Women are making gains in employment and wages in warehouse jobs, an industry that proved itself as indispensable during the pandemic.
Women outpaced men in hiring for key warehouse and storage positions in 2020, and their wages also grew at a faster rate than men's, but remained short of equal pay, according to a LiveCareer analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
As the economy rebounds inventory management continues to be an attractive career opportunity for millions of women. Here are five jobs that could serve as a good occupational entry point.
5 inventory management jobs women can get now
1. Warehouse worker. There's never a dull day as a warehouse worker. In this role, you'll be performing multiple tasks such as receiving and processing incoming stock and materials, picking and filling orders, packing and shipping orders, or organizing and retrieving stock. It's a job that requires you to stay on your feet for long periods and move heavy objects, so having physical stamina and strength is essential.
2. Warehouse assistant. Usually employed by distribution companies, warehouse assistants are responsible for delivering goods, storing items, eliminating damaged items, maintaining stocks, and keeping the working area clean.
This role doesn't require higher education, and on-the-job training is usually provided, so it's perfect for job seekers who want to start their inventory management career.
3. Stocker. Responsible for stocking merchandise in retail spaces, stockers receive and distribute merchandise throughout the store, work on displays, and regularly manage the inventory. Providing customer service to patrons is also part of the job, so you'll find that this role works both backstage and onstage. Some desirable skills for this role include attention to detail, good communication and excellent organization.
4. Shipping/receiving clerk. This role is all about keeping records of the products shipped and received in a company. As a shipping and receiving clerk, you may work in an office inside a warehouse or manufacturing plant and be responsible for packing goods in shipping containers, creating mailing labels and shipping documents, and making sure that all orders have been filled correctly.
Professionals in this industry usually learn on the job but being detail-oriented, possessing basic math skills and having some computer knowledge is a huge plus.
5. Order picker. Items need to be pulled from storage and readied for shipment, and that's exactly what an order picker does. You'll read the digital or printed request, get the item ready and then make a note on the inventory system that you removed that item. Like other inventory management jobs, this role is very physically demanding, so you must be comfortable with picking up heavy loads. You may also need a high school diploma or GED certificate.
How to write an inventory management resume
Now you're ready to write your resume. There are three different resume formats you'll want to consider:
Functional resume format: Best when you're new to the industry or have significant gaps in employment
If it's your first time working in inventory management, then you'll want to consider using a functional resume to highlight your skills. This resume format is perfect to focus on transferable skills that will help you in the new job and show the recruiter or hiring manager that what you lack in professional experience, you make up for with your skills. These skills may include attention to detail, thoroughness, heavy lifting, multitasking, manual dexterity, or problem-solving.
Here's an example of what a functional inventory management resume might look like:
Combination resume format: Perfect when you want to put equal emphasis on your skills and work experience
If you have some experience in inventory management, then the combination resume is ideal for you. This format puts equal emphasis on your skills and work experience. You should highlight the skills most relevant to the position you're applying for, like order fulfillment, data entry, record keeping, packing experience, or forklift operations. Your work history should also focus on achievements and major responsibilities, instead of daily tasks.
Here's an example of what a combination resume might look like:
Chronological resume format: Great when you can show solid career progression and clear achievements
The chronological resume centers around career progression and focuses heavily on the work history section. Use the chronological format if you've been working in inventory management for many years and see the job you're applying for as the most logical next step in your career.
Here's an example of what a chronological resume might look like:
How to explain career gaps on an inventory management resume
Inventory management has many seasonal jobs, so gaps between employment are fairly common. Additionally, the pandemic has been very challenging for the industry. Many companies have had to adjust to the new demands resulting from millions being laid off and consumers panic-buying items.
Nevertheless, if you have any career gaps, you may want to add some activities to your resume showing you stayed busy, such as:
- Volunteering at shelters or other organizations. These are great places to hone skills such as teamwork, communication or organization. Make sure to include any relevant unpaid work on your resume.
- Running a small business. If you started running a small business during the pandemic, like candle-making or jewelry design, add it to your resume and look for transferable skills and experiences that can translate into the new job.
- There are great online courses that can help you build inventory management knowledge to add to your resume. Courses start at as little as $11.99 and teach you everything from the basics to managing inventory in QuickBooks, pharmaceutical supply management and more.
Finding an inventory management job with a flexible schedule
If you need a flexible work schedule, you're in the right industry because many inventory management jobs occur around the clock — some even give you the option of setting your own hours. Look for words like "flexible schedule" in each job description and keep an eye out for the early morning, night or weekend shifts if it's what you need. Don't forget to politely talk to the hiring manager or recruiter when you're being interviewed and clearly establish your needs.
You better than anyone understand the unique challenges women face getting back into the workforce. You have to find a job that works for you and your schedule. Creating a resume tailored for jobs currently on demand is a major step in the right direction.