Posted April 4, 2022

Finding a Supply Chain Job - How to Find Better Balance

Finding a Supply Chain Job - How to Find Better Balance
By Brittany Firth & Sarah Mehlert

It’s tough to remember what the U.S. economy looked like three years ago. Heck, just over a year ago, the unemployment rate peaked at 6.7%, with a whopping 11 million fewer employed than before the pandemic. Historically, the labor market had taken years to heal. Yet, beyond all expectations, the demand for workers rapidly swung back at a seldom before seen rate, with 10.6 million open jobs in November 2021. Coupled with that, millions of Americans chose to take early retirement or not to return to work. So, in a bizarre twist of fate, the economy was suffering not by a limited number of jobs, but a limited number of workers.

Many people have decided to reevaluate what they do for a living since the pandemic. As the labor shortages continue to afflict employers across the nation, workers know they can be more selective in the career path they choose. With so many vastly different positions begging to be filled in the logistics and supply chain industry, job seekers can use this opportunity to pursue the path that is truly the right fit for them. But with all these changes we’ve been experiencing, how does that affect the actual process of job hunting?

While searching for a new job can be exciting and liberating, it can also be intimidating. The logistics and supply chain industry offers a wide variety of career paths, and it can be overwhelming trying to choose the one that best suits you. From looking for and finding the position you want, to anxiously waiting for an update from a recruiter and overcoming the interview jitters, here are several strategies to help you boost your confidence and succeed in your job search.

Don’t let your social media define you

You can expect hiring managers to be checking out more than your resume and cover letter from the very moment you apply online. With that said, before you even start your job search or post your resume online, be sure to manage your social media accounts accordingly. Make sure your pages aren’t public and that any public posts you have wouldn’t be categorized as NSFW. This goes for your profile and background pictures as well.

According to research conducted by The Manifest, 90% of employers factor the social media accounts of their job candidates into their hiring decisions, and 79% have rejected a candidate based on the content of their social media.

It’s best to keep your online presence free of bias and keep your personal opinions and political views private.

At the same time, utilize the network you already have. Whether connecting or staying in touch with industry professionals via LinkedIn, using Twitter or Facebook to hold networking conversations, or reaching out to your school’s career office or alumni associations, leverage your existing network to your benefit. You may find that you’re already connected with people who work at the same company you’re applying to and they may put a good word in for you.

The early bird gets the worm

When you see a job that you’re interested in, be sure to send your application in immediately. You gain a competitive advantage if you’re one of the first candidates to apply to a job opening. In fact, LinkedIn data shows you’re up to four times more likely to hear back about a job if you apply within the first 10 minutes, so it certainly helps to be quick.

New jobs are posted on every day, so repeat your searches several times a week. You may even want to expand your search to neighboring cities, as companies often have opportunities outside of the primary location they’re advertising in.

Fill resume gaps

A sure-fire way to be disregarded for a position you qualify for is having unexplained gaps in your employment history. These discontinuities have become an even more significant problem due to the pandemic. Don’t just hope or assume those will be overlooked, ignored, or automatically forgiven by your prospective employer. Be open and honest instead. Fill those spaces with what you were doing during those breaks and articulate why you’re the best fit for the position you’re applying for. This will only serve to benefit you and provide the proper foundation for you to win over your future employer.

Avoid the dreaded “I dunno”

You want to be intentional about your job search and ensure you know why you’re pursuing the career path that you are. Take the time to truly understand what you want, what you don’t want, and the reasons why. You won’t get very far without knowing what you’re looking for in your next position and what, if any, deal-breakers will hold you back. Try asking yourself several questions, and take note of your answers:

  • What am I passionate about, and which supply chain career path can help me fulfill my passions?
  • What skills have I acquired throughout my career that will transfer well to the logistics and supply chain positions that I am interested in?
  • What do I need from work, and what do I want out of work?
  • What would I define as my ideal work-life balance?

A simple, somewhat soul-searching Q&A with yourself can help you find your direction. Use your answers as a compass; be deliberate about the types of jobs you’re searching for and applying to. It can also be extremely helpful to talk with your peers and coworkers about their positions to learn more about what their experiences have been and to get a better picture of all the moving parts of a supply chain. Your ideal path may be something you haven’t even considered yet, as the logistics and supply chain industry is so vast. You’re not cooking spaghetti, so don’t just throw everything up on the wall and see what sticks by submitting your resume to every job in your area with a generic resume – that is not the recipe for success.

Proper preparation prevents poor performance

Do a bit of research on the company you’re applying to and be sure to indicate why you’re a good fit for that job and why that job is a good fit for you. Emphasize why you applied for the position, both in your resume and during the interview. This will illustrate that you invested the time to learn more about the organization, which will help you shine brighter among the other applicants.

If you’re being interviewed via online video conferencing, ensure everything is working well in advance. Do a test run before the scheduled time and ask a friend or family member to be on the other end of the call to confirm the sound and video are working correctly. Work on perfecting the lighting in the room and don’t forget to make sure your background is professional.

The job market continues to open at a steady pace with no signs of stopping anytime soon. There are so many opportunities that you’ll find available for you while on the job hunt in 2022. Figure out what you want and take the necessary steps to make it happen. It’s up to you to put your best foot forward, and when you do, you’ll find that you’re setting yourself up for the best possible success.

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.” —George Eliot