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Resume writing: Quantify your achievements

It goes unsaid that today’s job market is hugely competitive which makes it essential for your resume to stand out in the crowd. One way to achieve this is to quantify your achievements.

face2face Recruitment consultants say jobseekers tend to favour general statements in their resumes, assuming that employers will just ‘trust’ what they say.

Why should they, however? Wouldn’t you – if you were an employer – be more attracted to a candidate with the confidence and ‘smarts’ to back their claims with exciting examples and stimulating stats?

Having said that, our recruiters acknowledge that this can be challenging, even though jobseekers understand their achievements and past successes.

We’re not saying general statements are bad. They’re great introductions, but for you to be memorable, you need to illustrate your accomplishments and capabilities.

We’ve written this expert article to help. In doing so we’ve streamed heaps of general statements versus specific statements to inspire your thinking.

Examples (general followed by quantified)

Quantifying includes thinking through numbers, percentage increases, dollars achieved, size, and stats relating to results.

To keep your resume to a manageable length, you don’t need to quantify every statement. However, quantify enough statements to convince prospective employers that you’re hot talent.

General: I’m an experienced project manager.

Specific: I’ve led 5 major projects in my current position, with 100% completed on time and within budget.

General: Strong capability in achieving results.

Specific: In my last project I grew revenue by 20%, decreased operational costs by 15% and attracted 10 new clients.

General: I am a strong team player.

Specific: I currently work in a high-performing team and am proactive in presenting ideas. Recently I reduced the number of steps we take to perform one task in half.

General: My capabilities include excellent leadership.

Specific: Throughout my career I have led, inspired and motivated many teams, including large teams of over 30 staff and 20 contractors. I currently lead a team of 5 senior project managers working on a project valued at over $10 million.

General: Manage client inquires.

Specific: In my last role I consistently managed a large volume of client inquiries, by phone, email and face-to-face. On average, I handled over 100 inquiries a week. During peak periods this increased to over 120 inquiries a week.

General: Met all of KPIs expected for my role.

Specific: My role covers 8 KPIs and I report against these monthly. In the past 6 months, I have met 4 KPIs without fail. I have exceeded 4 consistently and set the record for my team with 1 KPI.

General: I manage social media for my organisation with great results.

Specific: I manage my organisation’s Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. In the last quarter I achieved a 10% increase in Facebook followers and a 5% increase in LinkedIn followers.

General: I am known for initiating continuous improvement initiatives.

Specific: Continuous improvement is one of my core strengths. I recommended outsourcing the product testing phase of a national project to an outside expert. This reduced our internal project time by 25% and saved the company $200,000.

General: I have extensive administration and business support skills.

Specific: I have 8 years of experience in administration and business support roles, in the public and private sector. Typical responsibilities include managing inboxes, calendars, correspondence and mail. I also organise meetings (agendas, bookings) and travel (flights, accommodation, rentals).

General: Customer service is a passion.

Specific: My customer service expertise spans a decade and crosses retail, hospitality, the food and wine industry. Roles include Customer Service Team Leader, Customer Service National Representative, and Customer Service Innovator.

General: I am an excellent communicator.

Specific: A main responsibility of my current position is communication. I am an active listener and explain complex content clearly and concisely. I am also a strong writer who prepares detailed briefs and reports management can confidently rely on for decision-making.

Other resume tips

  • Name your resume file. Instead of ‘Resume.docx’, be specific. Examples: ‘John Doe resume 2024’ or ‘Jane Smith Project Manager 2024’.
  • Professionally format which makes your resume easier to read and more impressive visually. Try one of our free resume templates.
  • If you’re sending your resume to a recruiter avoid fancy columns and over-the-top design. Keep the layout simple since some recruiters will want to put your resume in their format. Recruiters also prefer a Word document as opposed to a PDF.
  • Proofread and proofread again. If your resume has typos and layout issues, this won’t reflect well on your capabilities.
  • If you include an image of yourself, make sure you look the part for the role you’re applying for. Recreational or social photos won’t cut it.

Learn more about resume writing

Your resume: photo or no photo?

Why tailored resumes are best dressed

How to write a winning resume

Words to use and don’t use in your resume

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