Trying to figure out how to write a technical program manager resume to land your next dream job? You’re in the right place!
As someone on the hunt for a technical PM position, your resume must position yourself as a professional capable of developing, leading, and executing technical programs that allow businesses to meet their respective objectives.
The best way to achieve that is to pick apart relevant, past experiences in the field and demonstrate the real, tangible impact that you had in similar roles. This takes the shape of referencing how your technical program management processes led to an increase in company revenue or team productivity, for example.
That said, even when you’ve laid out every last bit of information that proves why you’re a competent technical program manager, getting a job is not a guarantee.
At the end of the day, it’s crucial to remember that the resume creation process is complex. You must be meticulous in reducing the sum of your experience as a technical program manager into a single page. In doing so, you must prioritize every piece of information you share to ensure that you include the best data that demonstrates your capabilities as a technical PM.
This article covers a step-by-step process on how to build a solid technical program manager resume that showcases your value proposition and increases your chances of landing a job in the field. Here are some of the topics we look at in this guide:
- Examples of technical program management skills to include in your resume
- Key abilities you must showcase you possess
- Tips and tactics to help you distinguish yourself from other applicants
- Insight on the kind of information you must include vs what you must avoid
How to Write a Technical Program Manager Resume
Writing a technical program manager’s resume follows a similar course to developing a technical program management strategy. As a technical program manager, you create a compelling vision for the implementation of a technical program at your company. You then spend copious amounts of time designing a strategy that both justifies the vision you’ve created and supports it by seeing it through to completion. When writing your resume, your goal is to come up with a vision for yourself as a professional and then support it with hard-core evidence that proves you are who you say you are.
That is the ultimate goal. The first step, however, is to understand the requirements of both the companies and recruiters hiring applicants for a technical PM position.
It’s important to remember that those who evaluate your resume pay attention to your prioritization, team management, and project management abilities.
If you’re vying for the position of technical program manager, chances are you have several years of experience in a similar role under your belt. After all, since this is a senior position, you must have previous, quantifiable experience in the field.
With so much information to condense, it’s easy for applicants to get caught up in showcasing their experience from a broad, general vantage point. In doing so, they make statements like this:
- Build roadmaps for project completion
- Supervise individual project teams
- Define program vision
- Keep stakeholders up to date with the program’s progress
- Maintain team morale
- Promote team engagement and motivation
- Communicate program requirements to individual project units
This is the wrong approach. Not only is it boring to read, but it’s also something that people expect you to do as a technical program manager. These statements don’t speak to anything specific that you have accomplished on the job, nor does it differentiate you from other applicants. Instead, your goal is to speak about key aspects of your experience that separate you from others that are also relevant to the position.
This is the kind of information that recruiters love to see when reviewing a technical program manager’s resume:
- Deep understanding of project management methodologies and approaches
- Ability to differentiate between the intricacies of project and program management
- Insight into your prioritization and team management skills
- A strong appreciation for the need to communicate with relevant stakeholders
- A key understanding of the need to identify obstacles that prevent a team from carrying out its work and pinpoint solutions to remove those blockers as soon as possible
- A strong appreciation for the need to adhere to budgetary constraints
- Ability to prove that you had a direct positive impact on revenue and profit gains
All in all, your goal is to be as specific as possible and showcase how you have left an impact on the companies you’ve partnered with in a similar role throughout your career.
What is the Best Technical Program Manager Resume
There are three possible formats that you have at your disposal when deciding the right way to frame your resume:
- Reverse Chronological: With this format, you showcase your most recent work experience first.
- Combination: Combination resume formats are those that merge your accomplishment, skills, and recent work experiences. This type of resume format is not ATS compliant.
- Functional: A functional resume format emphasizes the skills and abilities you have acquired as a professional as opposed to your work experience. Just like the combination resume format, functional resume formats are not ATS compliant.
When drafting your technical program manager resume, the ideal thing to do is to use a format that showcases your abilities while remaining ATS compliant.
The reality is that most companies use ATS compliance software to filter through irrelevant applications.
That said, considering that this position is a senior role, it’s common for recruiters to do a manual check when reviewing an applicant’s resume since they understand that in most cases, candidates use either reverse chronological or combination resume formats.
In any case, to be on the safe side, be sure to include as many relevant keywords in your resume as possible. This helps reduce the likelihood of recruiters discarding your resume if they do use an ATS resume software.
To do so, review the job description and try to include phrases like ‘managing cross-functional project teams, executing business programs, managing multiple company projects, or any other expressions that crop up when you conduct keyword research.
What sections should you put on your technical program manager resume?
Below, you have a list of elements that you must include in your technical program manager resume:
Technical Program Manager Professional Header
The first section in your resume is your professional header. In this section, you add the following information:
- Full name
- Job title (in this case, Technical Program Manager)
- Phone number
- Link to your LinkedIn profile
- Email address
- Online portfolio
There is no need to mention your entire address. Feel free to include just your city and country.
Once you’ve done that, the time has now come to dive into your work experience. Do so by listing out all of your relevant work experience. In doing so, the one on the top must be your most recent job, with the successive ones that appear below organized in descending date order.
As you do this, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to include all of your responsibilities or work experience when describing the roles you took up at various companies. Everything you include must be relevant to the requirements of the job and the demands of the hiring team.
For instance, let’s say that thanks to your previous role, you garnered significant experience in software automation in the banking industry because you worked as a technical program manager for a banking institution. While your experience is lovely, if banking software automation is not relevant to the hiring team, then don’t spend dedicate too much time discussing it. Doing so detracts from what matters most to your recruiter, hence the reason you must focus on presenting only what is pertinent to your target audience.
Another thing you must include in this section is some information about what you want to do in the future. Recruiters like to know where you see your career going to determine whether their company provides the right environment for you to grow.
Once again, be sure to include relevant information. Whatever information you include as your future goals must resonate with the company and show that you want to leave a meaningful impact during your time with them.
Technical Program Manager Resume Experience Example
Since technical program managers are professionals who already have significant experience in the field of project management, it is rare to come across a resume for a junior technical PM. Therefore, one of the most common types of resumes in this specific niche is that of the standard technical program manager.
In such cases, this is either the candidate’s first or second time occupying the position of a technical program manager. That said, while they are green for this specific role, they come with several years of experience in project management and team leadership. They are also experts in developing roadmaps and executing them with minimal risk while adhering to budgetary restraints.
That said, it’s one thing to have the experience and it’s another thing to translate it into a relevant narrative for a hiring team.
This is how you bring this message across:
- Focus on highlighting the problems you faced as well as the different strategies you put in place to solve them
- Be sure to show how the solutions you presented had an impact on the companies you worked at.
- Outline the expectations of the company prior to your signing on as well as how you exceeded or met those expectations.
- Detail the methods and mechanisms you used to achieve those results (mention project management tools or frameworks)
- Throw in any additional, relevant contributions you made to the company while you were there.
A rule of thumb is, where possible, to try to relate your experience and accomplishments to increased revenue and profits for the companies at which you worked. The more you tie your output to increased revenue and profit, the easier it is to see the value and tangibility of your output.
Senior Technical Program Manager Resume Experience Example
In large companies that execute multiple programs, it is common to look for a technical program manager who has significant experience in the field. In such cases, your job as an applicant is to submit a senior technical program manager resume that best matches the needs and requirements of the hiring team.
In this case, you already have experience in a previous role as a technical program manager. Therefore, you must translate your years of experience in team leadership, program management, and execution into compelling narratives that showcase your capabilities in the best way possible. This is also your chance to showcase the real impact you have had in a similar role, especially as it relates to revenue, profits, and reduced expenditure.
As mentioned, the more you tie your output to an improvement in either profit or revenue, the more appealing you are to a hiring team. This is what you must emphasize above all else when sharing your work experience with an employer.
Before you write this type of resume, there are a few things you must bear in mind:
- Be sure to only list the responsibilities that best help to sell your unique value proposition as a technical program manager
- Don’t waste time mentioning things that aren’t relevant to the position. Prioritize your accomplishments and share only what matters.
- Try to make your resume as ATS-compliant as possible.
- Ensure that there’s consistency in how you present yourself across different channels. If your resume says ‘Senior Technical Program Manager’, then your LinkedIn title must reflect that as well.
Candidates who have already had a position as a technical program manager have a myriad of things to choose from and include in their resume.
Once again, relevance is key. That means that you must tailor your resume and your cover letter as needed to meet the demands of your hiring team.
That said, these are some general points that help you draft a senior technical program manager resume:
- Make mention of the number of projects you had under your purview.
- Show how you managed to lead each of the project teams and guide them throughout the various stages of the project’s lifecycle.
- Discuss some of the restraints you had to deal with while doing the project as well as how you overcame them.
- Speak about your ability to adhere to budgetary restraints and minimize project risk factors.
- Always associate your output with revenue and profit gains.
Listing Technical Program Manager Skills
At this point, it’s time to move on to the skills section of your resume.
Being a technical program manager means that you have a wealth of skills that you rely on to carry out your responsibilities to the best of your abilities.
This list of technical program management skills must appear in bullet point format for each of the roles you mention in your resume. They do not belong in a separate section.
No doubt this format is different from what we see in most resumes. In fact, for most resumes applicants separate their skills from the roles they carried out. While they believe that doing so helps to highlight some of the abilities they’ve acquired throughout their career, in the eyes of a hiring team, it’s not the right format.
Remember that the one thing that a recruiter wants to see when reviewing your resume is impact. Including keywords such as ‘Kanban’ or ‘Jira’ without providing the proper context as to where and how you used them does not speak to your capabilities as a technical program manager, nor does it show impact.
With only one page at your disposal, you must maximize every inch of free space you have on your resume to demonstrate your abilities in a succinct, clear, and concise way.
That said, you must still showcase your skills. When given the opportunity, try to tie in the following skills with the roles you expound upon in your resume:
- Project Management
- Team Leadership
- Jira Software
- Stakeholder management
Listing Technical Program Manager Resume Education
No doubt, as a technical program manager, you have more than one degree under your belt.
The natural temptation is to list out every single degree or qualification you have. This is wrong.
In the spirit of economizing the space available to your on your resume, list only the degrees that are relevant to the role of a technical program manager.
Depending on your profile and academic background, all of your degrees are relevant to the field of program or project management. However, while some applicants have postgraduate degrees in related fields, their Bachelor’s degrees are in separate areas. If this is your case, refrain from mentioning your Bachelor’s degree. Doing so takes up space and does not add to the way you position yourself as a candidate for a technical program manager position.
In doing so, when adding in your degrees, be sure to provide some context as to what you studied. Don’t just list out the name of the program. Take some time and relate the context of what you studied to the role of technical program management or a related discipline.
This helps to show recruiters who are not familiar with the nature of the programs you studied a greater sense of how they played a pivotal role in shaping your career as a technical program manager.
Listing Technical Program Manager Certifications
Since certifications help you stand out in the crowd, they also increase your chances of getting hired.
The more certifications you take outside of your formal educational background, the more you prove to employers that you have made a concerted effort to expand your knowledge in your field of work. It also shows a high level of humility since you don’t take for granted that because you studied it at school, you’ve mastered it.
Since technical program management is a higher-level branch of project management, it is common for candidates to take courses in the latter as they form the crucial stepping stones for your future as a technical PM.
Here are some of the most popular courses in the project management field:
- PRINCE2 Foundation/Practitioner by PRINCE2
- PMP: Project Management Professional by the Project Management Institution
- CAPM by the Project Management Institution
- Professional Scrum MasterTM Certification by SCRUM.org
- Professional ScrumTM with Kanban Certification vs SCRUM.org
- Professional Agile LeadershipTM – Evidence-Based Management CertificationTM by SCRUM.org
Whatever course you take, chances are, you have to do a capstone project. If you do a capstone project and you believe that it adds value to your unique value proposition as a technical program manager, then feel free to include it.
Listing Technical Program Management Achievements
The ‘Achievements’ section is one of the most important parts of your resume. This is one of the biggest opportunities you have at your disposal to shine and prove why you are different from other candidates who are vying for a position as a technical program manager.
At this point, your job is to highlight your biggest accomplishments in the roles you’ve included in your resume thus far. If you do not have any significant accomplishments, then consider removing the role from your resume.
This section is where you stand out from others. While similar applicants have experience as project managers across different companies, what sets you apart from them is the unique accomplishments you have managed to add under your belt coupled with the quantifiable, demonstrable impact you’ve had at the companies you’ve worked. While others have worked in similar positions as you, not all have had the same impact or accomplishments as you.
If you have worked as a project manager before, avoid saying things like ‘I managed several project teams. A statement like this does not add any value to your profile since it describes a basic requirement of your job as a project manager.
While being a team leader is an important role, what helps you stand out is explaining how your role had a positive impact on the company.
From a hiring manager’s perspective, it is more impactful to discuss how your leadership skills impacted a company’s ability to achieve its goal than just saying that you managed a team.
Here are examples of sentences that show impact:
- Redesigned work processes within project teams to increase productivity by 30%
- Integrated software solutions into workflow that led to a 20% increase in team output
- Designed and developed a software feature that brought an estimated 15% increase in company profits in just one quarter
In most cases, technical program managers leave out this section in their resume, and for good reason. As mentioned before, there’s only so much information for you to condense in your resume. It is much more valuable to focus on showing quantifiable impact in the various roles you’ve occupied as a technical program manager than it is to discuss some of your interests.
Therefore, our advice is to omit this section.
Most senior or managerial jobs require you to speak, write and communicate in English. That said, the more languages you know, the more you stand out to hiring managers.
That said, remember that your ultimate goal is to show as much impact as possible in ways that impress the hiring team. If you are applying for a position at an international company with team members who speak different languages, then including your proficiency in one or more of those languages is a smart choice in helping to showcase your value as a potential employee in said company.
However, if you get the impression that a recruiter’s focus is more on your knowledge of technical program management as opposed to your language proficiency, then center your efforts on the former and neglect the latter.
At the end of the day, your goal is to include as much information as possible that’s relevant to the target audience.
Technical Program Manager Resume Example
Writing a technical program manager resume is no easy feat. However, it is not impossible. Below, I’ve included an example of a good technical program manager resume.
One of the most impressive things about this resume is how the candidate shows impact across the various roles that they fulfilled throughout their career. Take note of how they tie their responsibilities and achievements to revenue or profit growth. This is one of the most powerful techniques you have up your sleeve to show impact and impress a recruiter.
That said, the resume is not perfect. The candidate must expound more on their educational background and show a clearer linkage between it and the role of a technical program manager. However, all in all, this is a good example of a technical program manager’s resume worth emulating.
Technical Program Manager Job Application Experience
If you have already applied for multiple technical program manager positions but haven’t heard a response, do not despair.
Instead, try to pinpoint ways to improve your job selection efforts. If you’re applying using the shotgun method, consider using a different approach. Applying to jobs with the same resume and cover letter without tailoring them to suit the specific needs of a recruiter tends to provide you with the following results:
- 100 job applications sent
- 70 rejections
- 30 never respond
- 0 interview offers
Instead, try spending some extra time tailoring the resumes and cover letters you send to suit the requirements of the various hiring teams you reach out to. If you’re lucky, your results look like this:
- 100 job applications sent
- 20 rejections
- 10 first interviews
- 2 round interviews
- 2 job offers
While one or two job offers per 100 applications sent sounds dismal, your job search yields greater results than the previous method you used, and that’s all that matters.
How Many Pages Should Your Technical Program Manager’s Resume be?
While we have already touched on this, it’s important to reiterate that your resume must be a maximum of one page. Under no circumstances do you want to overcomplicate things by including additional information that, in all likelihood, is not relevant to a recruiter.
Three Technical Program Manager Resume Tips
Below, you have three tips to help you along the journey of perfecting your technical program manager job search.
Create unique cover letters for each job posting
As far as possible, ensure that each cover letter you submit responds to the specific requirements of the hiring team.
Update your resume based on your job requirements
In the same way that you modify your cover letter to suit the demands of the hiring team, you must do the same for your resume. As mentioned, some recruiters value certain things over others in your resume. Bear this in mind and emphasize those aspects of your experience and background to each recruiter when sending them your resume.
Include a link to your portfolio
Humans are visual beings. We love to see things to get a better sense of a concept. Therefore, where possible, include a link to a portfolio that showcases the body of work you’ve done throughout your career. Once again, the key is to include only relevant information. If it’s not relevant, don’t include it.
Technical Program Manager Resume Don’ts
Here are a few things you must avoid when creating your resume.
A resume summary
A resume is already a summary of your experience. It is pointless and redundant to include a summary statement at the top of your resume. Instead, use that extra space to discuss something more pertinent to the job you’re applying for.
Avoid including images of yourself in your resume. This tends to increase the chances of unconscious or conscious bias during the hiring phase.
Don’t include any work experience that you had five or more years ago. Focus on the work you’ve done in the most recent years and show impact there.
Key Takeaways and Summary
This guide has been extensive in its coverage of how to write a technical program manager resume.
Here’s a quick summary of the main takeaways:
- Relevance is key in all of the information you share in your resume
- Prioritize showing impact in the roles you’ve held
- Always try to make your resume as ATS-compliant as possible
- Tailor your resume and cover letter to suit the demands of the hiring team
- Avoid including headshots, summaries, and outdated experience in your resume
With this information in mind, you have the knowledge and skills to go forth and write a compelling resume to land a job as a technical program manager.