When reviewing resumes, especially product manager resumes, I often find that more metrics are needed. You need to quantify your impact, so the hiring manager can understand what value you brought to the business or organization.
What metrics do you need?
The most important metrics are around the success of the business. Questions to ask yourself can include:
- What was my impact on revenue?
- What was my impact on customers? New customers? Retention?
- How did I grow the business?
Metrics around saving the company money are less noteworthy. You can certainly save the company money by firing all of the engineers, but then the company isn’t growing.
Other simple and useful metrics to gather can include:
- Number of products worked
- Time spent on a product/project
- Number of team members (engineers, designers, etc.)
How to gather your metrics
If you are still at the company, you can start to pull data around your projects and products. What did revenue look like before you began your work? Was there a notable increase in anything after projects you’ve led?
Reaching out to other groups can help you with your search for relevant numbers.
- Sales can help with numbers around revenue, number of paying customers, time to close, and deal size Did you drive revenue? Did deal size increase? Did time to close decrease?
- Marketing knows about conversation rates, number of leads, and the funnel. Did more leads come in due to your work? Did conversion rate improve?
- Client Services is generally the expert on churn and renewals. Did you help reduce churn? Were customers less likely to renew (and perhaps spend even more) due to your product? If your product needs to be implemented, were you able to reduce the amount of time it took for buyers to get value?
- Customer Support can help with customer issues. Were there less user issues after changes you made? These metrics are less interesting because vocal users don’t always translate into spending customers.
If you are no longer at the company, former colleagues can aid in gathering your metrics; questions to ask can include: “How did I make your role easier/how did I help you? What’s the most impactful work I did? What changes did you see due to my work? Do you have numbers on that?” They might be aware of metrics or impact that you aren’t.
If you can’t get exact numbers, you can often develop percentage changes. If the number of customers approximately doubled due to a product you managed, you can add the metric of “200% increase” on your resume. More precise is ideal, but you might not always have access to the numbers you need. However, one possible negative of this approach is that at smaller companies and startups, the numbers tend to be smaller in general; a lot of very large percentage increases can make apparent how small the place was.
I find it helpful to keep all my metrics in a separate document, so they are organized and I can use the most relevant metrics for the role. It can also be time consuming to gather these metrics. I personally prefer a Google Doc, so I can access the metrics from my phone, which can be helpful when reviewing for an interview or a promotion request.
Once you’ve gathered enough metrics, they can be used to tell a complete story on your resume. They can also be used in interview stories. Metrics like these can be used for making a case for a promotion or raise.