A proposal manager is in charge of planning, preparing, and reviewing proposals as well as scheduling presentations and handling contacts in relation to proposal information and requests. To become a proposal manager, you will usually need a bachelor's degree as well as a significant amount of experience in proposal writing. You may also need a range of skills, including those that involve multitasking and using a computer for proposal writing and evaluation. A good track record of proposal success and experience with proposal development software is usually important as well.
Often, a bachelor's degree is necessary to land a job as a proposal manager, but employers are typically willing to hire individuals who have degrees in a wide range of majors. For example, an employer may hire you with a degree in a field such as journalism or another writing-relating field, or give you preference because you have a business degree. Some employers prefer people who have degrees in majors closely related to the field in which the company is focused. For instance, if you want to become a proposal manager for an engineering company, you may find that an engineering degree helps you land the job. Additionally, some employers may prefer to hire individuals with master's degrees in a related field.
Experience also is often required when you want to become a proposal manager. The amount of experience you need will likely vary from company to company, but many jobs call for about three to five years of experience in proposal writing. Many employers will consider your job application more favorably if you have spent years writing government proposals as well as proposals for high-value contracts. Additionally, prospective employers may prove more likely to hire you if you have a record of acceptance for the proposals you write.
You will also typically need the ability to multitask when you want to become a proposal manager. This position often involves handling multiple proposal projects at one time. To perform well, you'll need the ability to juggle various proposals and deadlines while keeping your company's goals in sight. You may also need the ability to adapt your work plans to accommodate your employer's changing needs.
Additionally, computer skills are usually required for a job in proposal management. Prospective employers will likely expect you to have general computer skills, but may also expect you to have experience with a range of productivity software, including database, spreadsheet, presentation, and word processing programs. You may also improve your chances of landing a job in this field by getting some experience with software designed specifically for proposal development.