Land Your First Product Management Gig (with no coding experience)
3 min read

Land Your First Product Management Gig (with no coding experience)

Land Your First Product Management Gig (with no coding experience)

There's currently a bit of a paradox going on. On one hand, tech companies and startups are struggling to hire and retain tech talent, seeing what has been termed as "The Great Resignation". On the other hand, there's a large group of folks trying to break into product management. For a role that has no hard educational or experience pre-requisites, is this such a hard problem to solve?

Put yourself in the shoes of a PM recuiter

You have openings for a few PM roles, and a ton of people interested in becoming a PM, but the hiring manager needs someone to hit the ground running and not have to spend time coaching and mentoring the new joinee for 6 months on how to be a PM, to then just lose them to the next startup.

So what do you do? Filter out anyone who has no prior PM experience or related skills.

This ends in a chicken or the egg type of situation where candidates need to have been a PM to become a PM.

So what can you do to stand out?

Help me write better content for you.. 2 mins survey:
(I will pick one respondent to get a free 60 mins session with me to cover any topic of your interest)

You need to stand out from the competition by showcasing work experience that you already have that'll prove to recruiters and hiring managers that you'll make a great PM from day 1 with little need for coaching.

  1. Side Hustle: Pick a problem -> Solve it -> Find more problems -> Repeat
    There's a bunch of no-code and low-code options to do this; while this takes the most effort, the payoff will also be the highest in terms of building and showcasing PM skills.
  2. Internship: Add value to gain a skill
    If you're a student or have some time to take up an internship, this is the best way to get that first PM title on your resume. Pitch your industry knowledge, communication skills, or coding prowess as value to a startup in exchange for some well-rounded PM skills development and experience.
  3. 20% Projects: Pick up the slack
    Find a PM, or even some in an adjacent role like product marketing, design, strategy, etc. and offer them some help. This is the easiest way to build some PM-related skills without changing your company or job. Offer to work overtime even to help solve a specific problem like coordinating a product beta, or running user discovery sessions. Gather the pieces of the puzzle individually.
  4. Show Your Work: Learn in Public
    This is a bonus tip. If you want to stand out to recruiters and hiring managers, put out some content that they can look at to assess your product sense and thought process. Do something as easy as product reviews of popular products that you use, along with suggestions for improvement and growth. (I surpassed the competition to land a couple of roles based on this cherry on top of the profile; it works!)

Once you've gotten the experience and skills in place, the next step is showcasing that experience in your resume, interviews, and thinking.

But that's a post for another week. Subscribe to be the first to read it.

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