By now, you probably know that results are the calling card of a great resume.
The more you identify your specific accomplishments—and the tangible outcomes they produced—the more powerful your document becomes. It’s all about showing prospective employers what you’re capable of achieving and enticing them with the impact you could have on their bottom line too.
It’s a noble goal. But many professionals struggle to clearly measure and articulate the results they’ve achieved. Some resumes are full of great actions and accomplishments, but the reader is left wondering, “So what? Why did it matter?”
It’s like telling a story that doesn’t have an ending—anticlimactic—and that’s a distinctly unhelpful characteristic for a resume!
The results we’re talking about here must be measurable—things you can specifically say moved from X to Y because of you. The most powerful results are represented by numbers. We’re talking dollar amounts, percentages, times and so on.
This is where people tend to struggle the most. How do you identify these measurements? Thankfully, you have options:
Use exact numbers
This is the best option. Whenever possible, share exact numbers. For example:
- Executed product marketing plan resulting in $55K revenue within first 6 months
It may take some research and a good memory to really identify these numbers. Exact numbers work best when you can clearly pinpoint a direct correlation between what you’ve done and the numeric outcome.
For future reference, keep a detailed accomplishments list on your computer with these kinds of specifics. The next time you update your resume, you won’t have to go through the investigative process; you can just refer to your document.
When exact numbers are not available, estimates are perfectly acceptable. In fact, approximations are usually expected. The important thing is that you’re able to defend your numbers with a logical explanation.
- Established new file management procedure yielding 25% increase in efficiency
If asked about this, you might explain that the old process, before your improvements, consumed about 10 hours a week on average. Then, after your improvements, it only took about 7.5 hours a week on average.
More than likely, these numbers represent rough guesses, but that’s fine. The point is that your process improvements worked. They had a positive impact.
Also read: Answers to Your 5 Toughest Resume Questions
Of course, for some roles, it’s harder to find a clear correlation between action and numerical result. Likewise, results are sometimes simply less tangible.
For example, an experienced manager who has successfully mentored new managers may find it difficult to measure the result of that achievement. In such a situation, it’s acceptable to simply offer a loose value associated with the outcome, such as:
- Successfully mentored new managers resulting in improved team cohesion and leadership unity
While this isn’t as powerful as a numerical outcome, it still identifies the impact. It’s better than simply saying, “Successfully mentored new managers.”
Take a look at the accomplishments you’ve listed on your resume. For each one, ask yourself the question mentioned earlier: “So what? Why did it matter?” Make sure to address the outcome in some way, whether you apply an exact number, an estimate or a loose value.
Also read: Is Lying On Your Resume Ever OK?