What makes a supply chain job seeker attractive to employers?

Morgan McKinley November 15, 2013 2 mins read

The slackness of the supply-chain job market in the last couple of years has left job-hunting supply-chain candidates despairing.

With so few jobs to go around, candidates should focus on developing their abilities within their professional fields, not endlessly lingering, looking for “better” opportunities.

The traditional large supply chain includes purchasing, logistics, transport and customer service. Mid to large-scale companies, however, have long ago split purchasing and customer service off from so-called logistics. A few Fortune 500 companies have segmented logistical functions even further. The logistics work done by the many supply-chain candidates currently looking for jobs is actually rather limited.

A competent supply-chain worker, then, should go out and wholeheartedly understand and experience fields other than logistics and transport: for example imports and exports, customs, planning, warehousing, material control, and third-party supplier management. After gaining a little experience dabbling in these areas, the candidate should go out and get some large-scale, practical experience.

As far as well-qualified, director-level candidates are concerned, aside from moving up from regional to global level, what next steps and choices are available to advance their careers?

A portion of high-level career managers will undertake supply-chain consulting work in the management consulting industry; another portion will go to businesses purchased by private venture companies to help with reorganization. The majority of highly-qualified supply-chain candidates, however, will become leaders of a company of relatively smaller size or a head of one the many facility departments in a big company.

The present decline of supply-chain jobs in traditional industries may be demoralizing, but emerging industries like e-commerce and fast fashion, look prepared to once again set the market thirsting for supply-chain candidates. As a worker in this field, are you ready?

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