Quantifying Your Information on Your Resume
So, it’s time to make your resume and you are already dreading it. In fact, the thought of just pasting your job descriptions underneath each job listing crosses your mind. After all, don’t they just need to know what you DID at each position? That should do it, right? WRONG. I can’t say it enough—WRONG. Your job description is not special and there are millions of them just like it out there. You need to QUANTIFY your information and tell them what you ACCOMPLISHED.
The question I often get from clients revolves around how to quantify this information. This can be an easy or difficult step, depending on your role and industry. If you are a salesperson, it could mean saying, “Increased sales by 53% during the first 6 months, resulting in $100K in additional sales.” This shows a percentage, timeline, and the result.
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Now, let’s say that you are a teacher. The information can be a little more challenging. In that case, you could say, “Managed a classroom of 25-30 students, teaching concepts related to math, science, and reading.” At the very minimum, you are showing the number of students and it is quantifiable information.
Why is this important? Readers are instantly drawn to numbers. If your mind sees a large block of text, your eyes will immediately go to a dollar sign, number, or other quantifiable information. So, think in terms of how many people you supervise, how many years you have worked with a client, the number of accounts you manage, or the sales increase you have overseen.
Consider the following: “Boosted sales significantly during tenure, earning several awards.” That’s great, but it’s not specific. Instead, think of things in these terms, “Boosted sales by 60% over two-years, earning Salesperson of the Year (out of 30 representatives) for 2015.” Although both describe the same thing, the second sentence is much more impressive.
A good rule-of-thumb is to always think about the result. When writing a bullet point on your resume, you should always be thinking how that benefited the company or client. If you frame your phrases in terms of answering the question, “So what?”—you will be on the right track.
While the resume describes you, it’s not about you once you decide to conduct a job search. It’s about how you can help the potential employer. WHY should they hire you? The more quantifiable information you can include, the more you will look like an impressive candidate that they have to call for an interview. Be specific, include details, and show them what you have ACCOMPLISHED—not just your job duties.
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