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How to start your job search while you’re still employed

Written by: CIPS Procurement & Supply Jobs
Published on: 7 Oct 2023

Whether you feel underpaid, unchallenged, or driven by external forces to find new opportunities, sometimes it feels like these ‘needs’ must be addressed straight away. But often, the decision to make a move can result in more problems than you imagined.

Image of person using their laptop

The supply chain management and procurement job market is a very competitive one, and this means there are certain things that you may want to do to increase your chances of a successful transition.  

But remember, career management isn’t just something that should be considered when you are job hunting; you should practise it as part of your overall professional life.  Here are a few tips to get you started in looking for your new procurement job, without jeopardising your current one.  

  1. Understand why it is that you want to leave and what needs must be met by your new role. When searching for a new job, you will come across hundreds of roles that look better on paper but, in reality, may have the same problems as your current one.

In other words, the grass isn’t always greener!

  1. Build and nurture a professional network of people who know you, trust you, and can honestly comment on the work you do. At the very least you should have a completed LinkedIn profile. But procurement and supply jobs can be advertised across all platforms, so it makes sense to keep your professional online presence as wide as possible.  
  2. Your CV and covering letter are your first impression to your potential employer, so make them both stand out. There are many sources to help you perfect these documents, as a bland CV will undo all your hard work in other areas.  As well as asking friends or colleagues to review your CV, don’t be afraid to seek professional help – some CV writing businesses have a wealth of knowledge in these areas and already helped many in the procurement industry find the jobs they want.  
  3. Keep track of your skills, as well as what you’ve accomplished. This is not only for your CV, but for the whole job-hunting journey. Being able to talk about your achievements can impress potential employers, and being able to talk about multiple examples shows that you have a real commitment to your work. Where possible, use numbers and percentages to back up your credentials.
  4. Keep developing professionally. Even if your current employer is unwilling to subsidise or pay for training, there are many options out there, including workshops, webinars and seminars, that can help give your skills a boost.  

The Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply has several courses that can benefit you. Alternatively, volunteering to speak at events, doing a ‘lunch and learn’, and writing blogs or news articles are all excellent ways to build contacts – and they will help your CV stand out from the crowd.