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All related (13)
Rekha Srivatsan
Vice President Product Marketing at Salesforce April 17

I'm a huge fan of shorter, concise resumes. If you can articulate your journey and experience on one page, it will help me to process your resume well. Some red flags I've observed:

  • Typos/grammatical errors - Attention to detail is a core skill for a PMM, so it is a big turn-off for me if your resume has these errors.
  • Lack of customer narrative - Customer conversations are integral to a PMM role, so if it's not mentioned in your resume that's a flag for me. 
  • Run-on sentences - As a PMM, you are expected to have clear, concise communication -- verbal and written. 
  • Too much fluff - When stating your experience, be real and practical. Don't exaggerate it too much or make it super jargon-y that its difficult to follow.
Jenna Crane
Head of Product Marketing at Klaviyo | Formerly Drift, Dropbox, UpworkNovember 18

Getting on my soapbox here for a second (though I suppose I've been on it this whole time) — make sure your resume is concise and clear. It should be 2 pages MAX, ideally 1 page. I don't care if you've been in the industry for 30 years, you should be able to distill down your experience into 1 or 2 pages. 

I've passed on candidates who technically have strong experience because their resume is a long rambling mess that I tried to read and couldn't get through. 

This sounds like a ridiculous and arbitrary practice, but it's not. Here's why. Your resume is the first work sample you submit. It's an example of how you position yourself as a candidate. Think of it like a one-pager you'd make for sales, but about yourself. 

If a candidate struggles to convey their experience (and value) in a clear, concise, and compelling way, the same will be true for how they market our company and our products. 

Abdul Rastagar
GTM Leader | Marketing Author | Career Coach at June 8

There seems to be a common thread among talented marketers who don’t do well in their interviews - responses sound generic, answers are often way too long and provide too much background information, and there is little to no focus on outcomes. 

For product marketers, outcomes are the number one priority of their job so, in an interview, you must also be able to clearly articulate your own value and the outcomes you’ve achieved. Be specific. That signals to me that you get the strategic nature of product marketing. Otherwise, you’ve just positioned yourself as a tactical taskmaster instead of a strategic product marketer.

Just like my previous answer to a related question, I am purposefully giving a strongly opinionated response because I hope it will help readers up their game: don’t tell me any stories, show me your results. 😊

Pragnya Paramita
Group Product Marketing Manager at Amplitude September 19

My top 2 based on recent experiences:

  • Very rudimentary but using bullets from the job description instead of actually writing what you did and what was the result, is still not as common in resumes as it should be. 
  • If the stories/achievements you are hoping to talk about in the interview are not articulated as bullet points somewhere in your resume then your resume is not quite ready for show time.
Steve Feyer
Product Marketing Director at Eightfold November 9

I had a PMM candidate tell me that he was not comfortable presenting to audiences. Obviously a deal-breaker there. Every PMM needs to present.

I've reviewed resumes or LinkedIn pages which were poorly written. Not someone I am going to call, as every PMM needs to write well. If writing isn't your strength, make sure that you have a friend review your personal materials so you get the chance to impress with your other qualities.

More generally, I always want to be sure that a PMM can "get their hands dirty" delivering the work. PMMs often have the same background and general intelligence as consultants, but it's not a consulting job. You don't succeeed at product marketing by issuing recommendations and then expecting someone else to deliver on them---it's all you, buddy! So I try to probe about how a candidate has actually delivered the accomplishments that are on their resume. If digging in reveals that they weren't a tactical & practical player at some point, I will pass.

Daniel Palay
Head Of Product Marketing at 3Gtms March 4

This isn't about avoidance or red flags, but what I consider the single most important behavioral question to ask, whether you are the one interviewing or the one being interviewed: When you're in the kitchen, do you like to cook or do you like to bake?

The answer is so incredibly telling about what aspects of product marketing someone will be good at, and how you can best work with them (depending on whether you have the same answer they do, or a different one).

Max A.
Director of Product Marketing at PandaDoc November 14

This is a red flag for me: 

  • Answering behavioral questions with hypotheticals and generalities as opposed to describing specifics of the projects they worked on and using the CAR model (challenge — action — results). If I can get no specifics even after I follow-up with clarifying questions, I'll likely pass.
Clare Hegg
Director of Product Marketing at Skopenow October 3

In initial PMM interview screens I always ask the same question (partially because it just works and partially because it sets a nice running baseline for me); 'Describe to me your favourite product to me. Tell me what is it, why you like it, and what sets it apart.' This gets to the fundimental heart of what a good PMM should be able to do... articulate value, distill a product description in a few moments, and tell a story to get someone interested. Very strong PMMs will not only be able to do it but will know to chose a product that is within the same realm of products/services that your company delivers (trust me I've heard some absolutely insane answers).