How to write a job-winning procurement resume

Most businesses are all about making money and earning more than they spend. Anyone who works in procurement has a significant responsibility to their employer, as they'll significantly impact ensuring that the brand receives the best goods and services for the best available price.

It's all about spotting the best possible deals. So naturally, a fantastic procurement resume will demonstrate in no uncertain terms that you, the applicant, can spot and secure the best possible deals to help a business achieve its goals.

While the employer will often ultimately have a keen interest in the numbers as far as results are concerned, it's vital to demonstrate a balanced skillset when targeting procurement roles. The figures on the balance sheet may well ultimately prove how good a job you've done, but an employer is also concerned with how you got there. Think of it as being asked to show your working out in math class!

Of course, procurement is a fairly broad topic. For example, the person that decides which brands to stock at a department store works in procurement, but so does the person that ensures the office never runs out of office supplies.

Fortunately, while specialist roles will prefer previous experience, the skills that make for a talented procurement specialist tend to translate well across industries and sectors. With that in mind, we're going to focus on a few tips that apply no matter the role but will still ensure that your procurement resume is a pleasure to read and opens plenty of doors.

1. Make your procurement resume relevant

As noted above, procurement can mean a lot of different things. For example, you might be determined to forge or continue a career in a specific department. Still, you might also be open to new opportunities that are only somewhat related to what you've done before.

The competition will be stiff, so you need to leave the hiring manager with absolutely no doubt that you're the right person for the job. Your resume is the best way to do that before you reach the interview stage, so forget about buying for a moment and think about the best ways to sell yourself.

The format doesn't change, so make sure you kick off with your personal details and follow it with a resume summary.

Think of your favorite cliffhanger from TV and see if you can make your summary have the same effect. Say enough to grab the reader's attention, but leave them wanting more to the point that they delve deeper into your education, experience, and skills.

Relevance matters due to the diversity in roles. However, if you're great at procuring one item, then chances are you won't need long to become just as good at procuring something else. After all, these jobs require similar skills no matter what you're bringing into the business.

That relevance on a procurement resume comes from making sure you fit yourself into the job description. If the listing makes no mention of sales figures, but requests strong negotiation skills, add an example of a successful negotiation to every entry in your work experience. If you've got an exceptional network of contacts in a relevant industry, make it clear without suggesting your success rests on who you know rather than what you know!

2. Don't stop listing where you got your education

There's no core qualification for procurement. Like most industries, it's possible to gain a diploma in the discipline, but relatively few roles require them specifically. Of course, if you've got it, flaunt it – some recruiters will love the idea of someone that doesn't just say they're a procurement specialist but has the documentation to prove it.

However, if you don't have a specific qualification, don't feel like some jobs are out of your reach. Experience is just as necessary, and you can demonstrate that experience through your education.

Remember, your qualities for the role all trace back to your skills, and you can use the education section for more than a GPA and a few dates. It comes back to relevance once more, so any instances of organization, leadership, and purchasing at school or college are well worth including, especially if your corporate experience is limited.

3. Be specific on relevant skills

See, we told you skills matter! Most resumes include a skills section, but they're potentially the most critical element of a procurement resume. Much of that comes down to the fact that while procurement can be broadly boiled down as sourcing and purchasing, far more often goes into performing the role successfully.

The job description will often give you a good idea of the skills you should list on your resume. However, there's no need to stop there – exceeding the requirements often leads to better performance than merely checking boxes.

Consider hard skills, including:

  • Relationship management
  • Negotiation
  • Research
  • Reporting
  • Contract management
  • Strategy and planning

And don't forget the soft skills that can make you stand out in even the most competitive procurement recruitment process:

  • Decision-making
  • Flexibility
  • Teamworking
  • Communication
  • Problem-solving

Remember, the nature of procurement means you might not be doing exactly the same thing every day. So while the role itself remains the same, the things you procure, the people you speak to, and even the internal teams you work with might differ. Nevertheless, you can use your list of skills to demonstrate to the employer that you're up for the challenge, no matter what that ends up being once you've procured the role!

4. Mention hobbies and interests

Some people place more value on the hobbies and interests section of a resume than others. However, they can be instrumental in procurement resumes, given that much of your corporate life is spent representing the brand and dealing with external parties.

In addition, many recruiters want to know that you're not just a great employee but a fantastic person to boot. If you can do anything when discussing your passions outside work to reinforce your skills list and suitability for the role, make sure to take the time to do so.

Published on May 31, 2022

A journalist by trade, a writer by fate. Nikoleta went from writing for media outlets to exploring the world of content creation with Kickresume and helping people get closer to the job of their dreams. Her insights and career guides have been published by The Female Lead, College Recruiter, and ISIC, among others. When she’s not writing or (enthusiastically) pestering people with questions, you can find her traveling or sipping on a cup of coffee.

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