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According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, jobs for buyers and purchasing agents are projected to decline 7% from 2019 to 2029.
However, certain purchasing roles, for instance, supply chain managers remain in higher demand. In either case, you’re going to need a resume that sets you apart from other experienced candidates in the purchasing world.
Sell your strongest skills and accomplishments effectively with our professional writing tips, for a flattering first impression.
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3 Tips for Writing Purchasing Resumes
1. Choose the right format for your resume
Organization leads to a well managed-business and purchasing strategy. The way in which you organize your resume is just as important.
A resume’s organization is called a format. There are three main formats to choose from, and the one you pick depends on your work experience.
The most common type of resume format is the chronological format. This format highlights your work history and starts with your most recent employment and works backward This format is best for job seekers with a consistent work history.
For instance, if you have five years’ experience or more in the purchasing industry, the chronological format will list your steady work history and career growth throughout the years.
Perhaps you started as a purchasing assistant and worked your way up to a purchasing manager. If that is the case, the chronological format would be your best option because it will show your career progression.
However, if you have less than two years of experience in purchasing, you should use the functional format. This type of format puts the focus on your skill set rather than your lack of extensive experience.
Another option is the hybrid format. The hybrid combines the best of both the chronological and functional formats. If you have between two and five years’ experience, you should consider this format because it will highlight both your work experiences and skills in equal measure.
By combining the functional and chronological formats, the hybrid format creates a way for you to lead recruiters to your top career accomplishments as well as your skills.
This comes in handy if you are looking for a promotion or have been recently promoted to your role. If you don’t have much experience in the role it helps the hybrid format emphasizes your skills.
2. Promote your skills
Even though purchasing roles have industry-specific skill sets, there are a number of general skills that recruiters look for across the field.
Having these essential keywords on your resume will spark a hiring manager’s attention.
Sought-after skills for purchasing professionals include:
Hold the recruiters’ attention with six-to-eight skills that best describe your purchasing and negotiation experience.
3. Use a template and market yourself as a pro
To make it in the world of purchasing it takes a true eye for quality. That’s why in order to get a job for purchasing you should submit a high quality professional resume by using a template.
A template is just a preformatted document crafted by a designer – all you have to do is select one you like and your resume will look fabulous. Then you can add your information and work experience
At JobHero, we have resume templates to help you create your document in a quick, effective way.
Even better, you should try our featured Resume Builder. The builder offers resume templates, with modern and traditional layouts along with color schemes and fonts that you can customize and change with a click.
Whether you are a retail buyer or a procurement manager, you will find that the builder is job-specific with automated phrases and optimized keywords that you can use to best describe your work. Within minutes, you can have a resume that is effective and professional.
Another amazing feature on JobHero’s builder is that you can also use it to create your own cover letter. In just three simple steps, you can have a formal and well written cover letter, highlighting your top accomplishments in the most professional way.
Once completed, the builder reviews your information for any spelling or grammatical errors. Then, you’re ready to send out your flawless resume before other job applicants beat you to it.
What qualifications do I need for a purchasing role?
Experts in purchasing are tough negotiators and are required to be strategic and tactical. They are an asset to businesses because of their cost-savings techniques.
Careers in purchasing and procurement roles often start with a bachelor’s degree in business economics, supply-chain management or logistics.
The qualifications should include previous experience in a similar position, strong negotiation skills, excellent communication skills, relationship building and management skills. Another strong set of qualifications are experience in budgeting and cost-savings as well as sourcing and vendor management.
What are the duties and responsibilities in purchasing?
Purchasing agents are responsible for ensuring that the company has the materials and inventory they need to operate. There are different roles within purchasing, such as inventory management and procurement.
Inventory management handles the lifecycle of a company’s stock levels. Their duties include completing purchase orders and reorders that will keep their inventory replenished. Proper research is conducted based on need and demand rate, to avoid shortages.
While procurement roles are responsible for the purchasing process and material selection. Part of their duties include handling the negotiation of contracts and evaluating vendors and products before making their purchase.
When describing your purchasing experience on your resume, be sure to add numbers or statistics to your duties and responsibilities’ section. This will give employers a better understanding of the scope and impact of your responsibilities.
For example, you can describe your duties as a beer merchandiser with figures like these:
Try to use numbers that impress, but never exaggerate or lie on your resume. Doing so may backfire, putting you at risk during your interview or future employment.
What type of purchasing experience should I include on a resume?
First and foremost, try to include the type of purchasing experience that would be the most similar to the purchasing role that you are applying for.
Pay very close attention to the way that the job post describes the necessary duties and job requirements. Write about your experience performing these same tasks in previous roles.
After all, if your purchasing duties were similar in a past role, an employer will feel more confident you can perform their job.
Include any experience you have had in planning, selling and merchandising along with metrics of how well you managed the inventory. Outline your purchasing experience with examples of how your performance helped ensure the successful growth of the company.
However, be selective about what you include based upon what you think will best serve your new employer the most.
How do I list education on a purchasing resume?
In procurement and purchasing roles, a bachelor’s degree and some certifications are required depending on the role. For example, the International Purchasing and Supply Chain Institute, IPSCMI, offers Certified International Procurement Professional courses to certify you in strategic sourcing, negotiations or legal aspects in procurement.
To ensure ethics in the integrity of purchasing professionals, there are now five worldwide American Purchasing Society certification programs, which are the Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP), the Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM), the Certified Green Purchasing Professional (CGPP), the Certified Professional in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW), and the Certified Professional Purchasing Consultant (CPPC).
The Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM) program is specific to those interested in a managerial position. While the certification for Green Purchasing Professionals (CGPP) is geared to policies and procedures for green procurement and sustainability.
Professionals certified in Distribution and Warehousing (CPDW) are responsible for functions involved in distribution, inventory, logistics, and warehousing. Another procurement certification is to certify Purchasing Professionals (CPP) who consult or teach purchasing to people outside their own employer.
A prerequisite for eligibility for CPP certification is a minimum of two years purchasing related experience.
When listing your formal education, start with your most recent degree listed first. Include the name of the institution you attended, its city and state, and if you graduated, you should list your degree and major(s).
Here’s an example of a candidate with extensive education:
Kean University Union, New Jersey
PhD in Management with a concentration in Logistics
Frampton University Velden, New Jersey
Masters, Supply Chain Management
Montclair University Montclair, New Jersey
If you have a college degree, you do not need to include your high school education or the year you graduated. Listing dates could lead to potential hiring bias because it gives a hint as to your age.
Should I include a cover letter with my purchasing resume?
Yes you should!
A well-written cover letter will attract recruiters to your resume and can create a great first impression. It’s an opportunity to highlight and expand on information included in your resume.
A cover letter is a more personable document than your resume where you can let hiring managers know more about you and why you are interested in working for them.
Use the cover letter to detail out your qualifications and top accomplishments, especially in how they relate to the role you’re seeking.
For example, if you are a procurement manager applying for a similar role, you can highlight how you successfully contributed to the company’s finances, negotiating contracts with suppliers that reduced costs by 20% in a year. That story might convince employers you have the critical thinking skills to save their business money too.
To get started, check out JobHero’s library of purchasing cover letter samples.