Today’s job market is more competitive than ever. The easiest way to differentiate yourself is to showcase your quantifiable achievements on your resume. For sales executives, performance is measured at least on an annual basis against goals. Manufacturers implement processes and procedures that improve efficiencies, cost, and yield. Teachers monitor their students’ test scores and comprehension levels against school, state, and national standards.
But, what if you’re in a field where quantifying your accomplishments is nearly impossible? Or what if you made significant contributions to your most recent employer, but nothing was measured? How do you make yourself and your work stand out against hundreds if not thousands of other candidates for the same job?
1. Use anecdotal evidence rather than concrete numbers or percentages of improvement.
I have worked with many people in client-facing, non-sales roles who do not always have a way of quantifying their performance. In one particular case, a customer service representative told me that she had improved customer satisfaction. I immediately asked her to quantify this, but she couldn’t. I asked her for Net Promoter Scores, retention ratios, etc. She had nothing – or so she thought.
I then asked her if she had any customer feedback or recommendation letters. That she did have. I used a high-impact quote from one client’s letter and summarized a success story in which she saved a contract with a client who was threatening to leave the company – this was actually a quantifiable accomplishment of retaining the annual revenue brought in from the client account. This approach helped set her apart from her competitors even though she did not have any hard numbers.
2. Prove your expertise through teaching and training.
Any time you can share your knowledge with a junior staff member or a client team, you are adding value and proving your worth. Well-trained and educated people are always more productive, effective, and efficient than those who aren’t. State who you trained, mentored, and coached and how quickly they were able to take on more responsibilities.
If you trained your replacement when you earned a promotion, you saved the company money. Your employers didn’t have the expense of recruiting, hiring, and onboarding a new hire. Mention that in your resume. It shows your commitment to the company – you impacted the bottom line by eliminating the cost of a new employee.
3. Demonstrate your soft skills with specific examples.
Are you a team player? So is everyone else looking for a job. Tell a specific story on your resume that clearly and succinctly explains how you collaborated with your colleagues, client teams, or other internal business functions to attain a common goal.
So, you’re a problem solver. Prove it by giving an example of a problem at work, the solution you identified or developed, and the subsequent outcome. While you may not be able to quantify the results, there will be deadlines that were met, conflicts that were resolved, or bugs that were fixed.
The best resumes are those with quantifiable, measurable accomplishments. There is usually some way to tie what you do to the bottom line. However, if the numbers elude you, the aforementioned tactics will still position you as a strong candidate in a competitive employment market.
Often, defining your achievements requires consulting with a professional who can help you find them. Looking at your career from a different vantage point can often uncover unique, value-added accomplishments that you overlooked. Our Master Resume Writer can help you mine your contributions and present them in compelling career documents.