Individuals who shop for products for the purpose of reselling them, such as retail clothing outlets and stores are generally referred to as buyers. Purchases shop for products which are to be used by the company or organization employing them.
For example, an employee might have the role of purchasing all of the office supplies to be used by everyone within their organization.
To be a successful purchaser, an individual will need to know the types of services available, be able to locate the best prices and the most reliable products.
A purchaser also must be able to insure the services and products are delivered on time and according to the contract awarded.
Shopping for products may involve conducting online research, reading trade journals, looking through catalogs and attending trade shows.
If a purchasing agent works in a specific field they may need to have detailed working knowledge of the items they are purchasing.
For example, a company or organization may hire a purchasing manager for the sole purpose of handling all the aspects related to purchasing computers and computer equipment. The person filling that role would need to know quite a bit about the various technologies involved.
Purchasing agents may also need to keep up with emerging trends, changes in the market, price trends and expected trends for the future regarding that service or product.
Purchasing agents may need to travel frequently in order to stay on top of the best deal and emerging trends. At times, it may also be necessary for them to work overtime as well as nights and weekends. This is due to the fact, depending on the industry in which they are employed; there may be peak or seasonal times that will require them to meet heavy deadlines.
Purchasing employees must be resourceful, have initiative and the ability to make sound decisions.
Employment Prospects for Purchasing Agents
Government agencies are one of the largest employment prospects for purchasing job candidates. The government awards numerous contracts each year for the purchase of everything from pencils to complex equipment and jet planes.
Retail companies also employ a significant number of purchasing staff, normally referred to as buyers. Department stores and grocery store chains offer a number of employment opportunities. Building materials and supplies dealers are also a good source for purchasing employment prospects.
Due to the advancements of technology, many companies and organizations are finding they do not have as much of a need for purchasing agents and buyers. As a result, this occupation is not expected to grow as quickly as many other occupations.
The services industry is expected to show the largest amount of growth in employment for purchasing jobs.
Job Search for Purchasing Agents
Purchasing and buyer positions are frequently filled from within . While this can be discouraging for job seekers, the good news is that most organizations and corporations generally employ assistant purchasing managers and buyers.
When companies and organizations choose to hire from outside their internal structure, they generally elect to use the services of a recruiting agency or post a classified advertisement. Networking can be very beneficial to looking for a purchasing position.
Individuals looking for work in this field should remember that exhibiting self-confidence, resourcefulness and composure are key to landing the job.
Cover Letters for Purchasing Agents
Cover letters for this field should focus on industry specific experience and accomplishments achieved in prior employment.
For example; if a candidate was able to save their previous employer money on the purchase of a product, this should be mentioned.
Also, if the candidate has any leads or contacts that would be beneficial in obtaining the best quality and lowest prices for a specific product or services, this should be highlighted as well.
Resumes for Purchasing Agents
A chronological resume is the most suitable when applying for a purchasing position. This resume focuses on education and experience, which are critical to the purchasing field.
Training & Qualifications for Purchasing Agents
Employment opportunities in all sectors of purchasing are better when an individual has a college degree. Some employers may prefer for the successful candidate to have some education, experience or a combination in business management.
Senior management level purchasing jobs generally require a graduate degree as well as extensive experience.
Assistant purchasing positions allows the employee to receive on the job training and gives them the opportunity for advancement.
Once employed, in addition to the training received while completing daily tasks, most purchasing associates will also attend training conferences and seminars required by the employer.