Looking to take on a more advanced role in your supply chain career? In today’s increasingly interconnected and globalized industrial sphere, any kind of job search can be daunting. To ensure you start off on the right foot, begin by taking a look at your resume and making updates to pitch yourself as strongly as possible to future employers.
Though it may seem like a no-brainer, it’s not just about updating where you’ve been and what you’ve done. Rather, you want your resume to highlight and accentuate the specific skills and experience that your potential employer is looking for.
A supply chain manager must wear many different hats, and those hats will change based on the type and makeup of the company you’re looking to manage. It can be tough to know where to start and what skills to emphasize.
But here are some tips, provided by SCM Talent Group, to help get you started:
1. Know Your Audience
Don’t send out multiple copies of the same exact resume. Thoroughly research each procurer and how the company is run. What sets them apart? Are they seeking any unusual qualifications? How do they describe their organization and the people who work for them? Take note of your potential employers’ specific needs, and then tailor your resume to address them.
Be sure to gather information on all the major points. How many employees are in the company? Do they mainly deal with domestic or international suppliers, or both? What is their most common method of transportation? Once these questions are answered, you can pick and choose what examples to include from previous work experiences. Tailoring each resume puts you one step ahead of the competition, as every skill and experience listed will be directly related to the company to which you are applying.
2. Communicate Clearly
Supply chain managers aren’t just required to talk to their employees and send and respond to emails. They’re also in charge of inventory, suppliers, logistics, and bills, and they will need to be adept at communicating efficiently with many different parties — and many different personalities. A good manager will also be able to clearly express their expectations and goals to employees so they know what to do and when to do it.
Highlight your excellent communication skills in your resume, and read up on key communication tips. And don’t just think to the future — try to brush up on your writing, emailing, telephone, and speaking skills every day, whether in the office or at home. Clear communication makes everything easier, and though it may sound simple, not everyone knows how to convey information professionally. So make it your goal to excel in this area, and you’ll be better able to stand out from the crowd.
3. Hone Your Data Analysis Skills
A supply chain manager will also need to be proficient at evaluating data, digesting it, and taking action on it quickly. This comes into play in a huge range of business areas — from finance to inventory to data provided by automated systems. Be sure to clearly demonstrate your proficiency and experience in this regard. Employers are looking for someone with quick, agile decision-making skills and a sharp eye for detail, so if you have specific examples of your prowess in data analysis, be sure to highlight them in your resume.
Show that you know how to analyze data quickly and understand what to do with it afterward. Simply stating that you analyzed data in a previous role won’t impress anyone, and it certainly won’t make you stand out from the competition. If you’ve worked with advanced systems or on particularly exciting or innovative projects, note them in your resume or cover letter, and don’t forget to include impressive figures and statistics when possible.
4. Master the Art of Negotiation
Being able to identify a quality supplier is the first step. Securing a contract is tougher. A skilled supply chain manager will be well versed in common payment terms and be able to identify opportunities that will allow a company to avoid common pitfalls and free up money for other pursuits.
For example, if a company needs to make a spot buy as quickly as possible, will you be able to quickly identify a quality supplier and avoid a constricting contract? Emphasizing your ability to negotiate with a range of different personalities and fully grasp complex payment terms and industry jargon will help set you apart from other candidates. Vendor negotiations are a huge part of a manager’s job, and your resume should show that you have experience and confidence in this area.
The hunt for a supply chain management position can be tough, but following the tips above and keeping your eye on the ultimate goal will help you stay motivated through the process.
And remember to use the time in the interim to continue honing your skills, staying up to date on new innovations and trends, and networking with other people in your industry.