Purchasing Jobs

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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At first blush, purchasing jobs sound like a shopper's dream come true. The prospect of spending somebody else's money while making all the buying decisions for yourself is too tempting for some people to pass up. Of course, the reality of purchasing jobs is a distinctly different animal and can require a mix of bargain hunting, negotiation skills, and restraint.

Purchasing agents are tasked with reviewing contractor bids, identifying possible suppliers, negotiating the minutiae of contracts, and periodically reviewing client performance. These requirements make those with legal backgrounds, especially in contracts, even more attractive. In addition, it's helpful for candidates to have more than a general familiarity with the industry in which they're doing their purchasing, whether it's machine parts, snack foods, or housing materials.

Qualifications for Purchasing Jobs

Nine times out of 10, purchasing jobs require their applicants to have formal training and experience in the field. In a few rare cases, an individual may possess such strong technical and interpersonal skills that an employer can overlook a relative lack of experience, but this often requires the company to pay for additional training, which can be costly. Job seekers who are adept with computers and, namely, accounting and finance software enjoy an even greater edge, as purchasing involves diligent documentation.

If after years of hopping around finance jobs you're ready for a change of pace, purchasing may prove a reasonable fit. The same analytical tools needed to run a corporation's finances come into play when calculating costs, managing inventory space, and coordinating logistics with your sellers. Experience in retail jobs never hurts either, as great purchasers must have a fluid knowledge of retail versus wholesale prices in a variety of industries.

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