Of all the resumés and LinkedIn profiles I review as a career coach, one thing is glaringly obvious by its absence — results.
Honestly, no one (except your immediate supervisor) really cares about your job duties. What they do care about – and that includes your supervisor – is how effective you are at what you do.
How do you measure effectiveness? By the numbers, my friend, by the numbers.
Here are some of the more meaningless space-wasters I’ve seen on resumés:
- “Cultivated rapport”
- “Guided conversations”
- “Drove profitability”
- “Commanded negotiations”
- “Delivered optimum value”
- “Coordinate meetings”
- “Managed social media platforms”
- “Resolved customer technical problems”
Some of these you no doubt recognize right away as fluff, but others probably have you scratching your head.
“What’s wrong with resolving technical problems?” you wonder. “Managing social media platforms is a big deal. And negotiations are super important.”
No argument here. But what’s missing from those resumés are the results. The accomplishments. The numbers, the metrics.
Quantify your results on your resumé
Take a look at your own resumé (if you don’t have one, you should, even if you are a business owner). What meaningless fluff have you used that takes up valuable space?
Let’s take a look at the list above again and imagine how we might add some muscle to those anemic descriptions.
- Cultivated rapport…which resulted in 15% growth in new business from existing clients.
- Guided conversations…that led to a reduction in staff turnover by 20%.
- Drove profitability…by decreasing expenses and increasing revenues for a net bottom-line gain of $100,000 for the fiscal year.
- Commanded negotiations…with our top three vendors that resulted in a cost savings to the company of 10% in our most popular product line.
- Delivered optimum value…by creating a new troubleshooting hotline at no additional charge to our customers.
- Coordinated meetings…between production and sales departments that reduced errors and cut refunds by $250,000 annually.
- Managed social media platforms…by providing pertinent offers that brought in an additional $150,000 in the first quarter of the year.
- Resolved customer technical issues…for 150 clients, reducing their down time across the board by 75% year over year.
You dig what I’m shoveling, right?
My view is if you can’t put a number to what’s on your resumé, leave it off.
Can all results be measured for a resumé?
But what if you don’t have a job whose results can be directly measured in profit or savings?
My opinion? If you don’t add some value to your company, you are deadwood and should start looking for another job right this minute. And it’s up to you to figure out what that value is as soon as you can.
- Having hard numbers is a great negotiating tool during your salary review.
- Your value provides a layer of protection between you and the unemployment line.
- It pumps up your self-confidence, which leads to all manner of good things for you in your personal and professional life.
- It demonstrates real leadership skills that can bring promotions and more money.
- You may realize that your talents are wasted in your present position and it’s time to move on.
There is no down side, so think on it. What do you do that can be measured? Like volunteering so many hours a month for community projects, or reducing the number of dropped calls or complaints, getting more positive comments on social media, finding ways to become more efficient and so on.
What do you spend the most time or money doing? How have you improved that situation? How much time have you saved? How many more X’s have you been able to do – or duties you’ve been able to assume?
How else can value be measured for a resumé? I’d love to see your ideas below.