Overview

Management is a varied job title and can span a wide variety of more niche specialities from human resource management, marketing management, accounting management, executive management, and beyond. However, it is the role of the General Manager, or Operations Manager to oversee the day-to-day ongoings of a business and ensure all departments and their respective managers are working together in conjunction to achieve goals set out by business leadership.

From planning and forecasting to directing staff and coordinating departments, Operations Managers are at the core of a businesses organizational structure and are thus always in high demand in growing industries.

Given the varied tasks expected of this job title, individuals often have to balance the use of various inter and intra-personal skill-sets in order to both manager his/her personal duties including planning, forecasting, and reporting to director level individuals. The place in between front line management, that is departmental managers or floor managers, and executive management, is bridged by the General Manager.

These individuals may be responsible for business units, corporate divisions, or geographic regions and are often promoted from within an organization as their job requires an in-depth understanding of all levels of a business’s operations.

While the responsibilities assigned to General/Operations Managers are numerous, their compensation is usually structured in a way to reward hard work and dedication within an organization. The ability to lead teams, hit business targets, and communicate directly with company leadership are some of the reasons this profession is both highly stressful yet highly rewarding.

Pay

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the median Operations Manager salary at just over $108,000/year, on average, as it is considered a senior level position. Salary aggregator puts their median salary figure slightly lower at around $62,000/year. The large discrepancies can be attributed to a multitude of factors including the location of the job, with those in top-tier and coastal cities paying considerably more, to the company worked for, as well as the industry. High tech and finance industries have the highest average salaries, while retail and durable goods industries have lower average salaries.

Operations Manager Salary Statistics

2016 Median Pay$86,110 per year
$41.40 per hour
Typical Entry-level EducationBachelor's degree
Work Experience in a Related OccupationLess than 5 years
On-the-job TrainingNone
Number of Jobs, 2016287,300
Job Outlook, 2014-2024+8%
Employment Change, 2014-202423,500
Sources: U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics & Payscale.com

It should also be noted that many management compensation packages are often incentivized, including profit sharing, bonuses, commission and stock options. It is important to factor these other remuneration methods into account when applying to a job or negotiating a salary before accepting the offer.

Industry Forecast

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a growth rate of around +7% between 2014 and 2024, which is in line with the average growth rate for all occupations combined, which is also around +7%.  This is logical, as the demand for managers can only increase if industries across the board are also growing. An economic downturn or recession that impacts all industries will also likely hit the Operational Management sector, as well. National economic growth rates and demand for this profession are symbiotic in nature.

To always be prepared for the ups and downs of an economy, managers will do well to continually update their resumes so that they are always prepared to shift employers, if necessary, and updating regularly is much easier than trying to recall all of your achievements over a 5 year period all at once. Likewise, nurturing professional relationships and building your network is highly valuable as it will most likely be your network that lands you your next job, given the seniority level of your position.

Types of Operations Manager

Besides being known as General Managers, other titles include Operations Director, Director of Operations, VP Operations, Store Manager, President, or Executive Director.

Given that this is a senior level position, many managers are also directly groomed for more executive level roles within companies as many board of directors and CEO’s prefer promoting from within their pool of talented employees who have just the kind of in-depth understanding of an organization and its workers that Operations Managers hold.

Example Resume Download

Below is an example of a professionally written Operations Manager resume that you can download, save, and print out for reference when crafting your own resume.

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How To Write Your Own

In addition to the above provided sample, below is a selection of additional writing tips to keep in mind when composing your resume.

Include Diverse Skills & Experiences

Because of the non-specialized nature of this position, meaning you do not just focus on one very specific aspect of a company, like an HR Specialist, for example , you will have to include skills and experiences that reflect this broad and complex position. A good operations resume will include a mix of customer service skills and experiences, project management experience, leadership abilities, and people management.

To reflect the above roles you will mention teams you led, efficiencies achieved, big projects managed through to completion, sales growth, company expansion, and positive customer service/brand image promotion. You will illustrate these abilities via various more descriptive bullet points in your professional experience section as well as mentioning leadership type skills later again in the additional skills section of the resume.

Ultimately, you want your resume to accurately reflect the challenging and diverse skills required to be the hub of organization within the epicenter of a busy beehive of a company.

Quantify Numerically

Always stay business-minded when writing your resume. Look at the document through the eyes of the reader, which will be both HR professionals and company executives. What impresses these types of individuals the most? Figures. Statistics. Numbers! So, whenever possible, numerically quantify your achievements on your resume to provide scope and substance to the point.

If you managed a team or department, then state how many people were in that team or department. If you managed a budget, state that budget in dollar terms. If you saved costs, state them in percentage terms. Do not write the numbers out, write them numerically; it is not only accepted, but encouraged, as they jump off the page.

Put Company Interests First

While your resume is essentially a professional autobiography and thus includes your experiences, the FOCUS of the document should be putting companies first and helping them operate efficiently and expand. An applicant who only shows how he or she bettered his own professional paths is not nearly as attractive as an applicant who time and time again put the company first.

How do you communicate that you put a company’s objectives at the forefront of your professional priorities? Talk about growth. Mention exceeding expectations, critical thinking and problem solving situations where you turned potential catastrophe into opportunity. Show how you creatively solved a problem with department heads, or improved internal workflows that not only made your job easier, but also made the jobs of those working under you easier, as well, resulting in overall efficiency gains for the company.

Metaphorically speaking, as Operations Manager you are the central nervous system of the organization, relaying messages from the brain (executives/directors) through the spinal cord and to various parts of the body such as hands, feet, and chest, representing different business units within the organization. You want to be the fastest, most accurate, dependable nervous system possible and in doing so, you will be communicating that you are putting company priorities first, resulting in you getting called in for an interview before those who failed to do so.

Show Upward Trajectory

This job role is often a precursor to more senior level management and executive level positions. Operations and General Managers are usually promoted from within the ranks of department heads, who themselves are promoted directly from the front lines. For these reasons you are expected to have an intimate understanding of even the most minute and seemingly inconsequential aspects of a the day-to-day runnings of a business. It is this utterly thorough understanding that primes you for a managerial role.

The key to growing and obtaining even more executive level positions is showing a consistent upward trajectory on your resume. For  experience, list the positions you have held in reverse chronological order from the least senior to your current position. Showing an upward trajectory makes you a candidate for executive positions, especially if you also document a very positive track record at your current operations-focused position.

Sample Bullet Points

Below is a selection of experience-related bullet points you can use to help brainstorm your own experience points. These details were selected as they are highly relevant to management and operations roles.

Sample Operations Manager Experience Bullet Points

Task
Review financial statements, sales or activity reports, or other performance data to measure productivity or goal achievement or to identify areas needing cost reduction or program improvement.
Direct and coordinate activities of businesses or departments concerned with the production, pricing, sales, or distribution of products.
Direct administrative activities directly related to making products or providing services.
Prepare staff work schedules and assign specific duties.
Monitor suppliers to ensure that they efficiently and effectively provide needed goods or services within budgetary limits.
Direct or coordinate financial or budget activities to fund operations, maximize investments, or increase efficiency.
Establish or implement departmental policies, goals, objectives, or procedures in conjunction with board members, organization officials, or staff members.
Perform personnel functions such as selection, training, or evaluation.
Plan or direct activities such as sales promotions that require coordination with other department managers.
Set prices or credit terms for goods or services based on forecasts of customer demand.
Manage the movement of goods into and out of production facilities to ensure efficiency, effectiveness, or sustainability of operations.
Perform sales floor work, such as greeting or assisting customers, stocking shelves, or taking inventory.
Develop or implement product-marketing strategies, including advertising campaigns or sales promotions.
Recommend locations for new facilities or oversee the remodeling or renovating of current facilities.
Implement or oversee environmental management or sustainability programs addressing issues such as recycling, conservation, or waste management.
Direct non-merchandising departments of businesses, such as advertising or purchasing.
Plan store layouts or design displays.

Professional Summary

As this is a senior level position, that is, one where most candidates have at least 10+ years of experience, you will want to be skipping the career objective in favor of a professional summary or qualifications summary. Career objectives are limited to 1-2 sentences simply because these applicants with lesser experience do not need any more space to communicate their background and objective.

Qualifications summaries, on the other hand, can be 3-4 sentences long and even include 4-6 “key” bullet points that reflect your most prized achievements or skills. Where the career objective is economy class, the qualifications summary is business class. Essentially it is just bigger and provides a better opportunity to summarize what can be a very extensive professional history.

Do not worry about using personal pronouns here, it is the one part of the resume where it is acceptable, however you do not want to go overboard.

Additional Skills & Certifications

The additional skills section of a managerial resume can sometimes be replaced entirely by an “Achievements, Recognitions or Awards” section as more senior level candidates will have had more time to accrue such recognitions and they are much more impressive than the more common additional skills sections found on most resumes.

Some skills worth mentioning, if you do include the section, will be continued training courses in your industry, safety training and software skills, especially CRM tools when working in B2C industries.

In terms of certifications, having an advanced degree like an MBA is plenty; however, if you want to further expand you can obtain Six Sigma training (classes or online). You can obtain other industry-specific certifications to further boost your resume, as you wish, by doing a simple search online for [your industry] + certifications/accreditations”.

Useful Skills to Include

Below are some more management related skills you can use to get more ideas or to sprinkle in throughout your resume if you want to add a little more “management” flavor.

Useful Operations Manager Skills

SkillSkill Description
Active ListeningGiving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
SpeakingTalking to others to convey information effectively.
MonitoringMonitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
Social PerceptivenessBeing aware of others' reactions and understanding why they react as they do.
CoordinationAdjusting actions in relation to others' actions.
Reading ComprehensionUnderstanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
Critical ThinkingUsing logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
Time ManagementManaging one's own time and the time of others.
NegotiationBringing others together and trying to reconcile differences.
Active LearningUnderstanding the implications of new information for both current and future problem-solving and decision-making.
Complex Problem SolvingIdentifying complex problems and reviewing related information to develop and evaluate options and implement solutions.
Judgment and Decision MakingConsidering the relative costs and benefits of potential actions to choose the most appropriate one.
Management of Personnel ResourcesMotivating, developing, and directing people as they work, identifying the best people for the job.
PersuasionPersuading others to change their minds or behavior.
WritingCommunicating effectively in writing as appropriate for the needs of the audience.
Service OrientationActively looking for ways to help people.
Management of Material ResourcesObtaining and seeing to the appropriate use of equipment, facilities, and materials needed to do certain work.
InstructingTeaching others how to do something.
Management of Financial ResourcesDetermining how money will be spent to get the work done, and accounting for these expenditures.
Learning StrategiesSelecting and using training/instructional methods and procedures appropriate for the situation when learning or teaching new things.
Systems AnalysisDetermining how a system should work and how changes in conditions, operations, and the environment will affect outcomes.
Systems EvaluationIdentifying measures or indicators of system performance and the actions needed to improve or correct performance, relative to the goals of the system.
Operations AnalysisAnalyzing needs and product requirements to create a design.
Operation MonitoringWatching gauges, dials, or other indicators to make sure a machine is working properly.
MathematicsUsing mathematics to solve problems.
Quality Control AnalysisConducting tests and inspections of products, services, or processes to evaluate quality or performance.
Operation and ControlControlling operations of equipment or systems.
TroubleshootingDetermining causes of operating errors and deciding what to do about it.
ScienceUsing scientific rules and methods to solve problems.
Technology DesignGenerating or adapting equipment and technology to serve user needs.
ProgrammingWriting computer programs for various purposes.
Equipment SelectionDetermining the kind of tools and equipment needed to do a job.
InstallationInstalling equipment, machines, wiring, or programs to meet specifications.
Equipment MaintenancePerforming routine maintenance on equipment and determining when and what kind of maintenance is needed.
RepairingRepairing machines or systems using the needed tools.

Additional Resources