When it comes to resumes and LinkedIn profile reading, nothing screams “achievement” in my experience more than statistics and numerical figures.
Why? Numbers let the reader see your bottom-line achievements without the need for fluffy adjectives and descriptive language.
1. We All Have Numbers
For those in sales who are responsible for meeting quotas on a regular basis, coming up with quantifiable achievements is easier than for those who work behind-the-scenes in operations, technology, finance, etc.
For those in Sales, a quick peek into an online CRM tool or your own sales tracking will likely reveal statistics and rankings against your peers, the standing of your team or territory, or even how your company stacks up against the competition.
For those not in sales, never fear. Numbers exist. They just require a bit more digging as they are hidden behind percentages, fractions, etc.
2. Digging Up Numbers
Take a step back and think about your goals for the past month, quarter, or even year. Here are eight questions to get you thinking.
- Did I save money? By how much?
- Did I save time? How long did a task take before versus after?
- Did my company grow? Is it bigger in terms of employees, number of locations, or profitability?
- How is morale? Have I have contributed to more people staying versus jumping ship?
- How many people have I promoted?
- Do I interface with more clients or prospective leads than I used to?
- Did I finish a project more quickly and with less money than originally projected?
- Did I negotiate savings with a vendor or contractor? How does this benefit, or what is the bottom-line impact of these negotiations on my team, organization, or company?
Your responses to these questions can transform figures into statistics ideally suited for an achievement-driven resume.
3. Numbers That Are Confidential
Sometimes your hands are tied – and exact figures violate codes of confidentiality. In these cases, rather than share exact revenue figures, I work to translate these numbers into percentages.
As an example, I recently worked with a client, who, under the terms of his severance agreement, was not allowed to disclose his private company’s revenues or the sales that his team had accomplished.
Instead, his resume contains the following snippets:
“Grew revenues 30% in 18 months”
“Increased sales 2X year-over-year”
“Catapulted this bottom-ranked team to the Top 5”
This method allows clients to showcase their value while adhering to any agreements they may have with their company.
4. Numbers are Everywhere
Sometimes you alone can take credit for an achievement. Sometimes you were a part of a larger group effort and it makes sense to share any accolades with your others or your team.
If your role contributed in even a small way to a much larger success – by telling the story and capturing the realities of it using numbers your career history takes on new meaning.
More importantly – it can help the reader connect the dots as to exactly what you can do for them as a prospective candidate or new hire. Everything can (and should) be quantified – the results are sure to resonate with readers in a compelling way.