Resume by the numbers

Resume by the Numbers

Resumes that include number statements have more impact. Which sounds better, stating simply that you were a “Project Manager responsible for reducing iatrogenic infections at St. Someone Hospital” or that you were “Project Manager at St. Someone Hospital, supervising a team of 14, responsible for 2 iatrogenic infection reduction projects that resulted in a 22% decrease in infection rates, thus causing a $6.4M insurance savings and a 2% improvement in Mortality and Morbidity results”? Both statements are factual, but the second gives more detail and shows the candidate’s breadth of responsibility and the value of their work to an employer. Numbers build a more effective resume.

What numbers should you include? Financial figures, time or duration numbers, quantifying figures, and percentages.

Fotolia 83114677 XSFinancial figures. The bottom line is important to any employer, so make sure you share numbers that have monetary value. The value of the deals you closed, the size of the budget you oversaw, costs you reduced, or revenue you generated are important numbers to include.

Time or duration numbers. Did you improve efficiency? List that in terms of time savings. How long did your project last? Were your projects completed on time, ahead of time, or delivered early for a bonus? Make a note!

Quantifying figures. Add numbers that indicate the scope of your work. These numbers show how many customers or team members you managed, the number of provinces or countries you covered, and the number of teams, departments, or offices you oversaw or coordinated.

Percentages. These numbers can stand alone, such as the percentage of goals met or sales you generated. Percentages can also relate to the earlier three sets of numbers. What percentage of the company budget for research did you manage? By what percentage did you improve efficiency? Use these numbers when they add weight or add extra emphasis to your statement. There’s no need to do the math to explain that you oversaw 2% of the company budget, but generating a 2% improvement in efficiency that saved the company $8M per year is impressive.

Note: Do review your previous contract and ensure that any numbers you share on your resume are not contractually confidential. When you cannot disclose the total number of clients your old firm has, you may be able to list the percentage of those clients that were in your sales region. If you can’t list the total sales number, you may be able to go into detail about the percentage of new sales you generated. You can find a way to use impactful numbers even while respecting your previous commitments.


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