You know that your resume needs to stand out in today’s recruiting environment.
When hiring managers review applications, they’ll usually have several candidates who can do the day-to-day job they’re looking to fill.
In these cases, applicants who differentiate themselves effectively will beat out those who simply wrote out a laundry list of what they were “responsible for.”
You should never try to stand out using extravagant formatting features such as colors, graphics, or photos, however.
Recruiters are impressed by quality content – not your ability to put together a pretty document (unless you’re applying for graphic design roles, of course).
The key to standing out?
Craft achievement-driven bullet points that demonstrate the impact you made on an organization.
By incorporating key metrics and KPIs into your resume, you’ll make your claims more believable and immediately build up credibility in the eyes of hiring managers.
In this article, we discuss 5 metrics that give your resume a competitive advantage.
1) Revenue & Sales Growth
If you’re responsible for improving company revenue or sales, be sure to cite specific figures to demonstrate your contribution.
Consider creating a spreadsheet to keep track of notable achievements from each of your roles:
- How much did you increase revenue on a month-over-month or year-over-year basis?
- How many sales did you make?
You’ll also want to put these metrics into context:
- What strategies did you use to increase revenue?
- Were there any headwinds (such as the pandemic) that make this a particularly impressive achievement?
When you leverage specific metrics and explain how you managed to achieve them, you help recruiters envision how you’ll add value to their company.
This approach will leave a stronger impression than a generic statement saying that you were “recognized for consistently achieving sales targets.” Instead, you can explain that you:
“Increased online sales revenue by 20% year-over-year by implementing abandoned cart recovery emails in Shopify, exceeding team sales target by 150%”
2) Cost Reduction & Profitability Improvement
If you’re not in a position that generates revenue, think about quantifying ways in which you decreased costs.
Questions to address include:
- By how much did you decrease operating costs?
- Were you able to reduce the cost of producing a product or delivering a service? How?
- Are there any other overhead costs that you eliminated, such as outsourced contractors or expensive tools?
- By how much did you improve your division’s profitability?
You may have to dig through old dashboards or invoices to gather these metrics, but hiring managers will be impressed by the fact that you think about ways to improve the company’s bottom line.
If your materials costs decreased because you secured better pricing from suppliers, explain that you:
“Lowered materials cost by 18% in 6 months by renegotiating contracts with 4 suppliers”
3) Process Optimization
In almost any role, you’ll have the ability to improve existing processes – even if it’s not officially part of your job description.
Remember that companies are always looking for ways to increase efficiency.
By putting numbers behind your achievements in this area, you’ll demonstrate how having you on the team will help the company get more done with fewer resources.
- How much time did you save via new processes you created?
- What tools did you leverage to make your work more efficient?
- By how much did you improve efficiency?
- What results did the analysis you conducted yield?
To measure efficiency, think about how long certain tasks used to take you to complete before you implemented new tools or processes.
If preparing month-end financial statements used to take a week and your new Excel models help you get it done in a day, you can write a bullet point such as:
“Reduced time to prepare month-end financials by 80% by creating a new Excel model”
You can still quantify your achievements if your role primarily consists of leading people.
Elevate your bullet points that have to do with recruitment, training, and team leadership by addressing the following questions:
- How many people were on your team? How many direct/indirect reports did you have?
- How many candidates did you interview and for how many positions?
- By how much did you improve team member engagement scores or retention?
- How many training sessions did you deliver? How did they improve team performance?
These metrics help contextualize the scope of your role and your impact, giving recruiters a clearer understanding of your leadership ability.
If team performance improved after you launched a new hire training program, you could say that you:
“Developed and rolled out a training program for new analysts that resulted in increased performance scores (+10 points) and on-the-job engagement (+18 points)”
5) Marketing & Partnership Development
If you work in marketing or build partnerships, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to quantify results:
- How many impressions did your marketing initiatives generate?
- Can you calculate the ROI of your marketing campaigns?
- How many deals did you sign? How many partners did you bring on board?
- By how much did you increase conversion rates?
Don’t forget to put your metrics into context by providing year-over-year comparisons or timelines to further strengthen your case:
“Established relationships with 4 investors, resulting in 6 new hotel development deals within two years”
Incorporating metrics into your bullet points will take research and advanced planning, but trust that the extra effort is well worth it.
Once you’re happy with your base content, you can also tailor your resume to your target roles to further bolster your chances of landing interviews.