January 31, 2012


Want to tell you a story about something that happens to us all the time in the Recruiting business. You meet a terrific candidate; say a Procurement Specialist, who has really strong skills in vendor & contract management and the end to end procurement lifecycle as well as all the high potential characteristics you absolutely know would be a fantastic attribute to one or more of your Strategic Sourcing clients (you could take this same story and apply it to Supply Chain, Retail, Finance and more). But for some reason no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get any company to bite even though you know this person is a really, really great find.

I know this frustration is something that crosses the mind of many a candidate and/or a Recruiter who knows they have a perfect fit on their hands but nothing seems to happen. Well here might be a reason why:

Candidate X (we’ll call him that to protect his confidentiality) has been working with one of Argentus’ senior Procurement/Supply Chain Recruiters for four to six months now. After sitting down and ‘scratching her head’ trying to figure out why Candidate X isn’t getting any ‘face time’ with her clients, she decides to take a fresh approach and rethink how he packages himself. Candidate X’s original resume, while well written and a good resume, was written functionally. For example, in a paragraph format, it read like a story…like a job description which is certainly a very traditional approach to resume writing. There is nothing wrong with presenting a resume like this but the downside is that with dozens of resumes to review, a functional resume appears like a ‘sea of words’ to the reader and critical keywords get LOST at a time when the candidate only has 30 seconds to communicate their suitability for the role they are applying for.

The trail of breadcrumbs has to be very clearly marked and this is why an accomplishment based resume is really the better approach to branding for a new position.  

So back to the story. Our recruiter got Candidate X to take a fresh look at his resume starting with a very targeted career profile.  Being mindful to keep the flow very clean and simple, he was asked to list his 6 or 8 main specialties within Strategic Sourcing (for example – strategic procurement, contract law, public sector procurement, e-procurement, facilities, vendor management etc). This is exactly where those critical keywords come into play – people are very visual and want to make a match quickly. If they don’t see them you get put on the NO pile quickly.

Being as brief as possible, he was asked to list his key accomplishments in each role – no fluff and no blah blah, you get the drift.  She asked him to think about how he was successful in each of the accomplishment areas and include them on the resume – this is tough but vitally important and pivotal to the new resume approach.  For example, managed 50 RFPs simultaneous; negotiate a cost savings of $50 million over a five year term…etc etc.

Additionally, he also had a couple of contract positions throughout his career (which is becoming much more common) and he had not indicated that on his resume so he seemed jumpy which he wasn’t. She asked him to indicate contract positions beside the dates so there is a clear differentiation. Ending with education,what one ends up with is a substantial and meaty resume which stands out as a document which is fresh, different and targeted.

How the story ends. Within three weeks, Candidate X had four interviews and one job offer. Fantastic. Accomplishment resume over functional – YES, every time.

If you are a Supply Chain or Procurement Specialist and want us to critique your resume, call us

Over and out





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