4 Resume Tips from a Top CPG Recruiter

Have you ever wondered what it takes to stand out in the ultra-competitive CPG industry? Are you trying to get your foot in the door, make an industry transition, or accelerate your career?

I recently hosted an amazing guest interview with Laura McLennan, Co-Founder and Partner at fishRecruit, a boutique search firm that specializes in recruiting for sales and marketing top talent in CPG, Retail and Agencies. Laura has years of experience identifying, developing, and recruiting top talent. She gave me the inside scoop on top trends in the industry and how you can make your application more competitive. Here are her key tips on how you can create an impressive resume that will get you noticed:

1. Don’t exaggerate.

CPG is a tough industry to break into, which may lead some candidates to exaggerate or even make up their skills. Laura’s top tip: your resume is your packaging. It’s a major marketing tool, and false advertising will only serve to get you on recruiters’ blacklists when they find out that you were lying.

2. Remove the fluff.

Instead of saying that you’re a smart self-starter, show a potential employer who you are by clearly communicating your top achievements. A key mistake that CPG candidates make is that they only write down their job descriptions while leaving out their top achievements and moments where they went above and beyond. When you apply for a CPG role, you’re competing with hundreds of other candidates with similar experiences, qualifications, and expertise. What is it that makes you different? How can you use your resume to show this? Answer these key questions to differentiate yourself from the rest of the market!

3. Ask yourself what the employer would want to see.

Laura’s advice: when you’re proofreading your resume, ask yourself ‘so what?’ after each bullet. So what if you won an award in finance? Is it going to help you land your dream sales/marketing job or is it just there to stroke your ego? If you’re not sure that a point will directly help your application, think about cutting it to make the document easier to scan.

4. Include a personal interests section.

Adding in your interests, even as just one line at the bottom of your resume, is an amazing way to put a personal touch on your application. When recruiters shortlist your resume, it’s because they have faith in you as a person, and knowing some of your non-career-related achievements can give them insights into what makes you tick. Including your interests is great for generating conversation during the interview, piquing a recruiter’s curiosity, and setting yourself apart. Have you run a marathon? Do you have exceptional culinary training? Ask yourself what makes you interesting as a person, then type it up concisely to give your resume some extra spark.

Want to learn more? Check out the full interview below!


1:00 – What a CPG Recruiter Does

4:30 – What is the typical sales/marketing career path in CPG?

16:30 – What is the difference between Tier 1, 2, and 3 CPG firms?

20:40 – What type of trends and opportunities in the CPG industry?

26:40 – What advice do you have for those considering making an industry transition to CPG?

34:10 – Are retailers receptive to CPG representatives?

35:00 – What’s the difference between a corporate and agency recruiter?

37:00 – What Not to Do When Working With CPG Recruiters

40:30 – Should you include a cover letter in your online application?

42:20 – What makes a great resume?

47:50 – What tips do you have to help candidates succeed in the CPG interview process?

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