You’re a brilliant organizer and you thrive on planning, directing, and coordinating the purchase of materials, products, and services.
Maybe you enjoy working in one specific sector than another. If you really are good at your job, you are poised to go places.
But the job outlook for purchasing managers is declining, so you’re going to have to sharpen your pencil and write the best resume ever to get the job you really want. We are here to help you.
Resume objective for a purchasing manager
Further on, we discuss how varied purchasing manager jobs are. But in general, they involve planning, directing, and the coordination of buying of materials, products, and services for organizations, retailers, or wholesalers.
In essence, your job entails overseeing the work of buyers, purchasing agents, and other personnel who procure items, products, and services.
Whether you are applying for your first job as a purchasing manager, or just one that has more challenges and a higher salary, you will need to show your prospective employer that you have the will and ability to do the job better than anyone else.
The perfect place to make a bold statement identifying your worth is in a resume objective.
Even though the objective has fallen out of favor in recent years, it can be used successfully. Just be sure to keep it short, relevant, and use it to highlight the skills and experience the employer is looking for.
As the career advice officers at The University of Scranton in Pennsylvania tell their students, a resume is a tool that you should use to show you have the knowledge, skills, and experience relevant to a particular job. Use it to entice the employer to interview you.
Experienced purchasing manager keen to switch industries and work in the medical field. Excellent facilitator with an exceptional record of improving company profits. Certified.
Resume skills for a purchasing manager
Purchasing managers need to excel at business strategies and be people-oriented as well. You work with a team, guiding them in the work that they do.
ZipRecruiter ranks vendor management as the most important skill purchasing managers need. They also need to be thoroughly schooled in procurement and everything it entails. They need to be able to handle purchase orders and must have supply chain experience.
Other top skills recruiters look for include forecasting, enterprise resource planning, compliance, negotiation skills, and a thorough knowledge of the continual improvement process.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS), your most important qualities should be analytical, decision-making, math, and negotiating skills.
Whatever you are buying, you need to be able to evaluate suppliers to ensure you get the best combination of price, quality, delivery, and/or service.
You also need to have the ability to make informed decisions, especially when buying products for resale.
You use your math skills every day, comparing prices from different suppliers, and assessing how to get the best possible deal.
You also need to be able to negotiate not just prices, but also contract terms. This takes interpersonal skills and self-confidence.
Vendor management | Procurement | Forecasting | Self-confidence | Interpersonal skills | Negotiation | Math | Computer skills
Purchasing manager work experience
The position of purchasing manager is a senior one that will inevitably require experience.
But the jobs available to purchasing managers are incredibly varied and you might have had jobs in different sectors. That’s fine, as long as you can show that you have experience and expertise as a purchasing manager and can do (or preferably excel at) the job required.
Chances are you have worked as a buyer and/or a purchasing agent. You may also have worked previously as a purchasing manager. Any experience in these positions will stand you in good stead if you mention them in your resume.
When you compile the information relating to your work experience, make sure you can relate it to the job description of the post you are applying for. The duties of buyers and purchasing agents are much the same as those of purchasing managers, so it shouldn’t be difficult.
One big tip we’d like to offer is to be sure you highlight achievements in this section. Employers always like to see how a new employee is likely to add value to a job position.
Think of your resume as a marketing tool.
Sample Work Experience
Levy Company, NC
Area Purchasing Manager, 2019 – 2020
Worked with the management team in Levy’s North Carolina area ensuring that all restaurants in the area were stocked and ran smoothly.
- Ensured that all team members adhered to the Levy guidelines and that all products were properly stored, rotated, and dated according to these guidelines.
- Practiced proper product control and handling of all inventory and equipment.
- Regularly reviewed forecasts and schedules to meet operational needs and targets. Regularly beat these targets and improved stock loss figures by 15% in the first year.
- Ensured that all security, safety, and sanitation standards were achieved.
Taylor Morrison, AZ
Purchasing Manager, 2017 – 2018
Managed the purchasing and cost estimating function for the company. These ranged from product development through the construction of the homes the company builds.
- Initiated, negotiated, and contracted labor and materials for home construction.
- Configured and input house budgets, options, and area figures and ensure material takeoffs were correct and complete.
- Maintained contacts and bidding documents as well as insurance plans.
- Established service level needs and evaluated criteria for building products as well as subcontractors and material supplies.
- Cut losses by 25% over the period.
Bico Drilling Tools Inc, TX
Purchasing Manager, 2016 – 2017
Managed the company’s day-to-day purchasing activities to ensure that production was never delayed due to supply shortages. Represented the company in negotiating contracts and formulating policies with suppliers.
- Evaluated suppliers to ensure that inventories were maintained and that deliveries were on time.
- Located more than 15 new vendors with improved terms of sales.
- Proposed a full set of improvements in the company’s purchasing procedures that improved existing vendor relationships and lowered the cost of doing business by 30%.
- Worked closely with other departments including sales and engineering.
Purchasing manager education
According to the BLS Occupational Handbook, purchasing agents and buyers usually have a bachelor’s degree in business, supply management, or finance.
Purchasing managers usually have a degree plus a meaningful work experience. Some top-level jobs may call for a master’s degree.
We sampled scores of job postings to see what employers asked for and found that most did require a degree, but many were happy if applicants had an associate’s degree, which takes less study time. We also found that most employers wanted a combination of education and experience.
In some sectors, employers call for a degree in the sector they are representing. For instance, if you are going to be working in the construction sector, your employer may prefer you to have a degree in construction or a related field.
Many employers also prefer to train their new staff on-the-job for several months, even if they already have a qualification.
University of California, Berkeley
Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration, 2014 – 2017
While a bachelor’s degree provides the perfect grounding for a managerial job as a purchasing manager, there are many courses that will provide a wider range of expertise and knowledge.
A good place to start is with the companies that offer certification (see below), because ongoing education is very important for formal credentials.
For example, the American Purchasing Society provides a large variety of seminars, courses, and other educational materials for their members to use.
Their online purchasing and supply chain courses are ideal for buyers, purchasing managers, and other people in purchasing who work full-time and only have a limited amount of time to spend on training and education.
Even though they are online, you don’t need advanced computer skills to do them.
APICS (originally the American Production and Inventory Control Society) also offers learning opportunities including training and webinars.
If you include courses you have done in your resume, make sure that they are relevant to the job you are applying for. Also, only include them if you completed them recently.
- Purchasing Management and Strategic Sourcing
- Purchasing for Manufacturing
- The Evolution of Sustainability
- Supply Chain Management
- Inventory Accuracy
While several certifications are available to buyers, purchasing agents, and purchasing managers, they are not always required. However, many experts agree that professional certification is becoming increasingly important.
Certainly, earning a professional certificate will give you a distinct advantage when you apply for management positions.
The BLS mentions possible certifications most of which involve oral and/or written exams. The study requirements differ depending on the association, council, or society offering the certification.
The American Purchasing Society offers a Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) certification that remains valid for five years. Renewal involves ongoing education and proof of experience as well as professional contributions. These could be published articles or talks you have delivered.
Other professional purchasing certifications they offer worldwide are 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 Institute for Supply Management (ISM) offers the Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) credential that covers a wide scope of purchasing professional duties.
APICS offers the Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) credential.
The Next Level Purchasing Association (NLPA) offers the Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) certification.
There are also certifications that are open to federal, state, and local government purchasing managers.
Complete purchasing manager resume sample
When we searched the internet for as much information as possible about the purchasing manager, we chose the advert below as a good example for a sample resume. It may not be anything like the job you are seeking, but you can adapt the tips and ideas for your dream position.
You will see that the purchasing manager position reports directly to the senior vice-president of the company.
There is a long, detailed summary of responsibilities. But, in essence, the job focuses on developing and overseeing the company’s centralized buying program.
They are looking for someone with a bachelor’s degree in purchasing or a related field. They also want the person to have between five and seven years of experience.
They would prefer someone with experience in the entertainment or sports industry. Obviously, this would be an advantage, but if not, you might have a keen interest in either.
Highly reliable purchasing manager with more than eight years of experience. Proven negotiator and confident decision-maker. Worked in the restaurant industry within the entertainment sector.
Vendor management | Accounting | Estimating | Forecasting | Compliance | Communication | Negotiation | People skills | Data analysis | Computer networking
Culver Franchising Systems, WI
Purchasing Manager, 2019 – 2020
Worked as a purchasing manager, initially on site, and then remotely due to COVID-19. Responsible for the delivery of food and other products to the company’s restaurants.
- Built numerous effective relationships with external and internal stakeholders and was recognized by the company for my strong negotiation and influencing skills.
- Responsible for ensuring the delivery of food and other products to all Culver’s restaurants in a timely, cost-effective manner.
- Maintained product quality and positive relationships with all suppliers, distributors, team members, and franchisees. Increased the distribution network by 12%.
- Developed new pricing agreements and contingency planning models for events and functions that often incorporated lavish entertainment.
Apex Tool Group, WI
Purchasing Manager, 2017 – 2019
Responsible for procuring goods and services via approved sources of supply to ensure competitive pricing, compliance with technical specifications, on-time delivery, and other specified requirements.
- Worked in conjunction with the plant leadership team to assure materials and services were acquired to support plant performance.
- Executed material planning activities for everything including all production-related raw materials, outside processing, building supplies, and office supplies.
- Managed optimal material inventory levels that met customer demand but also achieved company inventory targets with minimal shortages.
- Generated and maintained current accurate procurement records and documentation to facilitate future purchasing decisions. These were also used for customer record retention needs.
Schutt Industries, Wi
Purchasing Manager, 2015 – 2016
Planned, organized, directed, and controlled all activities in the company relating to procurement and purchasing. Designed, implemented, managed, and monitored procurement reporting systems to meet company requirements.
- Analyzed market and delivery conditions to determine present and future material availability, and prepared critical market analysis reports.
- Developed a successful system used to evaluate vendor quotations that utilized appropriate negotiation and purchasing techniques to ensure the best quality, price, delivery, and service possible.
- Recruited and maintained suppliers that provided high-quality products and services at a better price while still maintaining the highest code of ethics and conduct.
- Prepared and reviewed contracts, bids, proposals, and vendor agreements for legal correctness, price, and acceptability of items to specifications.
- Certified Professional Purchasing Manager (CPPM)
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bachelor of Business Administration, 2011 – 2014
- Purchasing Management and Strategic Sourcing (American Purchasing Society, October 2020)
A purchasing manager has many responsibilities and challenges. Depending on the job position you want, you will need to tailor your resume to show that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
- There is no obligation to include an objective, but it’s a good idea to include a professional summary at the top of your resume that takes its place. This is where you can include a quick snapshot in words of the value you can add to the position.
- Most purchasing manager jobs require very similar generic skills, but it is important for you to be cognitive of any skills that are specified in the job description.
- Work experience can be a make or break for applicants. Since this is a senior management role, you must have experience, and it must be relevant to the position. If you don’t, rather chase a different position.
Tips from Experts
“Your purchasing manager resume is a brief, informative summary of your abilities, education, and experience. It should highlight your strongest assets and skills, and differentiate you from other candidates seeking similar positions.“ – Officer of Career Services, Harvard University, Faculty of Arts & Sciences
“It has to be easy for someone to quickly scan through your resume and pick out the most important pieces of information. You don’t want the word “objective” on your resume because it’s vague. Rather replace it with a professional summary that tells them what you are great at and what you are passionate about.“ – Amanda Augustine, career-advice expert
“To succeed as a purchasing manager, consider earning a professional certification. Some employers require these credentials, especially for management positions.” – Lindy Cooke, Recruitment Consultant, Indeed
Applying for a new job can be a tremendous challenge. But if you use the tips and ideas we have given you in this article, you can get a head start.
Study the job description carefully and make sure you know what the employer is looking for. Then tailor your resume to the position. You won’t meet every expectation, but emphasize those that you do.