. Highlight results like 'secured significant funding enabling program continuation'.
View Nonprofit Program Manager Resume

Principal Program Manager

To apply for a Principal Program Manager role, present high-level supervisory and decision-making experience. Prioritize large-scale or complex project outcomes, such as 'oversaw a program that resulted in XYZ achievement'.
View Principal Program Manager Resume

Program Analyst

For a Program Analyst application, skills in data analysis and strategic planning are crucial. Proficiency in tools like SQL or Excel can boost appeal. Show impacts like 'analyzed data to inform policy changes, contributing to an efficiency increase'.
View Program Analyst Resume

Program Coordinator

For Program Coordinators, essential skills include administrative competencies and familiarity with project management tools. Results-based accomplishments could include 'streamlined scheduling processes to improve program efficiency'.
View Program Coordinator Resume

Public Health Program Manager

For a Public Health Program Manager, emphasize experience in health education, public policy, or community outreach. Show results such as 'developed a health promotion initiative, reducing hospital admission rates'.
View Public Health Program Manager Resume

Technical Program Manager

In a Technical Program Manager application, feature your technical expertise alongside project management skills. Certification in a technical field or project management can add value. Include 'Directly contributed to the successful deployment of a new software tool'.
View Technical Program Manager Resume

Youth Program Manager

When applying for a Youth Program Manager, showcase experience in youth counselling and program development. Highlight results like 'devised and introduced a youth engagement program increasing attendance'.
View Youth Program Manager Resume
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