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Product and design resume tips from an experienced hiring manager

Updated: Jun 30

As a hiring manager, interview panel member, and mentor, I’ve reviewed countless resumes. Many fail to make an impression due to their complexity. In today’s fiercely competitive job market, crafting a powerful resume is essential.

Recruiters can be specialists in product, design, and engineering, or generalists handling various roles. Specialists look for specific skills, while generalists prefer resumes that echo the job description, helping align your skills with the role’s requirements.

Make your points in less than 8 seconds Research by The Ladders shows recruiters spend only 7.4 seconds on a preliminary resume review. Effective resumes feature simple layouts, clear headers, and bullet points that highlight key achievements, complemented by a succinct opening statement.

Pay attention to detail Typos and grammatical errors can significantly damage your professional image. Consider enlisting a skilled editor or using an advanced language model, like Claude, to ensure precision.

Keep it simple Choose a clean, straightforward resume format to aid quick reading. Complex designs can confuse the scanning systems frequently used by large companies.

Use understandable language Avoid industry jargon that might perplex recruiters or hiring panels.

Show your value clearly Articulate your roles and the impacts of your work, such as improvements in conversion rates or budget approvals, clearly. Many individuals hesitate to fully showcase their successes, worried it might come off as boasting. Discuss your achievements with a friend to discover the compelling story behind your accomplishments, which you can then comfortably include in your resume.

Provide the right context Offer just enough detail about your work to provide a clear picture without overwhelming the reader. Mention who the client was, their objectives, and how your contributions supported these goals.

Embrace AI with caution While tools like ChatGPT and Claude can enhance summaries or correct errors, always verify their recommendations to prevent inaccuracies.

Conclusion Creating a standout resume demands a balance of clarity, simplicity, and appropriate context. Use AI tools wisely, effectively highlight your skills, and let your accomplishments shine through, turning your resume into a gateway to your dream job.

Image: An image from a presentation made with DALL-E


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