Finding the perfect job can be a challenge, especially if you don’t know where to start. With this in mind, we’ve put together a handy guide to take you through every step of the way. And if you get stuck, need a bit of a pep talk or answers to your questions, get in touch. We’re always happy to help.
So, grab yourself a coffee and read on to discover how to find your dream job in procurement and supply chain.
Establishing your career goals
Taking the first steps towards finding your dream role can be daunting. Even if you have a clear idea of the kind of jobs you want, getting the ball rolling takes guts. If you’re struggling to decide what your ideal career path looks like, take some time to workshop your ideas - you can even recruit a friend or two to help. Don’t worry if you don’t have concrete answers to all these questions right now, just sketch out your goals as far as possible before you begin your search.
Here’s some activities and things to consider to get you started:
When you’re weighing up your skills and achievements, try to find a balance between being realistic and not being overly modest. Your career goals must be achievable but you also need to get in the habit of promoting yourself well. Don’t forget that you have a lot to offer the right company - you just need the courage and the right words to show them that!
Starting your job search
Job seekers have a variety of recruitment platforms at their disposal so why not cover all bases. LinkedIn is a perennial favourite, and there are a number of other reputable websites and social media feeds you can visit or follow. As procurement and supply chain is a specialist market, you may find that you get better results talking to a specialist recruiter. Naturally, we recommend talking to Bramwith about your career goals and how we might help - we do have the best contacts in the industry, after all! Whatever you choose, keep those goals in mind and be patient - the perfect role(s) will come up before you know it.
Writing the perfect CV
Recruiters typically scan a CV for just six seconds before making a decision, so you need to make an impact from the get go. Here’s how to do it:
Prioritise your content
You only have a small amount of time to make a great impression so it’s important to get straight to the point. Try to keep your CV as concise as possible - no more than two sides of A4, ideally.
Start with a brief summary detailing your skills and experience that relate specifically to the role and sector. Follow on with a list of your achievements and responsibilities in each role you’ve had. Position the content to show how you benefited the company and include any key achievements. Including this information helps your prospective employer imagine what you could do for their business.
Check, and recheck your spelling and grammar
Even the smallest grammatical or spelling error could affect your application. Alongside spell check, try using free tools like Grammarly and Hemingway which help with grammar, sentence structure and length. Remember that some tools may not pick up on things like missing or repeated words or incorrect tenses. After you have looked it ove a handful of times, ask a friend to give it a second proof. You’ll be amazed at what might have escaped your attention.
Make your CV easy to scan
Your recruiter is likely to look through dozens, if not hundreds of CVs. So, don’t add to their workload with a poorly structured document. Choose a font that is easy to read such as Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri or Garamond and font size of around 12 and no less than 10.5. Never use novelty fonts - they just don’t radiate that professional image you’re looking for.
Line up all the sections of your CV neatly with subheadings to draw attention to each section. Use bullets to format and segment your skills, experience and achievements. Try one of the many free templates available online if you’re struggling with formatting.
Make it relevant
It’s worth adapting the content of your CV to appeal to each recruiter. Focus on the aspects of your experience that are most relevant to them and use language that is appropriate to the procurement and supply chain sector to show your expertise and understanding of the marketplace.
Your CV checklist
Don’t press send on that application without checking you have included the following:
Need more tips on making a great first impression? Read our complete guide to writing an outstanding CV.
Perfect your LinkedIn profile
Pretty much every recruiter or potential employer is on LinkedIn. So, if you aren’t already, or your profile could do with a refresh, now’s the time to get started. Employers will often cross-reference your CV with your LinkedIn page so it’s worth revisiting your profile to make sure it is up to date, well-written, includes some testimonials and that it’s a great showcase for your skills and experience.
For more top tips visit our guide to creating the perfect LinkedIn profile
Preparing for your interview
You’ve impressed your dream employer with that beautifully-constructed CV and now you’ve been offered an interview - great work! The next step is to prepare for your interview. Here’s some tips on making the process as enjoyable, and successful as possible.
Do your research on the company and its marketplace
By getting to know the business and sector beforehand you show your potential employer that you’re committed to your application and that you are passionate about your sector and making a positive contribution to their company. If you don’t conduct your research it's likely to come across as rude, unorganised and unprofessional. Study their website, social media and any other available information such as press articles and really get under the skin of their brands. What about the company and the service attracts you? What do you think sets them apart from their competitors? Who are the founders and key people? Are there any recent developments in the industry? What are the challenges they currently face?
It’s a good idea to take a look at the LinkedIn profiles of your interviewers and the team members you’re likely to be working with. Understanding their backgrounds will give valuable insights into personnel structure, skills and strengths and they’ll doubtless notice you’ve been looking and be impressed at your research skills.
Looking for some insights into the sector?
Discover some of the top online courses for procurement and supply chain professionals.
Make a great impression
The first impression you make really matters. In fact, studies show that interviewers make up their mind about a candidate within the first five minutes so make sure you dazzle them from the start. A firm handshake, good amount of eye contact and a sincere show of thanks for the invitation should get you off to a flying start.
Try to maintain control over your body language throughout the interview. Sit up straight in a confident manner, lean forward slightly when you are spoken to and try not to fidget.
Be clear about why you want the job and why it is right for you
We all forget things in interviews - it’s totally understandable. Do try, however, to mention your reasons for wanting the job and why you’re the right person for it. Reinforce your statements with examples of how you put your most relevant skills into practice and what you achieved. Don’t be afraid to bring up challenges as long as you can demonstrate how you tackled them effectively.
Mention specifics about why you’re attracted to the company rather than the sector in general. You don’t want them feeling like you’d be equally as happy working for their competitor. Add some story-telling aspects to your answers, if appropriate. Interviewers get a lot of stock responses and adding character and a touch of gentle humour could help you stick in their minds.
Ask pertinent questions
It’s a good idea to have three or four questions to ask at the end of the interview to show your commitment and interest. Unless absolutely necessary, steer clear of mentioning remuneration or holidays. Include questions that encourage the interviewer(s) to talk about their own experience at the company - what they like most about working there, for example. This shows good empathy skills and emotional intelligence.
Prepare for any tricky questions
While it’s unlikely your prospective employer will try to trip you up, you may get asked the occasional curveball question. If there are gaps in your CV make sure you can account for them. If you’re unlikely to be the candidate with the strongest skills and experience, make sure you prepare a few short statements restating how ambitious you are and reinforcing the achievements you have made so far.
Be prepared for both skill-based and personality-based questions - and be honest. There’s little point in pretending you are someone you aren’t. You’re looking for the right cultural fit too, after all.
Practice, practice and practice some more
Rehearse and workshop some questions and answers either alone or with a trusted friend. Make sure you deliver your answers in a natural tone of voice and flow. The last thing you want is to sound like you’re reading off notecards! We all have a tendency to speak more quickly in interviews so try to slow down and look out for any indication on your interviewer’s faces that you might be becoming hard to follow.
Leave on a high
Interviewing panels generally convene straight after to discuss your performance and revisit your CV so try to end your interview with a positive statement about the company, your ambition to work there, an appropriate reinforcement about your suitability and a show of gratitude for them taking the time to see you.
For more top tips read our blogs on preparing for your interview and our top seven interview skills to master.
We hope these tips have helped you in your search for finding your perfect role in procurement and supply chain. There’s certainly a lot to consider. But if you put the work in, keep your goals in sight and don’t lose heart - or patience - you shouldn’t go far wrong.
The team at Bramwith are always here to help. Plus we have - quite simply - the best industry contacts and some of the most interesting opportunities available. Get in touch today and find out how we could help you make the next exciting step on your career path.
Would you like us to hold onto your details so that we can keep you up to date with relevant opportunities?
Copyright (c) 2019 Bramwith Consulting. All rights Reserved.
Site designed and built by Venn Digital