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Purchasing Skills: Example Usage on Resumes, Skill Set & Top Keywords in 2024

Incorporating purchasing on your resume suggests to recruiters your aptitude for strategic procurement and highlights your ability to manage resources effectively. Read the guide below to discover how to showcase this skill on your resume and explore related terms that might better reflect your experience.

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Purchasing skills refer to the ability to effectively buy goods and services for a business while negotiating the best possible prices and terms. These skills are essential for maintaining business operations and managing cost efficiency. When you’re able to showcase these skills on your resume, it signals to potential employers that you have the knack for making smart, cost-effective decisions that can boost the company's bottom line. Employers value professionals who can assess quality, negotiate contracts, manage supplier relationships, and make sound purchasing decisions that align with company goals.

However, the drawback of emphasizing purchasing skills on your resume is that it might pigeonhole you into a specific role, potentially making it harder to pivot to different areas or roles within a business. If your resume overemphasizes this one area, it might overshadow your other talents and experiences. Instead, it's beneficial to balance the presentation of your purchasing skills with broader supply chain management, financial acumen, or strategic planning abilities. This approach shows that you’re versatile and capable of contributing broadly to a company's success.

In this article, you will learn:

  • The benefits and potential drawbacks of adding purchasing skills on your resume.
  • How to effectively balance your purchasing skills with other abilities to showcase versatility.
  • Good and bad examples of how to list your purchasing skills on a resume.

Misusage of purchasing on resumes

The misrepresentation of purchasing skills on a resume can significantly diminish the credibility of an applicant. If exaggerated or inaccurately described, these skills may lead to misaligned job expectations and an inability to meet actual job requirements, ultimately resulting in poor job performance and dissatisfaction on both ends.

  • Summary Section: “I am an unparalleled purchasing expert who can anticipate market shifts with incredible foresight and negotiate deals that save companies millions annually.” This overstates abilities, setting unrealistic expectations for savings and market predictions.

  • Experience Section: “Oversaw a complex buying strategy that transformed company spending patterns.” This vague claim lacks specific details on how the strategy was executed or the actual impact on spending patterns.

  • Achievements Section: “Revolutionized procurement processes which led to unprecedented efficiency and cost-cutting.” Without concrete metrics or context, this description is unsubstantiated and fails to convey the true scope of the achievement.

How to demonstrate purchasing skills on your resume

  • Highlight your ability to analyze purchasing trends and make cost-effective decisions by detailing past experiences where you've successfully reduced expenses.
  • Showcase your negotiation skills by providing examples of contracts you've secured that benefitted your previous employers, such as obtaining favorable terms or discounts.
  • Illustrate your aptitude for vendor management by mentioning how you've built strong supplier relationships, improved service levels, or managed supplier performance.
  • Demonstrate your knowledge of inventory management by describing how you've optimized stock levels to meet demand while minimizing excess inventory.
  • Exhibit your organizational skills by outlining how you've successfully managed multiple purchasing projects or coordinated with various departments to ensure timely procurement of goods and services.

Example 1: Demonstrate purchasing in the experience section

Purchasing Manager
Global Manufacturing Inc.
Chicago, IL
  • Led procurement team in streamlining the vendor selection process, achieving a 15% cost reduction in 2021.
  • Negotiated multi-year contracts with key suppliers, resulting in stable pricing and a 10% decrease in supply chain interruptions.
  • Implemented a new inventory management software that decreased excess stock by 25%, aligning stock levels with production schedules.
Senior Buyer
Tech Solutions Corp.
San Francisco, CA
  • Managed a portfolio of over 50 product lines, successfully introducing 10 new products to the market that exceeded revenue expectations by 20%.
  • Achieved a 98% on-time delivery rate by cultivating strong supplier relationships and optimizing order schedules.
  • Led quarterly budget reviews, pinpointing cost savings which led to a 5% reduction in overall procurement expenses.
Procurement Specialist
Retail Goods Ltd.
New York, NY
  • Coordinated with sales teams to accurately forecast demand, leading to a 30% reduction in last-minute purchase orders.
  • Engaged in market analysis to inform purchasing strategies, identifying trends that informed successful negotiations for price reductions.
  • Displays clear results tied to specific actions, showing not just tasks, but their impact on the company.
  • Uses numbers to quantify achievements, making the applicant's contributions concrete and measurable.
  • Includes a range of experiences that showcase diverse skills and responsibilities across different roles.
  • Details projects without resorting to vague or overused jargon, ensuring the resume is clear and direct.
  • Each item is tied to business objectives, demonstrating the applicant's role in company success.
  • Only uses “resulting in” once, varying the language to keep the achievements fresh and engaging.

Example 2: Demonstrate purchasing in the summary section

Equipped with 10 years of experience, I bring a deep understanding of complex procurement processes and a proven track record in cost-effective purchasing strategies. Adept at vendor negotiations and supply chain optimization, my approach has consistently resulted in significant savings. A standout achievement includes reducing procurement costs by 20% at my current job by leveraging data analysis and strong supplier relationships.
  • The summary clearly states the candidate's years of experience, which is instrumental in establishing credibility.
  • It focuses on concrete skills such as 'complex procurement processes,' 'vendor negotiations,' and 'supply chain optimization,' which are vital for a purchasing role.
  • The resume avoids overused terms and instead quantifies achievements, like highlighting a specific percentage of cost reduction.
  • It displays the candidate's ability to positively impact the bottom line, an important aspect for any business.
  • The use of simple language makes it accessible and easily understood by recruiters.
  • There's a demonstration of value without leaning on jargon or filler, keeping the content direct and to the point.

Example 3: Demonstrate purchasing in the achievements section

Reduced Annual Spending by 15%
Analyzed spending patterns and streamlined vendor relations, leading to a cost reduction without compromising on quality.
Enhanced Inventory Turnover Ratio
Implemented a just-in-time inventory system that improved turnover by 35% and reduced storage needs.
Boosted Supplier On-Time Delivery
Negotiated better terms with suppliers, achieving a 25% increase in on-time delivery and enhancing production flow.
  • The achievements reflect tangible metrics, indicating clear success from actions taken.
  • Descriptions avoid overused terms, focusing on specific outcomes and strategies used.
  • The titles are concise yet informative, promising more detail in the expanded description.
  • Each entry is a direct reflection of purchasing skills applied in real work scenarios, showing practical experience.

What are the relevant certifications for purchasing skills on resume

Enhancing your career in purchasing can be significantly aided by obtaining professional certifications which demonstrate expertise and dedication:

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The top 5 certifications for gaining purchasing skills expertise:

  • Certified Purchasing Professional (CPP) - Offered by the American Purchasing Society, this certificate focuses on fundamental purchasing practices, negotiation skills, and the understanding of contracts, ensuring an improved capability in the procurement field.
  • Certified Professional in Supply Management (CPSM) - From the Institute for Supply Management, the CPSM certification covers a broad set of skills such as strategic sourcing and leadership in supply management, benefiting those looking to advance in senior purchasing roles.
  • Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) - Provided by APICS, this program teaches advanced knowledge in supply chain management, including how to improve operations and increase efficiency throughout the supply chain.
  • Accredited Purchasing Practitioner (APP) - Also from the Institute for Supply Management, the APP is designed for individuals beginning their purchasing career, focusing on the essentials of procurement operations and vendor management.
  • Senior Professional in Supply Management (SPSM) - Offered by the Next Level Purchasing Association, this certification offers a deep dive into strategic procurement management, preparing professionals for leadership roles and high-level strategic decisions.
  • Top skills people add together with purchasing skill on resume:

    Inventory Management

    Supply Chain Management

    Contract Negotiation

    Vendor Management


    Cost Reduction Strategies

    Material Requirements Planning (MRP)

    Strategic Sourcing

    Supplier Evaluation

    Quality Control




    Problem Solving

    Decision Making


    Analytical Thinking

    Relationship Building

    Time Management




    Most relevant jobs for purchasing skills

    Purchasing skills are vital for a variety of professions where selecting suppliers, negotiating contracts, and managing procurement processes are key responsibilities. These skills help to ensure that organizations receive the best value for their money by acquiring goods and services that meet their needs. People in these roles are typically good with numbers, skilled in negotiation, and have a strong understanding of supply chain management. They must also be adept at assessing product quality and vendor reliability.

    • Procurement Manager - Oversee the purchasing process and strategy for an organization.
    • Purchase Agent - Responsible for obtaining products and services at competitive prices.
    • Supply Chain Analyst - Analyzes data to improve the efficiency of the supply chain.
    • Inventory Manager - Manages inventory levels to balance supply with demand.
    • Operations Manager - Ensures that the daily operations of purchasing align with business goals.
    • Purchasing Assistant - Supports the purchasing department with administrative tasks.
    • Category Manager - Specializes in procuring a specific category of goods or services.
    • Sourcing Specialist - Finds and evaluates suppliers to meet an organization's needs.
    • Contract Administrator - Manages the contracts involved in the purchasing process.
    • Logistics Coordinator - Coordinates the logistics of moving goods from supplier to buyer.

    Key takeaways

    • Purchasing skill enhances your resume by showcasing your ability to manage procurement processes effectively.
    • Avoid misuse of this skill by understanding proper application in various buying scenarios and adhering to ethical standards.
    • Showcase your purchasing skill on your resume by citing specific achievements and providing concrete examples of cost savings or process improvements you've contributed to.
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    Volen Vulkov
    Volen Vulkov is a resume expert and the co-founder of Enhancv. He applies his deep knowledge and experience to write about a career change, development, and how to stand out in the job application process.