Sourcing Jobs for PM 101: Tips, Resume, LinkedIN, Networking 101, websites to follow

Proven and tested Tips and Strategy to get that PM job fast and efficiently !

Ok so you have decided to be a product manager and looking to get that interview and finally convert it !

This is a no nonsense guide to widen your funnel for your Product Manager job and use it smartly to get that job faster and efficiently !

I will walk you through following in a concise way

  • Product Manager skills required

  • Important books for reference before PM interview

  • Resume

  • Cover Letter

  • Portfolio Site

  • Sourcing PM Jobs | Job Sites

  • Networking 101

  • Interview readiness

  • Target Companies

  • During the PM interview

Your takeaway

  • Leverage tips and strategy to create your resume, cover letter, proof of work faster

  • Use mentioned strategy to get, source and apply to jobs increasing your chances of selection

  • Save your time on internet , read it here !


Product Manager skills required

Note the important PM skills expected from Product manager’s in the job.

You should highlight the ones you have and try to build the others (no one can be 100% perfect in all imo !)

  • Product Execution: Work with developer, designer to get the product shipped/released

  • Product Analytics and success metrics: Pull and analyse data, Define Success metrics for products

  • Prioritization: Given n number of backlog items , prioritise based on ‘impact and value’

  • Technical Knowledge: Great to have, can be acquired by reading on things (API, Cache, Redis, Load balancer, database etc blah blah)

  • Stakeholder Communication: Communicate and escalate things often and early (as an APM/PM to high ups)

  • Written Communication: PRD, BRD and Mail writing,Minutes of meeting, strive to write well

  • Business Sense: Know your business and environment you operate in SaaS, Enterprise , B2C, B2B etc

  • Product and Product Design Sense: Able to think and critique flows, features and design 

  • Raw Skills 

    • Low ego, humble hustle 

    • Low maintenance (can figure out things on own) and curious

    • Sense of urgency

Takeaway: You are clear with expected PM skills


Important books for reference before PM interview

Go through these at-least once or twice to internalize the mental models they are presenting

  • How to crack PM interview: Read end to end as interviewers have referred to this book

  • Inspired by Marty Cagan: Read and re-read.

  • Decode and Conquer by Lewis Lin: PM Questions and Answers, frameworks

Takeaway: Be familiar with idea in these books. Re read if necessary


Resume

  • Resume: Customised resume based on company/position(use JD)

            Example: Have finance certifications, highlight for fintech PM jobs 

  • Have a Master Resume: 

    • Larger version of resume with all points (even minor ones)

    • Drag and drop to create tailored your resume for each company/position

  • Resume Review: Get your resume reviewed and critiqued

  • Generally One pager: Quick to glance and review, pdf and Readable by ATS (Applicant Tracking System)

  • Whitespace between sections to increase readability

  • Keep it simple to be read for hiring side and simple to edit for you also (fast turnaround)

Resume Checklist

  • Be Selective on what to include in resume 

  • Tailored for company/position

  • Examples of your contribution (data and metrics prefer % , avoid company secret numbers in general)   

  • Provide enough context but not be excessively technical 

An example: (Increased 10% lead generated in 2020 using CMS, SEO and web search) 

  • Tech product built: Include link, great way to show proof of work

  • Hobbies and extras achievements where you have moved metrics 

  • Great Checklist read

Resume Structure

  • Educational Qualification: Include

  • GPA: Show if stellar, else can be skipped. Can be skipped if exp> than 3-4 years

  • Work Experience: Accomplished [X] as measured by [Y] by doing [Z]

  • Work Experience @companies: Include major work~3-4 points per company, be coherent and work you can justify and answer questions

  • Tie Work Experience to some metrics(its possible): NPS/CSAT/revenue/moving some metrics of company

  • Product Certifications and courses: Include(Heypm, Coursera, Udacity etc)

  • Tools: Important, include: Heap, Google Analytics, Figma, Balsamiq, Mixpanel etc

  • Technologies worth highlighting  

    • SQL,Data products, iOS/Android experience, Identity

    • Personalisation, Advertisements system, APIs, SaaS payments, Crypto

Tip: Leave some white space between the sections to ease readability

Takeaway: Prepare your master resume and resume in target companies


Cover Letter

  • Cover Letter: Generally not required these days, but can be required

  • Should be personalised for each company, short and highlight things apart from resume

  • Cover Letter Format: Follow ‘Cracking the PM Interview’ Cover letter chapter and Format (Page 137-143)

Takeaway: Prepare your cover letter now


Portfolio Site

Maintaining Portfolio site is a great way to

  • To showcase your tech side of skills 

  • Hint technical fluency

  • People can discover and reach out to you (awesome stuff)

How to build one ?

  • Build a quick mvp page using WIX.com, Webflow, Google sites, https://carrd.co/ (awesome)  or Use Any no code tool

  • Use Linktree to put all links together and add in resume(https://linktr.ee/)

What to Include in Portfolio Site?

  • Put Resume link, Skills, Courses done, certifications, work ex, contact info

  • Must include any app/site/working prototype if built 

  • Start doing product critiques, suggested improvements in existing products, write ups regularly and show case them. 

  • Share these on LinkedIN and Twitter to let people discover you (distribution is very important and you gotta hustle if you really want to be lucky this way !)

Examples of Portfolio Site

  • Ways and points to create great portfolio Example

Takeaway: Your portfolio site is ready and well distributed


Sourcing PM Jobs | Job Sites

Linkedin

  • Extensively use Linkedin Job Search 

  • Search on Linkedin, e.g. “hiring PM”, “hiring APM” to see posts

  • Set up daily reminder from companies and locations sent as mail(APM/PM/SPMJobs from Delhi/Hyderabad/Bangalore/Jakarta/Singapore)

  • Use Linkedin Premium to reach out to recruiters/hiring folks

    Tip: How to create great linkedin profile

Naukri.com

  • Surprisingly still good for getting APM/PM interviews. 

  • Lot of recruiters are here

  • Update your information often on site (freshness)

  • Set up daily job reminders sent as mail from locations/companies

IIMjobs

  • Great for Indian PM jobs, responsive and good conversion

  • Since recruiters post active jobs here 

  • Can consider paid plan 

Hirist

  • Good for PM jobs, can consider paid plan, part of IIMjobs(naukri now).

Angel.co, Indeed, Cutshort, Instahyre, Tophire: 

  • New aged job site where resume is screened and access is provided

  • Sign up and get inside for auctions

Tip: Keep on updating your resume and profile on these sites, recently updated is a signal to appear in recruiter search

Glassdoor and Indeed: 

  • Aggregates jobs, hence ok since job may be filled.

  • Set up email notifications.

Product community slack groups: Join them

  • Product School

  • HeyPM etc

Third Party Recruiter

  • Great since they lookout for candidates on active mandates from companies.LinkedIN and Naukri has many Third Party Recruiters 

  • Follow product management schools (PM School, Product folks, HeyPM etc) posting pm jobs on LinkedIN and Twitter

  • Follow product influencers on Twitter and LinkedIN

  • Search for posts on LinkedIN and Twitter to reach to job poster directly

Angellist

  • Create profile on AngelList to connect https://angel.co/

  • Apply to 100s of start-ups/great companies +plus Salary range is mentioned. 

  • Apply > feedback on next steps > If you and company accepts, then an email is sent to both of you cc’ing each other and a meeting is set. 

  • Make sure you mention in the Heading that you are looking for a Job and tune your profile settings accordingly on Angellist

Tip: Angellist works great 

Your Current Company

  • Move upward in your current company: If PM position in your current company, Set up 1:1 with your manager and express your intent

  • Apprentice as PM intern/PM help within the company 

  • Help with product analytics and product research for senior PM

Important Tip: Make your interest known to your manager and get involved in PM things at the company.

VC Firm websites

  • Track recently funded companies on tech sites like Inc42, Techcrunch,Entrackr etc and visit their career page

    Example: Koo, Kutumb etc

  • Check sites like Sequoia Surge, their career page https://surge-jobs.belong.co/

  • Venture Capital site has a career page (https://www.sequoiacap.com/india/jobs/)

Look at Southeast Asia now

  • Just like India, Southeast Asia has vibrant tech ecosystem

  • They are hiring for product roles and raiding Indian talent.Few have offices in India also. Example: Pasarpolis, Bukuwarang etc

  • User Linkedin and Angel.co to apply for those jobs, by selecting filters

  • Example Companies: Pasarpolis, Go Jek, Grab etc. 

  • An example: https://sg.indeed.com/Product-Manager-Asia-Pacific-jobs

Middle East

  • Just like India, Middle East has decent tech ecosystem

  • They are hiring for product roles and raiding Indian talent. Example: Careem, Talabat etc

  • User Linkedin and Angel.co to apply for those jobs, by selecting filters. Use following sites

Remote Jobs and Freelancing

Consider great remote jobs. 

Toptal 

  • Consider Toptal for contractual jobs also. 

  • Freelancing but great companies and compensation

  • High bar to get in

Upwork

  • From India apply for first world country PM freelancing

  • Good earning and learning potential if utilized well

Takeaway: Your profile and resume should be live on these sites. Also now you know where all to source the interview and PM job.


Networking 101

Cold Emailing

  • Cold Emailing: Identify the target person and company

  • Write a simple introduction with as much context as possible asking your ask and attach resume

  • Remember if done well (and not spammed), it has zero downside risk.

  • You will most probably end up getting the job/fast forwaded

  • Resource: https://hbr.org/2016/09/a-guide-to-cold-emailing

Tip 1: Cold email decision makers/hr business partners recently funded startups, they are under the radar and chances of landing the job are high since they want to hire actively to fill folks

Cold Emailing channels

  •  Linkedin messages

  •  Twitter replied and DMs (when open)

  • Emails

Cold Emailing Hacks:

  • Offer as much information about you to them for making decision

  • Offer some critique/Suggestions etc

Understand Networking in PM Jobs context:

  •    Sharing knowledge

  •    Update your knowledge

  •    Meet Incredible people

  •    Get opportunities

Where to network:

Takeaway: Should be able to reach out for help, job


Interview readiness

Research the company thoroughly

  • Company research: Go to their site, try their app/website and offerings.

  • Understand well what, why and how (if possible) of their offerings (Example of an identity as a service) 

  • Products (offerings, Competitors, Market etc)

  • Strategy (mission, values,Strength, Weakness, Threats, Competitors etc.)

  • Culture (People in the company, Key people, Interviewers, glassdoor review)

  • Blind: Must , employees post important info on comp, culture etc

Be ready with frequently asked questions

Define Yourself Questions :Write down answers in google doc and practice before mirror .Record it and get it critiqued, will be asked often

  • Tell Me About Yourself

  • Why do you want to work here?

  • Why we should hire you?

  • Why leaving your current job?

  • What do you do in spare time ?

  • Where you see in 5/10/15 years?

  • Strengths and Weakness etc

Tip: Keep answers to these questions handy:

https://productschool.com/blog/product-management-2/the-ultimate-list-product-manager-interview-questions/

  • Behavioral Questions Centres around Leadership, Teamwork, Success ,Challenges Mistakes/Failure (example: how you resolved conflict, project failure, shown initiative etc)

  • Estimation QuestionsEstimate Gmail revenues in India, apple phone user in India 

  • Case Questions Fb buying whatsapp, Instagram , Amazon entering India, Fb investing in Jio etc

  • Product Questions Alarm clock for blind, microwave for old etc

  • Favourite Product: A Physical(Cycle, Medicine box etc), A Digital (Twitter), A digital hardware (Kindle, Your Phone maybe) 

Polish basic technical skills

  • Basic technical stuff like how internet works, what happens when you hit enter in google, Cache,identity and authentication etc

  • Google and learn new technical terms, technology and summarise from product perspective

  • Important: Inculcate this habit of googling and figuring out things

Eg. Imagine applying at Confluent as PM (you should brush up Kafka skills then,similarly applies to other company)

Subscribe to Technically

Takeaway: Basic PM questions are documented and practiced well


Target Companies

List your target companies

  • Tip 1: Based on my learning, Try to join a well funded or funded companies in growing sectors (SaaS,edtech in India, b2b,e-com etc) apart from FAANG

  • Tip 2: Look who your mentor/manager will be, if someone is investing time in grooming you,can be good place to join (gauge from interview vibes)

  • Tip 3: If founders are not maniacal, and you get a chance to work with them , take it. Learning is better than your average managers !(more skin in the game)

  • Tip 4: Bonus points if you get to launch 0-1 an 1-100 products from scratch 

Think owning one feature end to end-exposed to FE, BE, API, design etc, not just optimisations on existing 

  • Stealth mode startups (a bit risky, learning and esops reward)

  • Just funded (risk and reward in compensation and success)

    • Y combinator, Sequoia, Accel, other funded

  • Well funded (~10-20 million dollars, Koo, Kutumb etc)

  • Funded and doing very well: Razorpay, Browserstack etc. 

  • Indian Unicorns: Zomato, Swiggy, Ola, Nykaa, Unacademy  

  • MNCs: FAANG, Salesforce, Uber, Expedia etc (huge stock upside)

  • Smaller MNCs like Sprinklr, Khoros,Chegg etc (*Tip: great target)

  • Well funded and breakout companies: Frontrow, Koo, Classplus,WinZo etc

  • Excel sheet of target companies: Create an excel sheet of companies you are targeting, with status columns (applied/ moving ahead etc). Example here 

  • Not all product management companies are kinda equal, so check the space they operate in.

  • If you know a space well (payments, SaaS, crypto etc) use it to your advantage by highlighting it and targeting companies

  • Example: 

Enterprise companies are sales and marketing driven 

B2B are sales and distribution driven 

E-commerce has buyer and supplier side logistics side etc. 

Banks and Fintechs have their regulations to deal with

Growth PM is fast and number driven so is Gaming ones

Takeaway: You are clear with company list and kind of companies you want to apply


During the PM interview

  • Apply to many companies

    • Reflect on Interview experience

    • Prepare for Long interview cycle

    • Getting first PM job can take sometime so patience !

  • Apply to companies/position where you may not meet all qualifications. Apply anyway

  • Don’t be dejected by

    • Resume not selected

    • Sometimes companies ghost for reasons outside your control

  • Learn from interviews and iterate upon. Have fun !

  • Get clarity on Salary expectations from company

    • Suggest your expectations too, so both of you are aligned. 

    • After few probing generally (not always) reveal comp range

  • Have multiple interviews lined up if you want to negotiate 

  • Move fast and close the interview

    • Schedule interview ahead 

    • Move fast on interview to close the offer quickly

  • Company Assignments: 

    • Try to complete well ahead of time and submit 

    • *Be careful to not do too many for free

Share

*These are based on my experience, so feel free to iterate and share what works and what new things could be added this to the list

Leave a comment

Share Productlly