Category Manager CV Examples & Guide for 2024

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Category Manager CV

To truly stand out, your category manager CV must demonstrate a track record of successful category growth and profitability. Highlight your ability to analyze market trends and tailor inventory to meet consumer demand. Ensure your CV showcases your proficiency in supplier negotiation and relationship management. These skills are crucial for optimizing product assortments and achieving competitive pricing.

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Crafting a CV that effectively highlights your strategic procurement skills and commercial awareness can be a daunting challenge for any category manager. Our guide offers tailored advice to showcase your expertise, ensuring your CV stands out in a competitive job market.

Learn how to create your next category manager CV by:

  • Applying the simplest CV design, so that recruiters can easily understand your expertise, skills, and professional background;
  • Ensuring you stand out with your header, summary or objective statement, and a designated skills section;
  • Creating your CV experience section - no matter how much expertise you have;
  • Using real life professional CV examples to enhance the structure and outline of your profile.

If you still have no muse to write your professional CV, find some more industry-leading examples.

Structuring your category manager CV layout: four factors to keep in mind

There are plenty of best practices out there for your CV layout and design. At the end of the day, a clear format and concise CV message should be your top priority. Use your CV design to enhance separate sections, bringing them to the forefront of recruiters' attention. At the same time, you can write content that:

  • Follows the reverse chronological order in the experience section by first listing your most recent jobs;
  • Incorporates your contact information in the header, but do skip out on the CV photo for roles in the UK;
  • Is spotlighted in the most important sections of your CV, e.g. the summary or objective, experience, education, etc. to show just how you meet the job requirements;
  • Is no longer than two-pages. Often, the one-page format can be optimal for your category manager CV.

Before submitting your CV, you may wonder whether to export it in Doc or PDF. With the PDF format, your information and layout stay intact. This is quite useful when your CV is assessed by the Applicant Tracker System (or the ATS) . The ATS is a software that scans your profile for all relevant information and can easily understand latest study on the ATS , which looks at your CV columns, design, and so much more.

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For certain fields, consider including infographics or visual elements to represent skills or achievements, but ensure they are simple, professional, and enhance rather than clutter the information.

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The top sections on a category manager CV

  • Professional Summary to set the tone of your expertise: This allows the recruiter to quickly grasp your experience and value as a category manager.
  • Category Management Experience with achievements: Highlights your specific work history and accomplishments in category management roles.
  • Key Skills in Category Strategy and Analysis: Showcases your abilities in strategic planning, data analysis, and decision-making specific to category management.
  • Education with relevant qualifications: Provides information on your academic background and any certifications that support your expertise in category management.
  • Industry Knowledge and Trends Awareness: Demonstrates your understanding of the market, consumer behaviour, and innovations relevant to category management.
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What recruiters value on your CV:
  • Highlight your expertise in data analysis and insights by mentioning specific statistical tools or techniques you've used to forecast trends and make informed purchasing decisions.
  • Emphasise your vendor management skills, detailing successful negotiations and partnerships that have led to improved product ranges and profitability.
  • Showcase your experience in assortment planning and inventory management, including how you've optimised product mix to meet customer demand and sales targets.
  • Demonstrate your strategic thinking by discussing how you've developed and executed category plans that align with broader business objectives and market dynamics.
  • Include examples of cross-functional collaboration, such as working with marketing and supply chain teams, to drive category growth and efficiency.

Our checklist for the must-have information in your category manager CV header

Right at the very top of your category manager CV is where you'd find the header section or the space for your contact details, headline, and professional photo. Wondering how to present your the name of the city you live in and the country abbreviation as your address;

  • Integrate a link to your professional portfolio or LinkedIn profile to further showcase your work;
  • Upload your professional photo only if you're applying for jobs outside the UK or US.
  • Finally, we've reached the most difficult aspect of the CV header - it's your headline or the first sentence that is used to grab recruiters' attention. The most effective category manager CV headlines:

    • are tailored to the role you're applying for by integrating key job skills and requirements;
    • showcase what your unique value is, most often in the form of your most noteworthy accomplishment;
    • select your relevant qualifications, skills, or current role to pass the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) assessment.
    • Still not sure how to write your CV headline? Our examples below showcase best practices on creating effective headlines:
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    Examples of good CV headlines for category manager:

    1. Category Manager - FMCG | Strategic Sourcing Expert | CIPS Certified | 5+ Years of Industry Leadership
    2. Senior Category Specialist - IT Procurement | Contract Negotiation | MCIPS | 10 Years' Experience in Tech Sector
    3. Junior Category Analyst - Retail Purchasing | Market Analysis Enthusiast | Degree in Business | 2 Years Hands-On Experience
    4. Lead Category Manager - Pharmaceuticals | Supply Chain Optimization | MBA | 15 Years of Strategic Growth
    5. Category Management Coordinator - Fashion | Trend Forecasting | Procurement Diploma | Passionate with 4 Years' Expertise
    6. Global Category Director - Energy | Risk Management | Charted Institute of Procurement & Supply | 20+ Years' Leadership

    Choosing your opening statement: a category manager CV summary or objective

    At the top one third of your CV, you have the chance to make a more personable impression on recruiters by selecting between:

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    CV summaries for a category manager job:

    • With over a decade of expertise revolutionising procurement strategies for a leading FMCG brand, I have a track record of elevating supplier partnerships, optimising product assortments, and achieving a 30% cost reduction through shrewd negotiations and data-driven decision-making.
    • Accomplished retail category manager with 8 years of experience specialising in the fashion apparel sector. I skilfully redefined merchandising plans for a multinational chain, resulting in a 25% increase in year-over-year sales and a renowned reputation for trend forecasting.
    • Multifaceted professional transitioning from a successful 5-year career in financial analysis into category management, bringing exceptional analytical skills and a profound understanding of market dynamics, keen to apply strategic insights to drive product category growth in the consumer electronics sector.
    • Former business development manager with 6 years of robust experience in crafting high-impact strategies for SaaS solutions, now eager to leverage my commercial acumen and relationship-building prowess to excel in category management within the fast-paced technology retail industry.
    • Keen to launch a dynamic career in category management, I am equipped with in-depth knowledge from a Master's in Business Administration and a zest for leveraging analytics to drive product success. My goal is to contribute fresh perspectives and a passion for market trend analysis.
    • A fresh graduate with honours in Marketing, aspiring to mould a career in category management. I am eager to bring my academic insights, fervour for consumer psychology, and dedication to collaborative innovation to deliver measurable results in a rapidly evolving retail landscape.

    Best practices for writing your category manager CV experience section

    If your profile matches the job requirements, the CV experience is the section which recruiters will spend the most time studying. Within your experience bullets, include not merely your career history, but, rather, your skills and outcomes from each individual role. Your best experience section should promote your profile by:

    • including specific details and hard numbers as proof of your past success;
    • listing your experience in the functional-based or hybrid format (by focusing on the skills), if you happen to have less professional, relevant expertise;
    • showcasing your growth by organising your roles, starting with the latest and (hopefully) most senior one;
    • staring off each experience bullet with a verb, following up with skills that match the job description, and the outcomes of your responsibility.

    Add keywords from the job advert in your experience section, like the professional CV examples:

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    Best practices for your CV's work experience section
    • Analyse historical sales data to identify trends and recommend adjustments to inventory and pricing strategies, resulting in an overall sales uplift of 15% in my category.
    • Initiated and managed collaborative relationships with over 50 suppliers, negotiating cost prices that have led to a 10% improvement in the gross margin.
    • Developed category-specific promotional campaigns in conjunction with the marketing team, which increased customer engagement by 25%.
    • Created comprehensive category plans that align with the organisation's strategic goals, onboarding new products successfully and phasing out underperformers.
    • Conducted regular market research and competitor analysis to maintain a competitive product offering, leading to a market share increase of 5% for my categories.
    • Implemented effective space management and planogram techniques for in-store displays, enhancing the visual appeal and accessibility of products, thereby improving customer experience.
    • Lead cross-functional teams in new product development projects, shortening the time to market by 20% while ensuring all stakeholder requirements are met.
    • Established robust inventory management systems, reducing stockouts by 30% and minimising waste from expired goods.
    • Utilised e-commerce analytics tools to optimise online product listings, achieving a 40% rise in online sales for key product lines within my categories.
    Work Experience
    Senior Category Manager
    Target Corporation
    • Led the strategic repositioning of our home goods category, resulting in a 25% year-over-year sales increase by identifying high-potential products and optimizing pricing strategies.
    • Negotiated with over 50 suppliers to secure better terms, reducing costs by 15% and improving the supply chain efficiency while maintaining the integrity of the product sourcing.
    • Spearheaded the implementation of a data-driven decision-making process, utilizing advanced analytics to understand consumer trends and adjust inventory levels accordingly, cutting excess stock by 30%.
    • Coordinated cross-functional teams in a major category overhaul project that incorporated sustainable products, boosting category appeal and increasing customer satisfaction ratings by 20%.
    Work Experience
    Category Leadership Manager
    Best Buy Co. Inc.
    • Revolutionized the electronics category by launching an exclusive line of smart home devices, capturing 10% market share within the first year.
    • Collaborated with the marketing team to execute targeted campaigns, expanding customer reach and enhancing brand visibility for the consumer electronics division.
    • Implemented vendor scorecards and performance metrics, fostering a culture of accountability and continuous improvement that lifted overall vendor performance by 25%.
    Work Experience
    Category Management Executive
    Walmart Inc.
    • Managed the grocery category for over 200 store locations, improving sales by an average of 18% through assortment optimization and private-label expansion.
    • Overhauled promotional strategies, which increased the category's contribution to overall store sales by 15% while enhancing customer loyalty and repeat visits.
    • Launched a successful health-focused subcategory that saw a 35% increase in sales, tapping into emerging consumer wellness trends.
    Work Experience
    Category Manager - Apparel
    Macy's Inc.
    • Directed a team to conduct a portfolio analysis for the fashion category, identifying underperforming lines and introducing new brands that lifted the division's revenues by 22%.
    • Cultivated relationships with up-and-coming designers to diversify the product range, which contributed to a 40% growth in the category's customer base.
    • Developed and executed a comprehensive seasonal merchandise plan involving forecasts, sales promotions, and inventory controls that maximized sales during peak periods.
    Work Experience
    Beauty Category Manager
    Sephora USA, Inc.
    • Drove the beauty category's E-commerce presence, leading to a 50% increase in online revenue by optimizing digital marketing efforts and website merchandising.
    • Orchestrated an exclusive partnership with a leading skincare brand, resulting in a 30% sales lift within the category and elevating the company's market positioning.
    • Introduced a comprehensive training program for procurement staff to enhance negotiation skills, delivering an average cost saving of 10% across key beauty brands.
    Work Experience
    Health & Wellness Category Manager
    CVS Health Corporation
    • Managed the health and wellness category during a regulatory shift, ensuring compliance with new standards without disruption to product availability or profitability.
    • Implemented an innovative planogram system for improved shelf space allocation, contributing to a 12% increase in same-store sales for the category.
    • Leveraged consumer insights to curate a specialized assortment for an aging demographic, resulting in a 45% upswing in customer satisfaction scores for the category.
    Work Experience
    Category Development Manager - Pet Supplies
    PetSmart, Inc.
    • Revitalized the underperforming pet supplies category by initiating strategic partnerships with local pet shelters, enhancing the company's community engagement and increasing category sales by 18%.
    • Fostered an agile team environment, enabling the category to quickly adapt to market shifts and capitalize on emergent trends, resulting in a consistent top performance ranking within the company.
    • Established a dynamic pricing model that responded in real-time to competitor pricing fluctuations, protecting market share and maintaining a 5% average growth in profit margins.
    Work Experience
    Electronics Category Strategy Manager
    The Home Depot, Inc.
    • Conducted an extensive multi-channel sales analysis to identify gaps in the consumer electronics category, leading to a reprioritization of inventory that drove a 17% increase in profitability.
    • Orchestrated a turnaround strategy for aging inventory, converting potential losses into a 15% gain through strategic discounts and bundle offers.
    • Managed end-to-end category lifecycle from product development to end-of-life, maintaining overall category health and ensuring a balanced portfolio mix.
    Work Experience
    Sustainable Sourcing Category Leader
    Whole Foods Market, Inc.
    • Championed a company-wide initiative to integrate sustainable sourcing practices within the grocery category, leading the industry shift towards eco-conscious products and increasing sales by 20%.
    • Actively monitored competitive actions and market trends to inform a proactive category response, maintaining a leadership position in market share throughout tenure.
    • Pioneered a supplier diversity program that expanded the network by 15% while increasing category innovation and product uniqueness.
    Work Experience
    Home Furnishings Category Lead
    IKEA Group
    • Navigated a volatile market during an economic downturn, repositioning the home furnishings category for a post-recession market with targeted value offerings, resulting in a 12% uplift in sales.
    • Introduced an analytics-based product selection process which enhanced the alignment between customer demand and inventory, reducing stockouts by 25%.
    • Cultivated a culture of performance excellence within the category management team, setting clear KPIs and delivering continuous coaching, leading to a 10% increase in team productivity.

    How to ensure your category manager CV stands out when you have no experience

    This part of our step-by-step guide will help you substitute your experience section by helping you spotlight your skill set. First off, your ability to land your first job will depend on the time you take to assess precisely how you match the job requirements. Whether that's via your relevant education and courses, skill set, or any potential extracurricular activities. Next:

    • Systematise your CV so that it spotlights your most relevant experience (whether that's your education or volunteer work) towards the top;
    • Focus recruiters' attention to your transferrable skill set and in particular how your personality would be the perfect fit for the role;
    • Consider how your current background has helped you build your technological understanding - whether you've created projects in your free time or as part of your uni degree;
    • Ensure you've expanded on your teamwork capabilities with any relevant internships, part-time roles, or projects you've participated in the past.
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    Talk about any positive changes you helped bring about in your previous jobs, like improving a process or helping increase efficiency.

    Mix and match hard and soft skills across your category manager CV

    Your skill set play an equally valid role as your experience to your application. That is because recruiters are looking for both:

    Are you wondering how you should include both hard and soft skills across your category manager CV? Use the:

    • skills section to list between ten and twelve technologies that are part of the job requirement (and that you're capable to use);
    • strengths and achievements section to detail how you've used particular hard and soft skills that led to great results for you at work;
    • summary or objective to spotlight up to three skills that are crucial for the role and how they've helped you optimise your work processes.

    One final note - when writing about the skills you have, make sure to match them exactly as they are written in the job ad. Take this precautionary measure to ensure your CV passes the Applicant Tracker System (ATS) assessment.

    Top skills for your category manager CV:

    Category Management

    Procurement Strategies

    Supply Chain Management

    Market Analysis

    Financial Acumen


    Product Sourcing

    Data Analysis

    Pricing Strategies

    Project Management



    Strategic Thinking

    Problem Solving






    Decision Making

    Time Management

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    Order your skills based on the relevance to the role you're applying for, ensuring the most pertinent skills catch the employer's attention first.

    CV education and certificates: your academic background as proof of your skill set

    A common misconception about your category manager CV education is that you only need it, if you have less professional experience. That is completely false. The CV education section serves to back up your technical (and sometimes personal) capabilities, fill in gaps in your work history, and show you have the initial industry background and know-how. When creating your education section:

    • List your degrees in the reverse chronological order, starting with the most recent (and relevant) ones first;
    • Include your degree and university names, start and graduation dates. It's optional to also denote you received a "First-Class Honours" for diplomas that are more relevant to the role;
    • Curate your relevant university coursework, projects, or thesis work if you happen to have less professional expertise and need to integrate more job keywords and skills.

    Your professional qualifications don't need to stop at your academic background. It's advisable to also select up to three of your most noteworthy (and relevant) industry certificates and feature them in a dedicated section. Once more, include the certificate name, the institution that issued it out, and the date you obtained it on. You could feature both hard skills and soft skills certificates, as in the examples below:

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    Order your skills based on the relevance to the role you're applying for, ensuring the most pertinent skills catch the employer's attention first.

    Key takeaways

    Impressing recruiters with your experience, skill set, and values starts with your professional category manager CV. Write concisely and always aim to answer job requirements with what you've achieved; furthermore:

    • Select a simple design that complements your experience and ensures your profile is presentable;
    • Include an opening statement that either spotlights your key achievements (summary) or showcases your career ambitions (objective);
    • Curate your experience bullets, so that each one commences with a strong, action verb and is followed up by your skill and accomplishment;
    • List your hard and soft skills all across different sections of your CV to ensure your application meets the requirements;
    • Dedicate space to your relevant higher education diplomas and your certificates to show recruiters you have the necessary industry background.

    Looking to build your own Category Manager CV?

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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.