A general manager (GM) is responsible for a variety of aspects related to running a retail location or locations, from checking inventory, stocking shelves, hiring and supervising employees, to ensuring the location is performing well and meeting revenue goals and customers are satisfied.
In some cases, a GM can serve as the top executive for their unit, location or region, and is responsible for strategy, budgets, hiring and firing, finances and revenue, and reporting.
If you’re applying for a general manager position, knowing how to structure your resume and what you should list and highlight, including education, skills and objectives, can help your resume get noticed and selected and an interview scheduled.
How to structure your general manager resume
When formatting your resume for a general manager position, you should include:
A summary/career objective
Relevant work history, including the company, dates worked, and a brief description of the duties performed
Relevant skills for the role
When creating your resume, you’ll want to carefully read the job description to ensure you include all relevant keywords, skills, and experience that show you are the best candidate. By tailoring your objective and resume to the job description, it’s more likely it will make it through any application tracking system software and to the desk of the hiring manager.
General manager job description
As a GM, you may be overseeing daily operations of your location, developing strategies to grow the business, managing employees, ensuring revenue growth and profitability, and delivering quality customer service to customers. You’ll be asked to make decisions, communicate regularly with employees and customers, and report on the success of your location(s) and staff.
These professionals also develop policies and procedures, maintain budgets, and collaborate with lower-level management to efficiently lead and evaluate staff performance and productivity.
GM roles can look different depending on the industry and company for which they work. Generally, the job description for a general manager can include duties such as:
Plan, coordinate, and direct business operations to ensure the achievement of company revenue goals and documentation of expenses
Develop, outline and implement plans and strategies to increase the profitability of company products and services
Develop and initiate strategies to maintain employee productivity, evaluate performance and improve the quality of products and services
Document and provide employee, business, and expense reports to senior-level management
Provide feedback and make recommendations that increase the success of marketing efforts and the effectiveness of the current marketing strategy
Schedule and lead staff meetings to discuss updates, issues, feedback and create solutions to issues that arise
Assist human resources in recruiting, hiring, and training employees and ensuring they comply with company policies and procedures
Evaluate employee performance and productivity and provide guidance and coaching when necessary
General Manager Education
An experienced candidate likely has at least a Bachelor’s degree in business administration or management, finance, economics, or a related field. It can also be beneficial if you have a master of business administration (MBA) to help further your skills and knowledge of what it takes to be successful in this role.
You may want to outline your education on your resume like the following:
Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Bachelor of Science, Finance
When listing your education, here are a few tips:
Consider leaving off the years you attended school or your graduation date. Typically, that’s not as important unless you’re still pursuing your degree. In that case, be clear your education is in progress. For example,
Master of Business Administration; anticipated completion May 2022
If you have a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree, list the Master’s degree first, followed by your Bachelor’s.
If you have additional certifications or training, list them in their section with the heading “Additional Certifications.” Include the organization that provided the certification, the title, and the date of completion or renewal.
Unless you’re a recent graduate, you don’t need to include your high school education.
What to include on your resume for a general manager
Typically, a general manager’s resume will list the education or formal training you have that makes you most qualified for the role.
Then, in the work experience section, you’ll want to include duties related to the job description, such as:
Responsible for recruitment and training of new employees, and ongoing coaching and mentoring to ensure they meet their goals
Identified new business or marketing opportunities and presented ideas to leadership
Created and tracked budgets of $X
Ensured high level of customer service, receiving customer satisfaction scores of more than X%
Created and implemented policies and procedures to ensure the effectiveness of staff
The experience and skills you list should be relevant to the job you’re applying for, especially if you have experience in a particular industry. Try to go beyond simply listing duties you’ve performed, and instead share both duties and achievements with examples or numbers to support the statements.
General manager skills and traits for a resume
There are many skills and traits you could list on your resume for a general manager position. Here are a few to choose from to get you started:
Attention to detail
Ability to motivate
Many companies require a candidate to have worked in the industry or have management experience for two or more years (with an average of around five years). If you have this experience, be sure to list it. If you don’t have that many years of experience, you can still highlight the experience and skills you may have that make you a great candidate for the position.
Look at the work or volunteering you’ve done and figure out which of the above skills were learned or improved upon. Were you a server in a restaurant, so your customer service, interpersonal and time management skills are exceptional? Or, perhaps you worked as a receptionist so you have attention to detail, organization, customer service, and problem-solving skills. Recognize the experience you do have and make it relevant.
Action verbs to include on a general manager resume
Should I include references in my general manager resume?
Your resume is a professional representation of your career qualifications and skills that make you an ideal candidate. As a general rule, avoid including references in your resume unless they are specifically asked for. This is information that tends to distract hiring managers from the information you want them to see, and it can take up valuable space on the page.
If references are requested, you can include them on your resume or as a separate document. Be sure to list the name, job title, company, email address, and phone number for each reference.
General manager resume objectives
A career objective, also known as a resume objective or summary, is a brief statement toward the top of your resume that explains your professional goals and intentions for applying to a job. In 1 to 3 sentences, you should mention the job title, add a couple of key skills, and share what you’re hoping to achieve in the job.
Seeking a position as a general manager to use effective communication and strategic planning skills to improve productivity and enhance revenue for XYZ company.
Dedicated and motivated professional with more than 10 years of experience in managing employees, developing marketing strategies, and strategic planning seeking a general manager position at XYZ company.
Results-oriented general manager with more than 5 years of experience providing direction and leadership to high-performing teams to attain organizational objectives and meet revenue goals.
Looking to earn $100,000 or more as a general manager for XYZ company.
You should avoid listing salary requirements in the objective, and instead discuss expectations in the interview. Additionally, you should be sure your objective highlights a few skills that make you a great candidate, or goals for the position should you be hired.
Looking to secure a challenging position and excel as a manager in the XYZ industry.
This is another example of when you should include more skills, goals, or intentions for the role. Use this space to grab the hiring manager’s attention and make your resume stand out.
Seeking a position as a general manager for XYZ company immediately as I’m looking to leave my current company as soon as possible.
You should never talk poorly about your current company, boss, or colleagues in an interview or on your resume. Even if you’re looking to leave your current situation urgently, you should express that when accepting an offer or discussing a possible start date.