Resume Writing Tips

The Resume: It’s your first impression – the document that stands between you and the hiring manager.  Question is – How do you make your resume stand out in a crowd of hundreds.  Employers spend approximately 20-30 seconds looking at each resume.  In that short amount of time, they make a quick decision. This decision is normally based on the overall appearance of your resume, the format, and the information you’ve highlighted.  Below we will outline what a successful Supply Chain resume should look like, from things as simple as contact information to the important stuff- like achievements and responsibilities, and how to segregate that information so the hiring manager’s eyes are drawn to it. 

Be Found.  Learn to use key terms.  Your resume needs to work FOR you, not against you.  There are two ways to get your resume out there – submitting it yourself to a company/recruiting agency, or putting it online.  Once your resume is online or entered into a company’s database, it is up to the words you use to get you found.  Now, this isn’t an invitation to stuff your resume with unnecessary adjectives, these “keywords” need to be specific to your experience and relevant to the supply chain world.  The catch is you need to think outside of the box.  There are many ways to say or write certain terms.  If a term (i.e. Sales & Operations Planning, Certified Production & Inventory Manager, purchasing) can be referenced another way (i.e. S&OP, CPIM, procurement / sourcing), make sure all references are included so that in an on-line search, your resume will be found.   Also, if a company is looking for a Demand Planning Manager, but throughout your resume you only use the term “forecasting”, you may not come up in an initial screen.   Remember – most HR professionals may not be familiar with the nuances of supply chain like a recruiting agency specializing in this area would be, so most of the time when searching, HR may only use the information they see on a job description.

Now let’s get into building your resume. 

First things First – Length.  Short and sweet.  Do not turn your resume into your own personal biography.  We recommend no more than 2 pages.  Remember you only have 20-30 seconds to make an impression. 

Parts of the Resume:

Contact Information.  ALL of your contact info.  Name, physical address, email address and phone numbers should all be included at the top of your resume.  We are constantly coming across resumes that do not include either a phone number or an email address, it is important to include both.  It is impossible to know the preference of the hiring manager when it comes to contacting folks.  If all you leave is an email and everyone else leaves a phone number, you could immediately be putting yourself behind the eight ball.   Also, if a company is looking for individuals in a certain geographic area and you choose not to include your physical address, you WILL NOT show up on ANY of their searches. 

Core Strengths.  Bullet points help get to the point.  Use bullet points to list your key strengths and skills, this should follow your contact information.  Eyes are automatically drawn to things that are bulleted.  Since there are many facets of Supply Chain, a nice idea is to list out the ones you have the most experience with and would be important to a hiring manager.  For example:

End to End Supply ChainDemand & Supply PlanningChange ManagementInventory ManagementStrategic Business PlanningLed SAP Implementation

Professional Experience.  Scope and Quantifiable Accomplishments.  Now, here’s an important tip:  DO NOT write a thesis about all your responsibilities for each role.  You want the hiring manager to be intrigued by the information you’ve given them, intrigued enough that they want to reach out to you. Also, for each company list all titles you held there as well as the coinciding dates. 

For each role, include the following:

Company Name

Title                                                                                                                                    Dates

Brief Summary.  This should include:  who you report to, how many people you may manage today, a brief description of your main duties and responsibilities, including the dollar amount, spend amount and/or SKU amount that you are responsible for.  Also, include any software you are currently using or involved in the implementation of. 

Key Achievements – Bullet your quantifiable accomplishments.  Eyes will be drawn to these.  Hiring managers ultimately want to know how you can help make them look better.  Your quantifiable accomplishments measure not only your success but also the success of your manager.  Quantifiable accomplishments are anything that can be shown as a percentage (%) or dollar amount ($).  Examples below:

  • Improvements in efficiency
    (If you are in demand planning – Improvements in forecast accuracy)
  • Cost reductions
  • Increases in Revenue
  • Awards won (only non-quantifiable accomplishment that may be worth adding)

EducationSchool, date and degree.  List all degrees you have along with the subject matter.  You can also include degrees you are currently working on.  There are schools out there that are known for having great supply chain programs; if you were part of one, or supply chain was your focus, then it is important to include that information. 

Certification(s).  Industry Knowledge.  In the supply chain world, there are many certifications that are important to some hiring managers, and show your eagerness to grow.  For instance those through CSCMP, ISM, APICS or IBF (Institute of Business Forecasting).  If you have attained any one of these certifications add them to this section of your resume. 

Software.  Experience Related.  List software that you have used or implemented during your roles.  For example: SAP, Excel, Demantra, Logility, i2, Retail Link, Oracle, Red Prairie, Epicor, Cognos, John Galt, etc.  

Final Tips:

  • Spell check and Proofread!  It’s always a good idea to have a different set of eyes go over your resume. 
  • Your resume should not have personal information that discloses ethnicity, sexual orientation, marital status, age, living situations, or any other personal information that is not directly related to your career.
  • Stick to well-known fonts, like Arial and Times New Roman. Keep the font size and color standard; do not use large fonts or more than one color in your resume.
  • Keep the format consistent and make sure that the resume looks great when viewed online as well as when printed out.

Seek Talent. Seek Leadership. Seek Advancement. Seek Balance.