If there’s one thing that you’re good at as a manager, it’s tackling complex projects and handling difficult situations. After all, there’s a reason why many describe this job as juggling chainsaws on a tall unicycle! However, when it comes to writing a manager resume, you may feel like there’s still a lot to learn.
Are you looking for a new job or aiming to climb the corporate ladder? Do you want to learn the best ways to showcase your managerial skills and experience? If that’s the case, you’re in the right place because this article goes in-depth about everything you need to know to craft the perfect manager resume.
With your versatile skill set and a bit of guidance from our end, you shouldn’t have a hard time figuring things out and creating an outstanding manager resume. Let’s get started!
You can get a clean and professional resume by using the chronological format and a one-page layout.
Writing an eye-catching objective or summary in your resume header will increase your chances of grabbing recruiters’ attention.
You can put more emphasis on your education if you lack work experience. Otherwise, it’s always a good idea to create an extensive work experience section and keep your education section brief.
A cover letter represents the perfect opportunity to go in-depth about your skills, accomplishments, and motivation on top of what you already said in your manager resume.
What is the Right Format to Use for a Manager Resume?
Your job as a manager involves plenty of organization. That’s a key principle that should be applied to the resume-building process as well.
Many companies use resume parsing software called ATS to automatically sort through these documents. Additionally, recruiters usually skim through them for as little as 6–7 seconds, only spending time on those resumes that grab their attention.
For those reasons, your goal is to arrange the information in an optimal way to ensure recruiters and hiring managers find everything they need on your resume as quickly and easily as possible. That’s why you want a proven resume format like the chronological one.
The chronological format is a standard resume format used by most candidates that lists your professional and academic accomplishments in reverse-chronological order. That also includes putting your latest—and usually most relevant—jobs and degrees first for recruiters and potential employers to see.
Another common resume format is the functional one. Its main purpose is to emphasize skills over work experience, which makes it well-suited for first-time manager resumes.
If, on the other hand, you’re a highly experienced manager, you can take advantage of the combination resume format. It’s designed to take parts of both chronological and functional formats to make your skill section the main part of your resume while supporting each skill with impressive professional achievements.
Another benefit of the combination format is that it doesn’t show any employment gaps in the way, unlike the chronological one. This makes it great for managers who don’t have a consistent work history and those who changed careers but have valuable transferable skills they want to highlight.
Continuing the discussion about the organization and management of your manager resume, you should also take care of its visual aspect—your resume layout.
You can start with these guidelines and then adjust the values until you’ve achieved the desired outcome:
Resume Layout Guidelines
The vast majority of managers should have a one-page resume.
Bullet lists increase readability and conciseness while offering the same amount of information as blocky paragraphs.
Combine the use of 1-inch margins on all sides with white space to make sections visually distinct.
You should pick an easy-to-read, professional font, such as Arial, Calibri, or Cambria.
The font size for the regular text of your manager resume should be 10–12 pt with section subheadings being 2–4 pt bigger.
What Sections Should a Manager Resume Contain?
Another crucial aspect of management that you can apply to resume-building is planning. Before you start writing, you should have a general idea of which direction you’re moving in to ensure success. You can achieve that by creating an outline based on the sections that your manager resume is going to contain.
The must-have sections that every resume should feature are:
Mandatory Manager Resume Sections
You can also stand out from the competition by including some of the optional sections, such as:
Optional Resume Sections
Hobbies and interests
If you don’t want to do everything manually and write your manager resume from scratch, you should give our resume-building tool a try. It comes with a bunch of helpful features to ensure you end up with a professional document in a fraction of the time it would take to do everything yourself.
For starters, you can browse our galleries until you find a manager resume sample doc that suits your needs. Once you do, you can modify and adjust the sample by changing everything from its font and colors to the choice of sections. Lastly, you simply add your details to the predesignated spots, and your resume is good to go.
Manager Resume Contact Information
Your contact information is pretty much a staple of your resume header, as it’s crucial to give recruiters a few options to get in touch with you if they like what they see in your resume. Here are the details you should include in it:
Mandatory Contact Information
Your name and job title
In addition to all that, there are several optional elements that can be added. Some of them could be required by the job ad, while others simply boost your chances with recruiters and potential employers.
For example, while you shouldn’t disclose your location every time you send a resume, you should include your city and state if you’re applying for a position abroad or your potential employer asks for it.
On the other hand, a study conducted between 2018 and 2019 found that candidates with comprehensive LinkedIn profiles had as much as 71% higher chances of landing interviews compared to those without profiles. That’s why you should strongly consider optimizing your LinkedIn profile and including the link to it in the contact information section of your manager resume.
Now let’s see all that in an example:
Contact Information Section Example
+ 720 449 6478
Here are a few bonus tips to help you perfect this part:
Your professional title should match the one in the job ad (e.g., product manager, project manager, etc.)
Make sure to thoroughly proofread this part since a single typo can make your phone number or email address useless.
Avoid adding any information that’s too personal (e.g., race, gender, religion), and don’t put a photo on your resume, or it’ll likely be discarded due to anti-discrimination laws.
Manager Resume Objective or Summary
The quality of your resume won’t mean much if recruiters skim through it in seconds with nothing catchy to grab their attention. That’s why you want a strong introductory paragraph to put in your resume header and grab the reader’s attention in 2–4 brief sentences.
This section comes in two forms—a resume summary or a resume objective. While their purpose is the same, their contents are different, and which one you should write depends on your professional experience.
If you’re an entry-level manager writing a resume, you should go with an objective to highlight your valuable skills, motivation, and career goals. However, candidates with lots of professional experience should write a resume summary to point out some of their key accomplishments.
Manager Resume Objective
Your manager resume objective can be information-packed and professional even if you don’t have a single day of work experience. You can make it impactful by mentioning your degrees or certifications and noting some of your most impressive job-related skills.
And if you have some experience obtained through activities such as internships or volunteering, be sure to work that in.
Here’s a strong example:
Resume Objective Example
“Results-driven ICPM-certified manager looking for an entry-level position at [name of the company]. Focused on collaborative data analysis and A/B testing during an internship, achieving a 35% increase in the company’s marketing campaign performance. Adept at Google Analytics and email marketing. Proven communication and delegation skills.”
What you shouldn't do is write a vague resume objective with no substantial information or details about your competence, like in the following example:
“Entry-level candidate with a passion for management. Looking to apply my theoretical knowledge and start learning in practice.”
Manager Resume Summary
The main benefit of a well-written manager resume summary is that it portrays you as a highly capable individual right off the bat. It should sum up your career into one or two of your most impressive professional accomplishments. The goal is to impress recruiters with the highlights of your career and entice them to examine your resume further.
Let’s put that into practice with a good manager resume summary:
Resume Summary Example
“PMP and BEPC certified project manager with 7+ years of experience working in software development. Notable achievements include collaborating with a team of developers to increase the company’s yearly software releases by up to 49%. Adept at managing large-scale projects. Spearheaded the re-architecting of a web application to boost yearly revenue by $2.8 million.”
However, if you don’t give recruiters any palpable results, your summary will end up consisting of unsubstantiated claims that don’t carry much weight. So, here’s how not to write a resume summary:
“Senior manager with years of experience. Looking to leverage my extensive skill set to take on big projects.”
Manager Resume Work Experience
Your professional history is one of the best indicators of your potential. That’s why this section is usually the one that recruiters and potential employers are most interested in. So, let’s see how to make it perfect.
Don’t look at your work experience section as a large checklist of everyday tasks and responsibilities you had at your previous jobs. After all, every manager out there plans assignments, organizes teams, and oversees projects, and you don’t want to be like every other manager.
For this reason, you should focus on the notable accomplishments and results obtained that set you apart from the competition. You can do that by taking advantage of bullet lists and adding 3–5 bullet points for each of your past roles.
To simplify things, here’s a formula you can follow:
The company and its location
Start and end dates of employment
Achievements and results
If you want to include multiple jobs in your work experience section, you should do so in reverse-chronological order. However, aim to keep things relevant. Part-time bartending gigs you did as a student years ago likely won’t contribute anything meaningful to your resume.
One of the most powerful tools that you can use to quantify your accomplishments and make them concrete is numbers, statistics, and percentages. They add measurable value to the results that you obtained, adding trustworthiness to your entire work experience section.
Another handy component that you can include in your resume to make this part pop is power words and action verbs. They represent remarkable and memorable alternatives to clichéd terms that most candidates add to their manager resumes. You can try using some of the following expressions to emphasize your managerial and leadership prowess:
Resume Action Verbs Examples
Entry-Level Manager With No Experience
As an entry-level manager with no professional experience, your goal is to demonstrate your skills by highlighting alternative activities. These include everything from school projects, freelancing, and volunteer work to internships and other jobs that require similar skill sets to those of managers.
Here’s an example where a junior manager leveraged their past job as a marketing specialist to demonstrate their management skills:
Entry-Level Manager Work Experience Section Example
Junior Marketing Specialist
Summerset Marketing Boston, MA
January 2022–November 2022
Collaborated with the marketing team to create collateral for a new product launch, resulting in a 19% increase in sales.
Facilitated and coordinated event planning, successfully executing a product launch event that garnered 150+ attendees.
Utilized SEO optimization skills in combination with content creation outsourcing to manage the company’s blog, growing the readership by 35%.
Experienced managers are capable of tackling great projects, managing large-scale teams, and solving complex problems. If you’re one of them, your endeavors can positively impact any business or organization, and that’s exactly what you want to showcase in your work experience section.
What you should do is focus on those accomplishments that show recruiters how your previous employers benefited from your skills and actions.
Here’s a strong example:
Experienced Manager Work Experience Section Example
CorpTech New Orleans, LA
Streamlined the company’s operations by implementing process improvements and automation, resulting in a 17% reduction in operating costs.
Supervised the successful launch of 5 new product lines, generating $7 million in revenue in their first year.
Conceptualized, developed, and implemented a comprehensive training program for new employees to decrease onboarding time and cut resource costs by 45%.
Manager Resume Education Section
Even though experience usually matters more to recruiters than your degree, your education section offers another opportunity to emphasize your skills and accomplishments—and you don’t want to squander it. When adding your degree, you can use a format similar to that of your work experience section, which looks like this:
Mandatory Education Information
The institution issuing it
Years of enrollment and graduation
Unlike with your work experience section, listing your impressive academic accomplishments is optional. You should include this part only if you have a moderate work history and add feats such as a high GPA, relevant courses, extracurricular activities, club memberships, and more.
However, if you’re a senior manager with years of professional history, you should let your past jobs do the talking and keep your education section to a minimum.
Now let’s see an example:
Education Section Example
BSc in Business Administration
University of Maryland, College Park, MD
Relevant coursework: Management and Leadership, Accounting and Finance, Operations Management, Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
Manager Resume Skills
When it comes to adding skills to your management resume, there are two key principles to adhere to:
Management Resume Skills Key Principles
Add relevant manager resume skills
Prove them with relevant workplace achievements
The first step generally involves examining the job ad and looking into the company that you’re applying to. This should give you more than enough information on which skills recruiters are looking for, making it easy to create a list in your resume.
The purpose of the list is to give recruiters easy access to your skill set. Moreover, these abilities can act as keywords for the ATS, so having them neatly displayed helps with the software scan.
The skills section usually goes after your education section, and adding it to the document means we’re halfway done with the process. All that remains is to substantiate those skills to make them legitimate in the eyes of recruiters and hiring managers.
You can achieve that by mentioning some of your most prominent abilities throughout your manager resume, particularly in your work experience section. Find a way to include a specific skill next to a relevant accomplishment, and you’ll make it credible.
Which hard skills you should add to your resume heavily depends on the specific position that you’re applying for. For example, a general manager resume will likely feature different hard skills than a project manager resume. Some common hard management skills include:
Soft skills (also known as people skills) are transferable between different management roles and even entirely different careers. Here are some of the soft skills recruiters look for in candidates:
Manager Resume Optional Sections
Optional sections can help you turn an ordinary resume into a unique and personalized document. Let’s find out which ones you can take advantage of.
Certifications can be a valuable part of your manager resume, as they represent a verification of a certain level of expertise and specific knowledge in the field. Furthermore, they show your commitment to learning and improvement, which are generally sought-after traits in candidates.
Adding certifications to your manager resume is relatively simple. You can create a separate section after all the mandatory ones and list the name of the certification and the organization that issued it, along with the date that you earned it.
Here’s an example:
Certifications Section Example
Certified Manager, Institute of Certified Professional Managers (ICPM), 2020
Attending conferences helps managers stay up-to-date with industry trends and best practices. Moreover, they give professionals in specific fields the opportunity to disseminate knowledge, learn from others, and build a professional network.
When adding conferences to your manager resume, in addition to adding the name of the conference and its location, you can also include the names of any notable speakers, sessions, or workshops attended. This way, you can highlight your connection with some prominent names in the industry.
Moreover, you should emphasize any conferences where you gave speeches or events you organized.
The benefits of having publications listed on your manager resume are multifaceted. On the one hand, peer-reviewed publications demonstrate a high degree of professional competence. On top of that, by listing yourself as the author of a specific publication, you also highlight your impeccable communication skills and the ability to effectively convey complex ideas.
Publications can be anything from books, articles, and white papers to blog posts and even podcasts, and you should list them starting with the most prominent ones. Make sure to include the name of your work and the publication outlet.
Hobbies & Interests
The hobbies and interests section can help you add a healthy dose of charm to an otherwise rather formal document. By briefly mentioning a couple of activities that you’re truly passionate about, you can stand out in the eyes of recruiters as a driven and enthusiastic individual.
Should You Submit a Cover Letter With Your Manager Resume?
You can show that you’re eager to go the extra mile by writing a personalized cover letter and submitting it with your resume. This document gives you more space to talk about your skills and accomplishments and convince recruiters that you’re the right person for the job.
A cover letter can also help you create a strong personal connection with the recruiter right off the bat. You can find out the recruiter’s details online and address them by name, building rapport and potentially developing a meaningful relationship. Moreover, you can finish the letter with a call to action, encouraging them to contact you.
Let’s wrap up this exhaustive guide with a couple of expert tips that will help you get the most out of your resume:
The purpose of your resume summary or objective is to show what you bring to potential employers and focus on what they can gain from hiring you. One of the ways to achieve that is by omitting personal pronouns to shift attention from you to your skills and achievements.
It’s common practice to submit a soft copy of your manager resume as a PDF file. However, you should check the job ad beforehand to see if the company accepts it, since ATS might run into issues with it.
To get the most from your cover letter, you should include details that didn’t fit your resume in the first place without repeating the information you have already added to it.
You should thoroughly proofread and spell-check your resume before submitting it.
Job-Winning Manager Resume Example
To help you put everything we learned into practice and give you a general idea of what your resume should look like in the end, we created a professional manager resume example:
After reading this guide, you probably know that your manager resume is not just a long, humdrum list of your skills and achievements. It’s also a personalized document that should reflect your traits and identity, as well as your management style.
By following all the guidelines, tips, and tricks we discussed, you’ll have a strong resume in no time. Remember to highlight your strengths, mention your transferable skills, and demonstrate your leadership prowess. Lastly, don’t forget to spice things up with a dab of charisma—that can end up being the final touch that ensures you an interview!