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Stand Out in the World of Freight Forwarding: The Ultimate Resume Guide

Resume Tips

Creating a compelling resume in the world of freight forwarding can be a formidable task. Whether you’re a seasoned professional in the industry or just starting out, your resume is often your first point of contact with prospective employers. It is crucial to showcase your qualifications effectively and present yourself in the best possible light, as your resume is the initial step in securing a role in the competitive field of freight forwarding. To stand out in this industry, your resume needs to be a true representation of your skills and experience. One of the key factors in creating a powerful freight forwarding resume is choosing the right format to set you up for success.

So, how do you craft a potent resume? It’s a straightforward process when you follow our guide below!

The Essentials

Your resume should encompass several crucial sections to provide potential employers with a comprehensive view of your qualifications:

  1. Header
  2. Profile
  3. Education
  4. Experience
  5. Certifications
  6. Professional Organizations

Each of these sections is of equal importance, and careful attention must be paid to crafting each part. In the fast-paced world of logistics and freight forwarding, recruiters spend very little time reviewing each resume. Therefore, your resume must capture their attention immediately.

When setting up your resume, utilizing a pre-existing template can save you valuable time on formatting. Various online resources offer free and visually appealing resume templates that you can tailor to your needs. Alternatively, software like Microsoft Word provides preloaded resume templates for your convenience.

Templates simplify the resume creation process, as you only need to fill in the existing sections with your information. Below, we break down the content to include in each section of your freight forwarding resume.

Header

The header of your resume is the first thing that catches the eye of a potential employer. It should be bold and prominent. Key components of the header include:

  • Your name (larger and more prominent than other text)
  • Contact information: phone number, email, LinkedIn profile, and website (if applicable)
  • Location (City and state)
  • Headline

Your name should be prominently displayed on your resume without overwhelming the entire page. To draw attention to it, consider using a larger font size, making your name bold, or opting for a more substantial typeface.

Contact information should include at least two means of communication, traditionally a phone number and email address. However, in today’s digital age, it’s becoming increasingly common to include LinkedIn profiles, personal websites, and professional social media links. If you decide to include these non-traditional forms of contact information, ensure they present a professional image and are regularly updated.

When listing your location, it’s no longer customary to provide a full address. In the past, when resumes were submitted by mail, a complete address was necessary for correspondence. Nowadays, all you need to include is your city and state.

If you’re seeking a job in a different location, listing your location as the city or state you plan to move to can be advantageous. Recruiters often favor candidates whose location aligns with the job posting.

Pro Tip: If you’re planning to relocate, consider adding a brief line in your profile about your intentions to move. Include a timeframe for your move, if applicable, to demonstrate your commitment to the position.

The final element of your header is the headline. Since it’s often the first part of your resume that a recruiter reads, your headline should immediately convey your value as a freight forwarding professional.

For instance, if you’re applying for a Freight Operations Manager role, your headline should reflect this. A generic headline could be “Experienced Freight Forwarding Professional” or “Seasoned Logistics Expert.” This is your chance to make a strong first impression.

Pro Tip: Keep your headline concise, ideally within five words.

Profile

The profile section of your resume elaborates on your skills and experiences in greater detail. It provides an opportunity to showcase what makes you a qualified candidate for the position you’re seeking.

When crafting your profile, aim for a length of one to four sentences. You can offer a general overview of your skills and experiences, but tailoring your profile to the specific job is recommended. Include only qualifications directly related to the freight forwarding position. For example, proficiency in customs documentation software may be relevant, while experience in unrelated areas can be omitted.

For entry-level positions or recent graduates, a general profile targeting your desired industry is acceptable. More experienced candidates should emphasize their skill set as it pertains to the position they’re applying for.

For higher-level roles, where competition is fierce, recruiters may invest more time in reviewing resumes. Tailoring your profile to match their criteria can be the difference between securing an interview and being overlooked.

Education

In the freight forwarding industry, education plays a pivotal role in demonstrating your qualifications. Your educational background should be showcased on your resume, making it easy for recruiters to assess your suitability. When listing your degree, it’s essential to format it to highlight the key details effectively. Here’s a format that works well:

  • Major Title, Degree Type
  • University Name
  • Any awards, honors, or certificates received
  • Years of attendance or year of completion

Pro Tip: Use italics and bold fonts to emphasize important information.

Example:

Logistics Management, BS
[Your University]
Cum Laude 2016

If you’re still pursuing your degree, indicate it with a date range or mention “Expected Graduation: [Year].” Either approach clearly communicates that you are in the process of earning your degree.

Example:

Logistics Management, BS
[Your University]
Dean’s List, 2016
2016 – 2020

If you hold multiple degrees, list the most recent one first. For instance, if you have both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, prioritize the master’s degree, followed by the bachelor’s.

Example:

Supply Chain Management, MS
[Your University]
Magna Cum Laude
2017

Logistics Management, BS
[Your University]
Cum Laude
2015

Notice how a single year signifies a completed degree, while a date range indicates a degree in progress. This format helps recruiters quickly understand your educational status.

Since resumes are typically read from top to bottom, it’s best to list your education and experience from most recent to least recent. This format makes your resume easy for recruiters to navigate.

Certifications

In the freight forwarding industry, certifications can significantly enhance your qualifications. You don’t necessarily need expensive professional certifications to include this section in your resume. Many logistics and freight forwarding certifications are attainable through online courses, industry associations, and training programs.

Certifications demonstrate your commitment to the field and validate your expertise. Listing relevant certifications on your resume can set you apart from other candidates. Here’s how to format this section:

  • Bold the name of the certification you’ve received.
  • List the issuing organization or institution on the line below.
  • Include the year you obtained the certificate, optionally with the month for recent certifications.

Example:

Certified International Freight Forwarder (CIFF)
International Freight Forwarders Association
July 2020

Customs Broker License U.S.
Customs and Border Protection
October 2019

Notice that we’ve listed the issuing authorities for each certification. This provides clarity on where the certification comes from.

Professional Organizations

Active participation in professional organizations can enhance your credibility and networking opportunities in the freight forwarding field. Including a section for professional organizations on your resume can demonstrate your commitment to staying current in the industry.

However, be selective about which organizations you feature on your resume since space is limited. Choose organizations that are most relevant to your career goals. Leadership roles within these organizations should be highlighted to showcase your leadership and teamwork skills.

Format this section as follows:

  • Bold the name of the organization.
  • List the chapter (if applicable) on the line below.
  • Note your title or role within the organization.
  • Include the years you were actively involved, optionally with the month for recent positions.

Example:

National Customs Brokers and Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA)
New York Chapter
Member 2019 – Present

Society of Logistics Professionals (SLP)
Leadership Committee Secretary
2017 – 2020

Recruiters often read between the lines when evaluating resumes, so it’s not just the content you include that matters. If you held a leadership position in a professional organization, it’s acceptable to imply that you are a responsible and dependable individual.

Remember that your resume is your first opportunity to make a positive impression on a recruiter. It should present your best qualifications clearly and concisely. Be selective in what you include to ensure that your resume stands out in a highly competitive industry. Tailor your resume to the job you’re applying for, and you’ll increase your chances of landing the perfect role in freight forwarding.

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