Operations managers are the mechanics of any production organization – ensuring that the cogs keep turning. While operations managers are most common in manufacturing, retail, transport and warehousing operations, they are also prevalent in vertical industries, for example food and legal. In fact, every business that is reliant on tight processes and complex operations needs an operations manager. This operations manager resume example and writing guide will focus mainly on operations managers within industries that deal with physical products, but many of the process, people, project, strategic and financial aspects are common for any operations manager.
It is vital that an operations manager resume touch on the five core examples of the profession: people, core operations, budgeting, projects and strategy. Operations managers understand the subtle connections between the different parts of their company, and the resume should convey a sense of control. But how do you write a resume that tells the story of your operational excellence? This operations manager resume writing guide will discuss how to:
- Create an operations manager resume that conveys your mastery of the field.
- Give examples of your achievements and positive impact on the business.
- Ensure that you use the right keywords to pass the ATS software test.
- Use the format of your operations manager resume to bring out your skills.
Along with our sample resumes and builder tool, we will help you to convey your exacting and quality-led approach. Let's get started with this in-depth look at how to create an efficient operations manager resume.
How to write an operations manager resume
Lots of things can go wrong in business – especially when products, people and processes are concerned. An operations manager ensures that this is minimized. When you are entrusting someone with control over so many moving parts of your business, you need to find someone who is calm, measured and process-driven. Their resume should demonstrate a clarity of decision making, an insightful mind and a disciplined approach to organization. No detail is too small and no relationship too peripheral for an operations manager. In this game of marginal gains, everything and everyone matters. In the same way, the resume of an operations manager should feel just as tight. Keep it flowing, keep it focused and keep it relevant. A reader who gets lost in irrelevant detail and stock phrases will assume that your operations work is just as rambling. Here are three examples of top considerations for an operations manager resume:
- Cover every aspect of the operations management process – with real examples.
- Getting past the ATS, where specific keywords are important to your specific role.
- Ensuring a focus on how your judgment and influence make that crucial difference.
Tailor your resume to the role
Use examples to support your experience
Ensure that relevant keywords are used throughout the resume
Divert from the important elements of the role
Forget to keep relating back to the job listing when writing your resume; it's there for a reason
Writing an operations manager resume can be hard. Get inspired by other resume samples from the same industry:
What does an operations manager do?
No matter the industry, the best operations managers share a multitude of common traits. While it is hard to truly understand the efficiency of operations managers without being immersed in their business, it is entirely possible to envision their successes based on a description of their work. When you have a limited number of words (as is the case in a resume), you have to focus on what really matters. Every operations manager resume should revolve around the following aspects:
- Operations managers need to have a 360-degree overview of everything going on around them. They facilitate the success of each relevant department, planning activity, tweaking processes, managing inventory and ensuring compliance with best practices. Their operational decisions involve a wide range of stakeholders from across their business and they are a hub for advice and strategic input.
- They are party to all key financial decisions and oversee the procurement and operational budgets.
- Quality assurance and compliance form a large part of their responsibilities, with health and safety governance ensuring that no disasters happen.
- Operations managers are often responsible for efficient project management and workforce deployment.
- On the people side, they are coaches, mentors and shining examples of how to do things properly. All of these aspects should be woven into the stories of your resume.
Passing the ATS software test
To process the enormous volume of resumes that may cross their desks, hiring managers use Applicant Tracking Systems ( ATS software
), in which computer bots give them a read first. For any open job, employers input the key qualifications they are seeking into the ATS system, which then searches the resumes that roll in to see if they contain those crucial keywords. Those that don’t are likely to be rejected without any human review, but those that do will be green-lighted for a closer look.
So in order to get your resume in front of a hiring manager, you have to first make sure that the ATS system thinks you are worthy. The keywords for an operations manager will be pretty similar, no matter the industry. While some might be obvious, they are vital to include, as most ATS software will expect them to be there.
If you are not sure about which words to include, check out the company website and read some of the content that people share on social media. You will get an idea of their specific vocabulary and make sure that you are using the same terminology.
Resume summary example: your professional self-portrait
Most operations managers do more or less the same basic things. There is not much room for innovation, but what sets you apart is how you help those around you hit those marginal gains. While the rest of your resume sets out the main operational challenges that you encountered in each role, the summary (sometimes called a profile or personal statement ) offers operations managers a chance to say exactly how they overcame some of the biggest challenges in their careers. Everyone has a different approach to problem solving and different approaches suit different types of business. Matching up your style of operational management with the culture of your employer is a critical first step in seeing whether there is a fit.
Luckily, many of the metrics of an operations manager are easy to measure. For example, you can talk about how things were done before and talk about how your approach helped. What was the outcome and how did you change the business? That should be at the core of your summary. How did the changes you made move your business forward? After an employer reads your operations manager resume summary, you want them to be thinking one thing: “Wow. How can they change our business for the better?”
Highlight your specific operations knowledge
The nature of operations challenges will vary significantly from business to business, so make sure that you are not only specific with samples of what you have done, but also try to make sure that what you share is a fit with the sorts of challenges that you will face with your future employer. There is nothing like a hiring manager thinking “Yes, that is impressive, and if they have done that before they can do that again.”
Experienced and effective Operations Manager bringing forth valuable industry experience and a passion for management. Results-oriented with a proven track record of improving overall operations within a company or department. Adept in analytical thinking, strategic planning, leadership, and the management of staff and procedures.
Operations manager employment history example
While the summary sets out your operations manager persona, your employment history needs to double down on what you have done. Can you solve your employer’s problems? Many business leaders rarely take a peek under the operational hood of their business – they prefer to focus on outcomes rather than mechanics. However, given this (sometimes shocking) lack of understanding, when they are searching for a new operations manager, they need to see that the candidate does have previous experience doing similar work. If you haven’t spelled this out in your employment history resume section, the employer will be taking a risk.
While there isn’t resume space to detail all of your activities for every employer, it probably makes sense to focus on a few main skills per employer. It might be strategy and stock control for one and process optimization and quality assurance for another. Make sure that you give yourself the resume space to add those crucial little details, or otherwise it becomes a boring list of responsibilities rather than an in-depth look into the experience you bring as an operations manager. Given the fact that you will be choosing which parts of your role to include on your operations manager resume, it makes total sense to only include those that will be relevant for your future employer. This means that you will have to tailor your resume for each job, but if you have a list of five to six activity descriptions per employer, you can decide which ones to include. You would talk about stock planning for a transport provider, and you definitely wouldn’t talk about production planning for a retailer. Keep it relevant.
Support your experience by quantifying it. For example, you managed a team of 20 employees, rather than just 'manage a team.' It is much more effective if you can support it with examples.
An operations manager resume should read like a practical account of what it would be like to be alongside you as you go about your job. Take the reader on a journey of how you make your decisions, using action verbs to make them feel what it’s like to work with you, and show why you are the one to take charge of company operations. If your resume reads like a boring description of your responsibilities, nobody will find it interesting. If, on the other hand, you share some of the ups and downs of your career, they will understand that you can handle the rough times as well as ride out the easier ones. It is also important to cover how you worked with stakeholders, influencing their decisions and encouraging them to your way of thinking. No events manager works in a vacuum, and it is vital that a collaborative thread runs through the work history on your operations manager resume.
Operations Manager at New York University, New York
April 2014 - January 2018
- Successfully led all daily operations in the Human Resources Department of the undergraduate school.
- Managed and evaluated workflow and productivity, making changes where necessary.
- Developed and implemented performance standards and procedural changes to drive productivity and quality.
- Effectively directed and oversaw staff, designing schedules to meet the needs of the department as well as the needs of employees.
Assistant Director of Human Resources Department at New York University, New York
May 2011 - March 2014
- Effectively helped to manage Human Resources concerns and department workflow.
- Developed and fostered positive relationships with University members and outside contacts to help achieve program objectives.
- Maintained extremely well-organized records and handled all HR matters with confidentiality and the application of company standards.
Resume skills section example: making the most of it
There are so many areas where an operations manager can make a difference. It is important to show on your resume that you have the skills toolkit to cover every base. The role of operations manager is so skill-dependent that your future employer needs to see evidence of nearly every skill needed to keep the machine running. Spreading your skillset across your resume is entirely acceptable, with your most recent roles occupying most resume real estate. Make sure that the skills that are most in demand with your potential employer are included in your last couple of roles, as this will make them more visible. There is a resume section for shorter-form skills words and phrases, but you can also include longer descriptions of skills within the body of the employment section, provided there’s room:
- Organized migration of supply from regional and national distribution hubs saving 15%.
- Introduced SCRUM methodologies across the entire operations teams.
- Supervised the procurement department, delivering an annual average of 8% cost savings.
- Oversaw annual health and safety audit with relevant authorities, receiving the highest awards.
- Ensured continuity of inventory planning through a number of disruptive global events.
- Managed an operations team of 20, five warehouses and multiple distribution partners.
- Strategic input at board level and delivered transformational projects on a regular basis.
- Upgraded quality assurance certifications, with compliance well above industry standards.
- Created and maintained an operations dashboard to ensure accountability to our colleagues.
Here are some sample phrases that you might use for the shorter skill section of your operations manager resume.
- Stock Control
- Health & Safety
- Quality Assurance
- People Management
- Customer Service
- Financial Analysis
- Capex Planning
- Six Sigma
- Process Compliance
- Project Management
- Systems Optimization
Choosing the best resume format for an operations manager
Format your operations manager resume so that your experience is easy to follow. There are a couple of overarching principles when it comes to formatting a CV or resume . The main consideration is that it should be easy to read. If there is a constant block of text with no white space and chaotic formatting, a reader’s eyes will not know where to focus and some of the message will be lost.
Don’t make it too technical – lists of skills and projects are fine, but you should include elements of your career story and deeper behavioral considerations alongside the dry facts of what you have done. So, what layout is best for an operations manager resume? The resume of an operations manager is likely to be heavy on projects, so make sure that you choose a format that allows them to stand out. Bulleted lists will work well in this respect, and use bold type to signpost what needs to be highlighted.
You should also consider the branding and tone of potential employers when choosing a format for your operations manager resume. Would they appreciate a modern design or is it safer to stick with a classic, professional format? If you don't have the time or skills to struggle with designing your own CV, resume templates can help make formatting much easier. Resume.io's collection of template samples come in four main categories: creative, simple, modern and professional. Choose the one that works best for your operations manager resume and customize the layout. Or, try as many different samples as you'd like using our resume builder tool.
Visual presentation counts big when it comes to creating a clean and professional operations manager resume. Formatting your CV shouldn't be an afterthought but an integral part of the resume creation process.
Resume education example: continuous learning is key
While many operations managers list a bachelor’s degree in a business-related field in their education section, many choose to focus this resume section on continuous learning. While a bachelor’s degree in a business qualification is preferred, most operations managers will have copious experience on the job, and it's important to list any certifications or other distinctions you've earned in your field.
Master of Management, New York University, New York
August 2012 - May 2014
Bachelor of Communications, Hunter College, New York
August 2007 - May 2011
- Include the most important skills to create a rounded picture of what you have done on your resume.
- Summarize your elevator pitch with your biggest operational achievements.
- Demonstrate awareness of the employer’s industry niche by sharing your relevant experience.
- Discuss how you solved complex operational management problems in past jobs.
- Ensure that the layout of your resume is practical and easy to follow.
- Share what, how and why certain actions have led to the end result.
- The operations manager resume needs to demonstrate a career that runs like clockwork.