How to Quantify Resume Accomplishments (With Examples)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated February 22, 2021 | Published November 23, 2020
Updated February 22, 2021
Published November 23, 2020
Quantifying your performance on a resume is an effective way to demonstrate your value and highlight your accomplishments in prior positions. In a competitive job market, it is important to make sure that you are giving yourself every available advantage. A resume with quantified accomplishments leaves a strong impression on the hiring professional who reads it. In this article, we discuss how to effectively quantify accomplishments on a resume, the benefits of doing so and examples that compare quantified and unquantified resumes.
Why is it important to know how to quantify on a resume?
A strong resume with an effective cover letter is an essential part of applying for a competitive job listing. One of the best ways to make your resume more memorable and effective is to include specific numbers when listing your accomplishment or prior experience, as opposed to describing them using vague terms. When you quantify your resume, you read through it to identify areas where you can use more precise numbers that offer a clearer representation of the value that you provide.
The benefits of quantifying your accomplishments on a resume
Adding numbers into your resume is one of the simplest and most effective ways to make it more memorable and impressive. Reasons to include precise quantities whenever possible include:
Quantifying your performance provides specificity for the hiring professional who is reading your resume. A phrase such as "significantly increased new client acquisition" can mean a broad range of performance results to a broad range of readers, whereas a direct quantity such as "oversaw a 37% growth in new client acquisition" states precisely how effective your work was.
Providing numbers makes your claims on the resume more credible. Using precise quantities implies that you have the data to back up your claims, which means that you are not embellishing.
Using quantities on your resume demonstrates that you are results-oriented. Rather than focusing on abstract concepts, presenting the bottom-line results of your prior experience allows those results to represent your priorities and performance.
Numbers help your resume to stick in the mind of the hiring professional. Often for competitive positions, there will be several rounds of assessment in which the field of potential hires is narrowed down. Specific quantities separate your resume from comparable applicants', improving your chances of being moved on to the next phase of the hiring process.
How to quantify accomplishments on a resume
When you quantify your resume, you should make sure that you use numbers as effectively as possible by following these steps:
1. Track your work
The more data you have on your performance at prior jobs, the better situated you will be to identify the metrics that present you in as favorable a light as possible. While it is possible to organize your data after the fact when you are searching for new work, the best way to prepare yourself is to keep your performance data updated as you go.
Make a habit of tracking some of the most important metrics of your job performance. Not only does this make it so that you do not have to spend valuable job search time compiling all of your old data, but it also helps you perform better by allowing you to see where you are excelling and where your performance could be improved. It's an effective way to determine if any changes you have implemented are having the desired results.
2. Gather your data
If you haven't kept records of your performance data prior to starting work on your resume for a job search or promotion application, that doesn't mean you can't still use quantities to improve your resume.
If you find that you have a lack of usable data and need to gather all of your data during the job search, you may need to prioritize which metrics you devote time to compiling data on. Think about both the areas that will be most applicable to the position you are applying for and the metrics where you performed the best and start by compiling the information you need to quantify them, then proceed to other areas as time permits.
3. Make use of ranges
While specificity is valuable on a resume, sometimes you won't always have access to precise numbers. Whether the lack of precision is because you do not have the data you need to give an exact number or because there was variance in the underlying data, a range is an effective way to communicate the data without being overly specific. For example, a personal trainer may describe their work at a prior gym by saying they served 15 to 20 clients every week in order to give an impression of their client load while acknowledging it could vary from week to week.
4. Focus on key metrics
Providing numbers helps to make your claims less ambiguous, but they are most effective when used to focus on key metrics that appeal to hiring professionals, such as:
Money: Financial numbers are essential for any successful company, and that means they are always a valuable addition on your resume. If you can demonstrate improved financial performance, such as citing an increase in sales or net profits, you should do so by including the specific dollar amount you have generated.
People: Depending on the position you are applying for, you can quantify everything from the number of clients you had to the size of the staff working under you.
Time: Experience is highly valued in the professional world, so you should always use specific numbers when possible to demonstrate the length of your professional experience.
Rankings: Many industries make use of ranks, and you should include them in your resume if possible. For example, a search engine optimization professional could include that they helped improve a client from the fourth page of search results to the top-ranking position for targeted keywords.
5. Double-check your work
When including quantities on your resume, double-check that they are correct before you send your resume out to employers. It's important to present the most accurate information possible to remain honest during the hiring process.
Examples of quantifying resume accomplishments
Using numbers on your resume is an effective technique across a broad range of industries and careers. These examples can help show you how to quantify a resume no matter what your chosen career is:
Example 1: Education
Unquantified: Helped students to improve their standardized testing scores in order to raise their college application prospects.
*Quantified: Developed and implemented an AP Calculus curriculum that resulted in a 4.3 average on AP testing and a 92% success rate.*
Example 2: Human resources
Unquantified: Coordinated payroll, benefits and conflict resolution for a large staff while maintaining high company morale.
*Quantified: Oversaw human resources staff of seven employees serving an office of 450 staff members, maintaining strong staff relationships to aid in retention and production.*
Example 3: Management
Unquantified: Created policies to improve staff performance across all divisions, resulting in increased profits from year to year.
*Quantified: Led a staff of 20 employees with innovative policies that yielded a 27% increase in profits from the previous calendar year.*
Example 4: Marketing professional
Unquantified: Developed an online marketing platform to improve organic search traffic results and increase client acquisition numbers.
*Quantified: Developed an innovative online marketing platform that produced top-three results on all targeted keywords, yielding a 48% increase in organic search traffic and $17,000 of increased sales.*
Example 5: Sales associate
Unquantified: Created bonds with clients to develop lasting relationships, resulting in significant sales performances in every quarter.
*Quantified: Developed strong bonds with clients resulting in long-lasting relationships and the title of #1 Sales Associate in the Northeast and #3 Sales Associate Nationwide.*
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