How to use numbers to make your resume seem more impressive
You don’t have to be a math wiz to make this quick resume fix.
Recruiters look at hundreds of resumes per day—sometimes for the same position. How can you make yours stand out? You could hire a pro or create a super creative infographic resume—or in about 10 minutes, you could add data and metrics to quantify your achievements, and upgrade your resume from amateur to amazing.
Don’t worry—it’s not as hard as it might sound. In fact, for a quick 90-second lesson on how to do it, check out our video below. Or, keep reading and we’ll share some pointers here.
Why you should add numbers
Metrics, data, or any kind of stats help recruiters and hiring managers see the impact you made. The right data can make your experience seem more substantial, and send a signal to a recruiter or hiring manager that you’re a serious candidate.
For instance, in a “responsibilities” section of a resume, saying “wrote press releases” is fine, but “wrote 10 press releases per week” is much more impressive.
How to find your numbers
No matter what industry you’re in or what level you’ve reached in your career, there’s always something on your resume that can be enhanced with a number.
If you work in sales or finance, you have access to obvious metrics like sales volume, market share and profitability, but don’t forget about people-oriented numbers like customers served, people managed and performance rank (#1 sales person).
Don’t know exact numbers? Use a range. For instance, “edited 5-7 white papers per week” or “managed a budget exceeding $500,000.”
What numbers to use
The easiest way to find ways to quantify your achievements is to look at how you directly impacted the company’s money, time and people.
For money, look at how you cut costs or increased profits—and quantify everything you can. For instance you might include a line that says, “Oversaw an annual budget of $50,000 and cut costs by 15%.”
To show how you saved time or improved efficiency, you could say something like, “Revamped warehouse process and reduced production time by 20 minutes.”
Demonstrate how your work impacted the people at your company with something like “Managed a team of seven sales people.” Even a small detail like that will help paint a picture of the kind of work you can do, and the level of responsibility you’re able to hold.
How to present your numbers
Numbers make you seem like a pretty serious candidate. But using them to tell a story of how you made those numbers happen shows that you’re the kind of person a company wants to hire. It’s one thing to say you increased profits, but in what time frame —and with what challenges?
Show numbers in context so recruiters can see the impact you made.
You could say that you increased sales from $2 million to $5 million in a one-year period. Or, for another example, you could say during a hiring freeze and budget restrictions, you managed to increase productivity by 15%, saving an additional $20,000.
Adding some numbers to your current resume shouldn’t take long. Once you’ve done that, make sure you’re tracking achievements at your current job so you’ll be ready when it’s time to re-do your resume again.