One way to strengthen the punch with your resume is to use numbers. Numbers stand out on resumes and can be used to showcase the scope and scale of your responsibilities as well as your accomplishments.
Considering the job market is at a standstill – with job growth not increasing fast enough and a large number of qualified candidates unemployed, your resume needs some extra spark to have greater impact and to get noticed.
Note that resume have their own grammar rules and I use digits for all numbers, even those under ten, since digits command attention. Clearly, there are professions where quantifying results through numbers is easy – such as sales and business development. And then, there are professions that don’t directly deal with numbers. But results can be used for every profession in an impactful way.
Here are some suggestions to apply numbers to show quantifiable results on your resume:
1. Number of Accomplishments and Ranking.
Accomplishments can range from the numbers behind the sales revenue you generated and the projects you led to the number of awards received. Obviously, start with the quantifiable accomplishments like “delivered 128% of quota”. Other ways are to indicate your ranking against your peers and the number of tasks or projects you led.
Here are some examples:
Ranked #1 out of 25 peers for high level of productivity and the ability to meet aggressive deadlines.
Managed over 25 events with budgets up to $75,000 and consistently recognized for coming in at 5-10% below budget.
Recipient of 6 Awards for Outstanding Performance.
2. Scope and Scale.
What is more impressive, an HR Manager in a firm with 200 people or one in a firm with 1,000? Where appropriate use numbers to indicate the scope and scale of your work. Some examples include:
Developed a monthly newsletter that reached 30,000 readers.
Part of a 4-member team charged to provide Help Desk support for over 5,000 users.
Managed over 25 projects ranging from $50K to $2M with teams of up to 30 personnel.
3. £, ¥, €, and $ signs.
Regardless of the currency you work with – £, ¥, € or $ – dollar signs on any resume will capture the attention of employers. You can use dollar signs to quantify results such as the range of budgets managed between the clients you were responsible for, the amount of new business you brought to the company over the course of a year, to how much you helped the company save by implementing a certain approach or program for recruiting, training, event planning or something else particular to your field of work.
There’s a common saying that: “Time is money,” and it holds true on a resume, too. By indicating timeframes around your accomplishments, you inform an employer about your success rate and the speed at which you achieved success. Almost any job can use this technique. Here are some examples:
Promoted to Supervisor in 50% less time than company average.
Grew sales pipeline to highest in the company in less than 6 months.
Revised procedures that slashed invoice approval time by 30%.
Noted for excellent telephone demeanor and professionalism even in the face of a 30% increase in call volume.
Nothing demonstrates your success more than numbers so use these tips to make your resume stand out.
Don Goodman, President of About Jobs (www.GotTheJob.com), is a nationally recognized Expert Resume Writer, Certified Career Management Coach and Job Search Strategist. A graduate of the Wharton School of Business and Stanford University’s Executive Program, Don has helped thousands of people secure their next job. Read his blog at www.GotTheJob.com/blog/, call him at 800-909-0109 or e-mail him at dgoodman@GotTheJob.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/JobExpert.
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