Join Cole Mercer for an in-depth discussion in this video Inside advice on your PM job hunt, part of Get a Job in Product Management.
- Hey, everyone, before we move on to the actual résumé and interview process, I wanted to give you a couple of sort of insider tips on looking for a product management job. These are kind of miscellaneous tips that I just thought that I should tell you about, and pay attention, because they will help you in the long run. The first tip is for any product management job opportunity, you should make sure that the company that is looking to hire has a good understanding of the product management role and can clearly illustrate why they're hiring one.
I say this because as an observer of the industry, I've seen a lot of companies that don't see the difference between product and project management. Sometimes these companies will end up hiring somebody merely to keep engineers on task, and if you can, you want to avoid this, to maximize your experience for actual product management. The second tip I have for you is to do a lot of research on the current product team or project management leader at the company. Find them on Twitter, look at their blogs, check out their job history on LinkedIn, and see what you think about the things that they say.
What you're looking for here is someone that you think you can learn a lot from, that has had product management experience before. Sometimes someone will be named director of product at small growing companies, but they'll have no product management experience before that, and this is something that, trust me, you really want to avoid. On the other hand, if you're interested in working for a particular industry or company down the road, then working for somebody that has worked in that industry in the past is a great thing to know, it's a great thing to be able to say, I would like them to be my boss so I can learn from them.
So pay attention to that. All right, so recap here, do extensive research on the people that you'll be working with, and use it to your advantage. Also, make sure that the company that's hiring you knows why they're hiring a product manager so that you get a good role at a good product team where you can learn a lot. I'll see you on the next lecture, we're going to move into the actual résumé and interview process. Catch you there.