First steps to get a job as an Associate Product Manager

So, you’ve found about the Product Management career and it seems like a good fit for you. Here are some things to help you land your first job.

Be it an Associate Product Manager or Junior Product Manager, working as a PM is not something companies want to assign to anyone so easily. It’s one of the hottest careers on the market and to get into it you need to be prepared. Let’s get to the concerns first:

Am I a good fit?

Many people are concerned about what their background is and whether they have a chance on Product Management. Well, some good news: Product Managers come from all different places.

Nowadays there are some very successful ones which had backgrounds such as Marketing, Support, Design, Business, Development or even other disciplines not connected to technology. Also, many professionals start their career by moving from another role inside the company and preparing to become a PM. However keep in mind that some skills and knowledge are required. Let’s get into that.

Dive into it

Although PMs come from different places, you will need to understand about product. A lot. So, stretch and get ready to devour content and understand how products are made, what make great products, how to ship the right product, how to work with developers, designers and other professionals and above all, understand the consumer.

Read books by recognized experts. One good start is the classic book from Marty Cagan, Inspired. Marty is founder of the Silicon Valley Product Group (SVPG) and has been a great evangelist of Product Management. A second one is Dan Olsen’s Lean Product Playbook. It’s easy to read and can help you think how to apply the Lean methodology to a product.

PM is an evolving discipline inside an ever-changing tech environment. It’s good to follow Product Managers and people who discuss about product on Twitter. Here’s a great list to start.

Also, check out some of the Product Management websites and blogs and read articles about it. Mind the Product has posts from different authors. Also check Aha! and definitely Inside Intercom. To keep up with the latest updates on technology and product be sure to add TechCrunch and Product Hunt to your favorites.

Look for the opportunities

There are hundreds of Junior and Associate Product Manager positions available nowadays. Another possibility are the Associate Product Manager programs, which allow you to work inside some of the greatest tech companies and get an opportunity to dive into it. The first of these programs was developed by Marissa Mayer (CEO at Yahoo!) while she worked at Google.

The idea is to select high-potential candidates and prepare them internally to become part of the future leaders at Google. These programs usually have a rotational aspect, and APMs are exposed to different areas and products. Check out some of the most famous:

Facebook’s Rotational Product Manager Program:

http://fbrpms.com/

Yahoo Associate Product Managers Program:

https://careers.yahoo.com/us/students/content/1729

http://yahooapms.tumblr.com/

Yelp’s Associate Product Manager Class:

https://www.yelp.com/careers/job-openings/7701ed4c-417f-4720-8fda-afcec200bc78

Twitter’s Associate Product Manager Program:

http://www.twitterapm.com/

Google’s Associate Product Manager Program:

https://goo.gl/vEzQZc/

These programs are not the only path to get an Associate Product Manager position, so start studying and learning and begin your hunt to find what companies and industries you’re most interested about. Good luck!


If you want to learn more about how to become a Great Product Management, check out Tech School One’s Online Course. It’s Online, Self-paced and Mentor Guided. Reserve your spot today!


Originally posted on Tech Career One Blog. Written by Andre Martins.