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What are the most valuable qualifications for a Quality Manager?


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#1 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 02:27 PM

Hello everyone,

 

I so enjoy the professionals on this cite for years now and I am hoping to receive some of your expert opinions. The more responses the better. I have been researching different "Quality Management" certifications most of which are on line (example: TQM (Total Quality Management)). The purpose is simple, I want something to put on my resume that will make me more attractive to employers as I apply for jobs as a Quality Manager in various food manufacturing environments.

 

Currently, I have been the Lead Quality Assurance Technician / Backup SQF practitioner for a packaging company for three and a half years. I have a BS in Dietetics and a years work of experience as a Quality Systems Coordinator for a food manufacturer. I also worked as a health inspector (food protection officer) for 2 1/2 years for the City of Dallas.

 

I just feel like my "career" is stalling out or maybe going the wrong way and I would like to get back to a position closer to Food Safety/Quality management in a food manufacturing environment. There are lots of opportunities for said positions here in the States.

 

So please, some of you hiring managers out there, or others, tell me what I can do to really strengthen my chances of getting some of these opportunities if you will.

 

Thank you for all constructive responses.

 

Sincerely,

 

Plastic Ducky...



#2 afcbno1fan

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 03:15 PM

Hi Ducky,

TQM is not a form of certification. TQM refers to an approach to quality management and refers to the long term approach using various quality tools and systems to achieve a holistic, continually improving management system. It is a top down approach that (should) involve everyone in the organisation if it's to be effective

kind regards

Andy



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#3 jcieslowski

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 03:31 PM

How about a link to your linkedin?



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#4 FurFarmandFork

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Posted 25 January 2018 - 04:35 PM

Management track: you need to have supervisory experience. Not really many certifications that help you there.

Technical track: certified food scientist, become a HACCP certified trainer not just someone trained, PCQI training certificate, take some courses in other certification schemes than the one your company uses.

 

Honestly with your EHS certification from Dallas and resume you have a pretty good pedigree, I'd start applying and see what turns up, like you said there are a lot of opportunities for QA folks, management is hard to break into but keep in mind that at a smaller company "managers" tend to be technical people with large scope vs. large companies supervisors/managers tend to be personnel oriented.


QA Manager and food safety blogger in Oregon, USA.

 

Interested in more information on food safety and science? Check out Furfarmandfork.com for more insights!

Subscribe to have one post per week delivered straight to your inbox.

 


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#5 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 08:32 PM

Hey FurFarmFork,

 

Thank you for your response. Kind of lame that only three people responded but very awesome that your response was so rich with information. I have started pricing the PCQI training courses available on-line. I took the time to go check out your blog and I have subscribed. It is very well put together and very impressive. To be honest, I would say I am not jealous but certainly envious and quite inspired. Aside from the info, you took a moment to encourage me. Thank you. I have a phone interview with a company in Iowa next week WISH ME LUCK. Past that, I will look forward to interaction here at IFSQN and following your informative blog!

 

THANK YOU !!!!



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#6 nwilson

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:06 PM

You can always look into ASQ as well for certifications to boost the resume.  

 

https://asq.org/



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#7 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 26 January 2018 - 09:19 PM

Thank you NWilson!! I was not aware of ASQ. I just created a "sign in" and will build a profile there. Thank you for your help. I am starting to feel this "career slump" dissipating with every response from insightful comments from people such as yourself.

I hope you have a great weekend.

 

THANK YOU!!!!
 



#8 Simon

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 07:48 PM

Hello PD, what most companies would like is that an expensive Quality Manager (neccesary evil) not only gets them a certificate to trade such as a GFSI standard and provides some technical knowledge and systems, but they would love you to pay your way in a tangible way.  Reducing customer complaints, internal defects, waste, improving efficiency etc.  These are easily under$$$tandable by seniors execs.  Geting a lean tools education/qualification and then using it practically in a business to improve the business is very marketable.

 

Good luck.

 

Simon


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#9 jaygil

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 09:40 PM

Hi PD

I think you have some very good credentials there! A few suggestions that I have found helpful in my role of leading our BRC team have been 1) Internal Auditor training certification, 2) Food Defense Coordinator Certification #3) Pest Control training.

Also I actually am responsible for creating ingredient and nutritional labels, and you probably also have that credential from your dietitian training. In smaller companies we wear many hats so don't be shy about listing all of your abilities. QA today covers so much more than when I first got into it by accident 40 years ago!

Have fun!



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#10 mikepeters57301

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 10:55 PM

Duck

 

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to interview someone that I had worked with in the past and had climbed to the top of a very large food company.  Armed with my resume full of certifications, etc ,it was a done deal in my book.  As I sat at the table across from him, I glanced at his copy of my resume.  Written fairly large across my resume was  "RESULTS ?"  Absent from my resume was how I have added value to the company.

 

Here are a couple of suggestions.......

 

1.  Seek out ways measurable ways to make a positive impact.  Reduce loss, increase first time pass, decrease work place accidents, increase audit scores, cut costs, etc. You should be able to say "I cut costs by 10% and this is how I did it", "I improved fist time pass by 15% and this is how I lead the team in doing so", etc. 

2.  Long gone are the days that the most certified person is the most qualified.  Leadership is what many are looking for as well.  Pick up 21 irrefutable laws of leadership as a start..  The same can be said about management.  Live it.  

3.  Part of leadership is mentoring and growing your people.  Find ways to mentor those around you. All of your knowledge / experience is squandered in a organizations mind if not relayed to others.      

4.  Understand (maybe you do) that food plants are businesses. Yes quality managers protect the brand and the customer.  However, you need to understand how everything works together and demonstrate how you have worked across departments for the success of organization.     

5.  Prepare (for hours) for every interview you have.  learn everything about the company.  research proper questions to ask.  Rehearse answers to common questions.  

6.  Yes, all of the certifications you can get will help as well sqf practioner, internal auditor, asq certified quality manager, HACCP, FSMA/PCQI, better process, six sigma, lean, MBA, etc.  (you do need to understand GFSI front to back).

 

 

 

KSR



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#11 KarenC

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Posted 30 January 2018 - 11:55 PM

I would also suggest that you learn about sanitation and pest control. I also agree that an internal auditing certification is very good.



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#12 Ryan M.

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Posted 31 January 2018 - 01:43 AM

This is going to sound cliche, but....soft skills.  The skills / ability to troubleshoot and solve problems, lead your team and be an effective team member.  A strong ability to achieve buy in and negotiating skills and have conflict resolution skills.

 

To be honest...most people can learn the technical stuff.  What sets someone apart is their soft skills.  So, if you were sitting before me seeking a Quality Management role my first task would be an assessment of your leadership skills and team skills.

 

I hope this helps.



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#13 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 07:48 PM

Hey everybody,

 

A huge THANK YOU to every one who chose to make a sacrifice of their own time to share their knowledge with me. You all have provided me with some great information, motivation, and VALUABLE insight into things I can focus on to push my career forward. I am especially going to focus on the thought that many of you expressed in regard to a "tangible measurable contribution".

 

I have an interview in person in Iowa in a week, and have been studying quite a bit in preparation. I will take your suggestions to heart and prepare a list of accomplishments with KPIs and flesh out some numbers (metrics) into what I have done at my present position. You all really know what you are talking about because my current resume is completely absent of any "results" as MIKEPETERS57301 aptly stated it. My resume just covers what I have participated in without identifying anything truly achieved that would catch the eye of a potential employer.

 

I realize now that my resume must reflect more than just "potential". I feel better about my interview next week already.

 

I CAN TOTALLY FEEL THE LOVE AT IFSQN!!! :wub:

 

Thank you again,

 

Plastic Ducky



#14 GMO

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Posted 22 February 2018 - 08:04 PM

Patience and a thick skin.



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#15 Danica

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Posted 28 February 2018 - 07:07 PM

How about this 6 sigma? black belt in 6 sigma? seems impressive to me anyways :happydance: :eek_yello:



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#16 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 08:02 PM

Well,

 

After 3 telephone interviews. The company I mentioned above in this thread flew me out to Iowa. They paid for the flight ($780), the hotel ($135) and the rental car ($90). I spent 4 hours there being interview individually by 6 different people and then the plant tour. I thought everything went great, I prepared for the interview for a month after the first phone interview.

My headhunter just called to inform me.....

 

 

I didn't get the job...

 

Dam. I will be deprogramming my brain all weekend of the information, hopes, and dreams I had already built up around the opportunity. Holding on to the advice of GMO



#17 jcieslowski

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Posted 02 March 2018 - 08:48 PM

Hey dude, sorry that sucks.  I might try and ask my headhunter if he can get any feedback - anything that can help you be a better candidate for the job you're sure to land soon.

 

Keep your head up!



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#18 GMO

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Posted 06 March 2018 - 06:48 PM

Well,

 

After 3 telephone interviews. The company I mentioned above in this thread flew me out to Iowa. They paid for the flight ($780), the hotel ($135) and the rental car ($90). I spent 4 hours there being interview individually by 6 different people and then the plant tour. I thought everything went great, I prepared for the interview for a month after the first phone interview.

My headhunter just called to inform me.....

 

 

I didn't get the job...

 

Dam. I will be deprogramming my brain all weekend of the information, hopes, and dreams I had already built up around the opportunity. Holding on to the advice of GMO

Do keep that thick skin!  I'm contracting at the moment and my first interview went brilliantly; I was effectively offered the job and even hinted at having a permanent job in the future they liked me so much.  I agreed they'd get back to me on Monday.  Monday came and went.  Tuesday came and went.  I called, the recruiter called, I emailed.  Nothing.  I was effectively "ghosted" by a company and got massively paranoid for a few days.  The recruiter was embarrassed on my behalf as it was so unprofessional.  Then I found out one of the people interviewing me had got the boot the next day.  So it was nothing to do with me and everything to do with how the company was changing (a new CEO had come in.)  Anyway, another role came up and all was good in the end but it felt like the world had fallen in for a week or so.  I was so sure it had gone so well.

Keep your chin up, sometimes you aren't quite a good fit for the culture or there's someone with that bit more experience than you had.  Always leave on a good note as you never know when that contact may come good.  You may well have been 2nd choice and that's no bad thing.  I remember several times when I felt I should have gone for the other candidate a few months later.  Sometimes I've even then sought out their details and gone back to them.

Keep your chin up and keep getting interviews.  The more people you get in front of, the more chance it will come off.  It won't happen 100% of the time but it will happen. x



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#19 MsMars

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 04:22 PM

Try again for another position in Iowa.  I hear it's a great place to live if the recent weather didn't scare you off during your interview travel.  :thumbup:



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#20 Ryan M.

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Posted 07 March 2018 - 05:25 PM

Keep your head up and chalk the experience up to learning and experience.  The more you interview the more comfortable you are in future interviews and more confidence you can exude.

 

There are a variety of reasons why a company did not select you.  Unfortunately, it may be hard to get the real reason because many times they are afraid of potential lawsuits for saying the wrong thing.  This is terribly sad because you have no way to learn from the experience and see where you can improve.

 

Sometimes, it is just cultural fit or lack of fit.  It is humorous...a few months ago I went through an interview process for a Director of QA position.  Got through to the last round of interviews and was 1 of 2 final candidates.  I didn't get an offer and their reason was, "We felt you were too focused and worried about the benefits."  I was like, "HUH?"  Never heard that one before....to me, it sounded like a BS excuse or that I was asking too much for compensation, but it is Los Angeles California (not a cheap place to live) and a Director of QA position for multiple sites and damn near 20 years experience in QA....my asking price was well within line.  I think they just found a cheaper candidate.  So...what did I learn from this?  That I'm glad I didn't get the position if they were looking for "less expensive" candidates.  Tells me how the company values employees, QA, and views their bottom line.

 

 

Well,

 

After 3 telephone interviews. The company I mentioned above in this thread flew me out to Iowa. They paid for the flight ($780), the hotel ($135) and the rental car ($90). I spent 4 hours there being interview individually by 6 different people and then the plant tour. I thought everything went great, I prepared for the interview for a month after the first phone interview.

My headhunter just called to inform me.....

 

 

I didn't get the job...

 

Dam. I will be deprogramming my brain all weekend of the information, hopes, and dreams I had already built up around the opportunity. Holding on to the advice of GMO



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#21 GMO

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Posted 08 March 2018 - 10:33 PM

 

 

I'm glad I didn't get the position if they were looking for "less expensive" candidates.  Tells me how the company values employees, QA, and views their bottom line.

 

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#22 Ansh3

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 08:52 AM

You can always look into ASQ as well for certifications to boost the resume.  

 

https://asq.org/

Dear NWilson....Does getting certified with ASQ on HACCP really help ? How does it increase your scope of influence ? 



#23 nwilson

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 03:30 PM

PTGC, 

 

It has definitely helped me not just from a knowledge base but also from an application of principles.  Of course you have be able to apply the principles in the position and process.  Since adding certifications to my LinkedIn Profile I have recruiters sending me emails constantly.  As for the scope of influence this helps in my position and facility as my colleges are more trusting in my knowledge base.  Also 2nd and 3rd party auditors like to see it as well, it shows dedication to quality.  



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#24 Plastic Ducky

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 04:11 PM

Monday I went to a third round interview in person at a company here local just over in Fort Worth.

 

I had my shoes shined, my lucky tie, my lucky dress socks, personalized cover letter inside my aluminum clip board that Is totally GMP, I had it all ready.

 

It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, a group of birds, squires and baby rabbits followed me in a group making cute noises as if they were escorting me across the parking lot in an apparent effort to tell me even nature itself was cheering me on!

 

I nailed the interview. TOTALLY crushed it. There wasn't a single question asked that I didn't have an answer for that sounded well put together and intelligent.

 

I got an email, the one I have been waiting for, the one telling me when I would speak with the owner of the company for the final interview.

 

Except apparently there has been a mistake, because instead of THAT email, I got one saying they are moving forward in the process......... without me.

 

 

OMG   :(   :crying:  :crybaby:

 

Gotta keep on moving.



#25 MsMars

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Posted 16 March 2018 - 05:07 PM

Keep moving forward and getting those interviews, PD. The more you interview, the better you'll get at it (and the less the fear and disappointment of rejection will get to you).  It's been said many times, but it's so so true.  

 

Do you have a trusted colleague or perhaps even a trusted recruiter that you could talk to about looking over your resume and practice interviewing with that would give you HONEST feedback? Like others have said, I'm sure there's a multitude of reasons that employers pass up qualified candidates, but perhaps is something in the way that you interview or something about the way that your resume is worded versus how you interview.  



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