Individuals are getting better and better at personal branding every day and that’s great to see. People are updating their resumes even if they’re not looking for a new job – they understand it’s important to have it ready to go at all times, just in case. They’re getting LinkedIn profiles up and running and optimised (Also see this recent blog post.) Pictures and keywords are being added, networking opportunities are being taken advantage of through what social media has to offer. But there’s ONE THING that too many Procurement professionals are still neglecting to include in their resumes and social media profiles: that’s their specific category experience. AND, that so, so important.
If you’re in Procurement, whether it’s on the direct or indirect side, you’ve focused your expertise on purchasing for one or several specific categories. Those reading your credentials really need to know that in as much detail as possible. If you’re a Purchasing Lead for a food company, what food have you bought? Chicken, Pork, Deli, Prepared Foods, Ethnic or International Foods? CPG – – is it HABA or Cosmetics or Equipment or Packaging? If you’re a strategic sourcing expert for Professional Services, what exactly does that mean in the company you work for – is it Human Resources or Consulting Services you bought? Legal services? Technology – is it Hardware, Software, Licensing, Telecom, Networking, Engineering Services. And what about off shoring and outsourcing and the list goes on and on….And let’s not forget to make special mention of your overall spend in each category in each position that you were responsible for? So many Procurement professionals neglect to include this crucial information. And we wonder time and again why is that the case? These pivotal points are the nuts and bolts of what Procurement professionals do and what are looked for first and foremost on resume review.
Here’s why we think category detail gets left out on resumes. Some candidates don’t want to be pigeonholed into a single spend category when they feel they can do so much more. You want a prospective employer to think that your skills transfer to many different categories. That explanation is sound. Recruiters know that Procurement skills are transferable across different categories but sometimes companies don’t always make the same leap. It’s important to see specifics about your purchasing activities and depth of expertise. When companies are filling Procurement roles, they often specify the exact category experience they’re looking for. Even if your category experience doesn’t fit the role exactly, a recruiter will want to see that there’s enough overlap that you’ll be able to make the transition.
If you neglect to include specifics about your category experience, you might think that you’re opening yourself up to consideration for more diverse positions and roles. But you’re really underselling yourself. And you’re making yourself invisible! And chances are you WON’T come up in crucial searches. You’re not going to show up in those keyword matches that companies and recruiters are using to find candidates for specific roles.
So it’s imperative here NOT to be generic.
Put your category experience front and centre. Even consider including a “Fast Facts” sidebar in your resume that summarizes your category, spend, and results in as few words as possible which highlights for the reader where your true expertise lies.
It’ll show the person reading your resume that you get it and have the expertise. Take it from an expert recruiter in the Procurement Vertical: you’re a needle in a haystack. You owe it to yourself to stand out.
Over and Out for now