By Alesia Benedict, CPRW, JCTC – GetInterviews.com
Many people hold negative perceptions about statistics, but in a resume, they may be the keys to opening interview doors. Performance statistics are applicable to most industries although more “obvious” in some fields than others. In sales, for example, statistics are a basic part of the professional language, conveyed via $X in revenue or sales. However, statistics can be created for any position. In fact, the move to quantify performance has been around for a long time. Surely, you have been in an organization where you were asked to “log” how you spent your time while at work. Put that tedium to work for you by including statistics in your next resume.
What Statistics Say about You
Statistics are usually used as part of a persuasive argument. Your goal is to persuade the hiring manager to schedule an interview. Use statistics as part of your persuasive toolbox. One way to persuade the reader you are the right person for the job is to be certain your statistics send the right message. Typical messages include “getting results”, “knowing how to get things done”, “cutting costs”, “increasing productivity”, “generating revenue”, etc. All of these characteristics and achievements are more compelling when conveyed through statistics. The statistics provide a solid record of your accomplishments.
How to Build a Statistical Base
Remember the persuasive message you want to send to potential employers? Use this “argument” to build a list of statistics from your work history (actual numbers provided are just examples).
- Generated $15M from ….
- Reduced on-the-job injuries by 25%….
- Acquired 200 new client accounts ….
- Cut costs by 50% through ….
First, think of the image or message you are trying to convey and then identify a “matching” statistic.
For example, do you want to broadcast your dependability or commitment to the company?
- 0 days missed for 12 months.
- Worked 12 holidays to maintain continuity of service.
Have a keen eye for on-the-job safety?
- Logged 15,000 hours without injury to any team members.
Don’t Make it Just About Numbers!
Yes, statistics are all about numbers, but by adding a brief explanation of how you achieved those numbers, you can also emphasize other skills. Let’s expand one of our examples.
- Logged 15,000 hours without injury to any team members by improving training programs and increasing awareness of safe work practices throughout the organization.
Statistics Set You Apart
Statistics are powerful because they convey a lot of information succinctly. Not only will your accomplishments stand out, but you will be distinguished from the crowd because main points are easy to pick out. Space is limited on the resume. Balancing a strong message with the right amount of words and white space is an important strategy in getting positive results. Statistics perform that function and set your resume apart from the competition.
Use Statistics to Compare Your Achievements to Others
You completed 15 projects in one year? What is the typical expectation? If others in similar positions usually complete 10 projects, this is impressive, however if others complete 30 in the same time frame, clearly you don’t want to include the comparison.
Is the usual teaching load 3 courses per semester and you always take on additional courses when asked? You can use this measure to indicate your willingness to be a strong team member, as well as your efficiency and ability to multi-task.
In the healthcare field, do you typically shoulder a smaller caseload than peers? Explore the reasons for those differences. You may be providing service to a more challenging segment of the population, requiring a smaller workload to maintain quality. Specialized skills can be identified by statistics, such as completing audits, interviews, or inspections, just to name a few.
Translating Skills to Numbers
Numbers may not be your “first language”, but they definitely translate to results in the job search. This “second language” doesn’t take long to learn, and you don’t need specialized training to master it. It is just a different “package” in which to present your strengths. Think in terms of how many, how much, and in what amount of time, and you will be on your way to making your resume POP – using statistics.
About the Author: Alesia Benedict, Certified Professional Resume Writer (CPRW) and Job and Career Transition Coach (JCTC) is the President of GetInterviews.com, the country’s leading resume writing firm. They provide professionals with customized, branded resumes and career marketing documents. Her and her firm’s credentials include being cited by JIST Publications as one of the “best resume writers in North America,” quoted as a career expert in The Wall Street Journal, and published in a whopping 25+ career books. Established in 1994, the firm has aided more than 100,000 job seekers to date. All resume writers are certified writers. GetInterviews.com offers a free resume critique and their services come with a wonderful guarantee — interviews in 30 days or they’ll rewrite for free!