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Quantifying Your Achievements on Your Resume

Which sounds more impressive?

  1. Designed customer and employee training modules for field sales employees. or
  2. Developed 4 customer/employee relations training modules for field sales employees. Result: After rollout, employee turnover decreased 50%, sales increased 12% and customer complaints decreased 40%?

Numbers jump out of the paper. Numbers help quantify your achievements. Quantifying your achievements help you highlight how you enhanced profits and/or saved time and money. Most (if not all) companies value workers who enhance profits and/or save time and money.

How to Quantify
So on your resume, it is incumbent upon you to highlight the quantifiable achievements and benefits you provided past employers. Instead of just listing your job skills, develop a list of major accomplishments for each job or temporary assignment, placing the most emphasis on your most recent achievements.

  1. Create a list of projects that you have been involved with at each of your previous employers.
  2. Examine the results and purpose of each of these projects – what was the goal of each of these projects and was that goal achieved?
  3. Ask yourself the following questions regarding each project:
    • What problems and challenges did you face?
    • What actions did you take to overcome them?
    • How did your actions benefit the company?

3 Ways to Quantify
There are three ways to do this – through amounts, dollars and percentages.

  1. Amounts: Numbers give context. In your resume, quantify the number of tasks/assignments you have done, the number of people you managed, the length of time you spent at each assignment, etc.
  2. Dollars: Show your value by adding dollar signs to your resume to show how much your work benefited your employer. Think in terms of increasing revenue or cutting expenses – both help profit margins.
  3. Percentages: If the dollar amount seems small, use percentages. Percentages are also useful as comparison points – for example, comparing your actual performance to stated goals or to peers’ performances.

The goal is to show the value you brought to your past employer for the amount of time you were there.

What Not To Do
Do not make up numbers. Keep a record of how you determined your numbers and be prepared to back them up in an interview.

Do not wait until your job search begins to look back and try to figure out your quantifiable achievements. You will not have access to the needed supporting documents. Be mindful of keeping track of your achievements today, not tomorrow.

Finally, do not be scared of the length. Each job description will be longer, but potential employers do like to see amounts, dollars and percentages. They give them a better feel for your work ethic, performance and effect you could have on their bottom line.


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