Today we live in a very numbers driven world. Managers are worried about the bottom line and turning a profit. Wall Street motivates many statisticians to try and figure out what the next big break will be. Also, if you’re conducting a job search, numbers play a big part in it, as you look for the right salary. Wherever you go, numbers drive the world. With that in mind, it would seem odd not to include any numbers on your resume, right? Having statistics on a resume act as proof that you accomplished something. If you’re wondering why your resume needs numbers, read on!
The Power of Numbers
Firstly, using statistics will simply make you more marketable. When you have a bullet point on your resume, it implies that you can do that task. However, when you have a bullet with a statistic, it implies that you can do that task, and do it well. Having numbers gives your resume significantly more credibility, and it will make a hiring manager more interested. It’s easy for anyone to list a project on their resume. However, when you attach numbers to it, it becomes real.
Quantifying your successes is something that can be very beneficial to your career. These statistics make great additions to your resume. Additionally, they also make for great talking points in interviews. Most interviews will ask you to describe a success at work, or a project. When you are going through your story, it will end with more impact if you include an actionable statistic. For instance, if you end the story by saying your efforts cut company costs by 20%, it will resonate more with a hiring manager. Let’s compare two bullet points on a sales resume, and pick out which one sounds stronger.
- Developed new leads and pursued prospects to bring in business.
- Brought in a total of 7 new clients over the course of 3 months, resulting in $150,000 in business.
Which response do you think is stronger? Between both, which would encourage you to hire someone more? Which would look more impressive on a resume? In all cases, the stronger example is the bullet point with the numbers included. So now you want to integrate some statistics in your resume but you’re not sure how. Don’t worry! We’ll explain how you can accomplish this.
Quantifying Your Successes
To begin, you have to decide what you do in your profession that is quantifiable. The best way to approach this is to first think of how your job function contributes to the company’s overall profitability. Start with the business goals at the top, and work your way down until you discover how you tie into the overall goals. For example, within recruiting, the ultimate goal is to drive more placements. The more placements, the more commission, and the more commission, the higher the profit.
So in this case, the numbers should be centered around placements within a certain time frame, preferably a year or a quarter. This could work out to something like, “Hunted and interviewed candidates, resulting in 35 placements in 2017.” To make this statistics even more impressive, a profit number could be added, but those number may be confidential. In that case, you may be better off with an average, “Hunted and interviewed candidates resulting in 35 placements in 2017, with an average salary of $60,000”. Think about how much more effective that statement is given the context of numbers. Just be cautious of any statistics that may include confidential information.
Back to the Source
Now that you have a good methodology for finding the numbers, you have to consider the source. If you a tracking system or a database, you may be in luck, and have access to pertinent information. However, you may not be so lucky, and not be able to recall any information. Unfortunately there is no immediate solution to the problem in that case. The best way to get these numbers is to track your own successes and accomplishments. Check out our previous blog on taking notes at work for a more detailed description. The short version is that you should constantly keep tabs on your tasks, projects, and accomplishments at work. These notes will help you in performance reviews, and eventually on your resume. So if you’re not keeping track already, start now!
Adding numbers to your resume adds credibility, and it will also help you stand out from other non-specific resumes. We hope this approach lands you more job interviews, and leads you to find better opportunities in your job search!