How to become a product manager
Product management is one of the most important roles in fast-growing and established tech organizations right now. However, becoming a product manager is no easy task. In this post, we will try to give you a holistic view on how to become a product manager.
1. Really understand what product management is.
Before deciding to embark into a product manager’s career path, you should dig deeper into what is it that product managers do. Where can you find this information?
- Quora is a great resource for this; there you’ll find opinions, testimonials, and advice from experts in the field.
- Ask product managers you know about the job they do, and if you don’t know any, go to meetups and meet some there.
- Read our content on what is it that product managers do and why companies put a lot of value in the role, or come to one of Product School’s events and ask us personally!
2. Realize your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
Know what you’re good at and what your experience brings to the job. For example, there are certain skills that a software engineers can leverage on and that gives them an advantage in becoming a product manager.
The chances are that you are not familiar with many essential product management skills. Now is the time to start working on this. A product manager should have knowledge of project management, product design, product marketing, public speaking, and some level of technical skills. There are several options to get an education on these topics: General Assembly, Dev Bootcamp, Code Path, or ourselves at Product School.
3. Prepare for the job application process.
Understand the product manager’s hiring process and design a job search strategy. Every step of the process requires special attention and a lot of work: Examining job listings, networking, writing and optimizing your resume and social media profiles, and interviewing. How to do all this?
- There are a lot of sites where you can find product management jobs. LinkedIn and AngelList are the top resources for this.
- Read Cracking the PM interview to get some resume suggestions and a guide to navigating the interview process.
- Take a look at our suggestions on how to write a resume like a product manager.
- Check out our sample questions and solutions for the product question and quantitative question, two of the critical elements of any aspiring product manager’s interview.
It is a long and arduous road to get into product management. This is why at Product School we have designed an 8-week part time course that covers the whole process and prepares you for this transition. Not convinced? Check out Shuba’s story about her experience with our program.