In 2019, I was in Sales at Treebo, taking care of a couple of regions in the South. While this role was good, I felt I had a strong passion for problem solving and building products. Though I had a desire to move into Product, neither did I have enough courage to make the move nor did I have interest to start preparing for a new role altogether. I knew, I got complacent.
And then it happened. Sighting funding reasons, Treebo laid off about 200 of its employees, and I was one of them. I got lucky, I should say! Though it was a bit of a shocker for me, it was a blessing in disguise… That finally let me try my hand at Product.
And as a I moved from Sales to Product, the transition was anything but easy.
Landing a PM interview itself was a big hurdle, leave alone getting selected. Nevertheless, with the right attitude and approach to becoming a Product Manager, I was able to make it. It took me about two months to land an interview and a good four months to get selected at Edureka, my first company as a Product Manager.
If you too are aspiring to become a Product Manager and are a little lost about how to crack it, below are a few resources you could start with. If I was able to transition from a Sales role to a Product role, you can too!
Remember, landing a Product role is not easy. Different companies have different definition of a Product Manager and the expectations and requirements too are different from company to company.
I hope this article gives you some direction on how to proceed and know what are the basic things every Product Manager should do, no matter which company.
Books to Read
There are many Product Manager preparatory books out there. Below are a few which I read and found them very useful as a beginner!
- Decode and Conquer by Lewis C Lin
- The Product Manager Interview by Lewis C Lin
- Cracking the PM Interview by Gayle Laakmann and Jackie Bavaro
- Hooked by Nir Eyal
- Lean Startup by Eric Ries
Sample Resume and Cover Letter
I would recommend a one-page resume. You can trim your resume by removing all the points which do not add credibility to your profile or amplify your PM skillsets, like your drawing competition award in Grade I!
When mentioning previous work experience, do not write lengthy paragraphs. Just mention the key achievements, key results, key metrics you were able to move.
My resume for your reference: Arjun’s Resume
I have used Novoresume to create mine. It is quite handy. Check it here
Use my resume as a template. There is no hard and fast rule that your resume should be like mine. This resume is for you to draw some inspiration and tweak yours to create the best version to showcase yourself.
My sample cover letter: Cover Letter
Not all companies ask for a cover letter, but having one could be very handy when sending a detailed application on email or when filling up a registration form on a new job portal
Case Studies and Assignments
Assignments form an important criteria for selection in many companies (especially startups). They help the recruiters guage the potential of the candidate without wasting much of their time.
A good assignment could come a long way in not just clearing the round but also in earning brownie points in case the interview doesn’t go very well!
A few assignments which I did for some of the companies I applied for:
- Improve Ambition Box by 10X
- Improve LinkedIn and build a to-do list App
- Improve Spotify
- RCA Problem
- All other assignments
PM Interview Questions
Some sample PM Interview questions:
- My actual interview questions
- Some sample interview questions and answers
- PM interview behavioural questions
PM Preparation Courses
Some courses which understand your exact need and guide you in the right direction:
Product Communities to join
Product Communities were the best thing that happened to me in my entire journey. They were my saviour. The folks in these communities help each other and the overall guidance and support you get is priceless. From helping you get started with your first interview to brainstorming a complex feature building exercise, you will get everything here.
I would recommend you join them immediately, if you haven’t joined yet!
Here are a few communities I am part of (on Slack). And the best thing… They are FREE!
Other Online Product Resources
Some online blogs and YouTube channels have especially been very helpful in preparing the dreadful Product Design, Product Improvement and Product Strategy questions.
Here are a few you MUST check-out:
All My Resources
- You can find all the resources here: Arjun’s PM Interview Resources
All these resources may not be completely sufficient to crack the elusive Product Manager role, do not worry… Keep at it, you will make it!
- And do not hesitate to reach out to me if you need further guidance: LinkedIn
🙏🏼 Thank you for reading!
👍🏼 Hope you found this useful. If you think this could help any other aspiring Product Manager, do share it with them too!
💬 Also, if you need my help with anything else, do leave your comment below!