Listing accomplishments on your resume has always been important and many candidates follow this guidance. But how can you make these accomplishments stand out? One answer is to quantify these accomplishments with numbers. Many of the resumes we see will include text descriptions of a candidate’s accomplishments, but no numbers to back them up or enhance them. There is quite a difference in impact between “exceeded quota” and “exceeded quota by 200%”. Using numbers gives recruiters and hiring managers insight into your contributions and impacts in your current and previous positions.
Outside of a resume, remember to include these numbers on your LinkedIn profile. Many candidates fail to include accomplishments on their profile, instead focusing on job history, skills and responsibilities. It is amazing how many profiles we see which are generic and contain no information on accomplishments. There are thousands of Java Programmers on LinkedIn so what accomplishments make you stand out from the rest? Given that many recruiters use LinkedIn as a candidate source (and may never see your resume) it’s important to list quantifiable accomplishments to get noticed.
So what numbers should you use? It really depends on your industry and job roll. If you are in Sales then quota and sales figures are critical. Any years you exceeded your quota should be listed prominently along with supporting percentages and numbers. If you did not make your quota it’s OK to leave that out, but you can still list other figures. How many sales did you close, what was your total sales, what was your increase from the prior year? A $5 Million sales year may be small in some companies but significant in others. If you are not in Sales then examine the job elements that can be measured in your current or prior positions.
An article on Undercover Recruiter titled 14 Numbers You Need to See in Your Candidates CV lists five categories of numbers – Finances, Time, Location, Size and Percentages. Finances is straight forward in regards to your accomplishments related to budgets, costs, sales and revenue. Time is focused on deadlines, time savings and commitments. Location quantifies items such as offices/sites and territories. Size deals with projects and teams. Percentages are used to measure against goals and increases/decreases. Regardless of your position you will have accomplishments that can be quantified in at least one of these categories.
There are also two other articles that have examples on quantifying accomplishments. LiveCareer has an article How to Quantify Your Career-Job-Work-Life Accomplishments for Employers that provides a list of metrics that can be used to develop your accomplishments. The title touches on another import consideration, your “Life” accomplishments. Your accomplishments are not restricted to work. LinkedIn allows items such as volunteering, interests and hobbies to be included in your profile so include any quantifiable accomplishments you may have in those areas. Jobscan’s article Make Your Resume Remarkable With These 20 Accomplishment Examples will give you additional ideas for quantifying your accomplishments.