Quantify Accomplishments - Numbers Get Attention

Why is it so important to quantify accomplishments?

Your resume provides prospective employers with a glimpse into your life. What they are looking for is your potential to serve their needs in an effective and definable way.

When you quantify accomplishments (results) in your resume, you speak the language that employers want to hear. To quantify accomplishments means using facts and figures to define your successes.

Using numbers helps explain in concrete terms how you benefited your last employer. When you are able to put a number to your accomplishments, you are going to begin to get the approval of hiring managers.


Numbers have meaning. They are real. They are definable and relational. Defining your achievements in this way allows an employer to see specific representations of your ability to perform the duties of a job well. They are clear, concise and remove subjectivity. Numbers provide a means to quantify accomplishments - your specific achievements - in a way that will excite prospective employers.

Look at this example:

If you were reading job applicants' resumes and you saw the following lines on two different resumes, which one would get your attention faster?

Example #1:
Created an incentive program to reduce absenteeism.

Example #2:
Created and implemented an incentive program reducing absenteeism by 20% in less than 3 months.

Do you see the difference? The second statement is definable (quantified), easy to understand, and relates the skills and determination to achieve such results. It is much more impressive to read.
The first example TOLD the employer what was accomplished.

The second example SHOWED the employer what was accomplished.
There is a big difference in how someone relates to those two sentences.

Using numbers allows an individual the ability to quantify the actions taken in order to achieve results.

Results drive prospective employers to want to get to know more about the person who is listed at the top of the resume. If that person is YOU, then you can bet that you will be getting a phone call.

If you don't know specific numbers, use your best judgment. Do not inflate any numbers to make yourself look better. That is lying and you will likely get caught – aside from the fact that it is unethical. Estimates are fine, just keep them realistic.

If you are struggling to determine how you achieved any results on your last job, think of your responsibilities in terms of:
  • What did you do to help make money for the organization?
  • Were you responsible for saving the organization money?
When you have an answer those, then you need to take the time to determine to what extent you helped achieve those results. Quantify as many aspects of your previous jobs as possible. Don't forget, too, that if you accomplished anything as a result of a team effort, you need to state that in your resume or cover letter. Employers are also delighted to know when people can work with others in a positive way to benefit the bottom line.

If you are unable to quantify your work-related experience in terms of numbers, try these two words out: significantly and substantially. If you are able to weave them into your resume – honestly – then that will offer a prospective employer an opportunity to see you as a results-oriented worker.

Let the employer know how you can benefit them

That is what they want to hear. Make your resume speak to them in a language they speak – NUMBERS. Quantify as much as you can when defining your achievements at previous jobs. Yes, that has been stated before. It is important, because if you don't quantify your achievements and your competition does, they will be the ones to get job offers.

The idea is to be better than your competition. Offer things to the employer that others aren’t offering. Quantifying results is HUGE and has an amazing payoff when done well. Stay ahead of the job-candidate pack by generating interest in your skills and abilities.

Quantify Accomplishments to Impress Your Next Employer

Quantifiable results can be expressed as:
  • performance-driven
  • goal-oriented
  • time-defined
  • measurable
  • initiative-based
  • action-backed
What can you list on your resume to speak the language employers want to hear? That alone can make all the difference in whether or not you are given an opportunity to interview for a job. It is essential in today's competitive marketplace.

Quantify Accomplishments

If you are done reading about how to quantify accomplishments on your resume, click here to review some great Resume Tips


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