Metrics in the form of numbers, percentages, and dollars give your resume’s and LinkedIn profile’s accomplish statements power and separate you from the fold. They cause readers to take note. They complete the story. They show proof.
Based on a poll I conducted on LinkedIn, 65% of voters said metrics on your job-search documents are important to have, 25% voted “No,” and 10% stated, “It depends.” The poll is still active with 1,334 people who have voted.
An accomplishment statement consists of an action (what you did) and a result (hopefully quantified with #s, $s, and %s). Simply providing a statement is devoid of a positive impact on the company, or an accomplishment.
Conversely, listing only the quantified positive result fails to explain to the reader how you were able to achieve the result. Some job candidates do half the job of writing an accomplishment statement by doing this.
Following is an example of a project manager who led a team of 6 software engineers to complete four major projects in one year. They were able to complete the projects before estimated time, thus saving the company cost on salary.
Championed a team of 6 software engineers completing 4 projects in 2020.
Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary.
You see that to only list the quantified result robs the reader of learning how the person achieved it. Following is the full accomplishment statement.
Saved the company $493,020 in projected salary by championing a team of 6 software engineers to complete 4 projects in 2020. The projected number of projects was 3.
An 18-wheel truck driver traverses the country on an annual basis. On their resume or LinkedIn profile, the candidate simply writes a duty: “Drove 18-wheel truck across the US.“
Not nearly as impressive as: “Traversed the US 200,000+ miles annually, accomplishing a perfect safety record and earning Top Driver out of 30 employees for fastest hauler.”
Better: “Earned top driver out of 30 employees for fasted hauler by traveling the US 200,000+ miles annually; achieved perfect safety record.“
We can assume this truck driver saved money for their employer based on being the fastest hauler, and saving money equals increasing revenue. Alas, these figures aren’t available to the driver.
Laura Smith-Proulx provides an accomplishment statement that contributed to her latest TORI win (Best Classic High Tech resume):
“Growth Imprint: Elevated Advantech to #2 market ranking by developing and deploying Demand Response product at global customers (now running 38%+ of all US electricity). Promoted offering at World AI IoT Congress.“
Biron Clark offers an accomplish statement for a customer service rep who improved a process in their role.
Saved business $29,000 in 2019 by implementing new customer service process that reduced customer refund requests by 9%
Saving costs and increasing revenue ain’t all that matters
What you’ve accomplished in your most recent experience isn’t only about saving costs or increasing revenue; although, that’s great. Companies and organizations appreciate these two accomplishments. But what if you don’t have the numbers for metrics?
“Coaching younger employees – can you quantify that? Maybe there’s less turnover or better performance, but the fact that you stick in their mind as the best boss ever, even 30 years later, and the one that inspired them to have a great career?
“So there’s other things you can’t put numbers around that really, really matter.”
I agree that it isn’t always possible to provide metrics in your accomplishment statements. One solution might be using a quote, as such:
“Shannon has brought innovative supply chain strategies to (company) which made us more efficient and save cost. Our customers were extremely pleased with Shannon’s attention to their needs.” Bob Jones, VP Operations, ABC Company
Or simply state your value to the company/organization.
Frequently acknowledge by manager for providing the best service to our patients; earned “Employee of the Year, 2020.
Nii Ato Bentsi-Enchill provides a great example of an accomplishment statement which doesn’t contain a quantified result:
“Designed ‘New Product Validation Program’ from scratch, enabling for the first time onsite initial quality verification to improve non-conforming parts prior to new vehicle launch, vastly reducing reliance on external labs.”
One person who wrote a comment for the poll I conducted said it nicely when it comes to quantifying results, or not:
Matt Warzel: Yes all resumes should have some focus on KPIs and bottom-line accomplishments. If you have sales, metrics, etc. use them! If not (or they have to remain confidential), turn your sentences in accomplishments still focused on operational impact, but without the figures. Streamlined efficiency, drove revenue gains, reduced waste, optimized workflow, saved money, etc…