If you have at least a BA, good critical thinking skills, and the ability to make decisions, you have the fundamental education and skills of an operations manager. To succeed in the position, you also need a clear grasp of the company’s vision and goals, strategies to meet those goals, the ability to communicate with Boards of Directors and other stakeholders, and financial acumen.
As the person responsible for monitoring the performance of people, machines, and facilities, you need problem solving and leadership skills and the foresight to avert crises. The skills of an operations manager are generally transferrable between industries, but you may find yourself specializing in a particular industry as your career progresses.
When you are preparing your resume, you should highlight:
- Years of experience
- Education and training in more than one business area (for example, supply chain management, finance, and leadership)
- Certifications (for example, from the Association for Operations Management)
- Your achievements in improving and maintaining operations
- Your familiarity with the industry and its operations problems.
A recent survey by US News ranked careers in operations management high in stress—something is always going wrong somewhere—and low in flexibility. However, the compensation is good and unemployment is low. Because every company needs someone overseeing operations, you have a wide choice of locations and industries to work in. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, the career path is strong, and the need for operations managers is expected to grow at least 9 percent over the next 10 years.
The Association for Operations Management recommends networking with fellow professionals as the best way to find a new job. You also need a strong, professionally written resume. Robin’s Resumes® is available to help you with a resume that will make companies take notice, at every stage of your career as an operations manager.