Simply listing your past job responsibilities on your resume is about as helpful for a hiring manager as noting you’re proficient in Microsoft Office Suite. These days, employers expect to see measured results.
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“Lack of measurements and results in the file is my biggest resume pet peeve,” executive resume writer and career strategist Adrienne Tom told Business Insider. “Without any measurements of success, the file is lacking proof of skill.”
Listing metrics of success, and not just your responsibilities, will “show your employer the results of the work you’ve been doing”, which is more valuable than saying you’ve had a job before. “For instance, in a ‘responsibilities’ section of a resume, saying ‘wrote press releases’ is fine, but ‘wrote 10 press releases per week’ is much more impressive,” writes Julia Gaynor for Monster.com.
So how do you know what to include? “The easiest way to find ways to quantify your achievements is to look at how you directly impacted the company’s money, time and people,” writes Gaynor. Here are some examples of figures you can include, from LiveCareer:
- Sales volume, number of items/units sold
- Contracts/bids won
- Increase in profitability
- Increase in shareholder value
- Numbers of customers served
- Number of direct reports, number of people managed
- Number of people you’ve hired
- Size of teams you’ve led
- Number of times selected as team or project lead
- How you rank in performance; for example, you are the No. 1 performer or in the top 10 per cent
- Number of awards
- Number of publications
- Number of successful grant applications
If you’re having a hard time coming up with numbers, comb through your calendar, notebook or wherever else you’re using to track your achievements for specific examples.
Once you have your bullets, make sure you’re providing context. You can say you “made sales of $1 million”, but what does that mean? What were sales like before you were hired? Detailing that information will give your resume a boost.
And ranges of numbers are usually fine if you don’t have exact figures, as long as you can back up your accomplishments in an interview. For example, as The Muse details, “Responsible for supervising undergraduate researchers” could easily become “Supervised 7-12 undergraduate research students each year who have all since gone on to graduate school in astrophysics, physics or mathematics”.
Additionally, you should add specific clients and keywords. For example, you could say, “Led marketing campaign for Nike and other name-brand clients,” rather than just, “Led marketing campaigns for name-brand clients.”
And if you’re redoing your resume, here are some other tips to keep in mind.