I’ve reviewed thousands of supply chain resumes over the course of my 20-year career in staffing, having worked as a Corporate Supply Chain Recruiter for clients such as The Coca-Cola Company, The Home Depot, Cummins, Kimberly-Clark, and others.
I’d like to fill you in on a few must-have elements that you’ll want to incorporate into your supply chain resume in efforts to optimize its effectiveness. My hopes are that some of these tips will help improve your job application to interview ratio and ultimately lead to the job of your dreams.
1. Quantify Results
One of the worst mistakes you can make on your resume, outside of littering it with spelling and grammatical errors, is to only state your job responsibilities. You must also list out your accomplishments AND you must quantify the results. You may not be in a position that crunches numbers day in day out, but you should definitely have a good understanding of how to utilize data to make better business decisions. In addition, you probably monitor certain KPIs and metrics in your job. Keep close track of this data, especially as it pertains to your major achievements because we really need you to show us the numbers! This action alone can add a very powerful impact to your resume’s effectiveness.
Now, before you start peppering your resume with numbers, I need to make you aware of a pitfall that you must avoid at all times:never guestimate a figure on your resume!Trust me on this; it is NOT a pretty sight when a candidate can’t explain how they came up with a certain figure on their resume. Often times this one fumble alone can instantly disqualify you from getting the job (I’ve witnessed this numerous times in the past). If you can’t speak to how you calculated a certain number on your resume, leave it out. Better safe than sorry.
2. Size Matters
Every supply chain and supply chain job is different, especially in size, scope and complexity. As a Supply Chain Recruiter, I’m not just looking for someone that meets the basic and preferred qualifications contained within the job profile I’m recruiting against. I’m also looking for a good match in terms of size and scope.
For example, a candidate with experience managing a 20,000 sq. ft. Distribution Center with 15 employees is not going to have the level of experience needed to step into a General Manager role for a 1MM sq. ft. DC with 500 employees. If I have a job opening that calls for someone with experience managing a 1MM sq. ft. DC, I want applicants to detail the size of the DCs they’ve managed in the past within their resumes. Failure to detail the basics when it comes to supply chain size and scope can sometimes lead to missed opportunities, as in your resume getting passed over. To play it safe, be sure to include this critical information on your resume.
3. Top & Bottom Lines
We absolutely love to read how you’ve improved service levels while lowering costs for your employers or customers. Positively impacting the bottom line is typically a top focus for supply chain professionals. We also love to read about the things you’ve done to help improve the top line of an organization. Enabling and sustaining growth is just as important as cutting costs, and for many high-growth companies, it’s even more important. Be sure to detail what you’ve done to improve both the bottom and top-line performance from a supply chain perspective, and don’t forget to quantify your results.
4. End-to-End Supply Chain
It’s very important these days to convey to Supply Chain Recruiters and hiring managers that you possess the knowledge and/or experience that span across multiple functions within the supply chain. This doesn’t mean that you need to physically work in a different job within each and every department of your company’s supply chain. Whether you choose to be a specialist within one area of the supply chain, such as Logistics for example, or a generalist is totally up to you.
What we really want to see in your resume is experience participating in or leading cross-functional teams/projects that span across different areas of the supply chain. This is important because the supply chain organizations of today are focused on integration, continuous improvement, better collaboration, and improved visibility across their end-to-end supply chain. You should always try to include a few projects or examples in your resume where you’ve had to work with other supply chain departments, suppliers, and/or service providers. Lastly, if you’re fairly experienced and have a large project portfolio, you may want to consider highlighting the most relevant and significant projects and experience that best align with the position you’re applying for.
I’m going to start this tip off with an analogy that all supply chain practitioners will be able to relate to: a properly labeled package is to a Barcode Scanner as is a properly formatted, easy-to-scan resume is to a Supply Chain Recruiter. If a package has an improper or missing label, it may not make it to its final destination. Likewise, if a resume cannot be scanned efficiently, it too may not make it to its final destination, i.e. the hiring manager.
A recent study from The Ladders shows that most job seekers believe recruiters spend 4 to 5 minutes on average reviewing a resume. The truth is that recruiters spend about 6 seconds before they make the initial Yes / No / Maybe decision. This means prioritizing your information in an easy-to-scan layout is critical in efforts to pass the 6-second resume scan.
Always remember that the #1 goal of your resume is to land a job interview, not to describe in fine detail everything you’ve ever done for every job you’ve ever held for every employer you’ve ever worked for. If your resume is mostly stacks of lengthy paragraphs spanning multiple pages, I strongly suggest changing the format before applying to another job.
Bonus Tips – Here’s my advice for making your resume easier to scan:
- Bold and capitalize all Headings (e.g. Name, Summary, Experience, Education, Certifications, etc.) in a font size of 14 – 16. Use 11 or 12 for everything else.
- Use Helvetica or Arial for font style as these are the two most popular. Avoid Times New Roman as it’s considered outdated.
- Incorporate proper spacing between each section of your resume as this makes it much easier for the human eye to efficiently and quickly scan across and down.
- Bullets are mandatory, never write long paragraphs!
- Each bullet point should contain a brief action-oriented sentence or two that quickly explains a) responsibility, b) accomplishment and c) quantified result.
- Strike a good balance between too much detail and not enough detail with the goal of providing just enough information to WOW your audience. Don’t forget to detail size and scope for the areas of the supply chain you’ve managed or supported, as covered above in Tip #2.
- The right supply chain keywords are critical to have on your resume. Supply Chain Recruiters and applicant tracking software both use keywords to electronically scan and filter resumes, in efforts to quickly narrow the applicant pool down to the most qualified. Make sure your primary keywords are included and flow naturally without keyword stuffing your resume.
- Try to refrain from abbreviating and using acronyms unless they’re very common to industry e.g. SCM, TMS, WMS, etc.
I hope these supply chain resume tips will help you with landing more job interviews. Speaking of, if you would like to be considered for future supply chain employment opportunities represented by SCM Talent Group, simply submit your supply chain resume to our secure database.
To your success!
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