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Top Tips in Logistics & Supply Chain Career Development

by Barrie Dowsett MILT, The BJD Group Ltd

Have career goals:

Set career goals and endeavor to stick to them. If you change make sure it is in your best interest - be careful not to be led by others.

Set income targets:

Have financial income goals: remember it's the total package that counts. Be specific

Get educated:

Seek out further education in supply chain and logistics. Many universities have specific degrees as well as combined ones

Get trained:

Push for training in supply chain and logistics generally, plus systems used. Try to ensure any training is recognised and ‘certified' - make sure it is relevant. 

Become known:

mix with movers and shakers in the profession, write articles for relevant journals, attend networking events, work on your own PR, be brave - get noticed

Bespoke your CV:

Your generic CV shouldn't be used where there is information available about a specific opportunity

Don't rely on a covering letter:

When sending out your CV avoid relying on a covering letter to convey key facts. Assume it will get detached and will not be read. 

Use consultants in supply chain and logistics recruitment:

Avoid agencies that send out CV's without candidates consent. Seek out a genuine consultant in supply chain and logistics recruitment with a sound technical understanding

Registering online with The BJD Group - - will allow you to keep your details up to date (essential if our consultants are to find the right position for you), as well as allowing you to search for the latest positions and attach an updated copy of your CV. Take advantage of the auto-email facility so that positions can be sent to you

Your one minute summary:

Produce a one minute summary of yourself, get it rehearsed.  

Practice makes perfect:

If your interview skills are rusty, practice them in advance


Rehearse if possible - particularly if making a presentation. Get someone to ask you some difficult interview questions.       

Get the interview logistics right:

Imagine the impression created by a logistics professional getting it wrong!

Dress code:

Dress for the job you want rather the job you have. If in doubt wear a business suit etc. Only go casual if invited to do so

First impressions count:

Think about handshake, posture, alertness, politeness - all in the first minute!

Personal portfolio:

Keep a record of letters, emails, well done notes on your achievements and have it to hand during an interview. Don't overdo it - gauge your audience carefully

Become competent in psychometric testing and assessment:

80% of FTSE 100 companies use this. Practice makes perfect. Try online practice sites like or 

Feedback and follow up:

Ask for feedback after interviews or testing. Follow up is often expected from you. If you are really interested, ensure the interviewers receive some correspondence from you thanking them for their time. If you want the job, say so

Offered the job:

Negotiating an offer can be tricky. Seek out advice, understand the whole package and base any negotiation on facts

What's planned?

Get future plans agreed with your new employer. Confirm areas such as induction, training, mentoring, appraisals and career development opportunities

Clarify key task and objectives:

Ensure these are clearly understood by all concerned with means of measurement

Bonus or other rewards:

Get agreement on how they work - avoid ˜to be discussed'

This is an abridged version of ˜Top Tips in Logistics & Supply Chain Career Development', one of a number of guides produced by The BJD Group. Also available on request are guides covering: CVs; interview tips and techniques; self assessment; psychometric testing; and resignation and counter offers

To request copies, contact: Kulsum Hassan. Tel: +44 (0)1858 433071. Email:


Barrie Dowsett MILT has been a member of the Institute for many years and has a passion for the development of logistics as a highly-regarded profession and it's recognition as a key management function. He is a regular speaker at logistics events and the author of a number of guides that have helped a growing number of logistics professionals to maximise their careers


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