Competing For Downsized Purchasing Jobs
PurchTips edition #52
Can You Compete In Tomorrow's Job Market?
Like it or not, there are four harsh facts about employment in purchasing and supply management: (1) no job is secure, (2) there are only a few good jobs out there, (3) there is a lot of competition for those few jobs, and (4) there will be even fewer jobs in the future.
So even if you have no immediate plans to look for work, it makes sense to be prepared to do so. Consider it a "career contingency plan" if you will. Your career contingency plan is something that you work on while you are gainfully employed so that you will stand out from the competition if, at some point, you need or want to be employed elsewhere later.
In a lot of cases, there may be two or more candidates for a job that appear to the hiring manager to be equally attractive. In these cases, hiring managers often look for "tie breakers" or small, but important, ways that one candidate differentiates him or herself. Here are a few tips for developing tiebreakers for yourself right now:
Have a results-oriented resume. Your resume is not a job description - it is a sales pitch. As such, you need to discuss not what you did, but how you benefited your prior employers. "Decreased inventory by $100 million thereby saving the company $25 million in annual carrying costs" is way more impressive than "Was responsible for $200 million in inventory." The latter gives no indication of how well you performed or the results you are capable of producing for a new company.
Have a portfolio of your work product. If the resume is a sales pitch, the interview is the court case. And how do you win a court case? By having compelling evidence! Bring with you non-confidential examples of your work such as RFP's, analyses, or presentations that resulted in a measurable benefit to your prior employer.
Be certified. Often several candidates have impressive resumes and have succeeded at the interview process. At this point, hiring managers will compare the variations between candidates' qualifications. Having a certification can be the deciding factor. And if all finalists are certified, the candidate with the most certifications will often win.
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Are You Getting The Most Out of Your NLPA Membership?
Members of the NLPA get more than just articles like this by email. As a member, you also get access to:
- The Procurement Training & Certification Starter Kit
- The latest Purchasing & Supply Management Salaries Report
- Leading-Edge Supply Management™ magazine
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Copyright 2004. This article is the property of Next Level Purchasing and may not be copied or republished in any form without the express written consent of Next Level Purchasing.
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By Charles Dominick, SPSM, SPSM2, SPSM3
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Other Editions of PurchTips:
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