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Using Quantifiable Data: Incorporating Metrics and Numbers for a Stronger Resume

One of the easiest ways to strengthen your resume is to incorporate metrics and numbers. Many job seekers provide generic content within their resume. Do you have any of these on yours?


  • Managed new business

  • Increased sales

  • Placed orders

  • Developed new products

  • Completed projects

  • Negotiated price

  • Created purchase orders


Bullets like the ones above leave the hiring manager with many questions:


  • How much new business was managed? Over what time frame?

  • What percent was sales increased by?

  • How many orders were placed in a day? Month? Year?

  • What kinds of products were developed? When? How many?

  • Were the projects completed on schedule? On budget?

  • Did the negotiations result in a benefit to the company? How much?

  • How many purchase orders?


Adding details that answer these questions provides the hiring manager scope. It lets them know what you did and how well you did it. This makes for a stronger resume, increasing the chances of being called in for an interview.


Start Your Resume Bullets with the Metric

When we review resumes for clients, we often find their achievements are buried in a wordy bullet. Typically, instead of putting the accomplishment at the start of the bullet, it is listed in the middle or the end. Leaving it there may cause it to be missed by a busy hiring manager or recruiter skimming the document.


Alternatively, clients may leave the metric off completely. The bullet is devoid of details that would help make it clear what was the result of their action.


Here are examples:


Original: Completed projects as assigned by management


Updated: Completed 5 projects in 12 months, meeting schedule and budget stipulations.


Original: Communicated and coordinated with the team to ensure material was available for the customer requirements.


Updated: Ensured 100% of material was available to support the customer requirements through effective communication and coordination with the team.


Don't Spell Out Numbers on Your Resume

A common mistake job seekers make is they spell out numbers on their resume. In other words, they will say, "Increased sales by twenty percent." Our advice is to use the numeral instead ("Increased sales by 20%.")


By doing this, you provide information that literally jumps off the page. A hiring manager is likely to only take a quick glance at your resume before deciding if they want to read further. Numerals will catch their eye!


Original: Managed ten employees, achieving a twenty percent increase in profit.


Updated: Achieved a 20% increase in profit through effective management of 10 employees.


The numbers will jump right out when skimming the resume. It also helps that the accomplishment is first and foremost!


numbers


How to Handle Large Numbers on Your Resume

People are often uncertain how to handle numbers on their resume, particularly large numbers. Should you write 1 million as 1,000,000 or 1 million or 1M? Here are the rules for resumes:


Are you talking about money or units?


If you are referring to money, you would list billions as B, millions as M and thousands as K.

Original: Oversaw a budget of two million dollars.


Updated: Effectively managed a $2M budget.


Original: Reduced process cost by thirty thousand dollars.


Updated: Reduced costs by $30K through implementation of process improvements.


For items or units, you will spell out the words billion and million. In this case you would list the actual numerals for thousands and hundreds.


Original: Managed two hundred employees.


Updated: Managed 200 manufacturing employees, delivering product on schedule.


Original: Produced four thousand widgets per week.

Updated: Led manufacturing department that produced 4,000 widgets per week.


Final Thoughts


Incorporating metrics can trip up a job seeker. Not knowing how to properly incorporate metrics can seem intimidating -- or worse -- cause you to make an error. In some cases, this leads job seekers to leave metrics off entirely. Others bury them in the content so they are not noticeable to someone reviewing the resume.


Being able to highlight metrics and numbers can make a difference. Your resume is being compared to hundreds of others. You need to stand out in a competitive job market. If you would like assistance improving your bullets, reach out to Revision Resume. We are known for crafting compelling resumes and are here to assist you!




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